Plate Number 23 Fr. 1310a PCGS 64PPQFr. 1310a 50¢ First Issue PCGS Very Choice New 64PPQ.
Perforated 14 refers to the number of perforations per 20 millimeters of edge length. The normal perforations, on all other First Issue Fractional notes, are slightly larger - perf. 12, or 12 perforations per 20 millimeters of edge length. The generally accepted history of these smaller perforated notes is that they were produced from two sheets by dealer Harlan P. Smith circa 1890. Although there is no documentary evidence, there is considerable circumstantial evidence that Smith perforated these sheets himself. As this variety was listed by Blake, Valentine, Limpert, and Rothert as genuine, it remains highly desirable and collectable in spite of its possible private perforation. We have now handled ten Fr. 1310a's in our 64 auctions, including an About New vertical pair in the Friedberg Sale. We have handled in our long career over half of the 1310a's in existence, and this is one of the nicest ones, with its full perforations, excellent centering, bright colors, and the extra-wide sheet selvage at the left with plate number 23. We last saw this example in our auction of the Tom Flynn Collection in April 2008. The only other time that this lovely piece crossed the auction block was in June of 1959 at a New Netherlands sale. The current offering is the only PCGS 1310a at this grade level, with no others close. PMG has also graded a single 64 with nothing else close, too.
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