VERY FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF ONLY TWO RECORDED INTACT USED PANES WITH THE TAB. THE 1900 2-CENT WASHINGTON IS THE FIRST BOOKLET ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES. A PHENOMENAL RARITY.
According to U.S. Booklets and Booklet Panes, 1900-1978, the first country to issue booklets was Luxembourg in 1895, followed by the United States and Canada in 1900. They were placed on sale in Washington D.C. on April 18, 1900, and proved to be very popular -- by noon the supply was exhausted.
The booklets were first printed on plates of 360 subjects. These panes all had the horizontal watermark orientation. The large size caused excessive waste due to uneven shrinkage of the paper, and so production was shifted to plates of 180 subjects. These smaller plates all had a vertical watermark orientation. Up until 2006 Scott Catalogue did not list these separately, and the booklets were designated Scott 279Be. Starting in 2007 the 279Be listing was changed, and the booklets became listed by the watermarks, as Scott 279Bj (horizontal watermark) and 279Bk (vertical watermark).
Our census of Scott 279B booklets, incorporating the listings for the old 279Be and the two new Scott numbers, is shown below and available at our website at http://www.siegelauctions.com/dynamic/census/279Be/279Be.pdf . We record only five used panes, one of which is on cover. None is completely sound, and only two are intact panes with the tab. No full panes are known on cover. None is certified as used with the vertical watermark.
Census No. 279Bj-CAN-01. With 1997 P.F. certificate as 279Be. In our opinion this is severely undercatalogued in Scott -- its rarity is similar to that of Scott 300b booklet pane, which catalogues $12,500.00 in used condition.