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Sale 1200 — The William H. Gross Collection: U.S. Stamp Multiples

Sale Date — Wednesday-Thursday, 8-9 May, 2019

Category — 1¢-90¢ 1857-60 Issue (Scott 18-39)

Cat./Est. Value
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 32, 1¢-90¢ 1857-60 Issue (Scott 18-39), This magnificent original-gum block of the 1¢ 1857 Issue from Plate 2 contains the finer of two extant unused examples of Position 99R2 in perforated form


1¢ Blue, Type III, Position 99R2 (21), Positions 78-80/88-90/98-100R2, block of nine from the bottom right corner of right pane of Plate 2, full sheet selvage, center stamp in bottom row is Type III, Position 99R2, center stamp in middle row is major double transfer, Position 89R2, original gum, center horizontal row is Mint Never-Hinged, rich color and early impression showing complete line at bottom of Position 100R (Type II at this stage)


Alfred H. Caspary, H. R. Harmer sale, 1/16-18/1956, lot 602, to Cole (for Lilly)

Josiah K. Lilly, Jr., Siegel Auction Galleries, 2/7-8/1968, Sale 327, lot 21, to Weill

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1971 Rarities of the World, 3/23/1971, Sale 391, lot 34, to Grunin

Louis Grunin, H. R. Harmer sale, 12/14-15/1976, lot 2412, to Ishikawa

Ryohei Ishikawa, Christie's Robson Lowe sale, 9/28-29/1993, lot 213, to Zoellner

Robert Zoellner, Siegel Auction Galleries, 10/8-10/1998, Sale 804, lot 101, to William H. Gross


Mortimer L. Neinken, The United States One Cent Stamp of 1851 to 1861, fig. 13-X, page 195

ANPHILEX 1996 Invited Exhibits (Zoellner)


The Philatelic Foundation (1993)


Very Fine; top left stamp has small tear, top right pair faintly creased, bottom right stamp has small thin--none of these trivial flaws affect the appearance of the block or the condition of 99R2, which is sound


$110,000.00 for this specific block, which has not changed since 1994


The 1¢ 1857 Perforated Type III Position 99R2

The 1¢ Plate 2 was made before perforating was considered; therefore, the spaces between the stamps were insufficient to accommodate perforations. The majority of 1¢ stamps from Plate 2 were issued imperforate from December 1855 through June 1857. Perforated 1¢ stamps were issued beginning in July 1857, and Plate 2 (along with Plate 4) was used until replaced by new plates in late 1857.

Plate 2 multiples with original gum are far rarer perforated than in imperforate form. The converse is true for multiples from Plate 4. Although Type II perforated blocks with original gum are abundant from 1861 printings (Plates 11-12), Type II perforated blocks from Plate 2 are exceedingly rare. The block offered here is the only perforated block containing Position 99R2.

Plate 2 was made in late 1855, and produced 198 stamps that are Type II, one position that is Type III (99R) and one that can be either Type II or Type IIIA (100R), depending on plate wear. The creation of the Type III (99R2) and the 89R2 major double transfer is a story of human error.

To lay out the plate, the siderographer used a tool to make tiny dots in the plate that served to guide him in rocking in entries from the transfer roll. Positions 79 and 89 were transferred perfectly using their guide dots. However, the guide dot to the southeast of Position 88R2, which was used to align the single B Relief for Position 99R2, was placed far out of line. The misplaced dot caused the siderographer to transfer the 99R entry far out of alignment and rock the adjoining A Relief on the transfer roll into the bottom part of Position 89 (and in the margin below this position).

The first 99R entry was erased and re-entered, but the parts of the A Relief transferred into the bottom of Position 89R remained. When the fresh entry was made in Position 99R, a full transfer of the design was not possible without running into the error in Position 89R. The position was therefore short transferred at top, and apparently also at bottom, creating the finest example of Type III found on any plate (see pages 183-184 of Neinken book).

At the time of our 1998 Zoellner sale, we determined that this 99R2 block was originally joined with the block of 30 offered as lot 31 in this sale. A digital reconstruction is shown on page 39. Both blocks were once part of the Caspary collection, but the Weills bought the block of 30 and Ezra Cole bought the 99R2 block for Josiah K. Lilly, Jr. At our 1968 sale of Lilly's collection, the Weills captured the block, evidently for themselves, since it does not appear in the inventory of the Benjamin D. Phillips collection.

At or sometime after the 1971 Rarities of the World sale, in which the 99R2 block was offered, it became part of Louis Grunin's 1847-1869 exhibit, which won the Grand Prix National at INTERPHIL in 1976. Following the sale of Grunin's 1847-1869 off-cover material in 1976, the block was acquired by Ryohei Ishikawa for his own 1847-1869 exhibit, which earned him three Grand Prix awards in exhibitions from 1981 to 1987. At the 1993 sale of Ishikawa's collection, Robert Zoellner was the successful bidder, and when his collection was sold by our firm in 1998, Mr. Gross acquired it. Eight years later it became a pillar of his exhibit, which captured the Grand Prix National at Washington 2006.

Digital reconstruction of block of 30 offered in lot 31 and block of 9 offered here

E. 100,000-150,000
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