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Auction: 18054 - The 'Hermione' Collection of France, 1849-1950
Lot: 117

1876-1900 Type Sage Issues
1c. black on Prussian blue, the ultimate example of this desirable stamp as a result of the following attributes: great freshness, both colours black and blue being more intense and vivid than usual, the good centring for this stamp leaving ample to large margins with the perforations, the full original gum and an exceptional complete sheet margin at top which exhibits a very rare "croix de repère"; the perforations, wider than having been naturally trimmed, have been clipped by scissors, with even parts of neighbouring stamps being included around them. Superb in every respects, probably the most spectacular example of this difficult-to-find and famous stamp of French philately, absolutely striking in this form and eye-catching in an exhibit, being able to satisfy the most discerning collector. Calves certificate (1998), described as "pièce exceptionnelle". Spink Maury 84, €20,000+. Photo

The 1 cent Prussian blue is one of the most prestigious stamps of France. This stamp is part of the second so-called 1877 issue printed by the Bank of France. In the "Type Sage" first issue all stamps were printed in the same color: green. Therefore, at the end of 1876 it was decided to differentiate the colors of these stamps depending on their denominations. The 1c becomes black on bluish paper. The bluish color is obtained by a hue affixed in the background of security. In 1880 the color of this background becomes very pronounced and results in a specific nuance which philatelists name "Prussian blue".
In the example presented here, the margin of the sheet clearly shows the use of a control background to which a cross "croix de repère" is added with the purpose of having a visual reference for the positioning of the tool to perforate the stamps.

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