Description

    Very Rare Near Complete "FIFTY" Experimental Block

    Milton 2E25F.2 25¢ Second Issue Essay (Experimental) Matching Block of Five
    When we sold the Milt Friedberg collection in January 1997, and again when we sold the O'Mara Collection in May, 2005, we handled the only known complete block of six of these wonderful Experimentals. That block remains unique to our knowledge. We are now offering the second-most-complete grouping, a block of five missing only the upper right (or lower left, the owner gets his choice). Repeated below is the abridged description we used for the full block: "This incredible block was painstakingly reassembled by Milt Friedberg after the pieces that appeared in the Fraser Collection Sale in 1982 presented the possibility of this block's eventual completion. The paper that these notes were printed on was bronzed to be used for United States Treasury Bonds issued in 1862. These bonds were referred to as 'Five-Twenties of 1862,' as they were to be redeemable after five years and payable after twenty. The FIFTY that is bronzed on these notes was the denomination of a $50 Bond. The Ed Frossard list of October 1, 1893, which offered the Spencer Clark Collection, presented individual 25¢ Experimental notes with this additional bronzing as item number 32 (multiples were available), commenting that they had the 'S-18-63' surcharge on the back corners, 'But with the addition of heavy large gold characters on the entire front, in some [pieces] nearly solid.' These Frossard item #32 pieces were sold to a number of different collectors, and they became scattered. It was never known if the proper pieces existed to reconstruct an entire block. In Superior's 1982 Fraser Sale, five of these notes were offered. It appears as though the original owner of these five pieces had been purchasing notes in an attempt to reconstruct a full block. The five pieces that he obtained could be lined up to spell five-sixths of the word, 'FIFTY.' They were not, however, all from the same sheet, as in order to line up the 'FIFTY,' the notes had to be juxtaposed such that their margins did not line up. Milt purchased that incomplete set of five. Three of those five notes are in this presently offered block of six: the two at the right and the one in the lower left corner (as the word FIFTY faces the reader). Milt then entered into a complex trade involving several dealers and collectors (as well as two Skeksis and a Wookie) and obtained the three original notes that completed this incredible block, one of which, the upper left corner piece, bears the courtesy autograph of John Burke. Although a few other single pieces exist, it is incredibly unlikely that another block could ever be assembled. Most Fractional collectors felt that this block was the cornerstone of Milt Friedberg's incredible collection of Fractional developmental pieces. Tom O'Mara acquired this irreplaceable item at the Friedberg Sale, and it is now time for another collector to enjoy the ownership of an item that can never be duplicated. All six notes trace their origin to Ed Frossard's October 1, 1893 special list #8, which offered the Spencer Clark Collection. All were listed as item #32; he didn't consider the six different positions as different varieties, and the total for sale is unknown but likely about fifteen pieces. Some later appeared in Chapman Sales, such as the Friedman Collection Sale of June 3-4, 1903 and the Wilcox Collection Sale on February 15, 1904. Others appeared in later sales throughout the next 75 years." All five notes from the current offering line up perfectly and are pristine save for minor pencil annotations on the back, one of which is a "32" referencing the Frossard 1893 List. Two others have tiny "31s," likely also referencing that list, and one has a Valentine number. Today's grading services would probably grade two of these AU, one Choice and two Gem, but that is anyone's guess and irrelevent to the value. The complete set of six brought $9200 in 2005, when every Fractional collector's budget was pushed to the wall by the 177-page offering of the O'Mara Collection. We would expect this block of five to surpass that figure this evening.


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    Auction Dates
    September, 2015
    16th-22nd Wednesday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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