US Stamps

Inside Linn’s: Cover bearing 57 $5 Coolidge stamps sells for $10,800

Sep 21, 2023, 11 AM
This 1947 registered cover from New York City to Pasadena, Calif., is franked front and back (back not shown) with 57 $5 Calvin Coolidge stamps, the largest number known for the top denomination of the United States 1938 Presidential definitive series.

By Charles Snee

The Oct. 9 issue of Linn’s Stamp News just landed on the presses and goes in the mail to subscribers Monday, Sept. 25. And if you subscribe to Linn’s digital edition, you’re at the head of the line with early access Saturday, Sept. 23. While you wait for your issue to arrive in your mailbox, enjoy these three quick glimpses of exclusive content available only to subscribers. 

Cover bearing 57 $5 Coolidge stamps sells for $10,800

Dollar-Sign Stamps columnist Charles Snee showcases a key piece of postal history for the top denomination in the popular Presidential series, which collectors call the Prexies. “In the universe of Prexie superlatives, the Dec. 4, 1947, registered letter mailed from New York City to Pasadena, Calif., illustrated here is ranked near the top because it is franked with 57 $5 Coolidge stamps, the largest number known on a single cover,” Snee writes. He goes on to trace the cover’s provenance, noting that it once resided in the collection of Roland E. Rustad, whose 1994 book, The Prexies, is the essential reference work for the series.

Fascinating fila-framer raises questions

“For as long as I can remember, philatelic tools and toys have always fascinated me, and there are some pretty strange ones out there,” writes Wayne L. Youngblood in The Odd Lot. At the 2023 Great American Stamp Show in Cleveland, Youngblood purchased a device called a fila-framer, which, as Youngblood explains, “is a precision tool created to help collectors create professional-looking album or exhibit pages.” At the time of purchase, this nifty device was still sealed inside its original mailing box, an added bonus for Youngblood. Further investigation revealed details about the inventor, along with a plausible rate breakdown for the 16½¢ postage used to mail the fila-framer.

Collectors’ Forum: bogus Clara Rothe stamps

The intent of the Collectors’ Forum column is the publication of letters and requests for the exchange of information within the hobby. Linn’s editors give answers or partial answers when known. This week, a reader shares a stamp picturing the Clara Rothe, a ship that plied the waters between St. Thomas and St. Croix during 1865-66. “What is this stamp?” the reader asks. “Does it represent a shipping company authorized to carry mail.” Read Linn’s response to understand why the Clara Rothe stamps are bogus issues created mainly for sale to collectors.

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