U.S., Civil War postal history offered in May 22 Siegel auction

May 1, 2021, 6 AM

By Michael Baadke

The May 22 auction by Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries has United States and Confederate States postal history as its focus, but it also offers a few important Confederate postmasters’ provisional stamps off cover.

One example is an unusual variety of the 5¢ Lenoir, N.C., provisional stamp (Scott 49X1). The stamp is known in blue on white wove paper with cross-ruled orange lines, but the example in the Siegel auction with manuscript cancel is blue on wove paper with blue vertical lines.

The orange vertical lines on the normal stamp number 20 to 21 per stamp, Siegel explained, and the horizontal lines number three to four.

“The example offered here has blue vertical lines only, and they are spaced much closer together (we count more than 50 lines),” Siegel added.

The stamp was certified by the Confederate Stamp Alliance in 2017, which described it as a “genuine on variant vertical lined paper.” The normal stamp is valued at $6,750 in the 2018 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers, with the value in italics to denote an item that can be difficult to value accurately.

The sale will present some 157 U.S. postal history items plus additional cover group lots before the 490-lot second session begins with Confederate and Civil War postal history.

An 1862 cover on offer bears the 5¢ red Athens, Ga., postmaster’s provisional stamp, type II recut, with large even margins all around. Siegel describes it as one of the finest of the seven recorded covers bearing the rare 5¢ red, which is also known with “fewer than six off-cover examples.” The Scott U.S. Specialized catalog value for the stamp on cover is $17,500 (again in italics).

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In addition to the postmasters’ provisionals, the range of material includes through-the-lines mail, Confederate general issues on cover, patriotic covers, semi-official imprints, flag-of-truce mail, blockade-run mail and much more. For complete lot descriptions, visit their website.