James Madison (biography)
$2 - Bright blue
Scott #262 - Un-watermarked - 1894


Used: $100
No postmark with gum (MH): $190-$400
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $3,000-$7,000

Facts and Statistics

Issued: Earliest recorded date of use, July 6th, 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: 10,027

What you should look for

Centering on this stamp is fairly poor. Well centered examples sell at a slight premium.

Infrequently the $2 stamp was sometimes required on heavy parcels or overweight letters to foreign destinations, which meant heavy cancels, as seen below.

Any multiple of this stamp is very scarce. I can only find four examples of a block being sold (as shown below) in the last four years. Image courtesy of Robert Siegal Auction Galleries

The Inspiration for the Design

The source for the design was based off the David Edwin's(?) engraving which based off Gilbert Stuart's portrait of James Madison, not the W.A. Wilmer engraving

Gilbert Stuart's portrait of James Madison
(Gilbert Stuart painted a total of four portraits of James Madison)
The painting is now owned by the Colonial Williamsburg Association

Detail of David Edwin's (?) engraving of Madison
circa. 1809-17
(the source for the design)

Full version of David Edwin's (?) engraving of Madison

W.A. Wilmers engraving of James Madison
(which was based off an Edwins print
copy of the engraving )

Gilbert Stuart
(who painted James Madison)

The Bureau of Engraving's later 19thC engraving of James Madison
which used Wilmers Engraving as the source.

Varieties to look for

There are no varieties of #262

However be careful of the stamp below. On brillian white paper the stamp was later re-issued by the USPS in 1994, example
shown below.

The Essay's and Proofs

Large Die Essay on card

Large Die Essay on card

Large Die Essay on card

Die Essay on India

Die Sunk on Card

Large die proof
Die sunk on card

Large Plate Proof on card

Large Trail Color Proof on card

Orange Brown