Confederate States Postmasters Provisionals

Confederate States Postmasters' Provisionals
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  • Lot# : 53 Confederate States Postmasters Provisionals

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    Beaumont, Texas, 12X1, (1864) 10c Black on yellow, Period after "Beaumont", four margin uncancelled single on turned cover addressed to Liberty Texas, sometime after the arrival at Liberty the cover was turned inside out and addressed to "Capt. Wm. Duncan, Spaight Battalion, Franklin La.," the stamp with minor gum staining and the cover very lightly soiled, still Very Fine (Scott $55,000)rnProvenance: Alfred H. Caspary (H.R. Harmer Sale 989, 1956)rnJosiah K. Lilly (R.A. Siegel Sale 317, 1967)rnThis Beaumont stamp on or off cover is extremely scarce. Charles Deaton in his 2012 book, The Great Texas Stamp Collection, noted that there are only four examples on cover and one example off cover. The Siegel 2014 census notes that there are five covers. Although the unique "Big Beaumont" (12X3) is the most famous of the three Beaumont issues, this stamp still ranks amongst the scarcest and most desireable of all CSA Provisionals.rn
    Start Price : 10,000.00 USD
    Current Opening : 10,000.00 USD
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    Lot# : 54 Confederate States Postmasters Provisionals

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    Charleston, S.C., 16X1, 1861 5c Blue, single with four full frame lines tied by double circle "Sep 20 Charleston" town marking on dark buff cover addressed to Scuppernong, North Carolina, oval embossed "Butler & Bee, Charleston S.C." corner card on backflap, the stamp with a very tiny scuff in the top margin just touching the outer frameline, Very Fine and choice; the census in Richard L. Calhoun's Charleston, South Carolina and the Confederate Postmaster Provisionals (2012) lists a cover with the same destination and a September 30 town marking, which we presume to be the same cover offered here with an erroneous date (Scott $2,250)

    Start Price : 400.00 USD
    Current Opening : 400.00 USD
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    Lot# : 55 Confederate States Postmasters Provisionals

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    Emory, Virginia, 24X1, 1861 5c Blue on selvage of 1c US stamp, Type I, Handstamped “Paid” above Handstamped “5” in Circle, uncancelled single on cover addressed to "Mr. Ambrose W. Winston, Castle-Craig, Campbell Co. Va.," blue "Emory Jul 1 Va." town marking at center of the cover, "June 8 1861" docketing at left, Very Fine and rare (Scott $27,500)

    Provenance: Sidney A. Hessel (H.R. Harmer Sale 2291, 1975)

    Richard L. Calhoun in his 2012 work on Confederate Postmaster Provisionals of Virginia notes the existence of a total of nine covers with the Emory provisional stamp. Six of those covers bear the Type I stamp ("5" below "Paid") and three bear the Type II stamp ("5" above "Paid"). Of those nine covers, four bear uncancelled stamps as does this cover.

    It is interesting how history repeats itself. The Emory Provisional was made by applying a handstamp to the selvage of the US 1857 1c stamp, perforated on three sides. The only other similar occurrence in the history of this nation was the production of the Philadelphia Carriers stamps (7LB16 and 7LB18, the former of which is being offered in this sale as Lot 31), which used the selvage of the US 1851 1c issue.

    Start Price : 5,000.00 USD
    Current Opening : 5,000.00 USD
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    Lot# : 56 Confederate States Postmasters Provisionals

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    Gonzales, Texas, 30X2, (10c) Gold on garnet, four margined single tied by two pen strokes on folded letter datelined "Gonzalez July 14th 1864," addressed to "Elder G. H. Thurmond, San Antonio, Texas," lightly struck straight line "Paid" to left of the stamp and double circle "Gonzales Tex" town marking at upper left, small sealed break at bottom, a Very Fine and attractive use; 1981 Philatelic Foundation certificate (Scott $25,000)

    Provenance: Alfred H. Caspary (H.R. Harmer Sale 989, 1956)

    Josiah K. Lilly (R.A. Siegel Sale 317, 1967)

    A. Earl Weatherly (R.A. Siegel Sale 420, 1972)

    Charles Deaton in his 2012 book, The Great Texas Stamp Collection, notes the existence of only three covers bearing this stamp and one additional example off cover. The stamp on all three of the covers is pen cancelled. Gonzales, Texas used advertising labels from the firm of Coleman & Law as provisional stamps twice during the Civil War (first in 1861 and later in 1864-65). John V. Law, co-owner of the firm, also served as the town's postmaster. As these labels were also attached to the insides of books (and perhaps medicine bottles) there have been numerous counterfeits produced over the years, and genuine uses on cover remain exceedingly scarce. The cover offered here was known as early as 1903, when it was used as the frontispiece of an issue of Mekeel's Stamp Collector describing various Confederate Provisionals.

