Sale Number: 1025
Sale Date:
2012 Rarities of the World

1894-98 Bureau Issue thru Trans-Mississippi Issue
Lot Sym. Lot Description Est/Cat Realized
194 og $1.00 Black (261). Original gum, lightly hinged, perfectly centered with massive margins all around, intense shade and detailed impression

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A MAGNIFICENT ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE $1.00 TYPE I UNWATERMARKED BUREAU ISSUE. A STAMP OF TRULY MASSIVE PROPORTIONS.

P.S.E. encapsulated (OGph, XF-Superb 95 Jumbo; SMQ $3,200.00 as 95, $6,200.00 as 98). Only two have graded higher to date and only four others share this grade. (Image Magnifier)

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1,000 0
195 og $5.00 Dark Green (263). Original gum, lightly hinged, deep rich color and proof-like impression on post-office fresh paper, perfectly centered with wide margins

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS STUNNING ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE 1894 $5.00 UNWATERMARKED BUREAU ISSUE HAS BEEN GRADED SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E.

The 1894 Unwatermarked issue was the first U.S. postage issue to be printed by the Bureau of Engraving & Printing, after the contract with American Bank Note Co. expired. The first stamps printed by the Bureau are notoriously difficult to find well-centered, as production was marred by initial problems as they geared up to meet the needs of the public for stamps. The designs through the $1.00 were kept the same from the 1890 ABN Co. issue, with the addition of corner triangles to distinguish the printings. The use of the same designs is another indication of the time pressure that may have caused some of the initial production problems. Perhaps the two most difficult denominations to find in superb condition are the $1.00 Type II (Scott 261A), and the $5.00.

With 2009 P.S.E. certificate (OGph, Superb 98; SMQ $20,900.00). Only three others share this grade and only one has graded higher to date. Collectors waiting for a Mint N.H. example in higher grades will have a very long wait -- the highest grade awarded thus far to a Mint N.H. copy is 80. (Image Magnifier)

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4,500 17,500
196 nh 3c Purple (268). Mint N.H., rich color and proof-like impression on bright paper, perfectly centered with wide margins

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 1895 WATERMARKED 3-CENT BUREAU ISSUE, WHICH HAS BEEN GRADED SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED TO DATE.

With 2012 P.S.E. certificate (Superb 98; SMQ $4,200.00). This is the highest grade awarded to date and only one other shares this grade. (Image Magnifier)

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115 5,250
197° bl $5.00 Dark Green (278). Block of four, precise centering throughout, gorgeous rich color, single central strike of target cancel

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB USED BLOCK OF FOUR OF THE 1895 $5.00 WATERMARKED BUREAU ISSUE.

This is without question the finest used block we have offered in any of our auctions since keeping computerized records and in our Rarities sales since 1964.

With 2011 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; blocks unpriced in SMQ) (Image Magnifier)

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4,000 5,000
198 E 1c-$2.00 Trans-Mississippi, Bi-Color Large Die Essays on India (285E8a-293E7a). Complete set, all but one are fully die sunk on approximately 80 x 67mm cards, only the 1c value is a hybrid, spectacular colors throughout, free of the toning spots sometimes encountered

VERY FINE. A FRESH AND PRISTINE SET OF THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI BI-COLOR DIE ESSAYS. IDEALLY SUITED FOR EXHIBITION.

Of the 166 sets printed in these colors, many were hybrids. This is a desirable set containing only one hybrid and is also more easily mounted in an album in these smaller sizes (Image Magnifier)

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3,125 3,250
199° nh 5c Trans-Mississippi (288). Mint N.H. with plate no. 618 and wide selvage at top, rich color and proof-like impression on bright paper, mathematically perfect centering

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS SUPERB MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 5-CENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE HAS BEEN AWARDED THE PERFECT GRADE OF GEM 100 BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS ONE OF ONLY TWO EXAMPLES TO ACHIEVE THIS GRADE, WHICH IS THE HIGHEST AWARDED TO DATE. THIS IS ALSO ONE OF ONLY FOUR MINT NEVER-HINGED TRANS-MISSISSIPPI STAMPS IN ANY DENOMINATION TO ACHIEVE THIS GRADE.

