1851 US Postage Stamps 5 US 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 5A 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 6 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 6b 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 7 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 8 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 8A 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 9 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 1851 US Postage Stamp Essays

1851 3¢ - #11

The value of the stamps Statistics and facts about the stamp
what you should look for how the stamp was made
Varieties of the stamp the making of the stamp

The Value of the Stamp


3¢ - Orange red, brownish carmine, claret, deep claret, plum or rose red
340,000,000  Imperf - Scott 11 - 1851
For some more unusual auction examples of this issue click here


Prices are for 4 margin copies
Deduct 40% for pen cancels for three margins, deduct 40% of three margins,
60% for two margins and for no margins deduct 80%

Value (with 4 margins around the design)
Used: $7-$15
No postmark with gum (MH): $35-$90
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $700-$1,000

3¢ - Dull Red
 Imperf - Scott 11A - 1851

 

3¢ - Dull Red
 Vertical Bisect- Scott 11¢ - 1851
(n.b. shown is the only recorded multiple bisect in US history)
Courtesy Siegal Auctions

 

Statistics

Issued and Earliest Date of Use: October 6th, 1851

Plate Size: Sheets of 200 subjects (2 panes of 100).

pane 0f 1851 3 cents (3c) Scotts - US Postage Stamps
A pane of 100 of the 3¢ Imperf (Plate 3)

Printer: Toppan, Carpenter, Casilier & Co. using the die-to-relief-to-plate transfer process.

Watermark: None

Quantity Issued: 340 Million (Seventeen times more common than #10).

Use: Not until April 1st 1855 did it become compulsory to pre-pay (via a stamp or stamped envelope) to have your letter mailed.

The three cent stamp paid the ordinary letter rate, and two or more would be required on double, triple, etc., letters. The single postage to California was six cents which was the double letter rate. There was also the double rate to California supplied by four three cent stamps, etc. Double rate was defined as a distance exceeding 3,000 miles. A letter weighing less than ½ an ounce was single rate. Each additional ½ ounce was charged an additional single stamp (with the exception of CA, where it would an additional two stamps).

The foriegn rate was supplied by the 10 and 20¢ rate, so strips or singles of the 3¢ can be found on these as well. At this time pre payment of envelopes was optional. Many chose to have the letter paid for by recipient at the foreign destination.


What you should look for

Identifying #11

Rather than recreate an excellent web page that explains the difference between Scotts #11 and #10 I shall refer you the actual web page. I recommend it highly.

#11 originates from Plates 1L, 2L, 3, 4, 5L, 6, 7, and 8.

Plate Identification

USING INNER LINES TO ID PLATES
Plate 1 Inner Lines always recut
Plate 2 (E) Both outer and inner lines heavily recut
Plate 2 (L) Both outer and inner lines heavily recut (sometimes fainter)
Plate 3 Clearly cut
Plate 4 Rarely recut
Plate 5 Faintly recut except 8 positions show inner line lightly recut
Plate 6 No recut except 1 position
Plate 7 No recut except 1 position
Plate 8 No inner lines

USING COLOR TO ID PLATES
Plate 1 Experimental orange brown, brown, brownish carmine, clarets, dull red, rose red, orange red
Plate 2 (E) Orange brown only
Plate 2 (L) All colors except orange brown and yellowish rose red
Plate 3 All colors except orange brown and yellowish rose red
Plate 4 All colors
Plate 5 All colors
Plate 6 All colors
Plate 7 All colors
Plate 8 All colors

NOTES ON PLATES
Plate 1 Recut gouged out at top except two stamps not recut
Plate 2 (E) Recut by one straight line at top except one stamp gouged out
Plate 2 (L) As 2(E) Plates 2 and 3 can only be told apart by plating
Plate 3 As 2(E) Plates 2 and 3 can only be told apart by plating. Lines are sometimes fainter than 2(L)
Plate 4 Left line usually recut or split and close to design
Plate 5 More lightly recut than 2L
Plate 6 Bottom frame lightly recut except bottom row positions.
Plate 7 As plate 6, cannot be told apart from plate 6 except by plating.
Plate 8 Never recut

Spacing

The distance between the stamps varies considerably in different plates. In some, they are only 7/10 mm. apart between the tops and bottoms, in others a little over 1mm. In some they are only 9/10 mm. apart between the side lines, in other fully 1 2/10 mm. apart. Specimens with broad, white margins show the the paper to have extended, sometimes 15mm. beyond the stamps. The vertical lines are then 6mm. or 2 ½, 3 and 3 ½ mm. from the center rows. The makers imprint is about 1 ½mm. from the outer rows, but varies slightly in different sheets.

