Blue, deep blue
Printing Method: Engraved
Printer: Toppan, Carpenter & Co.
Subject: George Washington
Number issued: 25,000
Scott #: 39
Earliest: date of use: August 13th, 1860
$2,100 - $6,000 (with certificate!!)
No postmark with gum (MH)
$750 - $1,250
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
$40,000 - $70,000
#39 is one of the most altered 19th Century US stamps. They are frequently regummed, rebacked and repaired. As the used stamp is more valuable there are many with fake cancels. My guess is that one in ten have a fake cancel applied, one in four have been reperforated and one in twelve regummed. Due to the majority of #39 having faults or having being altered I recommend not purchasing any #39 without a certificate.
One of many attempts at forging #39
This stamp typically was used in combination with other stamps to pay for large weight overseas packages. An example to the Cape of Good Hope is shown above. There are only six surviving covers with #39.
The largest known multiple, a block of nine. There are three in existence.
The largest known, and unique, used multiple, a block of 4
I can find no record of a #39 imprint being saved for prosperity
The vignette design was based on George Trumbull's 1792 portrait of George Washington
To illustrate the complexity of long distance mail across the globe take a look at the journey of the Armitage cover shown below. The Suez Canal was under construction at the time and was not opened until 1869, in the mean time mail was sent by rail from Alexandria to Suez.
Roosevelt die proof 39-P2
Plate proof 39-P3
Plate proof 39-P5
Trial Color proof 39-TC1
Trial Color proof 39-TC5