The 1898 Bureau Series
Watermarked Double Lined letters - USPS
Henry Clay (biography)
15¢ - Olive green or dark olive green
16,000,000 - Double line USPS wmk. - Scott #284 - 1897
No postmark with gum (MH): $25-$40
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $90
Issued: November 3rd 1898, earliest recorded date of use, March 3rd, 1899.
Plate Size: Sheets of 200 subjects (2 panes of 100)
Printer: The Bureau of Printing and Engraving
Watermark: USPS, double lined, see below
Quantity Issued: 16,000,000. A much undervalued stamp.
DETAILED FACTS AND FIGURES
The color was changed so as it was not to be confused with #279 which had it recently had it's color changed to green so as to comply with UPU color regulations.
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
The Inspiration for the Design
The source for the design Brookman attributes to the famous daguerreotype of Henry Clay. This would be incorrect as their is little, if no, resemblence. It is more likely that it copied from a print which used as its source a later photograph of Henry Clay.
The source of the design (above) and the design (below)
The source photograph for the print above
Varieties to look for
The Essay's and Proofs