Abraham Lincoln (biography)
4¢ - Dark brown or brown
No Triangles in Corners (see below)
Scott #254 - Un-watermarked - 1894

Value

Used: $1
No postmark with gum (MH): $15-$35
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $75-$135

Issued: September 11th 1894, earliest recorded date of use, October 16th, 1894.
Earliest recorded cover, December 5th, 1894.
Plate Size: Sheets of 400 subjects (4 panes of 100)
Printer: The Bureau of Printing and Engraving, their first contract
Quantity Issued: 17,000,000


An example of blind perforations

Above 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 do not detract from its value.


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 this photograph of Abraham Lincoln.
An excellent collection of the photographs of 'Old Abe' can be
found here. This photo was taken before his presidency, whilst a Senator
in Springfield Illinois. It was taken on February 9th 1860 at Brady's gallery in Washington DC

Curiously ABC co. did not use their master die for Lincoln, shown below. Whilst the design was
better at capturing the expression on Lincolns face, the hair treatmen was a dramatic departure.

There are some imperfs, although it is debatable that these were issued as such,
they are more likely to be small die plate proofs. Nevertheless, Scotts chooses to give them their
own designation as an imperf, they can be found as Scotts #254a. It would seem, by recent auction
prices that the philatalic world begs to differ with Scotts, recent auction prices for hinged examples are only $160.

Detail of essay #222-E2
An interesting essay of Lincoln


254-E1
Large Die Essay on India
Die sunk on card
Dark Yellow Brown

254-E2
Die on India, die sunk on card

254-E3
Die on India, die sunk on card
Dark Brown

254-P1
Large Die Plate Proof
Mounted on Card

254 Plate Proof US Stamp

254 P2
Roosevelt Album Proof
Mounted on card

254 us stamps
One persons hope of finding the unique imperf 254 shot down in flames