Printing Method: Engraved
Printer: National Bank Note Co.
Subject: George Washington
Plate #: 2
Number surviving: Not known
Scott #: 56
No sales recorded
No postmark with gum (MH)
$225 - $425
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
$650 - $1,200
#56 was issued with the following plate number
Number and engravers imprint
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, including Scotts which has reclassified it as #65-E25h.
On the first design issue, outside the irregular rectangle of lathe work there are only some trifling ornaments and the stamp looks bare and unfinished. On #64-66 this has been remedied by the use of more elaborate ornaments especially at the corners which have been built out so that the outline of the design is now approximately rectangular.
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.
Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828)
Marble, 25" high
Located at Mount Vernon, Virginia
Plate proof on India