Confederate States and Civil War lots dominate Schuyler Rumsey sale

Feb 6, 2018, 4 AM

By Tim Hodge

Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions held a Confederate States and Civil War postal history auction in San Francisco, Calif., on Dec. 14. Rumsey featured an attractive example of the rare 1861 Greenville, Ala., 5¢ provisional (Scott 33X1). Only six of the typeset adhesives exist. This unused example realized $25,300, including the 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Rumsey held a Gems of Philately sale on Dec. 13, offering some terrific U.S. material.

The U.S. Post Office Department began offering coils to businesses in 1908, either perforated or imperforate, and with either horizontal or vertical orientation on the coil roll.

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The only known example of the imperforate vertical coil of the 1906 1¢ blue green Benjamin Franklin (Scott 314V) includes a leader strip. It was sold in the Rumsey sale for $18,400.

The Rumsey auction offered a item that is rare on many fronts: an 1873 State Department cover bearing a 90¢ dark green Oliver Hazard Perry (Scott O67) in combination with a 30¢ dark green Alexander Hamilton (Scott O66), and two 10¢ dark green Thomas Jefferson (Scott O62) State Department stamps.

Rumsey describes it as “The only recorded combination of these values, one of only two 90¢ State covers, one of only eight 30¢ covers and one of only two Official covers from any department to Mexico.”

This unique usage garnered $37,375.

One of seven recorded covers franked with the 1860 90¢ blue George Washington stamp was offered at the Rumsey auction — this example for the first time ever.

The earliest documented use of this stamp (Scott 39) was Sept. 11, 1860, and it was demonetized a year later in August 1861. Because of the stamp’s high denomination and the brief period in which it could be used, very few covers and used examples exist.

Despite the cover’s rather unattractive appearance, this rarity postmarked Jan. 16, 1861, realized $14,950.

When the 1860 90¢ issue was demonetized, another 90¢ blue Washington stamp (Scott 72) was issued. The only recorded cover to Hawaii franked with this stamp, mailed on Oct. 28, 1861, from Boston, Mass., to Honolulu (arriving Dec. 14), was offered by Rumsey. It found a new home when it sold for $46,000.