VERY FINE. AN EXCEPTIONAL PAIR OF THE QUEEN VICTORIA 10-PENCE O.W. OFFICIAL. A MAJOR OFFICIAL MULTIPLE RARITY OF WHICH NO MORE THAN 40-60 UNUSED EXAMPLES ARE THOUGHT TO EXIST.
The rarity of this denomination in unused condition is due to two factors. First, the Office of Works was a very small department. Over the course of eight years, only £1,541 of stamps were overprinted with an estimated one 10p used a day. Only 720 10p stamps were overprinted with no more than 560 placed in use (due to registration sheet, "Specimens", etc.). Second, most unused examples are believed to emanate from the sheet of 80 taken by W.J. Richards in May 1903, which he thought were obsolete. Half were returned by a co-conspirator, leaving 40 plus a few more for collectors. Wiseman considers a mint single comparable in rarity to the £1 I.R. Watermark Orbs, despite the significant difference in market value.
Ex Baillie. With 1982 R.P.S. certificate. SG as two singles £14,500.
VERY FINE ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE 1902 10-PENCE "O.W." OFFICIAL ISSUE.