VERY FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF ONLY TWO RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, 10-CENT BLACK PROVISIONAL STAMP ON BLUISH PAPER. AN IMPORTANT CLASSIC UNITED STATES RARITY.
The earliest discoveries of the Baltimore 10c provisional adhesive stamp were made in 1895 and 1896-97. Based on reports published by various writers, it appears that the 10c on Bluish paper offered here, which is tied on piece and repaired (3X4-PCE-02), was the first 10c denominated Baltimore adhesive found. It was discovered in 1895 by Dr. Arlo Bates and sold to W. Elliot Woodward, an early dealer in coins and stamps. Woodward offered the stamp at auction on March 11, 1896, but it failed to reach the reserve price of $1,500 (L. N. Williams, Encyclopaedia of Rare and Famous Stamps: The Biographies, page 174).
Sometime after the 1896 auction, the piece was sold to the New England Stamp Company, and it was presumably sold by them to Henry J. Duveen. After Duveen died in December 1919, the estate consigned the United States collection to Charles J. Phillips for private sale in 1922. The Baltimore 10c piece was listed by Phillips as one of the rarities in the Duveen collection. The Williams book reports that Arthur Hind acquired all of the Duveen United States material, but this piece was not in the 1933 Hind sale (the 10c on White and on Bluish were each represented by full covers in the Hind collection). Based on the year of sale (1922), it is far more likely that the piece was acquired by Henry G. Lapham, who displayed it at the Collectors Club of New York on April 4, 1928, along with the Baltimore 10c on White cover recently sold in our auction of the Frelinghuysen collection.
When Lapham’s collection was sold privately by Warren H. Colson, after Lapham’s death in 1939, the 10c on Bluish was not sold to Frelinghuysen, but neither was it in the Colson stock when he died in 1963, as reported by John R. Boker Jr. (“Warren H. Colson of Boston — His Stamps; With Extensive Notes on the Henry G. Lapham Collections and ‘Asides’ About Alfred H. Caspary,” 1989 Congress Book). It does not appear again until the sale of the T. Cullen Davis collection of Postmasters’ Provisionals (Part II, Siegel Sale 278, November 19, 1964, lot 8). It was acquired by Dr. Laurence and Muriel Hayes, and was later sold in the 1977 Rarities sale.
Our census of the 10c Baltimore provisionals is available at our website at http://www.siegelauctions.com/dynamic/census/3X2-3X4/3X2-3X4.pdf. We record only two examples of the 10c Baltimore on bluish paper, and five on white paper.
Census No. 3X4-PCE-02. Ex Duveen, Lapham, T. Cullen Davis and Hayes. “W.H.C.” (Warren H. Colson) handstamp at lower right. Offered to the market for the first time since 1977
History of the Baltimore provisionals: http://siegelauctions.com/enc/pdf/Baltimore.pdf