5¢ Brick Red (27), block of four, brilliant color, intact perfs at right with part of adjoining straddle-pane margin, centered a bit to left but better than usual centering, faint pre-use crease in right pair ending in a tear at bottom of upper right stamp, manuscript cancels and tied by fancy "Stoneham Mass. Sep. 26, 1859" circular datestamp with scroll on cover to Stanbridge, Canada, red "United States 6d" double-line oval handstamp, Montreal and West Farnham backstamps
A Very Fine cover which bears the only recorded used block of the 5¢ Brick Red. A wonderful showpiece and one of the outstanding examples of classic perforated multiples.
Many collectors know this issue by type and shade, but few are aware of the order of production (or release). This state of confusion is partly due to the Scott Catalogue. The distinctive Brick Red shade of the 5¢ 1857 Issue comes first in the series of Scott-listed perforated 5¢ issues, but its true release date comes later in the sequence.
Based on dated covers, the 5¢ Type I shades were released in the following order: 1) Red Brown, Scott 28, EDU 8/23/1857; 2) Indian Red, Scott 28A, EDU 3/31/1858; 3) Brick Red, Scott 27, EDU 10/6/1858; and 4) Brown, Scott 29, EDU 3/21/1859, almost certainly the last printing from the first 5¢ plate. The second 5¢ plate was made from a new six-relief transfer roll with the design projections cut away at top and bottom, to varying degrees. The Type II Brown was issued first (Scott 30A, EDU 5/4/1860), and the Orange Brown printing from the same plate followed about one year later (Scott 30, EDU 5/8/1861).
We record only two blocks of the 5¢ Brick Red, this used block on cover and the original-gum block last sold in our 2018 William H. Gross United States Stamp Treasures sale (Sale 1188, lot 47). This double-rate cover to Canada is accompanied by a matching 10¢ Green, Type V (35) on cover from the same correspondence.
Ex Stephen D. Bechtel (1993 Rarities of the World sale). Illustrated in Hill, United States Five Cent Stamp of 1856-1861 (p. 55). With 1994 P.F. certificate.