FINE APPEARANCE AND EXTREMELY RARE. ONE OF TWO RECORDED COVERS WITH THE 10-CENT GONZALES PROVISIONAL ON BLACK PAPER.
John B. Law, the Gonzales postmaster during the war, was a partner in the Colman & Law firm, booksellers and druggists who produced the colorful book labels adopted by Postmaster Law as provisional stamps in 1861 and 1864-65. In later years, some Colman & Law labels were removed from books and placed on covers to create fake provisional uses. As a result of this nefarious activity, collector understanding of the Gonzales Provisionals has at times been distorted.
The Colman & Law book labels on colored glazed paper have no denomination. Examples are divided into 5c and 10c stamps based on the rate to which they apply and the color of paper. The 1861 5c Gold on Dark Blue or Black is listed by Scott as 30X1. The 10c-rate-period stamps are listed as 30X2 -- Gold on Garnet, and 30X3 -- Gold on Black, the example offered here.
For 10c covers in the 1864-65 period, our records, combined with the Deaton census in The Great Texas Stamp Collection contain three covers with the Gold on Garnet. Two were in the Caspary sale: lot 137, 10c Gold on Crimson (Garnet), tied by pen strokes with the Gonzales circular datestamp and "Paid", dated July 14, 1864; and lot 138, 10c Gold on Garnet, dated Nov. 1, 1864 (Siegel Kilbourne Sale, 815, lot 45). The third bears a 10c Gold on Garnet to E. St. P. Bellinger, Hobby's Rgt., Galveston Tex., which is illustrated in the Deaton book.
For 10c covers bearing the Gold on Black, our records and the Deaton census contain only two. The cover offered here, dated April 1865 to Galveston, and an additional cover to Richmond Va. with a pen-tied stamp. An example affixed over a 3c U.S. entire has been questioned by specialists and is not included as genuine in the Deaton census.