Rare U.S. 1908 4¢ Grant coil highlights Oct. 12-13 Cherrystone auction

Sep 28, 2021, 8 AM
This rare used United States 1908 4¢ Grant coil stamp with privately applied Schermack type III perforations will be up for bids during Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers’ Oct. 12-13 sale of U.S. and worldwide stamps and postal history.

By Charles Snee

Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers will present more than 1,450 lots of United States and worldwide stamps and postal history during a sale to be held Oct. 12-13 at the firm’s headquarters in Teaneck, N.J.

The two-day auction will be conducted over four sessions, with sessions each day at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern Time.

On its website Cherrystone provides an overview of the auction, which begins with U.S. stamps. Featured are 19th- and 20th-century rarities, graded stamps, proofs, essays and back-of-the-book material.

International highlights include an impressive collection of Large Dragon stamps of Shanghai, Japan with offices in Korea, Russian offices in China, France and colonies, Russia, Great Britain, a Persia collection, and more.

Leading off the sale are 310 lots of U.S. and possessions. Selections include all major U.S. definitive and commemorative issues of the 19th century and early 20th century, beginning with the 1847 issue and continuing through the regular issues of 1917-29.

Also represented are modern (1930-79) issues, airmail, special delivery, Official and newspaper stamps, offices in China, parcel post, revenue stamps, and much more.

Among the nine lots of the 1902-08 regular issue is an important rarity: a used 1908 4¢ Grant coil stamp with privately applied Schermack type III perforations (Scott 314A). The two oblong perforations that characterize this rare variety are clearly visible on the right side of the stamp; a trace of the perforations is visible on the left side.

The stamp has a wavy-line machine cancel and a “trivial toned spot” that is not mentioned on the accompanying 1972 Philatelic Foundation certificate, according to Cherrystone.

Included in Cherrystone’s lot description is a brief summary of the origins of Scott 314A:

“In May 1908, a supply of 25 sheets (400 stamps per sheet) of the 4c 1902 Issue, without perforations, was delivered to the Schermack Mailing Machine Co. in Detroit. The entire supply was cut into coils with Schermack Type III perforations, designed for the firm’s patented affixing machine and delivered to the Winfield Printing Co. for use on mass mailings of advertising material. Approximately 6,000 were used on a mailing for Hamilton Carhartt Manufacturer, and almost all of the 4,000 balance were used on a mailing for Burroughs Adding Machine Co.”

Against a Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers value of $50,000, Cherrystone is offering this rare 4¢ Grant coil with Schermack type III perforations with a starting bid of $28,000. The Scott U.S. Specialized catalog value is italicized to indicate an item that can be challenging to value accurately.

The majority of the two-day auction is concentrated on worldwide stamps and postal history, beginning with Argentina and proceeding through the alphabet to Yemen.

A highlight of the Poland offerings is a complete unused set of the 1919 Cracow postage issue (Scott 41-60).

Cherrystone states that the stamps are well centered and are lightly hinged or have a hinge remnant.

Each of the 20 stamps in the set is “signed by an appropriate expert, including Landre, Mikulski, Schmutz, Suitcliffe, Herbert Bloch, etc.,” according to Cherrystone.

The Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 warns that all Poland Cracow issues “have been extensively counterfeited. Competent expertization is necessary. Prices apply only for authenticated stamps with identified plating position.”

Cherrystone notes that many of the stamps in the 1919 Cracow postage set up for bids have been plated. Six Mikulski certificates issued from 2005 to 2007 are included with the set.

A genuine complete set of the 1919 Cracow postage issue is valued at $20,669 in the Scott Classic Specialized catalog. The genuine set in the Cherrystone sale is listed with a $9,500 opening bid.

Large lots and collections conclude the sale on Oct. 13. A highlight is the massive collection formed by Solomon Goldberg that Cherrystone is selling on behalf of the United Jewish Appeal Federation of New York.

The catalog for the Oct. 12-13 U.S. and worldwide sale can be viewed and is available for download on the Cherrystone website, with online bidding options available. Information also is available from Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers, 300 Frank W. Burr Blvd., Second Floor, Box 35, Teaneck, NJ 07666.

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