Lot 1207Philippines, Special Delivery, 1907, 10¢ Ultramarine, Bureau of Insular Affairs Special Printing, o.g., bottom plate number 1774 and imprint block of 8, rejoined between blocks and some other separation, three stamps with tiny thin spots, Fine and excessively rare multiple, ex-Todd; with 1978 P.F. certificate.
Scott No. E2A Estimate $30,000 - 40,000.
THE STUNNING REJOINED PLATE BLOCK OF THE 10¢ PHILIPPINES SPECIAL DELIVERY SPECIAL PRINTING, THE LARGEST KNOWN SURVIVING MULTIPLE. A GREAT RARITY OF PHILIPPINES PHILATELY.
In the summer of 1907, at the request of the Bureau of Insular Affairs, the issue 1903-1904 was specially printed on very white paper. Bob Markovits' original research indicated that two panes of 50 of this stamp were originally overprinted on plate 1774. Both bottom plate blocks exist but this plate block of eight is not only the largest known plate block, but the largest known multiple of this issue. Five blocks of four are recorded as well as the other bottom plate block of six, the latter of which realized $143,750 in the Whitpain auction in 2009. It is believed that the top portion of each of the two panes were never broken and disappeared so that no more than a total of 16 singles, five blocks of four, and the plate blocks of six and eight for a total of 50 stamps existing.
Both known plate blocks were acquired by J. Murray Bartels and sold to Economist Stamp Company prior to November 1917, when both were sold to one of the earliest Special Delivery collectors, W. Parsons Todd, long-time mayor of Morristown N.J. The plate block of six was purchased directly by Markovits from Mr. Todd 30 days prior to his death and this second plate block of eight was acquired in the 1978 Todd auction. The plate block of six was subsequently sold a decade later by Markovits and then resold to Wampler in the 1990s, where Whitpain purchased it. This plate block shows the characteristic damaged "N" variety in the word "Cent" and is easiest to identify because it was printed on U.S. no. E6, which only exists as a special printing.