The Value of the Stamp


Daniel Webster (biography)
10¢ - Green, Dull green or Dark green
Scott #273  - Double line USPS wmk - 1895

Value

Used: $1-$2
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
Imperf
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
Remember, the letters have to be double lined. If single
lined then go here to identify your stamp

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.

As this was the Bureau of Printing and Engraving contract a small triangle was cut into the design at top left and top right. This distinguishes it from the earlier 1890.

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

There are no varieties of #273

The Essay's and Proofs

273-P
Plate proof on stamp paper