WTF - Mystery Quiz 1

Ok, I'm posting this here not because I don't know what it is, but as an interesting mystery, and bonus points to who can accurately identify this.
I might start a new "recurring theme" thread here.
The key to this is, must be 100% accurate on the ID.



  • 19 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Can we see a scan of the back? This looks like the back with the 10 in reverse. And some spelling looks to be in reverse.
  • Luree, let me just say, this is the front.
  • Two stamps stuck together, image transfer . Occurred over decades , harsh environment? Starting guesses
  • Hi Rene, while that's an interesting theory, it's not even close.
  • Confederate states something.
  • Greg, hahaha.
    Let me know when you all need a hint...
  • Describe the paper more …
  • Two designs reverso here. One looks very much like our old dear friend US 68. The paper looks like old waxed wrapping paper. There seems to be some translucence. But what it is so far past me I can't catch
  • Wait a moment. Ed has just brought me the hermetically sealed mayonaise jar from the back porch at Funk & Wagnall's....yes, here it is: "printer's waste."
  • Looks like a 5c Jefferson with some serious set off from a 10c Washington.
  • Phil and George are getting close, but I will add, there is NO setoff.
    Phil, it's not printers waste, nor wax paper.
    Rene... the paper is not made out of surgical gowns.
    George, you have the designs right.
  • edited December 2022 0 LikesVote Down
    I ain't got nuthin. I thought it might be from the original transfer dies, but if so the voids and inked areas would be reversed as well.
  • My first though was the Shroud of Turin. But then it dawned on me that GW was never known to have visited Turin.
  • Shroud of Jeffington.
  • It must have something to do with the paper and the fact that at least one image is reversed would make me think of (admittedly not a paper) Goldbeater's Skin, a membrane. In this process, if memory serves, in this process the image would be printed in reverse and the adhesive placed over the design so when the stamp was affixed to its envelope, it appeared correctly as seen thru the membrane. I know some early Prussian stamps used this process but for the life of me, I've never heard of any U.S. examples.
    In the U.S., see thru papers such as pelure/onion skin papers I think are known to have been used.
    Aaaaaaaand, just to complicate matters and to possibly explain the existence of two different images, could this be an example of re-used Palimpsest paper?
    Well, here's another 10-minutes of my life I'll never get back......cough up the answer, already, there Scott !!
  • I was thinking the same about the goldbeaters skin. The US did produce some essays and plate proofs on that material.
  • Scott? It is time, Scott. What is this, this thing?
  • Sorry to keep you all in suspense. I have been a bit time consumed lately.
    There are a lot of right answers in there, but no "complete" answer.
    So, this is an Essay. It comes from Henry Lowenberg's "Reuse Prevention" patents, none of which the US ever used, (Though, as Phil mentioned, there was a revenue used by Prussia, but it was very short lived).
    This is a double-print. The 10c Washington 68 overprinted by the 5c Jefferson. SO the official ID of this is:
    79-E67P5 and 79-E68P5. These were printed in sheets of 25, however this is the only known example remaining. And while it's a bit ugly, it was most likely from the left side of the sheet, as tiny margins of the other 3 surrounding sides show some part of either the Washington or the Jefferson, or both.

    It is on "Goldbeaters" (aka Onion Skin) paper, and because it was for reuse prevention, it was printed in reverse on the gummed side of the paper. When applied, it would appear in the correct orientation.
    An interesting piece, and shows one of the more elaborate Essay's ever proposed for postal use.
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