Ornamental Corner Blocks

What is an Ornamental Corner Block?

A vast majority of Vatican City stamps are issued in sheets of 40, 50 or 100 stamps to a sheet depending on the printing process. The stamps were issued in rows of 8 or 10 with 5 stamps in a column, or in 10 by 10  sheets. The more recent philatelic issues have been issued in smaller sheets, typically sheets of 10 (2 x 5), with a few smaller sheets. 

In a few occasions stamps were issued in sheets of 64 (8 x 8) or 56 (7 x 8).  In order to keep the math simple, an upper corner block of 4 of each set contained the marginal inscription usually seen in the margins around the sheet.  This is usually "Il Foglio di sessanta Francobololli ..." which is "A sheet of 60 stamps...".  Here is an example of a ornamental comer block from a 64 stamps sheet. 

The only 56 sheet issue was Scott #453-4 "Third World Congress for Lay Apostolate".

Ornamental Corner blocks are blocks of 5 (for the 60 stamp sheet) and 7 for Scott #453-4.

In some cases the Ornamental Block was collected as a block of 4 attached to the ornamental corner.  Here is an Example.

Why are Ornamental Corner Blocks more than a regular block?

Simple supply and demand. Since only one corner block comes from a sheet, there is less available.  For example:

Scott #156-7 Maria Goretti:  250,000 complete sets were issued in sheets of 60.  Therefore there were approximately 4200 ornamental corner block sets available.  Of course not all of the ornamental corner blocks were obtained by philatelists, so the number of Ornamental Corner blocks available is lower than the 4200. 

Thus, the value of a Mint Never Hinged corner block becomes more rare then a standard block of the issue.

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(Scott #)

Issue

Mint Never Hinged Block of 4 Cancelled First Day Cover
#156-7 Maria Goretti: $115.00
N/A N/A N/A N/A

$170.00

#200-2 St. Bartholomew $50.00

$45.00

N/A N/A N/A N/A
#209-11 St. Rita da Cascia $20.00
$18.00
$18.00
$45.00
#219-22 St. Dominico Savio $25.00
N/A N/A $22.00
N/A N/A
#379-82 "Save the Nubian Monuments" Campaign $10.00
N/A N/A N/A N/A $15.00
#423-32, E17 +18  Works of Man $11.00
$10.00
N/A N/A $25.00
#453-4 Third World Congress for Lay Apostolate $3.50
N/A N/A 3.25
$10.00

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