Arago: 5-cent Jefferson Davis "Local Print"

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5-cent Jefferson Davis "Local Print"

While Hoyer & Ludwig and J.T. Paterson & Co. were originally commissioned to produce the first lithograph issues so as to provide postage stamps to the Confederacy at the earliest possible date, an agreement was negotiated with the well-known engravers Thomas De La Rue & Co., Ltd., of London, England. The agreement provided for engraving designs and making electrotype plates for two denominations, printing a determined quantity, and supplying a printing press, ink, and paper, all to be delivery to the Confederacy for the local production of additional stamps, as needed. This stock was delivered in April 1862. The one-cent denomination was never used.

The central motif for the 5-cent 'local' or 'Richmond' print is a portrait of Jefferson Davis, designed and engraved by Jean Ferdinand Joubert De La Ferte for De La Rue. There were 36,250,000 stamps printed from one four-subject electrotype plate, panes of one hundred. Plating is unnecessary as complete panes still remain. These imperforate stamps were originally printed on thin, white, woven, hard-surface paper with colorless gum (as supplied by De La Rue on the same printing plate as the 'London Print'). Later productions were on inferior paper, using ink procured in Richmond. The color ranges across all shades of blue. Although printed from the same plate, they can generally be distinguished by the coarse, fuzzy impression and/or the presence of plate flaws. Early local prints can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from the London Prints. The earliest recorded date of use is July 25, 1862. The most typical use is of pairs paying the 10-cent letter rate after July 1, 1862.


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