Arago: Exhibits

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Scare Blocks

Higher face-value stamps are usually scarce; blocks of the stamps are rarer still. These pieces include some of the most difficult blocks to find for any U.S. stamps issued during and after 1894.

The 8¢ 1895 block is rare for a different reason. It was printed on a paper intended for revenue (tax) stamps, not postage stamps.

$1 black Perry imprint block of eight

The $1 stamp of 1894 came in two slightly different designs. The designs occur together on the same sheets, so blocks combining the two are possible, though scarce. This example has two Type I stamps at left; the other six are the Type II design.

8c violet brown Sherman plate number and imprint block of six

This plate block of 8¢ stamps of 1895 is probably unique. It was printed not on postage stamp paper, but on the paper meant for revenue stamps. The watermark in the paper reads “USIR” for “United States Internal Revenue””not “USPS” for “United States postage stamp.”

$5 dark green Marshall plate number and imprint block of six

Researchers know of only four plate blocks of the $5 stamp of 1902-03, including this one.

50c carmine lake Postage Due block of six

The 50¢ Postage Due of 1914 is the rarest U.S. Postage Due stamp ever regularly issued and is hard to find even as a single stamp. This plate block of six is exceptional.