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.
blogThis month marks my fifth anniversary writing the monthly auction report for Linn’s Stamp News. That’s 60 columns, totaling more than 100,000 words (enough for a decent-sized novel), all about our favorite hobby. Read More ›
blogIn mid-September I traveled to London, England, to attend Autumn Stampex, one of two British national stamp shows sponsored by the Philatelic Traders’ Society, Great Britain’s national stamp dealers association. The show took place Sept. 16-19 at the Business Design Centre in Islington (central north London), a comfortable and attractive venue for a stamp show. Read More ›
September 28, 2015 03:30 AMAfter the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, postal workers not only saved the mail, they saved the new post office building. Read More ›
blogWe stamp collectors are an observant bunch. After all, we spend a great deal of time closely scrutinizing small, colorful bits of paper. Read More ›
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.
Watch as Linn’s senior editor Denise McCarty discusses the situation with Canada’s recalled Hoodoo stamp, as well as stamps from the United States and other countries that also depict these rock formations.
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.