U.S. 1869 Series – The Pictorial Issues – Cat. # 112 to Cat. # 122 – Identifier

Series of 1869 · Designs of the U.S. Pictorial Issues of 1869
1¢-12¢: Printed in sheets of 300 – Cut into two panes of 150 stamps
· 15¢-90¢: Printed in sheets of 100 stamps

  1¢ Franklin of 1869

Designer: E. Pitcher · Vignette: Joseph I. Pease
· Frame: Wm. D. Nichols · Lettering:
J. C. Kenworthy  

Year Cat. # EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color/Varieties Grill Design Size Usage/Rates
1869 112 4/1/1869 12,020,550 12 National

Plate Nos.
1; 2

buff; brown orange
dark brown orange
double transfer
double grill; split grill
G 20¼ x 20¼ mm The one cent stamp paid the local rate, as well as the rate for unsealed circulars. It was often used with
other stamps to make up a higher rate. About 2500 covers are known.
112b no grill – with original gum 12 National buff none 20¼ x 20¼ mm
1875 123 12/9/1877 10,132  12 National buff none 20¼ x 20¼ mm Reissue · Special Printing
1880 133 10/05/1880 5000 12 American buff none 20¼ x 20¼ mm Reissue · Special Printing
1881-82 133a 18,252 12 American brown orange none 20¼ x 20¼ mm Reissue · Special Printing
2¢ Post Horse and Rider of 1869

Designer: James Macdonough · Vignette: Christian Rost · Frame: Geo. W. Thurber ·
Lettering: Geo. W. Thurber  

Year Cat. # EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color/Varieties Grill Design Size Usage/Rates
1869 113  3/20/1869
First Day
72,109,050 12 National

Plate Nos.
3-6; 27; 28

brown; pale brown
dark brown; yellow brown
double transfer; double grill

multiple, split and
end-roller grills
G  20¼ x 20 mm The two cent stamp paid the local or drop letter rate with carrier service, and was often used on unsealed circulars.
It also saw frequent use with other stamps to make up a higher rate. Between 5,000 and 25,000 covers are thought to exist.
113b no grill – with original gum 12 National buff none 20¼ x 20 mm
113c bisect used as 1¢ on cover 12 National buff G 20¼ x 20 mm
113d printed on both sides 12 National buff G 20¼ x 20 mm
1875 124 3/20/1880 4755  12 National brown none  20¼ x 20 mm Reissue ·
Special Printing
  3¢ Locomotive of 1869

Designer: James Macdonough · Vignette: Christian Rost · Frame: Geo. W. Thurber
· Lettering: Geo. W. Thurber  

Year Cat. # EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color/Varieties Grill Design Size Usage/Rates
1869 114  3/27/1869 335,534,850 12 National

Plate Nos.
7-12; 25;
26; 29; 30

pale to dark ultramarine;
blue; violet blue
cracked plate; gray paper
double, triple, quadruple,
sextuple, split, end roller
and points up grill varieties
G  20¼ x 20 mm Three cents was the domestic First-Class letter rate. This stamp was the workhorse of the Series of 1869.
About 175,000 covers are known.
114a no grill – with original gum 12 National buff none 20¼ x 20 mm
114b vert. 1/3 used as 1¢ on cover 12 National buff G 20¼ x 20 mm
114c vert. 2/3 used as 2¢ on cover 12 National buff G 20¼ x 20 mm
114d double impression 12 National buff G 20¼ x 20 mm
114e printed on both sides 12 National buff G 20¼ x 20 mm
1875 125 1406  12 National blue none  20¼ x 20 mm Reissue ·
Special Printing

  6¢ Washington of 1869

Designer: E. Pitcher ·
Vignette: Wm. E. Marshall · Frame: Wm. D. Nichols · Lettering:
J. C. Kenworthy   

Year Cat. # EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color/Varieties Grill Design Size Usage/Rates
1869 115 4/26/1869 4,293,100 12 National

