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    Perf. 16 Fr. 1240(a?) PMG 65 EPQ - The Only Example Known

    Fr. 1240(a?) 10¢ First Issue Perf. 16 PMG Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ.
    This Ten Cent and the 25¢ that follows were first brought to the market by Lester Merkin in the 1970's. It was a three-note set at that point: these two and a Five Cent. The notes had been separated at one point, but they were brought back together by Tom O'Mara. Carmine purchased these two notes from the O'Mara sale. We originally sold the Five Cent and Ten Cent in our January 1994 auction of the Wayne Liechty Collection. Those two are being offered here. These notes have perforations that are even closer together than the well-known and listed "perf. 14" Fifty Cent note. No records exist to prove or disprove that this is not a government product (the perfs, not the notes.) But it is not too much of a leap of faith to suppose that their origin is from the same source as the Fr. 1310a. Here is the back story for the Fr. 1310a's: the extremely rare perforated 14 variety. "Perforated 14" refers to the number of perforations per 20mm of edge length. The normal perforations on First Issue Notes are larger: "perf. 12," or 12 perforations per 20mm of edge length. The generally accepted history of these more-tightly-perforated notes is that they were conjured-up from two imperforated sheets by dealer Harlan P. Smith around 1890. Although there is no documentary evidence, there is considerable circumstantial evidence that Smith perforated these sheets himself. As Blake, Valentine, Limpert and Rothert listed this variety as genuine, it remains highly desirable and collectable in spite of its likely private production. It is very likely that these Perf. 16 notes are also an 1890's product of the wily Harlan Smith. Particularly when one considers that apparently no 50¢ was made, so that a Small Perf. "set" could be made using the three Perf. 16s and a Perf. 14 50¢, which he (presumably) already had. On the Ten Cent from the set, PMG has noted, "Exceptional Paper Quality, Tiny Perforations 16 Fr. 1240(a?)" It is, as the grade indicates, a perfect Gem. Light pencilled initials "AD" appear both on the back of this and the 25¢ in the next lot.
    From the Tabacco Family Collection


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    April, 2021
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