EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS IS EASILY ONE OF THE FINEST ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLES OF THE RARE BUFFALO BALLOON AIR POST ISSUE. THIS SUPERB STAMP IS GRADED XF-SUPERB 95 BY THE PHILATELIC FOUNDATION.
The Buffalo Balloon stamp, designed by John F. B. Lillard and engraved by John H. Snively, was printed by Wheeler Brothers Printers in Nashville, Tennessee, The stamps were intended for use on a balloon flight from Nashville to Gallatin, which took place on June 18, 1877. Of the 300 printed, only 23 were used.
Based on previous examples we have handled, at least some of the Buffalo Balloon stamps were exposed to moisture around the time they were printed and were probably stuck together. This accounts for the no gum, disturbed gum or thinned examples sometimes encountered. This lightly hinged stamp with huge margins is a true condition rarity.
With 2017 P.F. certificate (XF-Superb 95)