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20th Century Essays and Proofs

                                   Page last updated: 10-19-2020


TD10 - Blank design type of 1907
Blank stamp paper the size of a First Bureau stamp, brownish original gum, NH block of four with double line “USPS” watermark. Unpriced in Scott. $200.00 each


Essays & Die Proofs

3c Purple, no gum with black type E “Specimen” $75.00

4c Photo essay of Ulysses S. Grant proposed design for the value. Ex-Brody $275.00

10c Pale red-brown, no gum with black type E “Specimen” $50.00

15c Olive green, OG, NH with black type E “Specimen” and extremely well centered. $300.00

Image 313S-E Bottom sheet margin copy from the first sheet and signed
$5.00 Green, OG, with purple “Specimen “overprint, bottom sheet margin single signed: “First sheet, 3-18-1903 Wm. M. Meredith Director”. He was director of the B.E.P. With PF certificate. Ex-Brody $1,500.00

Image 323-E1 – Unlisted rejected vignette for the one-cent value  
Black engraved vignette of Robert Livingston with covered wagon to the right, pulled on India paper and die sunk on card blotter. Pencil notation at the bottom reads: “Rob. R Livingston Minister to France 1801 then Feb.4 – 1904”. Several horizontal and vertical layout lines around the design. This attempt was rejected. Bureau proving room control number on the back in blue: 113630. Most likely unique!  $3,750.00

323P1-327P1 – Louisiana Purchase large die proofs
Image Image Image Image Image
A complete set on India paper, die sunk on full size (6” by 8”) card blotters. Razor sharp impressions, beautiful sound condition. Very light toning just on the face of the blotter on the ten-cent value, very slight edge toning on the one-cent and two-cent as well. None of which effects the great eye appeal of this set. The toning is the result of the set being stored in the original kraft envelope that held the set. Each card has the Bureau proving room control number in blue on the back: 1c – 132147, 2c – 132688, 3c – 133416, 5c – 134165, & 10c – 134623). This is the first set that we have offered since the Livingston sale in June of 2006. Rare! $9,500.00

537-E4 – Victory
3c black, die essay pulled on india paper and die sunk on card blotter. The incomplete engraving lacks shading in the border and the flags are unfinished. It contains the  Bureau proving room number 936356 on the back. It is also is stamped: “Jun 25 1919”. Probably a duplicate die based on the date and no doubt unique. $3,000.00

548-PE-1 - Pilgrim Tercentenary
Photo reduction of painting of the Mayflower used to model the one-cent Pilgrim Tercentenary Issue of 1920. Ex-Johl $300.00

548-PE-2 - Pilgrim Tercentenary
Photograph of a model of the Mayflower used in modeling the one-cent Pilgrim Tercentenary issue of 1920. Ex-Johl $300.00

2c Pilgrim die essay on india paper and die sunk on full size card. The crosshatching is missing from behind the numeral "2's" at the bottom of the design.
 The control number on the back reads: 1064271.  Ex-Livingston $2,000.00

548P1 - Pilgrim Tercentenary
1c Green, large die proof pulled on India paper and die sunk on card blotter. Pencil notation on back: “Ship engraved by Louis S. Schofield”. Blue proving room control number 1062830 on back. Ex-Livingston $1,250.00

549-E1 - Pilgrim Tercentenary
2c or 5c Green, Pilgrim Tercentenary incomplete die essay of the frame pulled on India paper and die sunk on card blotter. This became the base frame for the both the two=cent and five-cent values. Blue proving room control number 1057395 on back. One other example is known and it was I the 2006 Livingston sale. $1,750.0

621-E – Unlisted in Scott
5¢ Norse-American, blue die essay of the frame only pulled on India paper and die-sunk on card (3¾" x 7¾"), Bureau proving room blue control number 1316246 on reverse. One of just two known copies. $4,250.00

Original One-Cent Prexie Artwork

804-E 1c Presidential Series design submissions
On June 22, 1937, the Treasury Department announced a national design competition for a new series of regular postage stamps, with a submission deadline of September 15, 1937, Cash prizes would be given to the top three entrants. The Department received over 1,100 entries.

Offered here are four different designs, submitted by Robert L. Ulrich of Cambridge City, IN. Each one is executed on a 10” x 12” heavy art board, with an image size of 6” x 7”. The green appears to be thick water color pigment and the white opaque pigment. Each has the original envelope pasted to the back with the submission number inscribed. Three contain Ulrich’s name written on a sheet of paper. $500.00 each

804-E1 Submission No. 349 

804-E3 Submission No. 352

804-E5 Submission No. 351

Image Image Image  Project Mercury
4c Dark blue & yellow photograph of rejected design model for the 4c Project Mercury stamp, mounted on thick card, with Bureau of engraving & Printing overleaf calling attention to the “Special Project”. With PF 2016 certificate. Unique. See the article that I wrote about this piece for Linn’s Weekly Stamp News. $3,000.00


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