John Marshall (biography)
$5 - Dark Green
Scott #278 - Double line USPS wmk - 1895


Used: $190-$475
No postmark with gum (MH): $600-$1,700
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $7,500-$11,000

$5 - Dark Green
Scott #278b - Imperf - Double line USPS wmk - 1895
100 copies issued

Issued: Issued August 16th 1895, Earliest recorded date of use, March 3rd, 1896.
Plate Size: Sheets of 200 subjects (2 panes of 100)
Printer: The Bureau of Printing and Engraving
Quantity Issued: 29,965

The largest multiple of #278 known

Centering is better on this stamp than #262, the 1894 $2. Cancels tend to be heavy as they
were often used on parcels and registered mail.


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.

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.

The watermark will appear as part of the letters above.
A double lined letters US or P. If there is no watermark then go here

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 series.

The source for the design was based off Henry Inmans 1831-32 portrait.
The portrait is owned by the Philadelphia Bar Association.
Shown above is an engraving of the portrait and the actual portrait.

Large Die Essay printed on card
Photograph of portrait inserted

Large die essay
Die sunk on card

Large die essay
Die sunk on card

Large Plate Proof on India
Mounted on card

Plate Proof on Thin White Card
Mounted on card

Large Plate Proof on card

Large Trail Color Proof on India