SOLD - SOLD - SOLD - SOLD - Cuba 1898-99 - Used Sc 202a Puerto Principe issue - Narrow "3" on 1 milesima blue-green INVERTED SURCHARGE ERROR.
This stamp is part of the Fifth Printing done in Puerto Principe on January 11th, 1899. The overall height of the overprint is 19˝mm. The narrow numeral "3" occurs only once on the setting of five and it is the fourth stamp from the left when looking at the complete setting.
This is the INVERTED SURCHARGE ERROR stamp. Listed in Scott as 202a and priced at $850.00 in used condition. The EDIFIL Specialized Catalogue of the Stamps of Cuba lists this stamp as 16Ahi and prices it at € 975,- (US $1365.00) in used condition.
A larger picture of this stamp is shown. Also, page 58 of the book "Estudio sobre los Habilitados de Puerto Principe y sus Falsificaciones" by Jose L. Guerra Aguiar that shows the vertical alignment of the elements of the surcharges of known genuine stamps of this issue which is the key to authentication of these stamps. You can check the vertical alignment right on your computer monitor by using a ruler or anything else with a straight edge and comparing it against the Guerra Aguiar illustration. The narrow "3" is the fourth position from the left.
As it is well known, the early forgers had access to the exact movable type that was used on the original printings, but were never able to duplicate the exact alignment of the types when setting the mould to make their forgeries!
In addition to showing the correct vertical alignment, this position 4 also shows the broken "D" of "HABALITADO" than can be seen on the enlarged scans.