Arago: 2-cent Andrew Jackson

2-cent Andrew Jackson

The stamp's central motif, a portrait of Andrew Jackson, was designed and line engraved by Frederick Halpin. It was then transferred to a steel die. It is a full-face view of Jackson modified from the vignette of the U.S. 2-cent 'Black Jack' stamp of 1863, and it is sometimes referred to as the 'Red Jack'. There were 1,650,000 stamps printed from a two hundred-subject steel plate divided into panes of one hundred by a vertical gutter. Plating is unnecessary as full sheets remain. These imperforate stamps were printed on soft, porous paper of varying thickness and with colorless gum. The first printing was a soft, pale rose, and later prints were in brown-red with varying shades. There are two recognized double transfers as well as other minor varieties. The earliest recorded date of use is April 21, 1863. This issue was most often used to pay the two-cent drop letter and circular rates. Less frequently, strips of five stamps paid the ten-cent letter rate.

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