The Value of the Stamp


George Washington (biography)
10¢ - Black or gray black
Imperf - Thin bluish Paper - Scott #2 - 1847
Scott #3 prices can be found further down the page

Realized prices below are for four FULL margin copies
Deduct 40% for pen cancels

  NY Auction Houses
  MH Used Graded MNH MH Graded Used Graded
Fall 2003 - - - - - - $600-$1,000 -
Spring 2004 - $500-$600 - - - - $800 -
Fall 2004 $9,500 $500-$900 - - - - $900-$1,350 -
Spring 2005 - $600-$800 - - $7,500-$8,000 - $400-$3,250 -
Fall 2005 - $730-$875 - - $6,000-$12,500 - $500-$2,400 -
Spring 2006 - $495-$990 - $67,500 $18,500-$67,500 - $725-$4,000 -
Fall 2006 - $445-$1,150 - - $12,000 - $1,350 90
Spring 2007 - $780-$1,240 - - $10,000 - $575-$600 70
Fall 2007 - $760-$1,150 - - $9,000-$9,500 - $3,750-$4,500 95
Spring 2008 - $700-$1,000 - - - - $1,200-$1,400 85
- - - - - - $1,700 90
- - - - - - $7,500 98
Fall 2008 - $605-$1,275 - - $8,500-$13,500 - $725 80
- - - - - - $1,500 90
- - - - - - $2,500-$2,800 95
Spring 2009 - $630-$1,100 - $35,000 $24,000 - $600 70
- $1,080 80 - $45,000 80 $600-$750 80
- $950 85 - - - $800 85
- - - - - - $4,250 90J
- - - - - - $2,000-$2,500 95
- - - - - - $4,500-$5,250 98
Fall 2009 - $520-$1,010 - - - - $1,300-$1,900 95
Spring 2010 - $475-$1100 - - $6,750 (ng) - $1,500-$3,000 95
- - - - - - - -
- $1,885-$1,965 95 - - - - -
Fall 2010 - $1,170-$1,225 - - $7,000 (pg) - $950 85
- - - - - - $1,300 90
- - - - - - $6,000 98
Spring 2011 - $715-$1,925 - - $10,000 - $950-$1,300 90
- $1,450 90 - - - - -
Fall 2011 - $750-$1,450 - - $10,500-$120,000 - $725-$750 85
- - - - - - $2,000 85XQ
- - - - - - $1,350 90
- - - - - - $1,600 90XQ
- - - - - - $1,150-$1,900 95
- - - - - - $4,000 98
2012 - $400-$1,050 - - - - $700 80
- - - - - - $1,050-$2.200 95
- $400-$1,050 - - - - $4,000 98
2013 - - - - $4,125-$6,250 - - -
2014 - - - - - - - -
2015 - - - - - - - -

Statistics and Facts

Issued: Issued on July 1st, 1847. The earliest recorded copy is July 7th, 1847. Below is one of the twenty recorded examples bearing a July 1847 date stamp.


Plate Size: Sheets of 200 subjects (2 panes of 100), Stanley Ashbrook was convinced there was only one plate used.

Printer: Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson Bank Note Co. NYC. (later to become part of the American Bank Note Company)

Watermark: None

Quantity Issued: 864,000

What you should look for

GOOD MARGINS

The value of this stamp is greatly effected by the number of margins it has. Ideally it should have four wide margins. These stamps were scissor cut by the postmaster, hence purchasing a four margin stamp with wide margins (as shown at the top of this page) can be expensive. The value goes down depending on the width of the margins and the number of the margins. Three margin copies will always be of less value than a four margin copy. Two margin copies are considered undesirable.

Because these stamps were scissor cut the design is often cut into, if this is the case it will significantly take away from the value of the stamp, the more the stamp design has been cut into the greater the deduction.

IF UNUSED CHECK TO SEE IF YOU HAVE THE REPRINT

The 10¢ was reprinted in 1875. The differences are subtle. If the stamp has a cancel or pen mark on it then it is an original 1847, numbers 1 or 2. If the stamps are clear and free of cancels or pen marks then they could be the reprints. This is especially true of the 10¢.

To discern the difference look at the cravat, or shirt frill. On the original, on the right, the right edge of the cravat pretty much lands opposite the middle of the letter T in the word CENTS. Now look at the reprint on the left. The right edge of the cravat Graded towards the left branch of the letter T in CENTS. There are other cues but this is usually the easiest.

1875 REPRINT 1847 ISSUE

CANCELS

The majority of cancels are obliterated with the grid cancel, usually in black or red. Town cancels are less common and carry a small premium. Cancels with the word 'Steamboat' or 'Railroad' often demand a 25-50% premium. Other, but less common cancels is the word 'PAID' or the number '10'. Pen cancels are fairly common and a tad less desirable, so where possible avoid the pen cancels. This rule can be applied to almost all the US stamps.

