(Information referenced from Nigel Gooding's website "Spanish-Philippines Philatelic Site" at http://nigelgooding.co.uk/ . Please visit this essential website for more detailed information on Spanish-Philippines stamps and postal history.)
On January 1, 1859, two similarly designed stamps, a 5-cuartos value (Scott 10) and a 10-cuartos value (Scott 11), were issued in the Spanish Philippines. The 10-cuartos stamp, pictured above, was issued for domestic mail between half-an-ounce and one ounce, (double weight interior postal rate). A total of approximately 3,000 10-cuartos stamps were issued in shades of rose and lilac-rose. The stamps remained in use until January 1863. Later, remaining stocks of both stamps were overprinted "HABILITADO POR LA NACION" in 1874 (see Scott 27A and 28).
|10-cuartos overprinted "HABILITADO POR LA NACION" in 1874 (Scott 28). |
By 1874, the handstamps had been used for six years, and the overprint was often blurred, showing much wear.
Please click on the photo above to enlarge.
The stamps were lithographed in the Philippines by the firm of M. Perez y Hijo, in Manila, on paper varying in color and quality. The stamps show a profile of Queen Isabella II to the right, crowned with laurels, on a solid ground of color within a pearled circle. In general, but with exceptions noted below, the stamps were printed in blocks of four varieties (types), each block being surrounded by an outer frame line; with each stamp measuring 18½ x 23½ mm. Each of the four varieties are quite distinct, and comparison of a single stamp with an enlarged photo of the block of four will help in identifying the variety.
The 10-cuartos value was printed from the one plate, prepared in 1859 along with the First Plate for the 5-cuartos value. The arrangement of the plate was exactly like that of the First Plate for the 5-cuartos value, except as to the order in which the types appear in the vertical pairs at the right side of the sheet. The 10-cuartos plate was prepared by the transfer of the normal (5 Cs) design to the plate, then removing the "5 Cs" and replacing it by "10 Cs" and retouching the plate by hand.
The First Plate produced sheets of 56 stamps (8 horizontal rows of 7 stamps each). Each sheet contained 12 blocks of the four types (3 horizontally and four vertically), and four vertical pairs at the right of the sheet. Each block is surrounded by a single-line frame.
Used examples of the 10-cuartos value are much more difficult to find than used examples of the 5-cuartos value. I suspect that most of the 5-cuartos stamps printed (approximately 15,000) were postally used prior to 1863, whereas much of the 10-cuartos value remained unused. This would explain the remaining stocks of 10-cuartos stamps overprinted "HABILITADO POR LA NACION" in 1874 (Scott 28), and the great rarity of the overprinted 5-cuartos stamp (Scott 27A), which was discovered only recently.