1851 1¢ - #5
photo courtesy of Gordon Eubanks (thank you Gordon!)
1¢ - Blue - Type I
The most complete design of all the types. The design
is complete at top, bottom and sides.
35,000 - Imperf - Scott #5 - 1851
Only 98 used and two unused examples exist
Deduct 40% for pen cancels for three margins, deduct 40% of three margins,
60% for two margins and for no margins deduct 80%
(with 4 margins around the design)
No postmark with gum (MH): $90,000
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): Does not exist
Issued: July 5th, 1851
Plate Size: Sheets of 200 subjects (2 panes of 100).
Printer: Toppan, Carpenter, Casilier & Co. using the die-to-relief-to-plate transfer process.
Quantity Issued: 35,000, probably just over 100 copies exist, 21 on cover. Only two are unused.
What you should look for
#5 is a Type I design. The design on a Type I is complete, meaning that the ornaments at the top and bottom of the frame have not trimmed by the engravers at the time. All other types of the Franklin 1¢ have a portion of the design trimmed away. Type I is also distinguishable in that it has double transfer as shown by the
Only one plate position produced the Type I stamp, that being position 7RIE, a number known to most serious US philatelists.
Notes on #5
1) it is a unique position (only one of the thousand positions produced this)
Why is there only one position with a complete design?
The design of this early issue was too large to allow for the accommodation of the 200 subjects onto one plate. Therefore, each position had to have some amount of the design erased to allow enough room. These erasures accounted for the majority of the types. One position, however, was not subject to any erasure whatsoever, that position being the 7R1E.
What exactly does position 7RIE mean?
It means the 7th stamp of the right pane of plate I in the early state. Plate one had two states, early and late. Plate one in its original or early state became worn with use, the design on the plate were then recut (after only 11 months use) and thus the plate became the late state. Plate one remained in service until 1857.
7 = Seventh stamp of the 100 on the pane
How many plates were there?
There were twelve plates of the 1¢ Franklin made, plate six was never used, probably due to it being damaged in it's creation. Most of the plates were used for both the imperforate and perforated design. Some only produced one type or the other. For instance, plate 12 produced only perforated stamps and the early state of Plate 1 produced only imperforate stamps whilst plate I late (reconstruction) produced both imperforate and perforated stamps. Plate 4 was the last of the imperforate plates to be used.
Click here for a comprehensive, printable, identfication guide. Courtesy of Chris Biason (447kb)
The Inspiration for the Design
Varieties to look for
The Essay's and Proofs