George Washington (biography)
2¢ - Red, light red or deep red - Type IV
Scott #279B - Double line USPS wmk. - 1897
Horizontal lines run through upper triangles
but not through the double white lines that border the triangles

Value
Used: Worthless
No postmark with gum (MH): $1-$3
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $7-$15


.


Toga button elongated

additional dots on ear,

"T" of "TWO"
inner right edge straight



re-cutting and lengthening of hairline

inner line of left ornament less well defined

Used stamps sell for less than $1


2¢ - Rose Carmine - Type IV
Shaded toga button, additional dots on ear, "T" of "TWO"
straight at right, re-cutting and lengthening of hairline

Scott #279Bc - Double line USPS wmk. - 1897
Note: This stamp is often mis-identified, it is scarce!
Certificate required

2¢ - Orange Red - Type IV
Shaded toga button, additional dots on ear, "T" of "TWO"
straight at right, re-cutting and lengthening of hairline

Scott #279Bd - Double line USPS wmk. - 1897
Note: This stamp is often mis-identified, it is scarce!
Certificate required


2¢ - Rose Carmine - Type IV
Shaded toga button, additional dots on ear, "T" of "TWO"
straight at right, re-cutting and lengthening of hairline

Booklet of Six
Scott #279Be - Double line USPS wmk. - 1897

2¢ - CARMINE - Type IV
Shaded toga button, additional dots on ear, "T" of "TWO"
straight at right, re-cutting and lengthening of hairline

Scott #279Bf - Double line USPS wmk. - 1897
Note: This stamp is often mis-identified, it is scarce!
Certificate required


2¢ - Vermilion - Type IV
Shaded toga button, additional dots on ear, "T" of "TWO"
straight at right, re-cutting and lengthening of hairline

Booklet of Six
Scott #279Bh - Double line USPS wmk. - 1897



2¢ - Orange-Red - Type IV
toga button, additional dots on ear, "T" of "TWO"
straight at right, re-cutting and lengthening of hairline

Booklet of Six
Scott #279bj - Double line USPS wmk. - 1897

279bj
BK1 - contained two panes of six of 289bj

2¢ - Red - Type IV
toga button, additional dots on ear, "T" of "TWO"
straight at right, re-cutting and lengthening of hairline

Booklet of Six
Scott #279bk - Double line USPS wmk. - 1897

Statistics

Issued: November 18th, 1897, earliest recorded example November 18th, 1897. This stamps was also the first to be used in booklets, being introduced in this form on April 2nd, 1900.

Plate Size: Sheets of 400 subjects (4 panes of 100)

Printer: The Bureau of Printing and Engraving

Watermark: USPS, double lined, see below

Quantity Issued: Twelve billion. It's a very common stamp.

DETAILED FACTS AND FIGURES

There is no color variation between this stamp and #267

The Post Office report from 1899 supplies one with almost every detail you would wish to know about this stamp, and every other stamp in this series. The level of detail is amazing. Click here for more on this report.


What you should look for

The stamps were watermarked USPS and part of one of the three letters will be visible (sometimes barely so) when immersing the stamp in watermark fluid using a simple black watermark tray. By the way, you really have to believe you have got a valuable stamp before investing the $20 it costs to buy the afore mentioned items. You could use the cheaper alternative, Ronosol Lighter fluid, however, unlike watermark fluid, it is highly inflammable and dangerous to use, plus it stinks the house up.

Look for part of one of the above letters in the watermark
Remember, the letters have to be double lined. If single
lined then go here to identify your stamp

Being as this stamp was the first one to be offered in booklet form the complete booklet, as seen above, commands high prices, expect a retail in the $500 range.

Whilst on the subject of booklets, there has only been one recoreded instance of the plate number on a booklet pane. Sold in 2002 by Robert Siegal auctions, it sold for the lofty price of $2,600.

The Inspiration for the Design

The design was taken from the portrait bust of Washington by Jean Antoine Houdon. Now at Mount Vernon.

Varieties to look for

There is one major variety, not mentioned by Scotts but seen fairly often, that being the design without any lines in the right hand traingle. as seen above. The flaw was due to plate #783 being worn. The retail of this is about $100,

This issue was printed poorly, and therefore you will see quite a few printing paper folds. Depending on the severity of the paper fold these will retail for between $100 and $400.

The Essay's and Proofs

This stamp had the honor of being the first stamp to be offered to the public in booklet form. Introduced in April 2nd, 1900, the brain child of the second assistant postmaster, it was immiediately popular.

"Specimen" Ovpt. Ty. E (279BjS-E)

Large Die Proof on Card
Carmine
279-BfP1

1900 Mercury

There was no 3¢ value issued in the 1898 series, there
being no need to as the color was markedly different
to the other values and it's color complied with UPU
regulations. However the bureau did toy with the idea
of a new 3¢ design. An example of an essay for the 3¢
is this Mercury design, created in 1900 by the
American Bank Note Co.