Example of a pen cancel



Removed pen cancel examples (see note below)

Above are illustrations of how dangerous removed pen cancels can be. The images on the left ishow how the stamp was sold on ebay. After putting these stamps under a microscope the buyer could see traces of the ink that had been removed. The images on the right depict the stamps before the pen cancel was removed.

Example of a number '10' and a 'PAID' cancel
(many post offices used a different representation of 10 or PAID)


An example of a railroad cancel
Nearly all railroad cancels are straight line
A better example can be seen on the Rush cover below

One thing to be careful of is cancels that obliterate the face, such as the example below, which sold for only one third of the average price for this stamp

Heavy cancels that hide the face detract heavily
from the desirability of the stamp.

FORGERIES

Sperati, perhaps the most infamous forger in philatelic history took aim at this stamp. Below can be seen an example of his work, complete with genuine appearing faked cancel. These typicaly sell for $300-$600 each.


Sperati Forgery
(Value $475)

Recently an ebay seller from Florida has been producing, off his own plates, some very good reproduuctions. If it was not for the obviously faked cancel these would be dangerous as the quality is good and they have been aged by the seller. An example is shown below

A fake #2 and #1, with faked cancel on fake piece.

The Inspiration for the Design


The inspiration for the design was Gilbert Stuart's unfinished portrait of George Washington. The engraving had been previously used on Michigan's banknotes of 1836


Gilbert Stuarts 1796 unfinished portrait of George Washington
(also known as The Athenaeum)

It is possible that the original engaver used the Albert G Durand engraving (shown below) which was based on the Stuart portrait shown above. I say this because the engraving on the stamp shows the cravat in the same fashion as Durand's version, whilst the cravat in Gilberts portrait is not defined.



The Albert G Durand Engraving
(the same as used in the $1 bill)

The stamp vignette is on the left, Durand's engraving is on the right. I have flipped Gilberts portrait for th purpose of comparison. The original had Washington facing left.


The vignette of George Washington was sourced from the vignette
used on the above 1837 banknote, also printed by Rawdon, Wright and Hatch

Varieties to look for

DOUBLE TRANSFERS

Type B double transfer


Type D double transfer

FRACTIONALS

10¢ Fractional Usage
Diagonal Bisect
Scott #2a - 1847
10¢ Fractional Usage
Horizontal Bisect
Scott #2¢ - 1847

OTHER VARIETIES

'Stick Pin' variety

The stick pin variety (top image)
(note the dot in the middle of the cravat)

'Hair Lip' variety

The hair lip variety, notice the line across the mouth.

The Essay's and Proofs


The original frames of the 1847 design mockups in black. The frames are on thin card, hand-drawn in pencil and black ink with a light black India wash. The frames were drawn by Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson

Large die proof on bond laid paper (2P1a)
The cross hatched lines were there to prevent the
transfer roll from slipping

Large die proof on white laid paper (2P1c)

Large die proof on white Glazed paper (2P1li)

Light brown trial color proof on india (TC1)

Blue trial color proof on india (TC1)

Violet trial color proof on india (TC1)



Large Die Proof on India, die sunk on card

2 proof

4-P2a
Reprint Roosevelt Album proof
as usual, mounted on gray card

Specimen - Scotts #2ps

The 1875 Reprint


10¢ - Black or gray black
Imperf - Thin bluish Paper - Scott #3 - 1875
3,883 issued

  NY Auction Houses
  MH Graded MNH MH Graded
Fall 2003 - - - $800 -
Spring 2004 - - - $625 -
Fall 2004 - - - $1,100 -
Spring 2005 - - - $675-$1,000 -
Fall 2005 - - - $850-$925 -
Spring 2006 $1,100 - - $575-$1,150 -
Fall 2006 $900 - - $1,150 85
Spring 2007 - - - - -
Fall 2007 $760 - - $700 80
Spring 2008 - - - $1,100 85
Fall 2008 - - - $700 80
- - - $850 85
Spring 2009 $670 - - $650 75
- - - $600 80J
- - - $650 95
Fall 2009 $560-$960 - - $800 75
- - - $1,300 95
Spring 2010 $475-$920 - - - -
- - - - -
Fall 2010 - - - $1,100-$1,175 90
- - - $6,975 98
Spring 2011 - - - $1,000 90
Fall 2011 $700 - - $1,050-$1,300 85
2012 $825-$850 - - $900 85
- - - $4,025 98
2013 - - - - -
2014 - - - - -
2015 - - - - -
2016 - - - - -

US stamps

The envelope that the 1875 reproductions came in

The 1947 Reprint

The stamp was again reprinted in 1947 (Scott #948), easily identifiable by
the different colors, not to be confused with the trial colors. Trial
colors have grid lines.

Large Multiples

1847 Issue cover with retaliatory-rate charge.
Largest multiple on cover. Known as the 'Rush cover'
Spring 2006 auction $1,200,000


40¢ transcontinental rate to California example, on and off cover.

The largest reported multiples of the 10ยข are :

  • an unused block of six (privately held)
  • used multiple of fourteen (Swiss Postal Museum in Lucern).


Block of 12 of the 10¢ Reproduction (#4)