USA – 1c Green, Rotary, Perf 11 – worth $190,000

1c Green, Rotary, Perf 11

1c Green, Rotary, Perf 11 (596). Neat wavy-line machine cancel, remarkably well-centered for this difficult issue with perfs well clear of design on all sides, deep rich color

The Rotary Perf 11 rarities (Scott 544, 594, 596 and 613) were created during an attempt by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to salvage waste from the end of the paper during rotary press printings. The rotary press, first used for printing coil stamps in 1915, was a new printing method designed for rapid production. Rather than print stamps on a flat plate one sheet at a time, the rotary press was fitted with a cylindrical plate that continuously applied impressions to long rolls of paper.

Rotary press stamps have dimensions that differ slightly from their ?at plate counterparts, due to the curvature of the cylinder. If the plate is wrapped around the cylinder from top to bottom (endwise) then the design is slightly longer; if wrapped around from side to side (sidewise) then the design is slightly wider.

At the beginning or end of rotary press printings, there was some leading or trailing paper that was too short for either rolling into coil rolls, or for perforating for 400-subject plates. In 1919, the Bureau devised a plan to salvage this waste by perforating and cutting the sheets into panes. These were put through the flat-plate perforating machine in use at the time, giving the stamps full perforations on all sides.

Our updated census of Scott 596 records thirteen used stamps. There are no known unused examples. Eight are precancelled at Kansas City Mo. Of the five non-precancelled stamps, two have major faults. The stamp offered here is considered to be the best of the three non-precancelled copies without major faults.

This stamp was essentially “discovered” by the Weills and Clyde Jennings when they noticed that the dimensions differed from Scott 594, the other Rotary Perf 11 waste issue. The story is told in Opinions, published by The Philatelic Foundation. The stamp was sold in our 1982 Rarities sale and eventually entered the “Westport” collection formed by the Weills for a midwestern client. When the Westport collection was sold at auction by Christie’s, this stamp was acquired by a Texas collector. That collection was sold privately a few years ago, and Alan Whitman acquired the stamp through Sonny Hagendorf (Columbian Stamp Co.). Therefore, this is only the third time this stellar rarity of 20th Century United States philately has been offered at public auction since its discovery nearly a half-century ago.

With 1962 and 2005 P.F. certificates

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