11 Imprint - US Postage Stamps

What exactly does position 6RIE, 8RIE etc mean excactly?

The first indicator is a number indicates its position on the plate, so 3RIE would have come from the third stamp on the plate. The number can range from 1 to 100, there being 100 stamps on each plate.

The second indicator is either the letter R or L, R indicates the stamp came from the right pane, L for the left pane. The stamp was printed in sheets of 200, each sheet was further divided into two panes of 100. Hence 3RIE would have come from the right pane as the second indicator in 3R1E is the letter R.

The third indicator can be from numbers I (1) to XII (12). This indicator is always shown in roman numerals. There were twelve plates, there are no stamps from plate VI (6) as it was destroyed before printing began (no doubt it was flawed). For example stamp 4RIL would have come from plate one (1).

The last or fourth indicator is either the letter E or L. The letter 'E' indicate an early state of the plate, the letter 'L' indicates the late state of the plate.

How many plates were there?

There were nine plates of the 3¢ imperforate Washington made. Plates 0 and 1 through 8. Plate 0 was so called because the plate was not marked with a plate number. Plate 1 had three states, early, intermediate and late. Plates 2 and 5 had two states, early and late.

Color Varieties

The value of the stamp varies according to its color, Plum being the rarest color. For a guide see below.

Rescources available
Dr Carroll Chase, The 3¢ Stamp of the United States 1851-1857.
The U.S. 1851-1857 3 Cent Imperforate Stamp


The Inspiration for the Design


George Washington
Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828)
Marble, 25" high
Mount Vernon, Virginia

The design was based off Jean-Antoine Houdon's bust, for more detail on the bust click here.

Houdin - George Washington Scotts - US Postage Stamps
The painting shows the studio of French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon with Houdon working on a bust.

Varieties to look for

RECUTS

10 recut Scotts - US Postage Stamps

Identification of these stamps is aided by the fact that this issue was recut extensively, with all of the possible 1800 position being recut at least twice.

There are some recutting errors to look for
1) A frame line extending beyond the corner or not reaching the corner
2) A crooked frame line
3) A split frame line
4) The label block and either one of the adjacent decorative diamond blocks joined
5) Inner line running up and down too far

Spotting these is fairly easy and it makes collecting a mundane stamp much more interesting.

BISECTS

10 bisect - Scotts - US Postage Stamps
Bisected in half

Bisected by a vertical third
(probably only three exist)

The stamp was very rarely bisected, only about a dozen examples exist. The bisects range from the stamp being cut by a third (to represent 1¢) to a being cut in half (in those days there was a half cent coin to pay for this!).

CHICAGO PERFORATIONS


Chicago Perforation Single
11 Chicago Perf.oration - Scotts - US Postage Stamps
Chicago Perforation block of nine (largest multiple)
Chicago Perf.s were made on the Hadley Perforation Machine,
by the businessman R.K. Swift who attempted to sell the
perforating machine to Toppan Carpenter. At the time
Toppan Carpenter had just purchased the Britiish Bemrose perforating
machine.

The Chicago Perf. is sometimes known as the 'sewing machine perf'


"Chicago" sewing machine perf 11 - Scott 11 variety - 1851
Only 33 unused examples known
Fall 2005 Auction - Unused $9,500
Fall 2009 Auction - Used $1,300

BALTIMORE PERFORATIONS

Baltimore Peforations 11 Scotts - US Postage Stamps

Two examples of the scarce Baltimore Perforations

KENSINGTON PEFORATIONS

11 kensington peforations Scotts - US Postage Stamps
Kensington 'Saw Tooth' Perforation
Kensington is a suburb of Philadelphia, only
two copies (both on cover) exist.

BERGEN PEFORATIONS

11 kensington peforations Scotts - US Postage Stamps
Bergen, New York, 'Saw Tooth' Perforation
only nine copies exist.

PLATE FLAWS

Gash in ear, Scotts - US Postage Stamps
Gash in the ear (clearly visible)

11 cracked plate
Cracked plate


The Essay's and Proofs

The process of making these plates is said to have been ;

first to mark out on a soft plate of steel the points at which the right vertical line of each vertical row of stamps was to come, by a dot at the top and bottom of the plate. These dots were sometimes too large and too heavily put in, and may be found in some specimens at or near, the upper or lower right hand corner of the stamp.

