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    Very Rare and Desirable "Black Jack" Encased Postage

    HB-128 EP-31 2¢ J. Gault "Black Jack" Very Fine-Extremely Fine.
    After our completion of the Mayer catalog, which was the largest collection of encased postage ever formed, this piece appeared as part of Ray Waltz's holdings. It was sold at a pre-ANA sale at the Philadelphia ANA in 2012. This piece appearing confirmed that there are definitely four known genuine examples of the 2 cent Black Jack. The other three pieces are the Arnold Perl specimen, the piece in the Stack's June 2004 sale of the Western collection, and the Massachusetts Historical Society collection piece that auctioned in 1971. This piece has always been a mystery item. Fred Reed refers to it as "enigmatic" and the cataloger of the June 2004 Stack's sale stated correctly, "It is unknown whether any Black Jacks were put into encasements by Scovill at Gault's order." They also observed, "... the issue was known to be rare and desirable nearly a century ago, suggesting that it has the authenticity of age." The confusion arises out of the fact that the "Black Jack" stamp was not issued until July 1, 1863, well after most or all of Gault's encased pieces had been produced. It seems unlikely that experimental pieces would have been produced at the end of the Encased era, rather than at the beginning. The currently offered piece is definitively the Ray Waltz specimen. A rectangular stamp hinge partial album page or some other foreign object had been mounted to the back at one point. It is now removed, but it has left an imprint. Interestingly, it seems to have been applied extremely early on as there is more silvering in the area where it was removed than anywhere else on the piece. In the most recent sales, the Stack's 2004 piece realized just over $18,000 and our 2007 piece brought just under $14,000. This piece, in its 2012 appearance, realized $11,750. The appearance of any Black Jack creates a considerable stir among the collecting community. We would anticipate a realization tonight certainly above the $10,000 mark, quite possibly far above.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2020
    8th-14th Wednesday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 370

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