EXTREMELY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE MADISON COURT HOUSE, FLORIDA, POSTMASTER'S 3-CENT PROVISIONAL STAMP USED ON COVER. AN EXTRAORDINARY 1861 PROVISIONAL WITH UNITED STATES RATE, USED FROM THE CONFEDERATE STATE OF FLORIDA TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. THIS IS THE EARLIEST DATE OF ANY PROVISIONAL USED IN THE CONFEDERACY.
The Madison Court House Provisional was the subject of a definitive article by Patricia A. Kaufmann in the American Philatelist and the Confederate Philatelist (the article, with updates, can be viewed at http://www.trishkaufmann.com/madison.php). The Madison Provisional is one of six stamps that the Scott Catalogue now lists separately as "3c 1861 Postmasters' Provisionals". They are distinct from the 5c and 10c Confederate Provisionals in that the postmasters who issued the stamps were still technically under the control of the U.S. Post Office Department, and were remitting postal receipts to the Department (and were avoiding ordering new U.S. stamps in anticipation of a final change in administrative control of their offices). The 1861 Provisionals are all 3c adhesives or handstamps, reflecting the then-current U.S. letter rate. One of the recorded Madison Court House examples bears a manuscript "(P)aid in (Money)" in the handwriting of Postmaster Samuel J. Perry.
Only five examples of Scott 3AX1 are recorded, including one with the normal "CENTS" spelling offered in the lot 2092, the unique "CNETS" error offered in the previous lot, and the only recorded on-cover example, offered here. This unique cover with the Madison 3c provisional, and its dated contents -- February 13, 1861 -- place it within nine days of the formation of the seven original Confederate States, which included Florida. It is the earliest of all Postmasters' Provisionals used in the Confederate States.
Ex Ferrary, Duveen, Hind, Caspary and Gross. Small "W.H.C." mark of Warren H. Colson at lower right. With 1996 C.S.A. certificate.