The 1899-1905 Eagle issue dies
by Steven Phillips Whitcombe

The 2-centavo red

Introduction:
SORRY. UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

To the best of my knowledge (which is admittedly not extensive in the area), nothing has been written on the multitude of dies used for this issue.

The following description is based on the examination of xx post cards (MPS PC-109 and PC-110); xx envelopes (MPS E-60) and xx wrappers (MPS W-37). That is a woefully small number of pieces; it would be hard to say that I expect to find no more types. XXXX easily-identifiable types have been identified thus far.

The die types are not listed (nor numbered) chronologically, but rather are grouped by similar features. There are two groups of types, those with completely separate border dots and those with "almost-connected" dots.

The die descriptions and illustrations are followed by some selected statistics.

I -- Separate dots

There are four subtypes. All dots are separate.

Ia

a.
Letters "CENT" of "CENTAVOS" are clearly separated.
Right edge of "S" of "CENTAVOS" is above right side of 3rd dot from end in outer ring.
Right edge of "S" of "CENTAVOS" even with end of inner dot ring and white border.
"D" of "DOS" starts above middle of 2nd dot in outer ring.
"D" of "DOS" extends left of inner dot ring and white border.
Letters of "DOS" about equally spaced.
Serpent's tail fairly long.

Ib

b.
Very similar to Ia, except:
Serpent's tail touches eagle's wing.

Ic

c.
Letters "CENT" of "CENTAVOS" are clearly separated.
Right edge of "S" of "CENTAVOS" is above left side of 2nd dot from end in outer ring.
Right edge of "S" of "CENTAVOS" extends right of end of inner dot ring and white border.
"D" of "DOS" starts above middle of 2nd dot in outer ring.
"D" of "DOS" extends left of inner dot ring and white border.
"S" of "DOS" somewhat far from "O".
Serpent's tail medium length, sometimes faint.

Id

d.
Letters "CENT" of "CENTAVOS" are all joined at the tops.
Right edge of "S" of "CENTAVOS" is above right side of 3rd dot from end in outer ring.
Right edge of "S" of "CENTAVOS" even with end of inner dot ring and white border.
"D" of "DOS" starts above left edge of 3rd dot in outer ring.
"D" of "DOS" starts within left end of inner dot ring and white border.
Letters of "DOS" about equally spaced.
Serpent's tail fairly long.

II -- "Somewhat-Connected" dots

In fact, in several subtypes only a few dots touch with consistency. The dots are generally larger than those of the Type I subtypes, and tend to run together. This is an exceedingly complicated group with many very slight differences to be found. The listing and classification that follows is being reviewed at this time.

IIa

a.
Letters "CE" and "NT" of "CENTAVOS" are joined (at least touch) at the top.
Right edge of "S" of "CENTAVOS" is above right side of 3rd dot from end in outer ring.
Right edge of "S" of "CENTAVOS" even with end of inner dot ring and white border.
"D" of "DOS" starts above middle of 2nd dot in outer ring.
"D" of "DOS" extends left of inner dot ring and white border.
Letters of "DOS" about equally spaced.
Very few connected dots.
Serpent's tail fairly long.

IIb

b.
Letters "CE" and "NT" of "CENTAVOS" are joined (at least touch) at the top.
Right edge of "S" of "CENTAVOS" is above middle of 2nd dot from end in outer ring.
Right edge of "S" of "CENTAVOS" extends right of end of inner dot ring and white border and is very close to the scroll end.
"D" of "DOS" starts above middle of 2nd dot in outer ring.
"D" of "DOS" extends left of inner dot ring and white border.
Letters of "DOS" about equally spaced.
Mostly connected dots.
Serpent's tail fairly long.

IIc

c.
Letters "CE" and "NT" of "CENTAVOS" are joined at the top.
Right edge of "S" of "CENTAVOS" is above right side of 3rd dot from end in outer ring.
Right edge of "S" of "CENTAVOS" even with end of inner dot ring and white border.
"D" of "DOS" starts above middle of 2nd dot in outer ring.
"D" of "DOS" extends left of inner dot ring and white border.
Letters of "DOS" about equally spaced.
Mostly connected dots.
Serpent's tail fairly long.

Analysis

The types and subtypes listed above were classified based on somewhat arbitrary physical characteristics; it may have been better to have used a different system. In any event, there is no element of chronology included. Following is a chronological list, based on the limited number of examples in the total sampling.

Type Earliest Date Latest Date PC109 PC110 W37 E60
IaApr, 1902Jun, 19045-33
IbDec, 1902Feb, 19057273
IcApr, 1902Apr, 19047133
IdOct, 1902Jan, 19051333
IIaOct, 1902Jan, 19051333
IIbOct, 1902Jan, 19051333
IIcOct, 1902Jan, 19051333

Copyright (c)1998 by Steven P. Whitcombe

Last updated 09 January 1998.