The 1893 Columbian Issue, comprising 16 different denominations, created a backlash from collectors, who resented paying $16.34 for a complete set (the equivalent of $380 in today's dollars). For the 1898 Trans-Mississippi Exposition, held in Omaha Nebraska, the number of stamps was reduced to nine denominations up to $2.00. The $3.80 cost for the set, while still expensive ($95 in today's dollars), was at least more manageable.

The Trans-Mississippi plates were laid out with narrower space between the horizontal rows than the space between the vertical columns. The mathematically balanced margins necessary to achieve a Gem 100 grade require extra space between the horizontal rows of perforations. Anyone who has examined Trans-Mississippi sheets and multiples can testify to the rarity of stamps with perfectly balanced margins all around.

With 2009 P.S.E. certificate (Gem 100; unpriced above the grade of 98; SMQ $11,000.00 as 98). This is the highest grade awarded to date and one of only two examples to achieve this grade. The only other denomination represented by a Mint N.H. Gem 100 stamp is the 8c (two awarded, one of which is offered in the following lot). (Image Magnifier)

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330 27,000
200° nh 8c Trans-Mississippi (289). Mint N.H. with wide imprint selvage at top, brilliant color, mathematically perfect centering with wide margins

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS MAGNIFICENT MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 8-CENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE HAS BEEN GRADED GEM 100 BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED TO DATE AND ONE OF ONLY TWO TO ACHIEVE THIS GRADE. THIS IS ALSO ONE OF ONLY FOUR MINT NEVER-HINGED TRANS-MISSISSIPPI STAMPS IN ANY DENOMINATION TO ACHIEVE THIS GRADE.

The 1893 Columbian Issue, comprising 16 different denominations, created a backlash from collectors, who resented paying $16.34 for a complete set (the equivalent of $380 in today's dollars). For the 1898 Trans-Mississippi Exposition, held in Omaha Nebraska, the number of stamps was reduced to nine denominations up to $2.00. The $3.80 cost for the set, while still expensive ($95 in today's dollars), was at least more manageable.

Collectors in pursuit of superb 19th Century commemorative stamps are well aware of the challenge in locating the 8c Trans-Mississippi with wide margins and choice centering. An examination of 8c multiples will reveal the fact that the space between horizontal rows was narrower than the space between vertical columns. Wide top and bottom margins that match the sides could only occur when the horizontal perforations were misapplied to a row, thereby impinging on the space allocated to the rows above and below.

With 2007 P.S.E. certificate (Gem 100; unpriced in SMQ above the grade of 98, SMQ $20,000.00 as 98). This is the highest grade awarded to date and one of only two examples to achieve this grade. The only other denomination represented by a Mint N.H. Gem 100 stamp is the 5c (two awarded, one of which is offered in the previous lot). (Image Magnifier)

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500 35,000
201 nh $1.00 Trans-Mississippi (292). Mint N.H., intense shade on post office fresh paper, incredibly detailed impression which highlights every minute detail of this wonderful engraving

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SPECTACULAR MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE $1.00 TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE, WIDELY REGARDED AS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNITED STATES COMMEMORATIVE STAMP EVER ISSUED. THIS MAGNIFICENT STAMP HAS BEEN GRADED XF-SUPERB 95 BY P.S.E.

The $1.00 Trans-Mississippi is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful designs in U.S. philately. According to Brookman, the picture is supposed to portray cattle in the American West and is labelled "Western Cattle In Storm" at bottom. However, the subject of the original painting by J.A. MacWhirter, who specialized in romantic landscapes and first exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy at the age of 14, was of cattle in the West Highlands of Scotland.

The $1.00 Trans-Mississippi's long-time popularity with collectors led to hinging of the vast majority of singles. Although blocks have been broken over the years to supply Mint N.H. singles, it seems that grading is always a compromise between perfect centering and margin width. Only in a few instances do we find the combination of Mint N.H. condition, Extremely Fine Gem centering and wide balanced margins. This stamp is one of those rare examples combining everything that could be desired.

