EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS STAMP IS ONE OF THE FINEST ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLES OF THE 10-CENT TYPE II 1855 ISSUE IN EXISTENCE. A MAGNIFICENT CLASSIC STAMP IN ALL RESPECTS -- FRESHNESS OF GUM, SIZE OF MARGINS, COLOR, IMPRESSION AND OVERALL APPEAL.
The prepaid transcontinental rate was raised from 6c to 10c in April 1855, which prompted the Post Office Department to add a 10c value to the current series. Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear & Company produced one plate of 200 subjects for the imperforate issue, which was also used when perforations were introduced in 1857. Although the subjects were spaced further apart than they had been on the 1c, 3c and 12c plates, there were still variations in the designs. Four design types are recorded for the first plate (Plate 1): Type I with the full bottom shell (from the bottom row only); Type II with the top part of the design nearly complete; Type III with the design at top incomplete; and Type IV with recut lines at top and/or bottom.
Although the wider spacing on the 10c plate provided more room for separation, this stamp has remarkably huge margins all around, each of which goes well beyond the mid-point between stamps.
Ex "Connoisseur", Dr. Morris and Scarsdale. P.S.E. encapsulated (OGph, Superb 98; SMQ $29,400.00). Only one has graded higher to date and this is one of only two examples to achieve this grade.