Tuesday, June 22, 2010
In 1909, the U.S. issued two stamps celebrating the tercentenary of the discovery of the Hudson River, and the centenary of the Clermont, the first commercial steamboat, built by Robert Fulton (Scott #372-73). The perforated stamp (#372) is by far the more common, as about 72.6 million were issued, and I am not recommending it for investment. However, I am recommending the imperforate version (Scott #373), as only 216,480 were issued, and Scott '10 prices it unused at $ 20.00 ($ 42.50 for NH).
The stamp is not only a beautifully engraved Ship Topical, but it is of local interest in New York and New Jersey. In my opinion, the best formats in which to purchase the issue are as a plate number block of 6 (CV = $ 240.00; $ 375.00 as NH) or as a center line block of 4 (CV = $ 210.00; $ 360.00 as NH). The stamps were produced in sheets of 60 (with one plate block and one center line block per sheet), yielding only 3,608 of each of these positional blocks. A much higher proportion of the imperforate Hudson-Fultons were retained by collectors than were the perforated stamps, so I am guessing that between 700 and 1,500 of each remain.
Gum bends are very common on #373. Endeavor to purchase examples which are free of them, especially if purchasing blocks.
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