EXTREMELY FINE AND IMMACULATE. ONE OF THE MOST OUTSTANDING CONFEDERATE POSTMASTER PROVISIONAL COVERS AND A HIGHLIGHT OF THE WISHNIETSKY COLLECTION. THIS IS THE ONLY EXAMPLE OF THE GALVESTON HANDSTAMPED PROVISIONAL USED WITH A UNITED STATES STAMP.
U.S. Postmaster General Montgomery Blair ordered the suspension of mail service in the seceded states, effective May 31, 1861, but northbound mail was allowed to enter until June 7, when all mail exchange between the North and South was banned. This cover was posted at Galveston on June 4, 1861 -- the 1860 year in the datestamp is in error, which is consistent with other Galveston postmarks of the period. It reached the exchange office (either in western Tennessee or at Nashville) before northbound mail forwarding was completely discontinued. The cover was franked with the 3c 1857 Issue to pay the U.S. rate. The Galveston Provisional paid the over-500 miles C.S.A. rate from Texas, which was effective June 1.
Ex Hollowbush. Accompanied by a photocopy of another cover from the same correspondence ("27th") without the Galveston provisional markings. With 1973 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE HARRISBURGH TEXAS 5-CENT POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ENTIRE.
Both the Scott and C.S.A. catalogs list the Harrisburgh Texas handstamped provisionals in 5c and 10c denominations (unpriced). The C.S.A. catalog states that the 10c is known only as a single cover front dated Oct. 28, 1863. This unused entire is the only recorded example of the 5c
EXTREMELY FINE AND RARE EXAMPLE OF THE REVALUED 10-CENT ON 5-CENT RED HOUSTON TEXAS POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL.
A Power Search review failed to find another example. With 1978 P.F. certificate as the old catalog designation 40XU6
VERY FINE. AN UNUSUALLY FRESH AND ATTRACTIVE EXAMPLE OF THE KNOXVILLE PROVISIONAL ENVELOPE ON ORANGE PAPER.
Harris served as governor of Tennessee from 1857-62 and as a U.S. Senator for 20 years after the war until his death in 1897, rising to the position of President pro tem
VERY FINE. A HANDSOME FOUR-MARGIN EXAMPLE OF THE LYNCHBURG POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL USED ON COVER.
Of the 25 single Lynchburg provisional stamps recorded on cover in the Calhoun census, about one-third have stamps with four full margins, while the majority are cut into on one side.
VERY FINE AND RARE ON-COVER EXAMPLE OF THE MACON FOUR-LINE PROVISIONAL WITH COMMA AFTER "OFFICE".
The Macon provisional with “Post Office, Macon, Ga.” added to the setting is very rare on cover (Peter W. W. Powell reported 24 on cover in the Confederate Philatelist, Sep.-Oct. 2000). Overall, the Comma after "Office" variety is approximately twice as rare as the period variety.
Ex Emerson. Ashbrook guarantee backstamp with his signature
VERY FINE. A RARE LETTER FROM ROTTERDAM TO CONFEDERATE RICHMOND, LIKELY CARRIED ACROSS THE BORDER AND MAILED AT MEMPHIS AFTER THE MAILS BETWEEN THE U.S. AND THE CONFEDERATE STATES WERE SUSPENDED.
Mr. Wishnietsky regarded this as a blockade-run cover, and as such a unique example franked with the Memphis provisional. A letter from the same correspondence, dated December 29, 1861, was carried by Costa's Express from Tampico to New Orleans (see Special Routes, p. 166). This letter and its separate enclosure entered the Confederate mails at Memphis, which indicates that it either crossed the lines from the North and was carried privately to Memphis (probably via Louisville) or that it entered a southern port on a blockade-runner and was carried to Memphis by a land route, or, less likely, by a river route. Whichever way it travelled to Memphis, the two 5c Provisionals were affixed there for the over-500 miles rate to Richmond by regular government mail.
EXTREMELY FINE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE USE OF THE 2-CENT MOBILE PROVISIONAL ON A CIRCULAR-RATE COVER AND ONE OF THE FINEST SINGLE-FRANKINGS EXTANT.
Lloyd Bowers was the postmaster of this strategically important Confederate port city during the war. He was one of the first postmasters to issue provisional stamps, and his decision to use the lithographic printing process places him in the company of only two other postmasters: Alfred Huger of Charleston S.C. and Stephen W. Murley of Livingston Ala.
Bowers' stamps have been intensively studied over many years. The most recent work by Van Koppersmith has resulted in progress toward a complete understanding of the sizes and layouts of the lithographic stones used to print the 2c and 5c Mobile provisionals. Koppersmith's articles on the Mobile provisionals can be found in the Collectors Club Philatelist (September-October 2005) and the Confederate Philatelist (April-June 2010).
The Mobile 2c and 5c sheets have multiple imprints below the bottom row which read, "Eng. & Pri. by W. R. Roberston Mobile." William R. Robertson was an engraver and lithographic printer in Mobile, and current scholarship identifies him as the person solely responsible for creating the lithographic stones and printing the provisional.
A pair in the Tapling collection at the British Library has a large top sheet margin with part of an imprint which reads, "(exclus)ively at the Mobile Post Office." This wording is almost identical to the imprint on the New Orleans provisional sheet, "Usable exclusively in the New Orleans Post Office." Postmaster Bowers must have seen the sheets used by his colleague down river, Dr. Riddell, and adopted the same instructive imprint for his provisional issue.
The same design was used for the 2c and 5c denominations. The central design element is a five-point hollow star with the numeral value in the blank center. The areas between the points of the star feature figurative symbols of the South and Mobile's marine heritage: young sailors in hats holding oars, a woman holding a rope attached to a large anchor, another woman holding a sickle, and an anchor and plow below the star. Only two Confederate post offices, Livingston and Mobile, issued stamps with a figurative design specifically created for stamps (the Danville postmaster used a stock image for his provisional envelopes). It is almost certain that the same printer -- William R. Robertson -- was responsible for both the Livingston and Mobile stamps. By identifying plating marks on sheet-margin stamps and vertical multiples, Koppersmith has determined that the 5c stone was five horizontal rows in height. He has speculated that the layout might have followed New Orleans: five horizontal rows by eight vertical columns.
The Crown census records only 23 covers with the 2c Mobile provisional. A survey of auction records shows a small number of four-margins stamps on sound covers.