Commodore Matthew Perry (bio)
$1 - Grayish black or black
Type II
The circles enclosing $1's are complete
Scott #261A - Un-watermarked - 1894


Used: $160-$250
No postmark with gum (MH): $400-$700
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $4,000-$8,000

Facts and Statistics

Issued: Replaced the 1890 90¢ value. Earliest recorded date of use, March 22nd, 1895,

Plate Size: Sheets of 400 subjects (4 panes of 100)

Printer: The Bureau of Printing and Engraving, their first contract

Watermark: None

Quantity Issued: 8,672

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.

Commodore Matthew Perry (1794 -1858)

Varieties to look for

There are no varieties of #261A

The Essay's and Proofs

Unknown Subject
Die Proof on India

Die Sunk on Card

261A P1 US Proof Stamp

261A P1
Small Die Proof mounted on card