With 2011 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $20,000.00). Only two have graded higher to date (at 98) and only five others share this grade. (Image Magnifier)

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3,250 15,500
202° og $1.00 Trans-Mississippi (292). Original gum, lightly hinged, sharp proof-like impression which shows every nuance of this remarkable engraving, mathematically perfect centering with wide margins

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A MAGNIFICENT ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE $1.00 TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE, WHICH HAS BEEN AWARDED THE PERFECT GRADE OF GEM 100 BY P.S.E. THIS IS THE ONLY UNUSED EXAMPLE OF THE $1.00 TRANS-MISSISSIPPI TO ACHIEVE THIS GRADE, AND, IN FACT, IT IS CURRENTLY ONE OF ONLY TWO UNUSED DOLLAR-VALUE COMMEMORATIVE STAMPS WITH A P.S.E. GEM 100 GRADE FOR ANY ISSUE.

The focus on stamps with a Gem 100 grade is growing more intense as collectors strive for the highest possible ranking in the P.S.E. Set Registry. Remarkably, only two unused dollar-denominated stamps have achieved a Gem 100 grade (the other is a $2.00 Columbian).

With 2012 P.S.E. certificate (Gem 100; unpriced in SMQ above the grade of 98, SMQ $8,850.00 as 98). This is the only unused $1.00 Trans-Mississippi to grade Gem 100 (followed by one 98). The highest Mint N.H. grade is 98. The SMQ value for a 98 seems conservative, and the premium for Gem 100 should be a multiple of the 98 value. (Image Magnifier)

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1,050 11,500
203° og $1.00 Trans-Mississippi (292). Original gum, lightly hinged, intense shade and proof-like impression on bright paper, unusually choice centering with wide margins

EXTREMELY FINE. A SUPERB ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE $1.00 TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE.

With 2012 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $3,250.00). Only two have graded higher to date. (Image Magnifier)

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1,050 2,800
204   $1.00 Trans-Mississippi (292). Mathematically perfect centering with Jumbo margins, intense shade and proof-like impression, neat strike of circular datestamp leaves entire design clearly visible

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS STUNNING USED EXAMPLE OF THE $1.00 TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE HAS BEEN GRADED GEM 100 JUMBO BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS THE HIGHEST GRADE POSSIBLE ON THE GRADING CHART, AND THIS STAMP IS THE ONLY $1.00 TRANS-MISSISSIPPI TO ACHIEVE THIS ULTIMATE GRADE. A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF WHAT IS WIDELY REGARDED AS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNITED STATES COMMEMORATIVE STAMP EVER ISSUED.

The $1.00 Trans-Mississippi is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful designs in U.S. philately. According to Brookman, the picture is supposed to portray cattle in the American West and is labelled "Western Cattle In Storm" at bottom. However, the subject of the original painting by J.A. MacWhirter, who specialized in romantic landscapes and first exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy at the age of 14, was of cattle in the West Highlands of Scotland.

The dollar-value Trans-Mississippi stamps are rarely found with centering that would qualify for a high numerical grade, but in used condition they are further handicapped by heavy registry cancels, which almost invariably knock points off the final grade.

With 1999 P.F. and 2012 P.S.E. certificates (Gem 100 Jumbo; unpriced in SMQ above the grade of 98, SMQ $11,700.00 as 98). This is the only dollar-value stamp of either the Columbian or Trans-Mississippi issues to be awarded the highest grade possible of Gem 100 Jumbo in any category (used, hinged or Mint N.H.). (Image Magnifier)

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650 20,000
205° og $2.00 Trans-Mississippi (293). Original gum, barely hinged, rich color and detailed impression, unusually wide margins for this difficult issue

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE $2.00 TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE, WHICH HAS BEEN GRADED XF-SUPERB 95 BY P.S.E.

All of the $2.00 Trans-Mississippi stamps were printed in a single day's run on June 3, 1898. The $2.00 was printed in sheets that have narrower spacing between the horizontal rows than between the vertical columns. For this reason, it is extremely difficult to obtain stamps with top and bottom margins that equal the sides. This stamp essentially achieves that unnatural effect, which could only occur when the horizontal perforations were applied in such a way that the holes impinged on the space allocated to the rows above and below.

With 2012 P.S.E. certificate (OGph, XF-Superb 95; SMQ $5,400.00). Only one has graded higher to date (at 98). (Image Magnifier)

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1,800 5,250
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