10¢ Blue, Special Delivery (E2), wide top left corner block of ten with "AMERICAN BANK NOTE COMPANY" imprint and "No. 552" plate number, stamps Mint N.H., lightly hinged only in gummed part of selvage, choice centering with wide margins, deep rich color and proof-like impression
"Southern Cross" collection, Greg Manning Auctions, 3/22-23/1993, lot 1105
The Philatelic Foundation (1983)
SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)
$19,800.00 as hinged plate block of eight and two Mint N.H. singles
HISTORY AND COMMENTARY
The Speedy Messenger
The second Special Delivery stamp, Scott E2, was made from two plates--numbered 552 and 73. Plate 552 was made first and was numbered in the series of 1882; Plate 73 was numbered in the series of 1890. There are perhaps ten known of the 1888 Issue, Scott E2, of which about half come from top positions. The same plates were used to print the Orange Special Delivery issue, Scott E3, which was issued in conjunction with the 1893 Columbian Issue. The plate block offered here is one of the finest we have ever encountered.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A PHENOMENAL MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE SECOND SPECIAL DELIVERY ISSUE OF 1888, WHICH IS GRADED SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED AND THE ONLY EXAMPLE TO ACHIEVE THIS GRADE.
With 2009 P.S.E. certificate (Superb 98; SMQ $33,500.00). This is the highest grade awarded by far (next highest is 95) and this is the only example to achieve this grade
VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE MINT NEVER-HINGED PLATE BLOCK OF EIGHT OF THE 1888 SECOND SPECIAL DELIVERY ISSUE. THIS IS THE FIRST IN MINT NEVER-HINGED CONDITION WE HAVE OFFERED SINCE KEEPING COMPUTERIZED RECORDS.
Each of the first four Special Delivery Issues (E1-E4) is rare in plate block form. There are perhaps ten known of the 1888 Issue, E2, and this well-centered Mint N.H. wide-bottom plate block is without question one of the finest known.