1857 US Postage Stamps

1861 "August or First Design" 12¢
#59 (reclassifed as #69-E6e)

Scotts 59
12¢ - Intense Black
Perf. 12 - Scott #69-E6e - 1861
Only 16 examples exist


(with 4 margins around the design)
Used: Does not exist
No postmark with gum (MH): $60,000
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): Does not exist


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 #5 with 200 subjects for the purpose of submission to the Post Office Department. The issued stamp (#69) was created from a new plate which has subtle design differences from #59.

Printer: National Bank Note Company

Watermark: None

Quantity Issued: 200, of which 16 examples survive

Color: Intense Black

Identifying the stamp

Scotts 62a

The corners of #69 have ornaments outside the frame.

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


Premier Gravure small die essay on pale cream soft wove


Premier Gravure small die essay on india

47 P2

Unapproved design for an unadopted 8c value


1857 US Postage Stamps