Henry Clay (biography)
15¢ - Dark blue or Indigo
Scott #259  - Un-watermarked - 1894

Value

Used: $5-$15
No postmark with gum (MH): $50-$150
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $400-$600

Issued: Issued October 15th 1894, Earliest recorded date of use, December 6th, 1894.
Plate Size: Sheets of 400 subjects (4 panes of 100)
Printer: The Bureau of Printing and Engraving, their first contract
Quantity Issued: 1,583,920. The stamp paid the foreign registered rate so expect to
see a lot of oval registered cancels. An example of which is shown below.

One effect of this is that there are only half as many plate number examples of this,
therefore, they command a price premium.

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 source of the design

The source photograph (below) for the print above

Two early photographs of Henry Clay

259-P1
Small Die Proof on India

259-P1
Large Die Proof on India


259-P1a
Large Die Proof on India
58 x 61mm, die sunk on 152 x 203mm card

259 P2 US Proof stamp

259 P2
Small Die Proof

259-TC1
Trial Color Proof on India
Dark Violet
Die Sunk on Card