1861 "August or First Design" 3¢
#56 (reclassifed as #65-E15h)
3¢ - Brown Rose, orange red, bright orange red, dark orange red, dim deep red, pink and deep pink
Perf. 12 - Scott #65-E15h - 1861
(with 4 margins around the design)
Used: Does not exist
No postmark with gum (MH): $150-$400
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $550-$650
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 #2 with 200 subjects for the purpose of submission to the Post Office Department. The issued stamp (#65) was created from a new plate which has a subtle design difference from #56 (see below)..
Printer: National Bank Note Company
Quantity Issued: Not known
Color: Brown Rose, orange red, bright orange red, dark orange red, dim deep red, pink and deep pink
Identifying the stamp
On the August issue, outside the irregular rectangle of lathe work there are only some trifling ornaments and the stamp looks bare and unfinished. On #64-66 this has been remedied by the use of more elaborate ornaments especially at the corners which have been built out so that the outline of the design is now approximately rectangular.
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