New French stamps were issued for the 2nd Empire, beginning in 1853. These new stamps, all showing the effigy of Emperor Napoleon III, are very much like the 1849-1850 issues, but the inscription at the top has been changed from "REPUB FRANC" to "EMPIRE FRANC".
These ten new major-type French postage stamps, issued between 1853 and 1860, were all imperforate, unwatermarked, and typographed on white or tinted papers.
Their catalog attributes are as follows.
01 C. (1860 - Y&T #11, Sc. #12) - Olive Green on Pale Blue, Bronze Green on Pale Blue.
05 C. (1854 - Y&T #12, Sc. #13) - Green on Greenish.
10 C. (1853 - Type 1 - Y&T #13A, Sc. #14) - Bister on Yellowish, Yellow on Yellowish, Bister Brown on Yellowish.
10 C. (1860 - Type 2 - Y&T #13B, Sc. #14c) - Bister on Yellowish.
20 C. (1854 - Type 1 - Y&T #14A, Sc. #15) - Blue on Bluish, Dark Blue on Bluish, Milky Blue, Blue on Lilac.
20 C. (1860 - Type 2 - Y&T #14B, Sc. #15d, #16) - Blue on Bluish, Blue on Greenish.
25 C. (1853 - Y&T #15, Sc. #17) - Blue on Bluish.
40 C. (1853 - Y&T #16, Sc. #18) - Orange on Yellowish, Orange Vermilion on Yellowish.
80 C. (1854 - Y&T #17A, Sc. #19) - Lake on Yellowish.
80 C. (1859 - Y&T #17B, Sc. #20) - Rose on Pinkish.
01 F. (1853 - Y&T #18, Sc. #21) - Lake on Yellowish.
The 20 Cent., 80 Cent., and 1 Fr. denominations exist in tête-bêche pairs. They are all exceedingly rare, and they are priced far beyond the reach of most collectors.
The 10 Cent. and 20Cent. denominations come in two different types. The Type 2 stamps are the more expensive of the two. All the other denominations in this set are Type I. See the specialized catalogs for details.
Some of the denominations of this set exist with various types of trial perforations. Expertization is required. See the Yvert & Tellier specialized catalog for details.
Some of the imperforate EMPIRE FRANC definitivesof 1853-1860 were re-issued in 1862 and in 1871. They are all shown above. These new French stamps are all perforated 14 x 13 1/2.
01 C. (1862 - Y&T #19, Sc. #22) - Olive Green on Pale Blue, Bronze Green on Pale Blue.
05 C. (1862 - Y&T #20, Sc. #23) - Yellow Green on Greenish, Deep Green on Greenish.
05 C. (1871 - Y&T #35, Sc. #24) - Green on Pale Blue.
10 C. (1862 - Y&T #21, Sc. #25) - Bister on Yellowish, Red Brown on Yellowish.
20 C. (1862 - Y&T #22, Sc. #26) - Blue on Bluish.
40 C. (1862 - Y&T #23, Sc. #27) - Orange on Yellowish.
80 C. (1862 - Y&T #24, Sc. #28) - Rose on Pinkish.
The 20 Cent. and 1 Fr. denominations exist in tête-bêche
pairs. Though rare, they are much more reasonably priced than earlier issues of this type.
The nine new French stamps shown above were issued between 1862 and 1870. Their printing attributes are the same as those of previous perforated definitive stamp issues.
These new designs featured "EMPIRE FRANCAIS" at the top, instead of the previous "EMPIRE FRANC", and they all have a new laureate portrait of Emperor Napoleon III.
Their catalog attributes are as follows.
01 C. (1870 - Y&T #25, Sc. #29) - Olive Green on Pale Blue, Bronze Green on Pale Blue.
02 C. (1862 - Y&T #26, Sc. #30) - Red Brown on Yellowish.
04 C. (1863 - Y&T #27, Sc. #31) - Gray.
10 C. (1867 - Y&T #28, Sc. #32) - Bister on Yellowish.
20 C. (1867 - Y&T #29, Sc. #33) - Blue on Bluish.
30 C. (1867 - Y&T #30, Sc. #34) - Brown on Yellowish.
40 C. (1868 - Y&T #31, Sc. #35) - Orange on Yellowish.
80 C. (1867 - Y&T #32, Sc. #36) - Rose on Pinkish.
05 F. (1869 - Y&T #33, Sc. #37) - Gray Lilac on Lavender, Bluish Gray on Lavender.
The 5 Franc stamp is extremely scarce, especially in Mint condition, and it is quite expensive. This high denomination French stamp could have been very beautiful, except that IT WASN'T!The stamp was printed in such pale colors, that when exposed to the environment, the design can fade to almost invisibility. This is especially bad on used examples.
Examples of the 5 Fr. denomination exist with the "5" and "F" missing. They are exceedingly rare.
Imperforates exist for most of these denominations. With the exception of the 5 Fr. denomination, none of them are unreasonably expensive.
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