The 1890 Series
The Value of the Stamp
100,000,000 - Scott #219D - 1890
Used: no value
No postmark with gum (MH): $22-$45
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $200
used stamps value is less than $1
2¢ - Lake
Scott #219Da - 1890
2¢ - Lake
Scott #219De - 1890
Issued: 22nd February 1890, earliest recorded example is also of this date.
Plate Size: Sheets of 400 subjects (4 panes of 100)
Printer: The American Bank Note Company
What you should look for
The color of this stamp is lake, it is distinctively different from later all other shades of the 2¢. It was also universally disliked by the public at the time, being compared to the color of hosiery. There were also complaints that the color rubbed off. As a result the color was soon changed, and due to its short period of circulation sells at a slight premium over the average price of the other 2¢ colors. The chances of finding a lake 2¢ to a carmine 2¢ are 60 to 1.
Without 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 issues had a triangle cut into the design as shown on the right.
You will also notice the tremendous difference in quality between the two stamps. By 1890 the ABN Co. had perfected the art of printing postage stamps and it shows by the even ink sharp design and clean perforations. Contrast this with the spotty faded ink and uneven perforations on the Bureau's stamp on the right.
The Inspiration for the Design
The design was taken from the portrait bust of Washington by Jean Antoine Houdon. Now at Mount Vernon.
Varieties to look for
The Essay's and Proofs