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Winchester Discounts

1855 Washington, Type I - U.S. #11

1855 Washington, Type I - U.S. #11

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U.S. #11, issued in 1855, holds a significant place in postal history as the first three-cent U.S. postage stamp. Here's an overview of this definitive stamp:

  • Stamp Category: Definitive
  • Series: 1851-57 Issue
  • Value: 3c
  • Earliest Known Use: March 28, 1855
  • Printed by: Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear & Co.
  • Quantity Printed: Estimated 340,000,000 (including #11A Type II)
  • Format: Printed in sheets of 200 stamps, divided into two panes of 100 each, in rows of 10x10
  • Printing Method: Engraving
  • Perforations: Imperforate
  • Color: Dull red

Why the stamp was issued: The 3c Washington stamp was issued to meet the first-class rate for single letters weighing half an ounce or less, traveling a distance of 3,000 miles or less.

About the printing: The stamp design is engraved on a die, copied onto a transfer roll, and then transferred to a printing plate. Varieties or "types" occur due to plate recutting, foreign matter, or manual re-cutting during the transfer process.

About the design: U.S. #11 is Type I, distinguished by outer frame lines on all sides, with recutting on the sides and no inner frame lines. It's printed in dull red ink, differentiating it from the orange-brown of #10.

Special design details: The stamp features a portrait of George Washington based on a statue by Jean-Antoine Houdon, known for its lifelike representation. Washington's statue is housed in the rotunda of the Virginia state capitol building in Richmond.

About the 1851-57 Series: This series replaced the earlier 1847 stamps, meeting the reduced postal rates passed by Congress in 1851. The 1c, 3c, and 12c stamps were issued initially, followed by 10c (1855) and 5c (1856) additions. Perforated stamps of the same designs, along with three new designs, were issued in 1857.

History the stamp represents: The 1851-57 stamps reflect changes in postal rates and prepayment policies. Congress's 1851 reduction in rates necessitated new denominations, leading to the issuance of the 1c, 3c, and 12c stamps. Prepayment became mandatory in 1856, streamlining postal operations and encouraging greater stamp usage.

(PHOTO IS OF ACTUAL PRODUCT)

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