US Stamps

Complex 1913 Christmas seal provides many challenges

Jan 8, 2024, 12 PM

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

Certainly one of the most sought-after of the United States national Christmas seals is type I (Scott WX11) of the 1913 designs. The first three types (WX11-WX13) are shown in Figure 1.

The descriptions and values that follow are from the current (2020) version of Green’s Catalog of the Tuberculosis Seals of the World, Part I: U.S. National Christmas Seals. (The catalog uses Arabic numerals, while the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers uses Roman numerals).

Type 1. Poinsettias in the side panels, green circles around the crosses at either side. $2,000.

Type 2. As type 1 but poinsettias have been cut away, leaving green circles around the crosses. $5.50. (There are two subtypes, but we needn’t get into that level of detail here).

Type 3. As type 2 but green circles have also been cut away, leaving no green design in the side panels. $6.50.

All three types were produced by lithography by the American Bank Note Co.

One is left to wonder why there were different types. Perhaps the first version looked too busy.

My theory about the change from type 2 to type 3 is that the need to register the green on the red cross was a printing problem. See the color misregistration in Figure 2. This problem was eliminated by the removal of the green circle.

There is a fourth type, produced by an unknown printer, described in Green’s as ...

To continue reading, subscribe to Linn’s Stamp News.

Connect with Linn’s Stamp News: 

    Sign up for our newsletter
    Like us on Facebook
    Follow us on Twitter