Rare Double Transfer Souvenir Sheet 

U.S. #2875 – The souvenir sheet as issued.

On November 3, 1994, the USPS issued a souvenir sheet honoring the Bureau of Engraving and Printing with a seldom-seen double transfer.

The original souvenir sheet, U.S. #2875, was issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing producing U.S. stamp.  To make this celebration of history unique, four $2.00 James Madison stamps, first issued in 1894, were featured on the sheet.

U.S. #2875 on Silk Cachet First Day Cover.

On the selvage of the souvenir sheet is engraved the image of the BEP’s original home, a red brick building at the corner of 14th Street and Independence Avenue in Washington, D.C. Before the BEP assumed responsibility for printing America’s stamps, private companies had been contracted to fulfill the task.

This stamp was first issued on November 3, 1994, at the MEGA Stamp Show in New York City, which is the largest stamp collecting event in the United States.

Item #M7053 – The souvenir sheet with a major double transfer.

Of the 5 million souvenir sheets produced, 104,000 (a relatively small number) were found to have a double transfer.  A double transfer was created when the original, 100-year-old #262 die image was transferred to new printing sleeves. Two images were not properly laid out.  They were burnished out – but not thoroughly enough – creating a “double” image.  Although the minor double transfer is very “out of register,” it’s not always noticeable at a glance. A light horizontal line appears at the bottom and small traces of the lettering, numerals and the lower-left inner frame are doubled.

U.S. #262 – The stamp whose die was used to create the 1994 stamp.

This tribute to the BEP and the classic #262 stamp, with their unique double transfers, offer a special connection to the classic-stamp era – when double transfers occurred much more frequently.

This rare modern double transfer souvenir sheet is very scarce – scarcer than the Bugs Bunny pane with 10th stamp imperforate as well as the Legends of the West error sheet.  But it’s much more affordable!

Click here to see what else happened on This Day in History.

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  1. It is difficult for me to appreciate what a double transfer is. I loved this sheet and bought several when issued. Reissue of original stamps are exciting and affordable. Old issues have a different kind of beauty and colors that stand out and attractive. Reissues are beautiful but look little different. May be due to the change in technology of stamp production.

  2. I remember when these souvenir sheets came out, I purchased several copies for my collection. It’s pretty difficult for me to tell whether any of mine have the double image or not. In any case, I still think these re-issues are beautiful and a great example of how stamps were so uniquely made back in the day compared to the monotonous stickers that we have presented these days.

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