1851 1¢ - #6
1¢ - Blue - Type Ia
The design is complete at the sides and bottom but incomplete at the top.
Top center line and tops of the ornament are missing.
Furthermore, there is a flaw below and to the left of the "U" of "U.S.POSTAGE".
Less than six mint copies survive
Imperf - Scott #6 - 1857
Deduct 40% for pen cancels for three margins, deduct 40% of three margins,
60% for two margins and for no margins deduct 80%
Value (with 4 margins around the design)
No postmark with gum (MH): $2,000-$4,000
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): email me :-)
Issued: Earliest date of use, April 4th, 1857
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: 110,000
What you should look for
#6 is a Type Ia design. The design on the bottom and sides of Type Ia are complete. However the design at the top is not complete, some of the top ornaments have been burnished off, see illustration below.
Type 1a can be found on eighteen plate positions, all from the bottom row of plate IV.
Notes on #6
1) There is no stamp beneath them as they come from the bottom row
Why are there only eighteen positions?
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. Eighteen positions, however, had only minimal erasure to the top of the design whilst the rest of the design was left complete
What exactly do the plate position numbers mean?
To take the example of 7RI1
7 = Seventh stamp of the 100 on the pane - this number can be from 1 to 99.
R = Right Plane - this letter can be either R or L, L representing the Left 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 CURL ON THE SHOULDER VARIETY
The Essay's and Proofs