A purple handstamp mystery
U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner
Purple is the color most often seen for post office handstamps. Most private handstamps are in black. So what are we to make of the inverted purple handstamp on the 1886 cover pictured here?
The handstamp reads, “the initiatory Catalogue Tax of $1.50.” What possible postal purpose would that have served?
In the days when postage from New York to Florida was a mere 2¢, $1.50 was a lot of money. Could the marking have anything to do with the fact that this is a mourning cover?
I’m stumped, any thoughts from Linn’s readers would be welcome. Contact me, John Hotchner, at email@example.com.
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