Plate Nos.
13; 14

ultramarine
pale ultramarine
double transfer
double, quadruple, split
and end-roller grills
G 20 x 19¾ mm The six cent stamp paid the rate to Canada, Great Britain (after Jan. 1 1870) and other foreign destinations. It also paid the
double-rate on domestic letters. About 1,350 covers are known.
115b bisect (vert. half) as 3¢ on cover National buff G 20 x 19¾ mm
1875 126  n/a 2226  12 National blue none 20 x 19¾ mm Reissue ·
Special Printing

  10¢ Shield and Eagle of 1869

Designer: Douglas S.  Ronaldson
·
Vignette: D. S.  Ronaldson · Frame and Lettering: D. S.  Ronaldson   

Year Cat. # EDU No.
Issued
Perf Printer Color/Varieties Grill Design
Size
Usage/Rates
1869 116  4/1/1869 about 3 million 12 National

Plate Nos.
15; 16

yellow; yellow orange
double grill; split grill; 
end roller grill
G 20 x 19¾ mm The ten cent stamp paid
the 
rate to France, Germany and 
many other foreign destinations, including
contract rates to 
China and Japan. Domestic 
covers are relatively scarce. 
About 1,500 covers are known. 
1875 127 11/11/1880 1947  12 National yellow none 20 x 19¾ mm Reissue ·
Special Printing

  
12¢ Adriatic of 1869

Designer: James
Macdonough ·
Vignette: James Smillie · Frame: Geo. W. Thurber · Lettering:
Geo. W. Thurber  

Year Cat. # EDU No.
Issued
Perf Printer Color/Varieties Grill Design
Size
Usage/Rates
1869 117  4/1/1869 3,012,950 12 National

Plate Nos.
17; 18

green; yellow green; blue
green; double grill; split grill; end roller grill
G  20¼ x 20 mm Solo usage
was primarily 
for mail bound to England 
(12¢ from Jan. 1868 to Jan. 1870). Although it paid the quadruple rate on
domestic letters, such usage is not common, nor is registry usage
common.
About 900 covers are known. 
1875 128 3/20/1880 1584  12 National green none  20¼ x 20 mm Reissue ·
Special Printing

  15¢ Landing of Columbus
(Type I and III)

Designer: E. Pitcher ·
Vignette: James Smillie · Frame: D. S.  Ronaldson · Lettering:
J. C. Kenworthy  


Type III shown here
Year Cat. # EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color/Type Grill Design Size  Usage/Rates
1869 118 off cover:
3/31/1869

on cover:
4/2/1869

110,000
to
120,000
12 National

Plate No.
19 
(both plates)

brown (dark brown) and blue/type I; without grill; double grill; split grill G 21¾ x 21¾ mm Covers with the fifteen cent 
type I stamp are known 
primarily on mail to France. 
Only about 175 covers are 
known to have survived.
118b 12 without grill and with gum none 21¾ x 21¾ mm
1875 129 3/20/1880 1981 12 National brown and blue none 21¾ x 21¾ mm Type III Reissue 
Special Printing
129a 12 National imperforate horizontally none 21¾ x 21¾ mm
  15¢ Landing of Columbus
(Type II)

Designer: E. Pitcher ·
Vignette: James Smillie     Frame: D. S.  Ronaldson    Lettering:
J. C. Kenworthy  

1869 119 4/5/1869 1,376,700 12 National

Plate No.
23

2 plates:
1 brown
1 blue

brown (dark brown) and blue/type II; double transfer; double grill; split grill G 21¾ x 21¾ mm The fifteen cent type II stamp was used on mail to pay various fifteen cent rates to Europe.
It also paid the domestic registry fee. About 550 covers are known.
119b 12 vignette inverted G 21¾ x 21¾ mm
119c 12 center printed twice – one inverted G 21¾ x 21¾ mm

  * Types I and III do not frame the vignette, Type
II does. Type I has horizontal brown lines of shading behind the vignette, Type III does not.

