5¢ Red Brown (28), C/D Reliefs, block of six, original gum, rich color in the 1856 shade of Red Brown, centered to right, bottom perforations trimmed off but a wide even margin remains
George H. Worthington, J. C. Morgenthau sale, 8/21-23/1917, lot 157
Alfred H. Caspary, H. R. Harmer sale, 1/16-18/1956, lot 661, to Cole (for Lilly)
Josiah K. Lilly, Jr., Siegel Auction Galleries, 2/7-8/1968, Sale 327, lot 28
Siegel Auction Galleries, 1993 Rarities of the World, 10/3/1995, Sale 745, lot 409
The Philatelic Foundation (1994)
Fine; natural vertical preprinting paper crease in lefthand pair and bottom right stamp has tiny flaw in left margin (possibly natural and not noted on certificate)
SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)
Single at $60,000.00 = $300,000.00 Pair at $125,000.00 = $375,000.00 Average-Fine block at $90,000.00 based on 2009 sale
HISTORY AND COMMENTARY
The Rarity of Perforated 5¢ Type I Red Brown Blocks
The 5¢ Type I Red Brown Imperforate was issued sometime in the first quarter of 1856. It seems likely that all of the stamps distributed to post offices were from the initial print run of 600,000 made by Toppan Carpenter at their Philadelphia plant, because there is virtually no variation in the Red Brown shade of the imperforate stamps.
In 1857 the Post Office began issuing perforated stamps for all denominations, and they started by perforating the existing stock of imperforate sheets on hand. In the case of 1¢ stamps, the use of old stock produced perforated versions of stamps printed from plates associated with imperforate issues--Plates 1L, 2 and 4--and collectors can readily identify those early perforated stamps by their plate characteristics. However, since only one plate was used to print 5¢ Type I stamps, something other than plate criteria must be used to identify perforated stamps made from imperforate stock.
The key is the color shade. The photograph at left shows the four Red Brown shades associated with 5¢ Type I Perforated stamps. The 1856-57 Red Brown at the far left and the 1858 Red Brown to its right are both listed under Scott 28, but they represent two different printings--the block offered here is the 1856-57 shade. The Bright Red Brown, Scott 28b, is really just an intermediate shade from the 1858 printing, with the regular Red Brown, Scott 28, at the lighter end of the spectrum, and the Indian Red, Scott 28A, at the more intense end.
We are aware of only four unused blocks of Scott 28 (there are no unused blocks of Scott 28b or 28A):
1) Block of 6, original gum, bottom perfs trimmed, ex Worthington, Caspary, Lilly, offered in this sale
2) Block of 4, ex Hind, Ward, Klein, Whitman
3) Block of 4, left half of block of 9 illustrated in the Hill book (p. 44), no gum, ex Phillips
4) Block of 4, right half of block of 9 illustrated in the Hill book (p. 44), no gum, stain spot, ex Phillips
The block offered here is and likely will remain the largest surviving unused multiple.