Henry Clay (biography)
15¢ - Deep indigo or indigo
Scott #227 - 1890


Used: $2-$10
No postmark with gum (MH): $45-$75
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $300-$600

15¢ - Deep indigo or indigo
Imperf - Scott #227a - 1890

226a US Postage Stamp

Interesting used copy of #227a


Issued: Introduced on February 22nd, 1890. The earliest recorded example is 16th May, 1890.

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

Printer: The American Bank Note Company

Watermark: None

Quantity Issued: 5,548,710

What you should look for

227 Clay

Plate blocks and any multiple greater than four are very scarce, even in used condition.

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.

1890 US Stamp Detail

The Inspiration for the Design

The source for the design Brookman attributes to the famous daguerreotype of Henry Clay. This would be incorrect as their is little, if no, resemblence. It is more likely that it copied from a print which used as its source a later photograph of Henry Clay.

The source of the design (above) and the design (below)

The source photograph (below) for the print above

Shown below is the famous, and only daguerreotype of Henry Clay

Varieties to look for

There are no varieties of #227

The Essay's and Proofs

227-P2 Proof

Roosevelt Die Proof

227-P4 Proof Scotts - US Postage Stamps

Plate Proof on India