Encased Postage Stamps
Three Cents JOHN W. NORRIS Chicago Rated Rarity-9
EP-52a, HB-185, S-137, Reed-NO03. Three Cents. JOHN W. NORRIS, NEWS-BOOKS & STATIONARY, Chicago, Choice Extremely Fine.
c. 1862 Civil War. Rated as Rarity-9 (2 to 4 known) according to Fred Reed. In "The Standard Catalogue of Encased Postage Stamps" Michael Hodder suggests that this 3 denomination is the rarest for this merchant, with less than three examples known, and now being two decades later, the consensus is at perhaps four exist. Two were sold as part of the historic Stack's sale of the John J. Ford, Jr. Collection in June 2004. We sold one in our EAHA Auction of June 10, 2007 Lot 5265, graded Extremely Fine with mica problems, which sold for $5,074; plus another graded Extremely Fine+ on October 15, 2011 selling for $7,080.
This current example is a great rarity by all numismatic and philatelic standards. It is at least the equal in quality to our October 2011 auction lot. This current example also has scattered traces of original Silvering present within its reverse legends and is very well centered, with a clean red George Washington stamp. Its mica is solid having a tiny area of mica craze to the outer surface layer at the upper rim of the left obverse moon. The case itself is choice and fully original, having one trivial nick on its left moon, with a natural golden-chestnut color. A notation on a paper card insert has a pedigree and attribution notation to Richard Wolffer Stamp Auction of April 26, 1985. This is rarest of John W. Norris denominations and the very finest that we have ever offered.