    Start Price : 5,000.00 USD
    Current Opening : 5,000.00 USD
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    Lot# : 57 Confederate States Postmasters Provisionals

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    Greenwood Depot Va., 35X1, 10c Black on gray blue, uncancelled stamp made from laid letter paper with manuscript "Ten Cents" at top, hand stamped "Paid" at center, and manuscript "J. Bruce" (the postmaster) at bottom affixed, but not tied, on small envelope addressed (as are all known covers franked with this issue) to "Rev Paul Whitehead, Macfarlands P.O., Lunenburg Co., Va.," strong strike of "Greenwood Depot Va. Sep 21" town marking, envelope missing backflap and with numerous hinge remainders on back, also some tiny tears into the postmark, Very Fine and choice, 1975 Philatelic Foundation certificate (Scott $22,500)

    Provenance: Sidney A. Hessel (H.R. Harmer Sale 2291, 1975)

    Richard L. Calhoun in his 2012 work Confederate Postmaster Provisionals of Virginia notes the existence of a total of six covers with this stamp and of that number, only five are available to collectors as one cover is part of the Tapling Collection in the British Museum. The October 1887 issue of the American Philatelist reported that "Gilbert M. Bastable, of Catlett, Va.,...writes that he found five of these local stamps—all that are known to exist—in the correspondence of the Rev. Paul Whitehead, who sent him several thousand envelopes to examine." This particuar cover offered here was the first illustration to ever appear in the American Philatelist.

    Start Price : 7,500.00 USD
    Current Opening : 7,500.00 USD
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    Lot# : 58 Confederate States Postmasters Provisionals

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    Grove Hill, Alabama, 36X1, 5c Black, single with fresh and clear impression of the wood cut design tied by "Grove Hill Ala Oct 26" town marking at the upper left of 1861 cover addressed to "John S. Dickinson, Esq., Newtown Academy, Munroe Co. Ala.," red embossed "Dickinson & Kilpatrick Attorneys at Law, Grove Hill, Ala." corner card, stamp ample margins except just touching at bottom right, the envelope is missing the backflap, a small nick in the top edge, and small abrasions from adhesive tape at the sides, the manuscript "Oct 26 1861" notation appears to be non-contemporary, still Very Fine showpiece (Scott $75,000)

    Provenance: Count Philipp von Ferrary (Gilbert Sale 4, 1922)

    Arthur Hind (Charles J. Phillips Sale 1, 1933)

    Alfred H. Caspary (H.R. Harmer Sale 989, 1956)

    Weill Brothers Stock (Christie's NY, 1989)

    Considered to be the finest of the three examples (two covers and one off cover stamp) recorded of this stamp and the only example on a complete cover. In fact, Herbert Bloch, describer of the Caspary sales, lauded this cover as "...one of the most famous and celebrated of all Confederate items in existence." Mr. Bloch was probably being somewhat humble in his assessment; we would go as far as to say that this cover is one of the most celebrated of items in all of American philately, having been illustrated in the 1959 edition of the Dietz handbook, Linn's Philatelic Gems III, Life Magazine's "World's Rarest Stamps" (May 3, 1954), and the 1986 Ameripex exhibition catalogue. The Christie's sale of the Weill Brothers Stock of Confederate States in 1989 featured an enlargement of this stamp on the front cover of the catalogue, selected over even the "Livingston Pair" and the "Big Beaumont."

    The Grove Hill Provisional is one of a number of United States stamps that has, in our opinion, suffered due to its extreme scarcity. When this cover was offered in the Ferrary sale in 1922 it was one of a number of items picked up by the contemporary presses, both philatelic and general. Newspapers across the country pictured the Grove Hill cover alongside the Mauritius "Post Paid" stamps and the Hawaiian Missionaries. Through the time it was featured by Life in 1954 the Grove Hill Provisional was something of a household name amongst philatelists, alongside the Alexandria "Blue Boy" and the "Big Beaumont." However, the long delays between appearances at auction and near-lack of public exhibition have resulted in a reduced awareness for the cover. Very nearly nothing has appeared in the philatelic literature for some time regarding this attractive and rare issue; it is our hope that the sale of this cover will work to rectify this unfortunate fact.

    Start Price : 20,000.00 USD
    Current Opening : 20,000.00 USD
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    Lot# : 59 Confederate States Postmasters Provisionals

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    Macon, Georgia, 53X3, 5c Black on yellow, Ornamental frame, uncancelled four margin stamp on dark buff cover addressed to "Mrs. Martha Service, Care of J. H. Service, Esq. Augusta, Geo.," lightly struck Macon, Georgia town marking to left of the stamp, colorless embossed "Wm. S. Williford" at lower left, stamp with a small scissor cut in lower left margin well away from the design, envelope missing portion of backflap, Very Fine (Scott $6,000)

    The 1982 Frank Crown Survey of Confederate Postmaster Provisionals notes the existence of only 26 covers with this stamp. Macon, Georgia produced provisional stamps in four distinct designs; this design is believed to have been the second 5c stamp issued (earliest known example dated June 21, 1861).

