VERY FINE APPEARANCE. ARGUABLY THE FINEST OF THE FIVE AVAILABLE COVERS BEARING THE MARION POSTMASTER'S 10-CENT PROVISIONAL STAMP.
The Marion Va. 5c and 10c provisional stamps, with their distinctive "Check" label at top, were issued by Postmaster J. H. Francis in 1861. The stamps were printed in two steps: first, the typeset form containing the border and words "P. Office, Marion, Va., Check. Paid" were impressed; then the values, "5" or "10" were handstamped on the blank center. Postmaster Francis described his stamps in a January 1880 letter to August Dietz, and he offered to make more from the "die" which he still possessed. Various "reprints" made from the typeset form were made by John W. Scott, including 2c, 15c and 20c values that have never been seen genuinely used.
Genuine Marion provisional stamps are extremely rare. Our records contain six covers with the Marion 10c provisional, plus a repaired stamp affixed to the back of a cover noted in the Crown book as part of the Worthington collection. There are two unused stamps and perhaps one or two off-cover stamps extant. Of the six known covers, one is part of the Tapling collection at the British Library (a sound example dated Oct. 15, 1861), two have stamps with a significant portion of the design cut away (dated Oct. 25 and Nov. 16, 1861), and one has the bottom right corner of the stamp repaired (dated Sep. 24, 1861, ex Caspary). Therefore, there remain only two covers available to collectors in essentially sound condition: the ex-Hessel cover (dated Nov. 18, 1861, with repairs to the cover) and the cover offered here, which is late use of the provisional stamp (Mar. 2, 1862).
Ex Freeland and Hill. With 1998 P.F. certificate (notes "closed tear")