The U.S. Notes column in the Nov. 19, 2012, Linn’s highlighted a 1901 penny postal card with an offer to buy used stamps from the Columbian issue.
After that article was published, reader Bob Young sent a related card, shown back and front in Figure 1.
This card is dated December 1895, and is from the New York Coin and Stamp Co., on Broadway in New York City. The card itself is an 1891 1¢ Grant postal card (Scott UX10).
It appears to be a response to someone offering high-denomination Columbian stamps from the 1893 issue. The 16-stamp set ranges from 1¢ to $5, including $1, $2, $3, $4 and $5 stamps. Three of the stamps are shown in Figure 2.
The store manager responded by writing: “Dear Sir, We do not keep the Columbian stamps above the 30¢ as they will all be cheaper in a few years. Can supply from 1¢ to 30¢ at about double face value; and can offer $3, $4, $5 stamps at $1 each over face.”
What led the manager to believe the prices would drop in coming years? Or might this have been a negotiating ploy? We do know that the Columbians were not met with universal praise when issued.
Some serious collectors even called for a boycott on the set as being largely unnecessary. The dollar denominations especially were thought to be excessive to any postal need, with no other purpose than to raid the wallets of collectors.
It is possible that dealers expected that collectors who bought the stamps right after issuance in 1893 would actually be stuck with high volumes that would be tough to sell even at face when the boycott took hold.
Here we are 120 years later. We can all afford the used values up to about the 50¢ stamp, but beyond that, it is difficult to fill those spaces.
What it proves, if anything, is that the collecting public is diverse enough to hate a stamp upon issue, but can grow to love it as time goes by.
blogThe unique block of six unissued 2-penny King Edward VIII stamps of Australia, whose fascinating origin and provenance were detailed in Linn’s issue dated Oct. 20, 2014, around the time of the block’s sale, has been broken up. The block had lain in the Vestey family’s possession ever since it was fresh off the presses in 1936, when the 1st Baron Vestey received it as a memento from an Australian politician. Read More ›
blogAs stamp collectors, we become the stewards of postage stamps and postal history. We passionately protect our stamps and covers. We recognize that these fragile objects are ours to cherish for a brief moment in time before we pass them along to the next generation. Read More ›
blogOn June 28, 1914, by assassinating Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip with the squeeze of a trigger sparked would become to be known as “The Great War” and “The War to End All Wars.” Read More ›
blogEleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds share ideas …,” and Linn’s is fortunate to have thoughtful leaders of the stamp hobby on its Editorial Advisory Board. Board members participated in a lively discussion of “The State of the Stamp Hobby” Aug. 21 at the American Philatelic Society Stampshow in Grand Rapids, Mich. Read More ›
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Marty Frankevicz discusses the controversy in Canada over increasing postage rates, the elimination of home mail delivery and the erecting of cluster boxes.
Watch as Linn’s associate editor Michael Baadke discusses happenings at the recent APS Stampshow from the show floor.
Watch as Linn's/Scott editorial director Donna Houseman discusses the early release of the new U.S. Elvis stamp, the possibility of a Peanuts stamp and Linn's at the upcoming APS Stampshow.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses highlights of Robert A. Siegel Auction Rarities Week sales in late June, and reports that the 49¢ price for a first-class United States stamp will remain in effect until April.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
In the recently concluded Linn’s United States Stamp Popularity Poll, the Circus Posters set of eight stamps was chosen as the overall favorite issue of 2014.
Dispersal of the splendid Daniel B. Curtis collection continued March 25, with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries gaveling items from United States back-of-the-book and possessions.
The 175th anniversary of the first postage stamp, Great Britain's Penny Black, is May 6, but the stamp was placed on sale May 1, 1840, for mailers to use beginning on May 6, the designated issue date.