  
24¢ Declaration of Independence of 1869

Designer: E. Pitcher
· Vignette: James Smillie · Frame: D. S.  Ronaldson · Lettering:
J. C. Kenworthy  

Year Cat. # EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color/Varieties Grill Design Size Usage/Rates
1869 120  4/7/1869 248,925 12 National

Plate No.
20 
(2 plates)

also plate 24 for the
vignette only

green (bluish green) & violet; without grill; double grill; split grill G 22 x 22 mm The 24¢ stamp paid multiple weight rates and was also used as a make up stamp.
Covers are very rare, with only 76 known of which
only 23 are domestic uses. Of the others, 16 are to Peru and 10 to Spain.
120a 12 without grill none 22 x 22 mm
120b Mar. 1874 12 vignette inverted G 22 x 22 mm
1875 130 3/27/1880 2091  12 National green & violet none 22 x 22 mm Reissue ·
Special Printing

  
30¢ Shield, Eagle and Flags of 1869

Designer: James
Macdonough ·
Vignette: D. S.  Ronaldson or Lewis Delnoce · Frame and Lettering: D. S.  Ronaldson  

Year Cat. # EDU No.
Issued
Perf Printer Color/Varieties Grill Design
Size
Usage/Rates
1869 121  5/22/1869 304,650 12 National

Plate No.
21
(2 plates)

ultramarine (dark ultramarine) and carmine; split grill; double grill G 22 x 22¼ mm The 30¢ stamp paid double the treaty rate to France.
Covers are very rare, with only 58 known and of those only 8 were domestic.
121a 12 without grill with gum none 22 x 22¼ mm
121b 12 flags inverted G 22 x 22¼ mm
1875 131 1535  12 National none 22 x 22¼ mm Reissue ·
Special Printing

  90¢ Lincoln of 1869

Designer: E. Pitcher · Vignette: Joseph P. Ourdan
· Frame: D. S.  Ronaldson · Lettering:
J. C. Kenworthy  

Year Cat. # EDU No.
Issued
Perf Printer Color/Varieties Grill Design
Size
Usage/Rates
1869 122  8/8/1873
(The Ice House Cover)
47,360 12 National

Plate No.
22
(2 plates)

carmine (carmine rose) and black; split grill G 21¾ x 22 mm There is only one cover known with the 90¢ 1869 Pictorial, the famed "Ice House" cover. 
See the Siegel #973A sale.
122a 12 National without grill none 21¾ x 22 mm Reissue ·
Special Printing
1875 132 1356  12 National carmine and black none 21¾ x 22 mm Reissue ·
Special Printing

A Guide to the Grills

Special Printings of 1869
The following information applies to all of the 1869 re-issues, except Cat. # 133. The Special Printings were issued to showcase
a complete set of the U.S.issues for the first World’s Fair officially held in the U.S., at the Centennial International Exposition of 1876 in Philadelphia
and also to provide stamps for collectors and others to satisfy numerous requests. Reissued stamps were valid for postage.

Bibliography and suggested additional reading:

United States Postage Stamps of 1869, by Jon Rose (1996 Linn’s)
The Postage Stamps of the 19th Century, Volume 2, by Lester Brookman (1966)
The 2011 Cat. # Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps & Covers, Cat. # Publishing Co. 2010
Linn’s U.S. Stamp Facts 19th Century, by Elliot A. Landau, editor (1999)
The United States 1869 Issue – An Essay-Proof History, by Fred P. Schueren (1974)
1869 Pictorial Issue Postage Stamps collected by John C. Juhring, Sotheby Parke Bernet stamp auction, June 14, 1978
The United States Issue of 1869, by Stanley B. Ashbrook (1943-1944 American Philatelist)

Design dimensions:
The Postage Stamps of the United States, John Luff (1902 and 1937)

Colors:
The Encyclopedia of the Colors of United States Postage Stamps – Volume 2 Issues of 1869-1893, by Roy H. White (1981)

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