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1851 1¢ - #8A

The value of the stamps Statistics and facts about the stamp
what you should look for how the stamp was made
Varieties of the stamp the making of the stamp

The Value of the Stamp

#8A 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps

1¢ - Blue - Type IIIa
As type III, but with either the top or bottom line broken, but not both.
Most type IIIa positions have the break in the top line

Imperf - Scott #8A - 1851

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)
Used: $280-$450
No postmark with gum (MH): $3,800-$5,000
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): Does not exist

Statistics

Issued: July 1st, 1851

Plate Size: Sheets of 200 subjects (2 panes of 100).

Printer: Toppan, Carpenter, Casilier & Co. using the die-to-relief-to-plate transfer process.

Watermark: None

Quantity Issued: Approx. 1,000,000

Use: The one-cent stamp was required to pay the fee for drop letters and circulars under 500 miles. It was also the rate for Newspapers and Circulars.

What you should look for

Identifying #8A
(#8A is a Type IIIa)

8A Scotts - US Postage Stamps

#8A is a Type IIIa design. The design on the sides are complete, the line at the top is broken and the line at the bottom is barely broken. This is different than Type III where both the top and bottom line is broken.

Notes on #8A

1) The degree or amount of the break in the line(s) is important. The greater the break the more desirable the stamp.

2) Plate IIIa stamps look very much like the valuable Plate I stamps in so much as the balls at the bottom have traces of ink, giving the impression of a complete bottom design, but on close examination you will see that the traces are too faint to qualify for a complete design.

3) A certificate is required.

How many plates does #8A appear on?
Three plates. Plate 1 early, plate II and plate IV.

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

I = Plate I, this roman rumeral can be I, II, III, IV, V, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII

E= Early State, this letter can be either E or L, L representing the Late State. This letter is only appended to plate I stamps.

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.

Rescources available
http://www.slingshotvenus.com/FranklinArchive/frnkln_archv_Main.html
Stanley B. Ashbrook, The United States One Cent Stamp of 1851-1857.
Mortimer L. Neinken, U.S. One Cent Stamp of 1851-61.
The Ishikawa collection: United States 1851-1857 1 cent Blue Issue postage stamps in multiples and reconstructed plates.

Click here for a comprehensive, printable, identfication guide. Courtesy of Chris Biason (447kb)

The Inspiration for the Design

Franklin Bust
Benjamin Franklin
Jean-Jacques Caffieri (1725-1792)
Marble, 25" high
The Peabody Collection, Maryland

The design was based off Jean-Jacques Caffieri's bust of Franklin.

Varieties to look for

Other than double transfers there are no notable varieties on #8A to look for.

The Essay's and Proofs

franklin vignette
Vignette of Ben Franklin
Imperf essay on laid india paper


Unlisted 1¢ Liberty
Black, Vignette Die Essay on Proof paper
frame similar to 5¢ Jefferson
Probably attributable to Toppan, Carpenter, Casilier and Co.


5-E1a
Black, Vignette Die Essay on India


5-E1var
Black, Vignette Die Essay on India
Unlisted showing both Franklin and Washington


5-E1b
Black, Vignette Die Essay on Proof Paper


5-E1f
Black, Vignettes Die Essay on Proof Paper


5-E2
6¢ Black
Die Essay on India
The value was later changed to 1¢, as this rate was
deemed more useful than the 6¢ rate slated for long distance
foriegn mail.


5-E3k
1¢ Black
Die Essay on India
The value was later changed to 1¢, as this rate was
deemed more useful than the 6¢ rate slated for long distance
foriegn mail.

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