The lines however were not always accurately drawn so that the dot appears (on the top or bottom line, at a distance to the left of the corner, or, above the line, or below the line, or entirely outside of the stamp to the right. These lines having been drawn, the next step in the process was to put in the body of the design, which had been engraved on a soft steel punch or die, and then hardened, by placing the die successively in the position to be occupied by each stamp on the plate, and " rocking" it back and forth under pressure.

As this process was not as perfect as that now employed, the die was not always placed in exactly the proper position, not infrequently being too near or too far from the vertical side lines, or the die was not rocked far enough, and the edges were left imperfect. In the design, it was evidently intended that the outside lines should be equally distant from the top and bottom labels, and the side edges of the block, and that the corners should be exactly mitered.

The top and bottom lines are practically always at the same distance from the labels, and one engraver maintains that they were engraved on the die. But specimens are plentiful in which the top and bottom line projects beyond the side line, or does not touch it, or rarely is double or split, or again the side line projects beyond the top or bottom line, or does not touch it.

Again, instead of the side line being at the proper distance from the corner blocks, it is not infrequently too far from one or more of them, or too near one or more of them, or touches one or more of them. Again, the side line is found connecting with the next stamp above or below, and occasianally there is a second line near this between two stamps.

In the die itself it will be noticed that the lower left block is almost always a little further to the left than the top one, in fact, that the distance from the right of the right block to the left of the left block is about 1/4 of a mm. greater at the bottom than at the top of the stamp.

The lower right rosette is a little too far also to the right, ordinarily at least.

The blocks vary in size in the same and different stamps, as well as the diamonds in them, which are not of uniform shape or size. The labels above and below are crowded upon the rosettes. The sides of the groundwork should terminate in a straight line, formed by the bases of the little colored triangles, which touch each other. But this line is often broken in appearance as parts of it are too finely cut, or the die was not rocked far enough. In some cases this seems to have been remedied by re-engraving this line.

1851 3c essay - Scotts - US Postage Stamps

The essays for this stamp are indeed numerous. To view the essays click here

An interesting item. A contemporary forgery of #11
The envelop is marked in manuscript, "Fraudulent Stamp Due 3"

Color Identification

Reds
Bright Rose Red
Printed from Plates: 1L, 2L, and 3
Mar 1853 - Jan 1855
Rose Red
Printed from Plates: 1L, 2L, and 3
Mar 1853 - Jan 1855
Dull Red (#11)
Printed from Plates: 1L, 2L, and 3
Oct 1852 - Dec 1853
Yellow Rose-Red
Printed from Plates: 4, 5L, 6, 7, and 8
Nov 1855 - Jan 1856

Browns
Brownish Carmine
Printed from Plates: 1L, 2L, and 3 (1851 - 1852), 2L, 3, 4, 5L, 6, 7, 8 (1856 - 1857)
Nov 1851 - Nov 1852, Jul 1856 - Dec 1856, and  Jul 1857 - Dec 1857
Brownish Claret
Brown Brownish Orange Brown
10 Yellow Brown Scotts - US Postage Stamps
Copper Brown Yellow Brown
Printed from Plates:  1L, 2L, and 3 ( 1852), 2L, 3, 4, 5L, 6, 7, 8 (1856 - 1857)

Clarets
Claret
Printed from Plates: 1L, 2L, and 3 (1851 - 1852), 2L, 3, 4, 5L, 6, 7, 8 (1856 - 1857)
Nov 1851 - Dec 1852 and Oct 1856 - Jun 1857
Deep Claret
Printed from Plates: 2L, 3, 4, 5L, 6, 7, and 8
1857
Purplish Claret
Claret
Printed from Plates: 2L, 3, 4, 5L, 6, 7, and 8
 1857

Pinks
Pinkish Deep Pink

Plum
Plum (scarce)
Printed from Plates: 2L, 3, and 4
1857

OrangeBrowns
Orange Brown
Printed from Plates: 0, 1e, 1i, 2e, and 5e
Jul - Dec 1851
Experimental Orange Brown
Printed from Plate: 1L
Oct - Nov 1851

1851 US Postage Stamps 5 US 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 5A 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 6 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 6b 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 7 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 8 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 8A 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 9 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 1851 US Postage Stamp Essays