The 1894 Bureau Series
General Tecumseh Sherman (biography)
8¢ - Bright violet brown or violet brown
Scott #257 - Un-watermarked - 1894
No postmark with gum (MH): $20-$50
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $80-$180
Facts and Statistics
Issued: Issued July 18th 1894, Earliest recorded date of use, May 11th, 1895.
Plate Size: Sheets of 400 subjects (4 panes of 100)
Printer: The Bureau of Printing and Engraving, their first contract
Quantity Issued: 2,426,100. 8¢ was the registry fee. The number was small and the date of issue one year later than the rest of the 1894 Bureaus as there was an excess stock of the 1893 8¢, which had no triangle in the corners.
What you should look for
Expect to see a lot of heavy cancels on this as it was the registered rate and registered cancels are typically heavy. Below left is a typical oval registry cancel (Chicago) and below right the same from New York.
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 Inspiration for the Design
The source photograph of General William Tecumseh Sherman is shown below.
Varieties to look for
The Essay's and Proofs