Type of Paper: Hard white wove paper, thin to medium thick
Subject: Commodore Perry
Number issued: 185,000
Scott #: 155
Printer: National Bank Note Company
Earliest Documented Use: September 1, 1872
$35 - $55
No postmark with gum (MH)
$1,250 - $2,250
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
* A note about MNH. There is only one certificated copy in existence. I see supposedly unmounted copies sold on eBay for around $1,000 each. Without a certificate they should be treated as regummed stamps and therefore the value will be close to $100.
Multiples of the 90¢ stamp are rare. The one above was probably applied to a parcel and is the largest used multiple known. There is a block of four mint stamps, it is the largest block of mint stamps.
#155 was issued with the following plate #
Imprint and plate number
There are no recorded plate blocks left today
The vignette design was derived by the 1860 William Walcutt statue of Commodore Perry
The plates used for both the National and Continental printings were the same. There was no secret mark on the continental printings. As a result the only method of identifying these stamps is to look at the color. With the exception that if the stamp is on ribbed paper it will be a Continental printing.
The difference can be subtle.
#155 is printed on hard white wove paper, thin to medium thick.
Hard paper was used by the National Bank Note Company and the Continental Bank Note Company. Soft paper was used by the American Bank Note Company,
The hard paper of the Bank Note issues is fairly white, perhaps it might better be called grayish white or sometimes a somewhat bluish white, while the soft paper seems slightly yellowish when compared with the hard paper.
Soft paper has a looser weave and more porous paper than hard paper, so it feels softer, displays a mesh or weave when viewed by holding the stamp between your eyes and light so that you are looking “through” the stamp.
Some people can also ID hard paper be “flicking” the edges and thereby “feeling” the stiffness of the paper versus the feel of soft paper if flicked in the same way. There's more of a snap to the hard paper.
On high magnification the perforation tips on soft paper will have more strands of paper sticking out than hard paper.
Soft paper is fairly dead looking under a long wave UV light ( (briefly and from a reasonable distance in a darkened room) while hard paper reflects more light. If reference copies of stamp designs known only on hard paper or soft paper are viewed under UV light, the difference in paper brightness should be apparent.
For a reference stamp obtain the inexpensive 1861 3¢ (#65), it is only available in hard paper.
A simple test is to hold a stamp to a lamp, you will see the hard paper is more translucent.
The earliest known documented use of #155, April 29th,1971
There are no other documents from the 1862-72 documentary tax era bearing a 90¢ postage stamp of any issue for revenue purposes.
Engraved vignette with pencil and watercolor frame
Die essay on India, mounted on card
Large die essay on India, mounted on card
56 x 71mm
Die essay on India
Die proof on India
Die proof on India, die sunk on card
Small die proof on India, mounted on gray card
Plate proof on India