1857 US Postage Stamps

1857 10¢ - #35
Type V

10¢ - Green, dark green or yellowish green - Type V
Side ornaments partly cut away. Some pearls are missing.
Top lines incomplete above right "X".
Bottom line complete and shells almost complete.
Perf. 15½ - Scott #35 - 1857


Used: $20-$40
No postmark with gum (MH): $95-$115
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $2,600


Issued: April 29, 1857, earliest known of use 5th October 1857

Earliest known of use 5th October 1857

Plate Size: Sheets of 200 subjects (2 panes of 100).

Printer: Toppan, Carpenter & Co., using the flat plate process.

Watermark: None

Quantity Issued: 10,000,000

Color: Green, dark green, yellowish green or bluish green 

28a cover
Horizontal strip of six, on orange cover to Breslau, Prussia,
paying double the 30¢ Prussian Closed mail rate.

Guide to Identifying #35

Type V

There are two or less (generally none) outside pearls
on the Type V. All others have ALWAYS have THREE.

The bottom frame line is complete or nearly so on Type V.
Broken on others, except #34 recut

Side ornaments are cut away on Type V. Complete on others

Bottom of the right shell is completely or nearly so. Cut away on the others.

Type V often (not always) has a blurred ink smear at top. Others generally do not.

Wide side margins nearly always indicate Type V.

BEWARE:#35's are often misrepresented as the other 1857 varieties (#31, 32, 33, 34) as well as the imperfs of 1851 (#'s 13, 14, 15, 16), either out of ignorance or fraudulently. If the cancel covers some of the attributes, like the missing pearls, it can be difficult to tell at first glance. Sometimes additional cancels are deliberately added to cover the identifying details. The bottom frame lines are sometimes drawn in by hand, as are the missing design attributes on the sides. The large side margins can be reperfed away, or clipped off to make them look like the smaller margins on the other varieties, or even to remove perf flaws, edge tears, and straight edges. An extreme degree of caution should be exercised when purchasing any of the 1851-57 series, not just the 10¢t green, because of the possibility of alteration or misidentification.

Additionally, pen, or manuscript, cancels reduce the Scott catalog value of stamps issued in 1847-57 and most later classics by at least 50%. Because the ink used for writing in that period was not indelible, many of these cancels have been fraudulently removed and/or covered by fake stamped cancels. Often the removed cancels can still be faintly seen as very light brown lines, particularly on on-line blow-ups. Again, use exteme caution when purchasing any US classic (or Duck) stamp being offered as mint no gum (MNG).

Guide supplied by George Kopecky

The Inspiration for the Design

george washington bust engraving

Bust portrait engraving after Gilbert Stuart's George Washington portait, this was the source of the design, unlike Scott's 68 of 1861 which used the original Gilbert Stuart portrait

gilbert stuart george washington portrait

George Washington 1743-1826
painted by Gilbert Stuart 1755-1799
Known as the The Athenaeum it was painted in 1796 by Gilbert Stuart

Perhaps the most famous portrait in the US, probably due to the fact that it's presence graces the front of the $1 bill, this portrait was in fact unfinished at the time of Gilbert's deathin 1828. It now hangs in the Boston Museum of Fine Art (Gilbert was one of Boston's more famous sons).

An excellent website on this portrait can be found here.

gilbert stuart self portrait
Gilbert Stuart Self Portrait

Earliest Known Use

5th October 1857

How the perforated stamp came to us

Prince Consort Essay
The Prince Consort essay

When Rowland Hill designed the worlds first postage stamp, the penny black, no provision was made for separating the stamps. in 1847, six years after the introduction of the first stamp, Henry Archer submitted a two seperating machines to the British postmaster general. These machines employed lancet shaped blades, however their effect, was mixed at best. Soon after Mr Archer patented a machine which used perforation as a means of seperation, his first trials with this machine were on the Prince Consort essay, an example is seen above. The Prince Consort was Prince Albert, the design was never approved.

1853 revenue stamp
1853 One penny receipt stamp
Worlds first perforated stamp

Prince Consort Essay
1854 Penny Red
Worlds first perforated postage stamp

In October 1853 the first perforated stamps were issued in the UK using new perforating machines built by David Napier and Son Ltd, they were revenue stamps The first perforated stamps were revenue stamps issued in October 1853.

Aaron Brown

Aaron Brown, Postmaster-General 1857-59

In 1857 the new postmaster general was determined to introduce the perforation of postage stamps to the US. Perforating machines, at the cost of $3,000 were acquired by Toppan Carpenter, along with $6,000 in new plates. The machines were from England, but not from Napier, they purchased rouletting machines from William Bemrose & Sons of Derby, converting them to perforating machines. One problem is that these new machines could accommodate a relatively narrow sheet, which explains why the stamps of the 1857 series are spaced so close together. The first stamps to be perforated were the thirty cent, twenty four cent and ninety cent values.


1857 US Postage Stamps