EXTREMELY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE 10-CENT KNOXVILLE POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL, ON OR OFF COVER, AND ONE OF THE CELEBRATED ITEMS OF CONFEDERATE PHILATELY.
This famous Confederate provisional stamp on cover was discovered by O. D. Walbridge in 1886 and sold to J. S. Smith in 1892. Smith sold the cover to F. T. Hoyt in the same year, and it soon passed to Count Philippe la Renotiere von Ferrary. The cover was sold as lot 11 in the June 15-16, 1922, Gilbert auction of Ferrary's collection. It then realized 6,200 francs plus the 17-1/2% government surtax, for a total of approximately $650. By comparison, the Grove Hill provisional cover sold in the same sale for approximately $735. The next public offering of the Knoxville 10c cover took place in March 1956 at the Caspary sale held by H. R. Harmer (lot 167, $2,900). The cover later became part of the Josiah K. Lilly collection, selling at our April 1967 Lilly auction as lot 324 for $8,500.
Illustrated in Life (May 3, 1954), "Stamp Album Worth $1,000,000". Ex Walbridge, Smith, Hoyt, Ferrary, Caspary and Lilly. With 1993 P.F. certificate