VERY FINE. THIS IS THE FINEST OF THE THREE RECORDED TETE-BECHE MULTIPLES OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARGENTINA 1862 15-CENTAVOS FIRST ISSUE. ONE OF THE ARISTOCRATS OF WORLDWIDE PHILATELY.
The Republic of Argentina issued its first stamps on January 11, 1862, in three denominations--5, 10, and 15 centavos--each similarly designed with the seal of the Republic, from which they derive their philatelic name Escuditos. The 15-centavos lithographic plate contained one inverted cliche, the first stamp in the second row (Position 8). The inverted cliche error produced tete-beche multiples, in which the design of one stamp is inverted in relation to the others. Only three tete-beche 15-centavos multiples are recorded, as follows:
1) Vertical pair, Positions 1/8, original gum, sound, the pair offered in this sale, ex Duke of Polignac, Schatzkes, Hubbard, Craveri, Alemany Indarte, "Patagonia" and Giamporcaro
2) Unused block of five (no gum), Positions 2/8-9/15-16, formerly a block of eight with defects and stains, which was reduced to a block of five and repaired after the 1970 Dale-Lichtenstein sale, ex Mautalen, Sabbatini, Craveri, Alemany Indarte, Galvalisi and "Patagonia"
3) Block of four, Positions 8-9/15-16 with rejoined vertical pair Positions 22/29, pen-cancelled, faults, ex Schatzkes and Alemany Indarte
This pair was acquired shortly after it was issued at the post office by the Duke of Polignac, a member of the French aristocracy. His collection remained virtually unknown until it reached the Paris philatelic market in the late 1950s. After a number of transactions, the tete-beche pair was acquired by Joseph Schatzkes, whose Argentina collection was purchased by Stanley Gibbons in 1971 and broken up for sale. The pair eventually was acquired by Dr. Norman S. Hubbard and later passed through various hands before it was acquired by "Islander."
The condition of this pair is far superior to the two other tete-beche multiples, since it was essentially purchased as a new issue and kept hidden for nearly a century. This fact is confirmed in the footnote in the Scott Catalogue, which states: "Only one used example of No. 7b is known. It has faults. Two unused examples are known. One is sound with original gum [the pair offered in this sale], the other is in a block, without gum, and has tiny faults." The unused tete-beche variety is valued at $150,000.00.
Exhibited in the Aristocrats of Philately display at the 1976 INTERPHIL exhibition and among the Invited Exhibits at ANPHILEX 1996. Ex Duke of Polignac, Joseph Schatzkes, Dr. Norman S. Hubbard, Guido Craveri, Luis Alemany Indarte, "Patagonia" and Tito Giamporcaro. Offered in this sale from the "Islander" collection.