Noteworthy Washington-Franklin 2¢ carmine-rose stamp highlights Regency-Superior sale

Nov 6, 2016, 2 PM

By Matthew Healey, New York Correspondent

Regency-Superior held a sale Sept. 29-Oct. 1 in St. Louis, Mo. While the sale was strong on classics such as postmasters’ provisionals and 19th-century U.S. issues, there was also a noteworthy Washington-Franklin 2¢ carmine-rose stamp.

In this case, the stamp was a coil-waste rescue, showing type II characteristics and having perfs measuring gauge 11 by 10 (Scott 539). Centered better than average and with the added bonus of a margin tab bearing the plate number 7462, it sold for $5,100, including the 20 percent buyer’s premium added by Regency to all lots.

Among the classics was a stamped envelope from 1846 or 1847 with a scarce Baltimore postmaster’s provisional handstamp indicating prepayment of postage.

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Before the United States issued its first stamps in 1847, some local postmasters took the initiative of producing stamps or stamped stationery locally. Baltimore postmaster James M. Buchanan issued both. His 5¢ and 10¢ adhesives bear a facsimile of his signature and the denomination in a simple rectangle.

On Buchanan’s envelopes, three handstamps were used in tandem: his signature, the word “PAID” and the value in an oval. They are known in either blue or red on various papers. Like the stamps, these envelopes were sold to customers for later use, so they are different by nature from letters marked as paid at time of posting.

A Buchanan 5¢ blue envelope (Scott 3XU1) on what appears to be a manila envelope, with a May 27 Baltimore postmark and addressed to Reading, Pa., went for $6,000.