Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries in New York offered the Benjamin Wishnietsky collection of Confederate States stamps and postal history on Feb. 26, with many items on the market for the first time in decades.
As Southern states were seceding in the spring of 1861, mail continued to be sent north via Louisville until June, but Federal authorities decreed that United States stamps on letters from the rebel states had to be removed.
Given the backlog of mail, this proved unworkable, so the Louisville postmaster (a man with the remarkably apt name of John J. Speed) devised a two-line handstamp reading “South’n Letter Unpaid” to quickly obliterate the disallowed postage.
Fewer than 30 covers are reported with this marking, of which only five are to foreign destinations. The one offered in the Siegel sale, sent from New Orleans to Paris, is franked with a 12¢ Washington (Scott 36B) and a 3¢ Washington (26). It has a manuscript “Due 15” at the bottom, compensating for the invalidated stamps, converted by a large “8,” indicating 80 centimes to be collected from the addressee.
The cover sold for $60,375 (all Siegel results include buyer’s premium of 15 percent).
A cover with a handstamped postmaster’s provisional of Galveston, Tex., with an ornate “Paid” and a numeral 10, quadrupled its top estimate to sell for $43,125.
Sent to Ohio, it managed to pass from South to North in the final days before mail was suspended. It is the only example of the Galveston issue used with a U.S. stamp.
A blockade-run cover from Matamoros, Mexico to Washington, Texas, went for $27,600. Franked with a Confederate States 10¢ Davis, Die B (Scott 12) and smuggled into the South through the remote Port Lavaca, this is one of just two covers known to have traveled this route.
A vertical pair of 10¢ Davis stamps, with framelines on three sides (Scott 10), sold for $2,415.
blogIn this column in the Aug. 24 issue of Linn’s, I referred to the American Philatelic Research Library in Bellefonte, Pa., as a “gift to stamp collectors.” The BNAPS library and the APRL are two of many libraries available to stamp collectors, and some philatelic libraries are available online. Read More ›
blogIt’s often been said that one of the salutary benefits of collecting stamps is the friendships made along one’s philatelic journey. If I were asked to place a value on the bonds thus forged with collectors in locales near and far, I would be rich beyond measure. A few of these hobby friends I have never met in person. Read More ›
blogToday, Nov. 11, 2015, is Veterans Day. Over the years, a number of United States stamps honoring those who have served in our nation’s armed forces have been issued. Read More ›
blogMy previous blog post focused on a mystery: the apparent indentations of paper clips on United States Purple Heart forever stamps that were used to mail payments to the circulation department of my employer, Amos Media in Sidney, Ohio. Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty discusses Great Britain’s final stamp issue for 2015, a Star Wars prestige booklet, and reveals what is included in its stamp program for 2016.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses a registered 1967 cover from Qatar that recently sold for almost $1,200 and the latest discovery of an Upright Jenny Invert pane.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman announces that Linn’s has been named official daily publisher of World Stamp Show-NY 2016 and provides an update on the reorganization of the Scott catalogs.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Marty Frankevicz reports on the suspension of Canada Post’s cluster box conversion plan after the election of a new prime minister.
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.