Mint N.H., incredible deep rich color and proof-like impression, wide balanced margins
At the beginning or end of a coil-stamp print run from the 170-subject rotary plates, some leading or trailing paper was left over that was too short for rolling into 500-stamp rolls. In 1919, the Bureau devised a plan to salvage this waste by converting the stamps from coil stamps into sheet stamps. This was accomplished by cutting the sheets into panes and putting the panes through the flat-plate perforator in use at the time, giving the stamps perforations on all sides.
Since Scott 539 was put through two different perforating machines of differing gauges at different times, most of the stamps are off-center. The stamp offered here is a true condition rarity by virtue of its centering, margins and Mint N.H. state. An example with comparable centering sold in the Odeneal and Hoffman collections offered by our firm, most recently for $12,000 hammer in 2008. The only example we have encountered in a better grade realized $22,000 hammer in the Scarsdale sale.
With 1992 P.F. and 2008 P.S.E. certificates (VF 80; SMQ $9,200.00). This is the highest graded example to date in the P.S.E. Population Report, which further speaks to the rarity of this issue in well-centered Mint N.H. condition