    Start Price : 500.00 USD
    Current Opening : 500.00 USD
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    Lot# : 60 Confederate States Postmasters Provisionals

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    Macon, Georgia, 53X4, 5c Black on yellow, Plain frame, right margin single (ample to huge margins the other sides) tied by double circle "Macon Ga. Jun 7" town marking on blue all over "H. N. Ells & Co. Groceries, Provisions" ad cover addressed to Milledgeville, Georgia, the stamp with a couple of trivial margin creases, the cover some light soiling, very slightly reduced at the right and with a trivial corner extension at the lower right, Very Fine and rare; 1979 Philatelic Foundation certificate (Scott $7,500)

    Provenance: "Tara" Collection (Christie's Robson Lowe, 1986)

    Morris Everett (R.A. Siegel, Sale 754, 1993)

    Dr. Karl Agre (R.A. Siegel, Sale 850, 2002)

    1982 Crown Survey of Confederate Postmaster Provisionals notes the existence of 14 total covers with this stamp; of that number 12 are single frankings and only two covers exist with all-over advertising. A 2012 Siegel census shows a total of four advertising covers (two with 53X3 and two with 53X4). The plain-bordered 5c stamp (53X4) seems to have been issued prior to the floral-bordered 5c stamp (53X3) based on covers with legibile dates, although the Scott catalogue listings for Macon provisional stamps are in the wrong order.

    Start Price : 2,000.00 USD
    Current Opening : 2,000.00 USD
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    Lot# : 61 Confederate States Postmasters Provisionals

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    Macon, Georgia, 53X4a, 5c Black on yellow, Plain frame, Vertical tête-bêche pair, margins all around, each stamp pen cancelled, on a small neat white cover addressed to Monterey, Virginia; manuscript "Henderson Ga Aug 7 '61, Paid" postmark adjacent to franking, left stamp with faint diagonal crease and light stain at the bottom, envelope with portion of backflap missing, Very Fine and attractive; Henderson is a small town about 40 miles south of Macon (The Scott Catalogue does not price the tête-bêche pair on or off cover, but does price a normal pair on cover at $11,000)

    Provenance: Count Philipp von Ferrary (Gilbert Sale 4, 1922)

    Arthur Hind (Charles J. Phillips Sale 1, 1933)

    Alfred H. Caspary (H.R. Harmer Sale 989, 1956)

    Josiah K. Lilly (R.A. Siegel Sale 317, 1967)

    This is the only recorded example of the tête-bêche pair on cover and one of only two pairs of this stamp on cover (the other pair is a normal vertical pair)

    Start Price : 3,000.00 USD
    Current Opening : 3,000.00 USD
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    Lot# : 62 Confederate States Postmasters Provisionals

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    Nashville, Tennessee, 61X2, 5c Carmine on gray blue ribbed paper, horizontal strip of three and single stamp all tied by blue Nashville, Tennessee town markings on an envelope addressed to "Mr. Ralph L. Goodrich, ..., Little Rock Ark.," strip of three with clear to large margins except the center stamp into at the bottom, the single stamp with small flaw in the top left corner and into the outer frame line along the left side of the stamp, the cover repaired along the top left edge replacing a thin sliver of the original cover, Fine use and the only recorded example of a strip of three of this stamp on cover (Scott does not price a strip on cover, but does value a pair on cover at $6,000 and used singles at $650)
    Start Price : 1,000.00 USD
    Current Opening : 1,150.00 USD
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    Lot# : 63 Confederate States Postmasters Provisionals

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    New Orleans, Louisiana, 62X1, 2c Blue, two-margin single tied by "New Orleans La. 31 Aug." town marking on dark buff cover addressed to Black Hawk, Mississippi, the cover with minor water staining at the left, Fine and scarce; 1976 Philatelic Foundation certificate (Scott $5,000)

    The 1982 Crown Survey of Confederate Postmaster Provisionals notes that only 27 examples of this stamp on cover exist. A 2018 Siegel survey indicates a number closer to 30 though more than half are franked with stamps with fewer than four margins or with a faulty stamp.

