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.
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Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty discusses current events that relate to the stamp hobby, including the relocation of a stamp show in Sweden due to the Syrian refugee crises, and new stamps honoring Pope Francis and the British monarchy.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke talks about a record fifth win for wildlife artist Joseph Hautman in the federal duck stamp art contest, and see the painting that will appear on next year’s federal duck stamp
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Frankevicz questions Bolivia’s choice for the design of a 2013 stamp honoring the country’s efforts to protect its migrants in foreign lands.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses the discovery of the upright Jenny Invert pane received in an order from Stamp Fulfillment Services in Kansas City, Mo., and also reports on the Confederate Stamp Alliance.
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.