The 1894 Bureau Series
The Value of the Stamp
Commodore Matthew Perry (bio)
$1 - Grayish black or black
The circle enclosing $1 are broken
Scott #261 - Un-watermarked - 1894
No postmark with gum (MH): $180-$300
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $2,000-$5,000
Facts and Statistics
Issued: Replaced the 1890 90¢ value. Earliest recorded date of use, January 18th, 1895,
Plate Size: Sheets of 400 subjects (4 panes of 100)
Printer: The Bureau of Printing and Engraving, their first contract
What you should look for
Infrequently required the $1 stamp was sometimes required on heavy parcels or overweight letters to foreign destinations, which meant heavy cancels, as seen below. Clean or light cancels add a premium to the value.
The Inspiration for the Design
The old 90 cents gave way to a new $1, the profile of Perry being transferred to the new value
The two new 1894 values, the 50¢ and the $1 did not have new engravings of presidential heads, they just recycled the 1870 engravings.
The original 1870 design of Perry was based on Walcotts bust, of which I am unable to find an image. Below is shown a similar marble bust of Perry by Erastus Dow Palmer, a contemporary of Walcott.
Shown below is a version, that very nearly made it as the default Jefferson bust to be used. Next to it is one of the many essays of the final 1870 version.
Varieties to look for
The Essay's and Proofs
Portrait of Senator James B. Beck