EXTREMELY FINE. THIS IS WITHOUT QUESTION ONE OF THE FINEST ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLES OF THE 1851 ONE-CENT IMPERFORATE TYPE III EXTANT. THE BREAKS IN OUTER LINES AT TOP AND BOTTOM -- THE DEFINING CHARACTERISTIC OF TYPE III -- ARE ESPECIALLY WIDE IN THIS STAMP.
Type III is defined by breaks in the outer lines at both top and bottom. Many Type III stamps have breaks that were created or enlarged by plate wear. Since the wear occurred over a period of time, a majority of stamps of this type (both unused and used) have small breaks in at least one line. The most notable exception is Position 99R2, which has the widest breaks of any Type III position, due to the short transfer during plate entry.
The stamp offered here should be considered significant for several reasons. The breaks at top and bottom are so wide that it actually approaches those of Position 99R2. The large margins at top and bottom also allow for easy identification of the type. All factors considered -- design, impression, margins and gum -- this stamp is easily one of the finest original-gum examples of the imperforate Type III.
A review of past auction catalogues demonstrates how rare this stamp is in original-gum condition. None were offered in the Newbury, Zoellner, Golin, Weisman, Lyons or Floyd collections. Caspary had an unused 99R2 in a strip of three, and the Ishikawa collection contained the famous block of nine with one Type III stamp (Position 99R2). Examples offered in other important collections, such as Scarsdale, Whitman and Drucker, did not achieve the quality or desirability of the example offered here.
With 2009 P.S.E. certificate (OGph, XF 90; SMQ $70,000.00). This is the highest grade awarded to date and the only example to achieve this grade.