Own a Seldom-Seen U.S. Stamp Essay
This 1870 3¢ essay is an important part of philatelic history. Essays are “stamps that might have been” – designs for stamps that were presented for consideration but not used. And because very small quantities were prepared, essays are quite collectible.
Missing from Most Collections
Essays are designs for stamp vignettes, stamp borders, or both combined that were never approved and used in the final printing of a stamp. Even if a design is finally adopted with only slight modifications, it is still an "essay". To attain the status of a proof, a proposed design, or essay, must be exactly like the issued stamp for which it was submitted.
Private bank note companies made all US stamps from 1847 to 1894. Those firms submitted essays and printing bids. As early as 1851, the US Post Office Department established a policy of advertising for stamp proposals to be accompanied by essays, or examples of the stamps to be furnished. After the bids were opened, an Expert Committee was asked to rule on the designs, colors and paper.
This essay was submitted for US #147, the 3¢ green Washington stamp of 1870. Enjoy the exquisite detail and fine craftsmanship of this hard-to-find essay.