Three Cent Proof Pair With Unique Black BackThree Cent Third Issue Proof Pair PCGS Very Choice New 64PPQ and Choice About New PCGS 55.
Unique is a word that is used with some literary license today to sometimes describe items that are anything but. However, unique is the only word to describe this Third Issue Back Essay, Milton# 3E3R.1. It seems to have been printed with the same method employed to print the Bristol Board proofs, which utilized extremely high pressure as the design is the sharpest this cataloger has ever seen, even down to the minutest detail. Printed totally in black, no other example has been heard of, let alone seen. The current consigner purchased the piece from the NASCA sale of the Rocky Rockholt collection in September 1981. It was lot 2312 in a run of nine Third Issue Essays that the NASCA cataloger surmised were all cut out of "some sort of Treasury sample book as all are glued by the corners to thin, gray paper, evidently cut from larger pages. All are particularly sharp, vivid impressions on soft, fragile white paper." Of the nine examples, seven were of the same type as those in the BEP presentation books, in color and on soft India paper. The last note in this run was a Third Issue 50¢ back that was also totally in black as the offered 3¢ back. Neither of these notes had any public appearance before or since until this sale. Neither was listed in the original Encyclopedia, but the 2000 update done for the Fractional Currency Collectors Board membership lists the three-cent as 3E3R.1 with the "E" standing for Essay and not experimental. The black fifty-cent back is not listed and has not been seen publicly since that sale. No examples of black Third Issue backs, either 3¢ or 50¢ were in the Friedberg, O'Mara or Ford sales. This note is coupled with lot 2311 from that sale, the face listed as Milton# 3S3F.1b. This is indeed an important and exciting appearance onto the market of a truly unique and spectacularly beautiful note. The new owner will find this a wonderful addition to their collection, no matter how advanced.
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