Sharing a recent acquisition along with the text of the exhibit page write-up -
THE RAREST UNITED STATES PLATE CRACK VARIETY -
3c 1857 POSITION 10R2L - Perforated - Scott #25A
Commonly known as the "RECUT BUTTON", it is a stellate crack on the last stamp in the top row of the right pane of plate 2 Late.
Dr. Carroll Chase felt that the crack opened up in January of 1852 when the plate was being worked over.
To quote page 58 of Dr. Chase's book:
"It consists of three short lines about 1mm long, nearly parallel, starting from the top of the (toga) button and runningupward and slightly to the right, and three more, fainter, starting from the other side of the button, and running to the left and slightly downward."
Plate 2 Late produced several one position varieties which are incredibly rare perforated. This plate produced approximately 2,400 impression which were perforated making it, when considered as a perforated plate, approximately ten times as scarce as the rare plate "0".
About 1 out of every 1,000 stamps printed from a specific position survives in philatelic circles.
Dr. Chase has stated this statistic. It can be verified by almost to the exact figure by a random example:
Stanley Ashbrook has uncovered in his career about 40 copies of the Type I one-cent 1851 stamp (Position 7R1E) and we know that there were about 38,000 impression made from plate 1 Early.
With this as the standard, two copies of the above crack should have survived in the perforated state - and certainly no more than five would exist at the very most.
It is doubtful that an unused example exists.
Bearing a black "SEP 11, 1857, XXXXXXCKIE, Wis"consin Circular Date Stamp cancel. The perforations cut into the design, but the scissors cut separation reveals the entire design.
If anyone can assist in identifying the Wisconsin Post Office that might have cancelled this stamp, I would be very interested. Also, if anyone knows of another example of this recut/stellate crack in a perforated state, I would be very interested.