    Start Price : 750.00 USD
    Current Opening : 750.00 USD
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    Lot# : 64 Confederate States Postmasters Provisionals

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    New Orleans, Louisiana, 62X4, 1861 5c Red brown on bluish, single tied on envelope addressed to Natchez wonderful strike of the 2-line "Pd 5 Cts/N.O.P.O." provisional handstamp with accompanying "J. L. Riddell, P.M." straight-line, "New Orleans La. Dec 10 1861" river-mail double-circle datestamp and "Steam" handstamp, ms "Magenta" steamboat identification at lower left, stamp clear to large margins except just touching at lower left, cover some trivial edge wrinkling and missing portion of the backflap, some distracting docketing at left, Very Fine and choice, a rare use of the provisional handstamp to tie the 5c provisional issue with only 12-15 examples known

    Start Price : 2,000.00 USD
    Current Opening : 2,000.00 USD
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    Lot# : 65 Confederate States Postmasters Provisionals

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    New Orleans, Louisiana, 62X4, 5c Red brown on bluish, large-margined horizontal pair, cancelled but not tied by straight-line "Paid" markings on small neat cover with "New Orleans, La. 26 Aug." town marking, addressed to Flat Rock P.O., Henderson County, North Carolina, envelope with torn backflap, Very Fine and attractive (Scott $700)

    Provenance; Sidney A. Hessel (H.R. Harmer Sale 2291, 1975)

    Start Price : 300.00 USD
    Current Opening : 300.00 USD
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    Lot# : 66 Confederate States Postmasters Provisionals

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    Pittsylvania Court House, Virginia, 66X1, 5c Dull red on wove, rectangularly-cut single with extremely large margins all around tied by "Pittsylvania C.H. Va. 5 Nov" town marking on 1861 folded letter datelined "Nov 4th 1861" and addressed to "Mr. Abram Fackler, Williamsburg, Va.," stamp slightly toned from gum, cover few tiny tone spots, Very Fine (Scott $40,000), 2019 Philatelic Foundation certificate

    Provenance; Alfred H. Caspary (H.R. Harmer Sale 989, 1956)

    Calhoun in his 2012 work Confederate Postmaster Provisionals of Virginia notes the existence of only nine covers with this stamp (one is in the Tapling Collection and unavailable to collectors). Of the remaining eight covers, only only six have the stamp cut rectangular. Owing to the similarities between the Pittsylvania Courthouse provisionl and the Danville, Virginia provisional, collectors figure that both were printed at the offices of the Danville-based Democratic Appeal newspaper. An extremely attractive copy of this remarkably scarce stamp.

    Start Price : 10,000.00 USD
    Current Opening : 10,000.00 USD
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    Lot# : 67 Confederate States Postmasters Provisionals

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    Uniontown, Alabama, 86X1, 2c Dark blue on gray blue, upper right corner margin single (position 2 of the setting of 4) with blue pen cancellation but not tied on small neat locally used turned envelope with a note under the backflap reading "Please excuse a turned envelope," the stamp with tiny scrapes and tiny marginal toning at right, the cover with trivial toning and some light aging, Very Fine and rare (Unpriced in Scott)

    Provenance: Sidney A. Hessel (H.R. Harmer Sale 2291, 1975)

    In his 2016 monograph on the Uniontown Postmaster Provisionals, Francis J. Crown, Jr. notes the existence of only two examples of this stamp on cover with this being the unique example with a cancelled stamp. In addition to the two covers a sheet of four was discovered by the Weill Brothers in 1938; unlike the stamps on cover, the sheet is printed on white paper and is listed separately in Scott (86X2). Only six municipalities in the Confederacy issued provisional 2c postage stamps to pay the drop-letter rate: Baton Rouge, Macon, Memphis, Mobile, New Orleans, and Uniontown. Of these Macon and Uniontown are by far the scarcest. The second recorded cover, ex-Caspary, is from position 1 and is similarly a local drop-rate cover. With only two stamps recorded on or off cover the 2c Uniontown on gray blue ranks amongst the greatest rarities of American philately.

    Start Price : 2,500.00 USD
    Current Opening : 2,500.00 USD
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    Lot# : 68 Confederate States Postmasters Provisionals

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    Uniontown, Alabama, 86X4, 5c Green on white, single stamp (position 2 of the setting of 4) with minimal margins to barely in tied by mostly indistinct "Uniontown Ala 27 Nov" town marking on blue cover addressed to "Mrs. R. A. Cobbs,..., Montgomery Ala.," Very Fine; 1994 Confederate Stamp Alliance certificate (Scott $15,000)

    Provenance: Dr. Karl Agre (R.A. Siegel Sale 850, September 2000)

    In his 2016 monograph on the Uniontown Postmaster Provisionals, Francis J. Crown, Jr. notes the existence of only seventeen examples of this stamp on cover. Of the seventeen recorded examples, fifteen were part of the Cobbs correspondence and all of those covers seem to bear stamps with little or no margins. When comparing the four positions of the Uniontown Provisionals, position 2 (without corner lozenges) is by far the most distinctive, leading some to suggest that it warrants its own separate Scott listing.

    Start Price : 1,000.00 USD
    Current Opening : 1,000.00 USD
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