Benjamin Franklin (biography)

1¢ - Dull blue
No Triangles in Corner
Scott #219 - 1890

Value

Used: No value
No postmark with gum (MH): $2-$6
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $11-$40


Scott #219c - 1890
Imperforate, soft porous paper

Issued: 22nd February 1890
Plate Size: Sheets of 400 subjects (4 panes of 100)
Printer: The American Bank Note Company
Quantity Issued: Two Billion

Without them knowing it, the 1890 series was to be the American Bank Note Company's (ABN Co.) last printing of postage stamps.
Until the flag overun series of the forties all stamps after this series were to be printed by the Bureau of printing and engraving.

On the left is shown the detail of a stamp from the 1890 series, note the absence of a triangle in the top
left hand corner of the design. All the Bureau (after 1894) issues had a triangle cut into the design as shown on the right.

An American Bank Note Company's salesman's sample
(used for Latin America)

A pane of 100, there are four panes to a sheet

The earliest recorded example 27th February 1890

The design was taken from the portrait bust of Benjamin Franklin by Jean Antoine Houdon.
Now at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Previous versions of Franklins portrait (shown left) on the 1¢ stamp had Franklin face portray an alert friendly expression.
This was the principle reason that this design (shown right) was disliked by the general
public. The NY Times said that Franklin's face had 'entirely altered his expression and making him
resemble a putty-faced personification of senility'.


Previous versions of Franklins portrait on the 1¢ stamp had Franklin facing to the right. This,
along with the pale blue color were the principle reasons that this design was disliked by the general
public. The NY Times said that Franklin facing to the left 'entirely altered his expression and making him
resemble a putty-faced personification of senility'.

The Candle Flame Variety

Mentioned by Brookman but rarely seen is the so called candle flame variety.
To the right hand side of either one of the two numeral ones on the stamp extends a white area,
said to resemble the flame of a candle. An example is shown above.

The white area is created by a raised portion of the plate in this area, due to
poor workmanship on the plate. When the ink is wiped from the plate this area is wiped of ink,
thus causing the absence of ink above the foot of the number one. Due to this the shape and size
of the flame can vary, thus this is a printing flaw and not a plate flaw.

219 E1
Die essay on ivory paper
engraved frame with blacked out labels


219P1
Large Die Proof on india paper mounted on card

219-P4
Plate Proof on Card