1851 1¢ - #8
1¢ - Blue - Type III
Top and bottom curved lines outside the label are broken in the middle.
The side ornaments are substantially complete.
Imperf - Scott #8 - 1851Deduct 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): $15,000-$35,000
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): Does not exist
Issued: July 1st, 1851
Earliest date of use of plate 1: September 21st, 1851
Earliest date of use of plate 4: July 7th, 1857 (shown below)
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: Unknown
What you should look for
#8 is a Type III design. The design on the sides are complete and the line at the top and the bottom is broken. This is different than Type IIIA where either the top and bottom line is broken, but not both.
Notes on #8
1) The degree or amount of the break in the line(s) is important. The greater the break the more desirable the stamp.
3) Position 44L4 in the later printings can have breaks in the lines almost as large as 99R II. It is considered almost as desirable.
4) A certificate is required.
How many plates does #8 appear on?
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.
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
Other than double transfers there are no notable varieties on #8 to look for.
The Essay's and Proofs