The Shade And Perforation Varieties Of The 1859-1864 Cents Issue

The Shade And Perforation Varieties Of The 1859-1864 Cents Issue

Today's post comes in response to a request from a reader. Back when I first wrote about this issue, I did not do a detailed post on papers and shades primarily because I wasn't confident that I knew with 100% certainty what the complete list would look like. However, I realize after Gene's request, that something is better than nothing, so here I will attempt to give you a complete list of all the shades and all the perforation combinations for the stamps in this series.

1c Rose

The primary shades that I have seen on this are:

  • Deep rose carmine, or purplish rose
  • Deep rose
  • Pale rose
The first shade is from the earliest printings, and is therefore only found perf. 11.75. The second and third shades should cover the entire range of printings and should exist perf. 11.75, 11.75 x 12 and 12. So to my way of thinking there are 7 possible basic stamps:
  • Deep rose carmine, perf. 11.75, 
  • Deep rose, perf. 11.75
  • Deep rose, perf. 11.75 x 12
  • Deep rose, perf. 12
  • Pale rose, perf. 11.75
  • Pale rose, perf. 11.75 x 12
  • Pale rose, perf. 12
It is possible that the pale rose might not exist in the perf. 11.75 if it comes from post 1861 printings. This is the part I am not sure about. 
2c Rose
This stamp was not issued until 1864, which means that it cannot exist perf. 11.75. It can only exist perf. 11.75 x 12 and 12. Unitrade lists three shades which I think is accurate:
  • Rose, perf. 11.75 x 12
  • Deep claret rose, perf. 12
  • Claret rose, perf. 12
I think there are only three basic stamps for this value. 
5c Vermilion
This stamp comes in a large range of subtle orange red and vermilion shades that it is difficult to list them all. However, if you are prepared to be satisfied collecting representative examples from broad shade group, then I think the following will cover the range fairly well:
  • Vermilion
  • Orange-red
  • Brownish orange-red
  • Brick red
The brick red shade is from the first printing and only exists perf. 11.75. The vermilion shade I believe is almost exclusively from after 1864, so it will only be found perf. 12. The other two should exist with all three perforations. So there should be 8 basic stamps:
  • Vermilion, perf. 12.
  • Orange-red, perf. 11.75
  • Orange-red, perf. 12 x 11.75
  • Orange-red, perf. 12
  • Brownish orange-red   perf. 11.75
  • Brownish orange-red perf. 12 x 11.75
  • Brownish orange-red perf. 12
  • Brick red perf. 11.75
10c Black Brown
This stamp is from the very first printing and comes in two shades. Both are perf. 11.75 only:
  • Black brown
  • Chocolate-brown
Care has to be taken in identifying the chocolate brown shade, as it is not the same as the chocolate brown in Stanley Gibbons's colour key, which is quite reddish. Unitrade's chocolate brown is basically as dark a brown as you can get without it being black-brown. The black brown is really more of a brown-black, i.e. black with a hint of brown. There are many dark brown shades in the perf. 11.75 that are not the rare #16's, but are the much more common #17's. 
10c Red Lilac
This is an extremely complicated stamp. Unitrade notes that there were:
  • 21 shades perf. 11.75
  • 16 shades perf. 11.75 x 12
  • 24 shades perf. 12
Geoffrey Whitworth, who was the premier student of this issue identifies all the shades in his book on this issue. However, if I were you and designing a set of album pages I would simply create 21, 16 and 24 un-named boxes to accommodate the stamps and add in the shade names as you acquire the stamps. I can say though that:
  • The 21 shades perf. 11.75 will either be shades of brown or shades of deep reddish purple.
  • The 16 shades perf. 11.75 x 12 will be shades of brown or reddish purple.
  • The 24 shades perf 12 will either be violet or red-lilac.
But, all in all, make spaces for 61 basic stamps. 
12.5 c Green
Unitrade lists four shades for this stamp, which I think is pretty representative of the range:
  • Yellow green
  • Olive green
  • Blue green
  • Green
The olive green is the same shade found on the first printings of the New Brunswick 5c, which leads me to believe that this is only found perf. 11.75. The blue green is the same green found on the late printings of the 5c New Brunswick, which suggests that it can be found in all shades, while I think the yellow green and green shades are from printings made after 1861, though they could exist with all  three perforations. To be on the safe side, I would allocate spaces for 10 basic stamps as follows:
  • Yellow green perf. 11.75
  • Yellow green perf. 11.75 x 12
  • Yellow green perf. 12
  • Olive green perf. 11.75
  • Blue green perf. 11.75
  • Blue green perf. 11.75 x 12
  • Blue green perf. 12
  • Green perf. 11.75
  • Green perf. 11.75 x 12
  • Green perf. 12
17c Blue
Unitrade lists three shades for this stamp. I do not know whether any exist with only one perforation, so I would assume that all three shades can be found with all three perforations as follows:
  • Blue perf. 11.75 
  • Blue perf. 11.75 x 12
  • Blue perf. 12
  • Slate blue perf. 11.75
  • Slate blue perf. 11.75 x 12
  • Slate blue perf. 12
  • Prussian blue perf. 11.75
  • Prussian blue perf. 11.75 x 12
  • Prussian blue perf. 12
So there you have it - my best guess at the paper and perforation combinations for the stamps in this set. If you want to get more detailed and add in thick and thin papers and plate varieties, then I suspect you will have to repeat the same combinations for each variety you add, as I believe that all of these varieties could potentially exist in each perforation and shade combination. 
I hope this is helpful. 
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