4c Orange Brown, Bluish

USA – 4c Orange Brown, Bluish – worth US.$.80,000

Mint N.H. with plate no. 4934 in wide selvage at top, rich color on nicely blued paper, choice centering with wide margins for this difficult issue

During the early stages of production of the 1908-09 Washington-Franklin stamps, the Bureau tried to solve the problem of paper shrinkage that caused off-center perforations and resulted in a large number of unusable sheets. Armstrong notes that up to twenty percent of sheets had to be discarded. The first such experiments resulted in the Bluish Paper stamps (Scott 357-366). Rag cloth was added to the wood pulp mixture, but this did not have the desired effect and the experiment was discontinued.

According to Johl (Vol. 1, page 175), the only source of the 4c and 8c Bluish stamps was the archives of the Post Office Department. Approximately 80 of each were traded for rare stamps missing from the archives. Given the failed experimental nature of the paper mixture, it is no surprise that virtually all copies are off-center to some extent.

In the absence of a plate block of the 4c Bluish, this plate number single and the one other known plate multiple (a strip of three) assume far greater significance.

With 1973 and 2007 P.F. certificates

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