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Sale 850 — The Dr. Karl Agre Collection of Confederate States

Sale Date — Wednesday, 25 September, 2002

Category — Postmasters Provisionals (Marion to Mobile)

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
5744
 
Sale Number 850, Lot Number 5744, Postmasters Provisionals (Marion to Mobile)Marion 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"

VERY FINE STAMP AND ATTRACTIVE PIECE. ONE OF TEN OR ELEVEN EXAMPLES OF THE MARION POSTMASTER'S 10-CENT PROVISIONAL STAMP. THIS IS THE FIRST 10-CENT STAMP SEEN WITH RULED LINES.

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 discovered two years ago in a scrap book kept during the 1850-70 period by W. R. Hunter, "The Children's Friend". Including this essentially complete cover front, our records currently 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 knowledge of the January 1863 usage offered here.

Scott Retail on cover is $60,000.00. Scott Retail as off-cover used is $10,000.00.

E. 10,000-15,000
9,000
5745
c
Sale Number 850, Lot Number 5745, Postmasters Provisionals (Marion to Mobile)Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2), Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2)Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2). Two, large margins to just touched, slightly overlapping, tied by bold "Memphis Ten. Nov. 6" circular datestamp on 11-Star Confederate Flag and Verse Patriotic cover in red and blue on lavendar, to Prairie Tex., neat "T" in flag denotes Tennessee as eleventh state to join the Confederacy, right stamp faint diagonal crease not mentioned on accompanying certificate, some slight cover age spotting

VERY FINE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE AND COLORFUL USAGE OF THE 5-CENT MEMPHIS POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL.

With 1991 C.S.A. certificate.

E. 7,500-10,000
6,000
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5746
c
Sale Number 850, Lot Number 5746, Postmasters Provisionals (Marion to Mobile)Memphis Tenn., 5c Red on Orange entire (56XU3), Memphis Tenn., 5c Red on Orange entire (56XU3)Memphis Tenn., 5c Red on Orange entire (56XU3). Bold "Memphis Ten. Dec. 11, 1861" circular datestamp, addressed to Helena Ark., with original letter enclosure on printed stationery

EXTREMELY FINE. RARE IN THIS SUPERB CONDITION.

Ex Green

2,500
2,900
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5747
c
Sale Number 850, Lot Number 5747, Postmasters Provisionals (Marion to Mobile)Milledgeville Ga., 5c Black entire (57XU1), Milledgeville Ga., 5c Black entire (57XU1)Milledgeville Ga., 5c Black entire (57XU1). Clear strike of provisional marking with pencil "July 26" in provisional marking, light strike of "Milledgeville Ga. Jul. 26" with month enhanced in pencil (easily removed), on cover to Thomasville Ga., barely reduced at top affecting provisional marking, otherwise Fine, with 1991 Green certificate

250
90
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5748
c
Sale Number 850, Lot Number 5748, Postmasters Provisionals (Marion to Mobile)Milledgeville Ga., 10c Black entire (57XU5), Milledgeville Ga., 10c Black entire (57XU5)Milledgeville Ga., 10c Black entire (57XU5). Clear provisional marking with "Milledgeville Ga. Mar. 20" circular datestamp on orange cover to Franklin Ga., slightly reduced at top affecting markings, minor edgewear, otherwise Fine, with 1991 Green certificate

700
210
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5749
og
Sale Number 850, Lot Number 5749, Postmasters Provisionals (Marion to Mobile)Mobile Ala., 2c Black (58X1), Mobile Ala., 2c Black (58X1)Mobile Ala., 2c Black (58X1). Original gum, small h.r., large margins to clear, sharp impression, small thin spot not mentioned on accompanying certificate, Very Fine appearance, with 1957 P.F. certificate

2,000
675
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5750
 
Sale Number 850, Lot Number 5750, Postmasters Provisionals (Marion to Mobile)Mobile Ala., 5c Blue (58X2), Mobile Ala., 5c Blue (58X2)Mobile Ala., 5c Blue (58X2). Large even margins, tied by bold "Mobile Ala. Aug. 25, 1861" double-circle datestamp on small piece, Very Fine and choice

225
450
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5751
c
Sale Number 850, Lot Number 5751, Postmasters Provisionals (Marion to Mobile)Mobile Ala., 2c Black (58X1), Mobile Ala., 2c Black (58X1)Mobile Ala., 2c Black (58X1). Large margins to just touched at bottom left, tied by well-struck "Mobile Ala. Aug. 11, 1861" double-circle datestamp on light gray folded cover to Greensboro Ala., small mended hole at left, barely noticeable and otherwise a Very Fine circular rate usage of this scarce provisional, ex Everett

3,500
1,800
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5752
c
Sale Number 850, Lot Number 5752, Postmasters Provisionals (Marion to Mobile)Mobile Ala., 5c Blue (58X2), Mobile Ala., 5c Blue (58X2)Mobile Ala., 5c Blue (58X2). Large margins to just barely in, tied by well-struck "Mobile Ala. Aug. 23, 1861" double-circle datestamp on yellow cover with blue belt-shaped corner card to Choctaw Agency Miss., cover expertly cleaned and mended tear in top flap, Very Fine appearance

E. 1,000-1,500
900
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5753
c
Sale Number 850, Lot Number 5753, Postmasters Provisionals (Marion to Mobile)Mobile Ala., 5c Blue (58X2), Mobile Ala., 5c Blue (58X2)Mobile Ala., 5c Blue (58X2). Large margins to clear, tied by neat "Mobile Ala. Oct. 27, 1861" double-circle datestamp on faulty cover to Eutaw Ala., stamp is Fine, with 1991 P.F. certificate

1,750
270
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