1861 "August or First Design"
#56 (reclassifed as #63-E11e)
1¢ - Indigo
Perf. 12 - Scott #63-E11e - 1861
Only 21 examples exist, less than 10 with original gum
Unused with no cancel $24,000-$45,000
Date of Issue : This stamp was not issued, it was produced as a sample for the Post Office Department. It probably reached collectors via postal officials. It is considered to be an essay.
Plate : Created from plate #1 with 200 subjects for the purpose of submission to the Post Office Department. The issued stamp (#63) was created from a new plate which has subtle design differences from #55 (see below).
Printer: National Bank Note Company
Quantity Issued: 200, of which 21 examples survive
Identifying the stamp
A - On #63 the numerals in the upper corners arabesque ornaments extend downward and also across the top resting upon the curved frame line of the stamp.
B - On #63 the extreme tip of the upper left hand ornament is directly above the p of postage. In the August Issue this tip rests upon the curved line but does not extend below it. On #63 there is a strong dash under the tip and below the line.
C - On #63 there are shading lines under the upper ornament on the right.
D - On #63 the vertical shadings in the corner spaces which enclose the numerals and the letters u and s are increased.
The paper of the premieres gravures is very thin hard and extremely brittle. The stamps are easily cracked unless handled very carefully. The paper is also quite transparent and much of the designs may be seen from the backs of the stamps.
The gum is very dark brown sometimes staining the paper.
The colors are very dark and rich and the ink heavily applied occasionally giving a blurred appearance though as a rule the impressions are very fine and clear.
The Essay's and Proofs