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Item Number: 10-Sc0200,200a
Description: Cuba 1898 - Sc 200, 200a Puerto Principe unused, original gum, never hinged complete setting
Price: $295.00 USD
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Cuba 1898 - HABILITADOS DE PUERTO PRINCIPE - Sc 200 (4), 200a (1) - [EDIFIL 15 (4), 15hp (1)]
Unused, original gum and never hinged. A great example of a complete setting strip of 5 of the 10 centavos red surcharge on 1c black violet stamps. These stamps are part of the fourth printing done in Puerto Principe (CamagŁey) on December 27th, 1898. ONLY 1000 STAMPS OF THE 10C VALUE WERE OVERPRINTED (Puerto Principe - An interesting issue of stamps in Cuba - J.M. Andreini, 1904 - Page 25). Therefore, only 200 strips like this one were ever possible. But of course, many were broken up and used for postage back in 1898 and many more were broken up by collectors over the next 115 years. We estimate that less than 20 of these complete settings remain extant today.
The red ink used for these overprints was basically made at the printing shop by mixing low quality, very heavy red ink with vegetable compounds in order to dilute it sufficiently to make it workable. This sticky ink explains all the red ink smudges that can be found on many of these stamps. The forgers have never been able to duplicate the exact hue of this red ink and the authenticity of these stamps, in my opinion, can be established almost exclusively by training your eye to recognize the correct red tone of the ink.
This strip includes (as all of them do, by the way) the "broken 1" constant variety (Sc 200a -EDIFIL 15hp) which is the fourth stamp from the left.
Very scarce! Even the world renowned Peter A. Robertson collection of Puerto Principe issues sold by Christie's of New York back in 1988 had only two unused strip of 5, one with a displaced surcharge and another one simiilar to this one but that had been previously separated into 2 pairs and a single, and later rejoined.



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Larger picture of this strip of 5