Printing Method: Engraved
Printer: National Bank Note Co.
Subject: Benjamin Franklin
Plate #: 1
Number recorded: 26
Scott #: 55
No postmark with gum (MH)
$15,000 - $25,000
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
No sales recorded
Of the 26 surviving stamps, three are cancelled, probably an experimental or control cancel applied at the Bureau
The vignette was based on Giuseppe Ceracchi's 1791 bust of Benjamin Franklin
This stamp was not issued, it was produced as a sample for the Post Office Department. It probably reached collectors via postal officials. It is considered to be an essay by many.
A - On #63 the numerals in the upper corners arabesque ornaments extend downward and also across the top resting upon the curved frame line of the stamp.
B - On #63 the extreme tip of the upper left hand ornament is directly above the p of postage. In the August Issue this tip rests upon the curved line but does not extend below it. On #63 there is a strong dash under the tip and below the line.
C - On #63 there are shading lines under the upper ornament on the right.
D - On #63 the vertical shadings in the corner spaces which enclose the numerals and the letters u and s are increased.
The paper of the premieres gravures is very thin hard and extremely brittle. The stamps are easily cracked unless handled very carefully. The paper is also quite transparent and much of the designs may be seen from the backs of the stamps.
The gum is very dark brown sometimes staining the paper.
The colors are very dark and rich and the ink heavily applied occasionally giving a blurred appearance though as a rule the impressions are very fine and clear.
Plate proof on India
Trial color proof