The 1895 Bureau Series
The Value of the Stamp
Daniel Webster (biography)
10¢ - Green, Dull green or Dark green
Scott #273 - Double line USPS wmk - 1895
No postmark with gum (MH): $16-$35
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $60-$130
10¢ - Dark green or green
Scott #273a - Double line USPS wmk - 1895
Facts and Statistics
Issued: Issued June 7th 1895, Earliest recorded date of use, July 25th, 1895.
Plate Size: Sheets of 400 subjects (4 panes of 100)
Printer: The Bureau of Printing and Engraving
Watermark: USPS, double lined, see below
Quantity Issued: 60,000,000.
The Post Office report from 1899 supplies one with almost every detail you would wish to know about this stamp, and every other stamp in this series. The level of detail is amazing. Click here for more on this report
What you should look for
Expect to see a lot of heavy cancels on this as this was commonly used for parcels and heavy envelopes. Below is a typical oval cancel from New York.
The stamps were watermarked USPS and part of one of the three letters will be visible (sometimes barely so) when immersing the stamp in watermark fluid using a simple black watermark tray. By the way, you really have to believe you have got a valuable stamp before investing the $20 it costs to buy the afore mentioned items. You could use the cheaper alternative, Ronosol Lighter fluid, however, unlike watermark fluid, it is highly inflammable and dangerous to use, plus it stinks the house up.
Look for part of one of the above letters in the watermark
This was the first instance of the Bureau applying a watermark, it was applied to make counterfeiting more difficult. It is not known if the Bureau had anticipated the Chicago Counterfeits or added the watermark because of them. The story of the Chicago Counterfeit can be found on the page for Scotts #248.
The Inspiration for the Design
The source photograph of Daneil Webster is shown below.
The final design saw Daniel Webster as the chosen subject, a decision made over General Sherman, who was chosen for the 8¢ design and John Adams. If John Adams had been chosen the stamp would have looked like the illustration below.
Varieties to look for
The Essay's and Proofs