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Sale 824 — 2000 Rarities of the World

Sale Date — Saturday, 13 May, 2000

Category — Confederate States

Cat./Est. Value
Sale Number 824, Lot Number 443, Confederate StatesMarion Va., 10c Black, Horizontal Lines Printed Across Stamp (55X2 variety), Marion Va., 10c Black, Horizontal Lines Printed Across Stamp (55X2 variety)Marion Va., 10c Black, Horizontal Lines Printed Across Stamp (55X2 variety). Three huge margins, clear margin at bottom, black ruled lines printed on front and back, tied by "Marion Va. Jan. 21" (1863) circular datestamp on address portion of a folded letter to "Mr. W. R. Hunter, (Children's friend), Franklinton N.C.", the panel has been cut out and pasted on the back of the letter, which is datelined "Marion Va. Jan. 20th 1863", the writer is enclosing $10 as a contribution to the Methodist Sunday School, it reads (in part) "Pray for the Children, while you labour for the Soldiers"


The Marion Va. 5c and 10c provisional stamps, with their distinctive "Check" label at top, were issued by Postmaster J. H. Francis, beginning in 1861 and continuing through 1863. The stamps were printed in two steps: first, the typeset form containing the border and words "P. Office, Marion, Va., Check. Paid" was impressed; then the value, "5" or "10" was 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.

This piece was recently discovered in a scrap book kept during the 1850-70 period by W. R. Hunter, "The Children's Friend". With the discovery of this essentially complete cover front, our records now contain seven 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 seven 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 three covers available to collectors in essentially sound condition: the ex-Hessel cover (dated Nov. 18, 1861, with repairs to the cover), the Mar. 2 cover (1862 or 1863) in our Sale 810, which realized $62,500 hammer, and this new discovery.

The stamp on this letter has two black lines printed horizontally across the front and back. The numeral "10", which was handstamped separately, is aligned with the rules, which leads to speculation that the postmaster used the ruled paper deliberately. The late date of this usage also suggests that the Marion postmaster was not adequately supplied with stamps; another possibility is that the sender was thrifty and used an old provisional stamp still on hand. The Marion 10c cover in our Sale 810, dated March 2, was assumed to be a March 2, 1862, usage during the 5c/10c rate period. However, it is addressed to Kingston Tenn., which is within the 300-mile limit for the 5c rate. Therefore, it is either a double 5c rate for weight or a March 1863 usage after the rate increase to 10c for any distance. The 1863 usage becomes a possibility with the discovery of the January 1863 usage offered here.

Sale Number 824, Lot Number 444, Confederate StatesNew Orleans La., 5c Yellow Brown on Off-White (62X5), New Orleans La., 5c Yellow Brown on Off-White (62X5)New Orleans La., 5c Yellow Brown on Off-White (62X5). Block of twelve, large margins showing "Usable exclusiv" of imprint at top, full original gum, natural inclusions, few small gum soaks, Very Fine-Extremely Fine and scarce multiple, ex Stonewall, Scott Retail as two blocks and two pairs

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Sale Number 824, Lot Number 445, Confederate StatesNew Orleans La., 5c Brown on White (62X3), New Orleans La., 5c Brown on White (62X3)New Orleans La., 5c Brown on White (62X3). Ample to large margins, faint gum toning, tied by blue "St. Joseph La. Aug. 3" (1861) circular datestamp on yellow cover to Carroll Hoy & Co. in New Orleans, usual pinholes, tiny edge tear at right, fresh and Very Fine, St. Joseph is located approximately 200 miles north of New Orleans on the western bank of the Mississippi River -- this provisional stamp was postmarked at the St. Joseph office and carried by steamboat to New Orleans, where the stamp was accepted -- such usages are extremely rare, and we know of no other provisional used from St. Joseph

E. 1,000-1,500
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Sale Number 824, Lot Number 446, Confederate States5c Green, Stone 1 (1), 5c Green, Stone 1 (1)5c Green, Stone 1 (1). Horizontal pair, ample margins to just touched, rich color, tied by blue "Norfolk Va." double-circle datestamp on purple Jefferson Davis Medallion Patriotic cover to Lauderdale Station Miss., cover skillfully cleaned, mended flap tears, Extremely Fine appearance, Confederate No. 1 is rarely found on Jefferson Davis Medallion covers, which were used primarily before release of the General Issue, with 1999 C.S.A. certificate

E. 2,000-3,000
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Sale Number 824, Lot Number 447, Confederate StatesOutbound Blockade-Run Cover from Mobile to Liverpool, Outbound Blockade-Run Cover from Mobile to LiverpoolOutbound Blockade-Run Cover from Mobile to Liverpool. Blue folded letter datelined "Mobile Oct. 31st 1861" to Frederick Huth & Co. in Liverpool, England, writer mentions receipt of a package of letters "from Europe by one of the vessels heading between [this] port & Havana, notwithstanding the Blockade" and instructs Huth & Co. to send mail "via Havana under [care] of Mess. Fesser & Co. Bankers there, and [to] Tampico as indicated", "Southampton Packet Letter Oc 13 1862", "6d" handstamped due marking for half-ounce rate from Havana, London receiving datestamps -- nearly one full year later -- receipt docketing confirms date sequence, left edge of letter cut away (with some words), Very Fine, a significant blockade-run usage from Mobile, one of the earliest we have seen

E. 2,000-3,000
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Sale Number 824, Lot Number 448, Confederate States"Per Lucy, Sent MW Apl 9 1864", "Per Lucy, Sent MW Apl 9 1864""Per Lucy, Sent MW Apl 9 1864". Manuscript forwarding mark on outbound blockade-run cover from the Confederate States, addressed to Charles K. Prioleau, Liverpool, England, with part of letter enclosed (no dateline), carried on the Lucy from Wilmington, arriving at Nassau on or about April 14, no postal markings -- presumably enclosed in another envelope -- Very Fine, rare outbound cover with blockade-runner designation

E. 1,500-2,000
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Sale Number 824, Lot Number 449, Confederate StatesIncoming Blockade-Run Cover from Liverpool to Houston via Havana, Incoming Blockade-Run Cover from Liverpool to Houston via HavanaIncoming Blockade-Run Cover from Liverpool to Houston via Havana. Folded letter on black-bordered mourning stationery datelined "Liverpool 1st February 1865" with routing notation "Duplicate pr. Virginia [sic] Robertson & Co. Havana pr. W. I. Mail", from Frederick Huth & Co. to T. W. House in Houston, regarding cotton shipments, blue Huth & Co. oval and "Vignier Roberston & Co. Havana" forwarder's oval handstamps, cleaned to remove stains, otherwise Fine, extremely rare blockade-run usage into the Confederacy outside the mails, with 2000 C.S.A. certificate

E. 3,000-4,000
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