This stamp honors George Washington. When it was first issued in 1861, there was no domestic or international rate that equaled 12 cents.
Later, if 1868, the international rate was halved from 24 cents to 12 cents. At that time, this stamp was often used for postage to places like Britain and (to or from) Hawaii.
The design appears to be derived from the Gilbert Stuart portrait, just as was done with the 10c green from the same series.
The specific stamp pictured has a sunburst or “fancy” cancel applied to it.
Cataloging the 1861 Washington 12c
Other catalogs assign four numbers to this stamp based on the presence or absence of a grill and the size of grill.
The Minimalist Catalog assigns just one number: USC 16.
|George Washington 12c Statistics|
|8/30/1861||James Macdonough||National Bank Note Company||7,314,000|