EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THE 10-CENT 1894 UNWATERMARKED SPECIAL DELIVERY ISSUE IS A NOTORIOUSLY CHALLENGING ISSUE TO OBTAIN IN THIS SUPERIOR GRADE -- P.S.E. HAS GRADED THIS STAMP XF-SUPERB 95.
The 1894 series, being the first printed by the Bureau, encountered many production problems. Most stamps were poorly centered and have small margins.
With 1984 P.F. and 2011 P.S.E. certificates (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $14,000.00). Only two grade higher and three others share this grade.
10¢ Blue, Special Delivery (E4), Mint N.H. wide top "BUREAU, ENGRAVING & PRINTING" imprint and plate number 77 block of six, better centering than normally seen on plate blocks of this issue, deep rich color and proof-like impression
Siegel Auction Galleries, 1966 Rarities of the World, 2/24/1966, lot 146
Eliot Weisman, Shreves Philatelic Galleries, 5/8/1998, lot 1300, to William H. Gross
The Philatelic Foundation (1990)
Very Fine; small hole at top of left selvage next to the plate outline
SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)
HISTORY AND COMMENTARY
The First Bureau Special Delivery Issue
There are perhaps a dozen plate blocks known of the 1894 Issue, E4. Only one plate number was used for this issue--Plate 77. This was issued concurrently with the 1894 Unwatermarked Bureau Issue (Scott 245-263). The difficulties experienced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing during their early attempts at producing postage stamps are well known to collectors. Poor centering and numerous unpunched perforations are the norm for this issue.
Our informal survey of the records of The Philatelic Foundation and auction catalogues found ten plate blocks. Only one other is in Mint N.H. condition; it also has wide selvage, but the perforations touch the design on the bottom stamps.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. AN EXCEPTIONALLY BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLE OF THE 1894 FIRST BUREAU UNWATERMARKED SPECIAL DELIVERY ISSUE, GRADED SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E.
With 2016 P.S.E. certificate (OGph, Superb 98; SMQ $4,300.00). One other hinged stamp shares this grade and only two grade higher (at 98J)