The 1894 Bureau Series
George Washington (biography)
2¢ - Carmine or dark carmine - Type II (see below)
Scott #251 - Un-watermarked - 1894
No postmark with gum (MH): $40-$65
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $200-$500
Issued: 5th October 1894, earliest recorded example 17th October 1894
Plate Size: Sheets of 400 subjects (4 panes of 100)
Printer: The Bureau of Printing and Engraving, their first contract
Quantity Issued: 100,000,000
#251 is distinguishable by the Type II triangle in the corners. The triangles were placed there
to distinguish them from the earlier printing of this design by the American Bank Note Company.
The fact that the triangles are different is only attributable that they were cut into the plates
in a different manner; there was no special significance to each of the three known designs of the triangle.
Below is a typical example of the 1894 Bureau Issue, you will notice the blind perfs and rough
appearance of the perforations. The machines for perforating the stamp had just been relocated from
New York to Washington DC and did not have the old operators from the ABC, consequently the new operators
took some time to get used to perforating the large sheets of 400 stamps. By the next issue, in 1895, they
had got the practice down to a science, hence that issue has nice clean cut perforations. The untidy perforations
of this issue does not detract from its value.
An example of blind perforations
Occasionally postmarks from states that had tiny amounts of mail in this year can add to the value.
This is particularly true of Alaska and the Territories. For a list of the number of stamps issued by each state in
the year ending 30th June 1894 click here.
The design was taken from the portrait bust of Washington by Jean Antoine Houdon.
The busts are now at Mount Vernon.
Dark Violet Red
Die Sunk on India
Die on India, die sunk on card
Large Die Proof on India