1857 US Postage Stamps

1861 "August or First Design" 10¢ - #62B

scotts 62b
10¢ - Dark green or dark yellow green - Type I
An outer line has been added to the ornaments above the stars at the top
and a thick curving line has been cut below the stars.
500,000 - Perf. 12 - Scott #62B - 1861


Used: $225-$400
No postmark with gum (MH): $1,100-$1,500
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $8,000-$12,000


Date of Issue : This stamp was originally produced as a sample for the Post Office Department, upon approval it was issued on August 16th, 1861. It was first placed on sale at Baltimore and NY, NY P.O.'s the following day. An example the earliest known use is shown below.

Scotts 62a

Earliest recorded use - 17th September 1861


Plate : Created from plate #4 with 200 subjects for the purpose of submission to the Post Office Department. Stamps from plate #1 are called Type I. The issued stamp was created from both this plate (#62B) and a new plate #15 (#68) which has subtle design differences from plate #4 and is known as Type II.

Printer: National Bank Note Company

Watermark: None

Quantity Issued: 500,000

Color: Dark green or dark yellow green

Usage: The domestic first class letter rate for letters sent in excess of 3,000 miles, but in practice anywhere east of the Rocky Mountains.

Identifying the stamp

Scotts 62a

Type I (62b) - The outer oval frame line above “U.S. POSTAGE” is NOT present (red arc). The background around the stars is filled in, and the shadows around the stars are less prominent. They tend to be
a darker shade of green

Type II - There is an additional bit of scrollwork above the center of the design (orange outlined box).

The Inspiration for the Design

gilbert stuart george washington portrait

George Washington 1743-1826
painted by Gilbert Stuart 1755-1799
Known as the The Athenaeum it was painted in 1796 by Gilbert Stuart

Perhaps the most famous portrait in the US, probably due to the fact that it's presence graces the front of the $1 bill, this portrait was in fact unfinished at the time of Gilbert's deathin 1828. It now hangs in the Boston Museum of Fine Art (Gilbert was one of Boston's more famous sons).

An excellent website on this portrait can be found here.

gilbert stuart self portrait
Gilbert Stuart Self Portrait

The Essay's and Proofs

Scotts 62a

Plate Proof
The former 58P3


1857 US Postage Stamps