205-E2a James Garfield Portrait Vignette Essay Large Die Proof


The 1882 James Garfield large die essay proof

Stamp designed by Thomas F. Morris; portrait vignette engraved by Charles Skinner. The Garfield stamp was a first not only for Thomas F. Morris, but also for Charles Skinner. The Garfield vignette was his first engraving under the consolidation of the Continental, National and American Bank Note Companies. Skinner went on to do the vignettes for seven denominations of the 1890 series and seven of the 1893 Columbians.

The 5-cent Garfield was the first stamp released in this Issue and the second U.S. postage stamp to honor an assassinated president within the year following his death. The 15-cent Lincoln of 1866 was the first instance. This Garfield stamp was released on April 10, 1882, a little less than seven months after Garfield’s death. His portrait appeared on a surprising number of stamps throughout the Classic and Bureau Periods despite his brief presidency (March 4–September 19, 1881). The stamp was printed in yellow brown for the 1882 Issue, and in indigo for the 1888 release.

The 5-cent Garfield stamp is one of the most distinctive regular issues that American Bank Note Company created during its time as the engraver and printer for United States postage stamps. It typically paid the U.P.U. international rate. Approximately 252,351,000 stamps of the 5-cent Garfield were printed by American Bank Note Company.

Additional information

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XF, very light toning left side of card


American Bank Note Co.


india die sunk on card



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