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Sale 1064 — The Benjamin Wishnietsky Collection of Confederate States

Sale Date — Wednesday, 26 February, 2014

Category — Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
57
c
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 57, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Galveston Tex., 10c Black entire (98XU2), Galveston Tex., 10c Black entire (98XU2)Galveston Tex., 10c Black entire (98XU2). Perfect detailed strike of ornately-framed “PAID” handstamp depicting flowers, anchors and lyre, tying United States 3c Dull Red, Ty. III (26), separate “10” numeral handstamp struck over U.S. stamp, “Galveston Tex. Jun. 4, 1860” double-circle datestamp (yeardate in error, should be 1861) on northbound cover to Miss Fannie M. Fletcher in Granville O., marked "30th"" in correspondence, fresh and clean

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

E. 7,500-10,000
37,500
58
c
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 58, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Georgetown S.C., 5c Black entire (28XU1), Georgetown S.C., 5c Black entire (28XU1)Georgetown S.C., 5c Black entire (28XU1). Clear strike with control mark on back, "Georgetown S.C. Nov. 26, 1861" circular datestamp on cover to Dunn's Rock N.C., Very Fine, ex Stephen Brown

1,200
4,750
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59
c
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 59, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Greenville Court House S.C., 10c Black entire (34XU2), Greenville Court House S.C., 10c Black entire (34XU2)Greenville Court House S.C., 10c Black entire (34XU2). Clear strike of control mark on back with "Paid" and "10" handstamps, neat "Greenville C.H. S.C. Aug. 17" circular datestamp on cover to Pendleton S.C., missing top flap, fresh and Very Fine, ex Kohn, accompanied by two handstamped Paid covers paying 5c rate used from Greenville, the provisional illustrated in Crown on p. 447

2,000
1,100
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60
c
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 60, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Harrisburgh Tex., 5c Black entire (130XU1), Harrisburgh Tex., 5c Black entire (130XU1)Harrisburgh Tex., 5c Black entire (130XU1). Clear strike of town handstamp with "Paid" and "5" handstamp struck in the center of the circle on unused orange-buff cover, light vertical file fold, bright and fresh

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

E. 2,000-3,000
4,750
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61
c
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 61, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Houston Tex., 10c on 5c Red entire (40XU1a), Houston Tex., 10c on 5c Red entire (40XU1a)Houston Tex., 10c on 5c Red entire (40XU1a). Bold strike of provisional handstamp with manuscript "10" over "5", "Houston Tex. Jun. 15, 1861" circular datestamp on yellow cover to Spout Spring Va. fresh and immaculate

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

3,000
9,500
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62
c
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 62, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Houston Tex., 10c on 5c Red entire (unlisted), Houston Tex., 10c on 5c Red entire (unlisted)Houston Tex., 10c on 5c Red entire (unlisted). Red arced "Paid 5" handstamp (made from old U.S. "Paid 3") revalued with pen to "10" for over-500 miles rate, "Houston Tex. Jul. 26, 1861" circular datestamp on orange-buff cover to Spout Spring VA., Aug. 16 receipt docketing, Very Fine, believed by Mr. Wishnietsky to be a provisional based on the use of red for the handstamp, from the same correspondence as the provisional use in lot 61 (40XU1a)

E. 1,000-1,500
3,250
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63
c
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 63, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Jackson Miss., 5c Black entire (43XU1), Jackson Miss., 5c Black entire (43XU1)Jackson Miss., 5c Black entire (43XU1). Clear strike of provisional handstamp, "Jackson Miss. Sep. 11" (1861) circular datestamp on cover to Macon Miss., expertly sealed backflap tear, Very Fine

750
325
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64
 
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 64, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Knoxville Tenn., 5c Brick Red on Grayish Laid (47X1), Knoxville Tenn., 5c Brick Red on Grayish Laid (47X1)Knoxville Tenn., 5c Brick Red on Grayish Laid (47X1). Full margins to touched at left corners, bright color, light manuscript cancel, fresh and Fine, with 1952 P.F. certificate

600
850
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65
 
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 65, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Knoxville Tenn., 5c Carmine on Grayish Laid (47X2), Knoxville Tenn., 5c Carmine on Grayish Laid (47X2)Knoxville Tenn., 5c Carmine on Grayish Laid (47X2). Full to clear margins, lightly cancelled, few small flaws incl. thins and small sealed tear, Fine appearance

2,250
550
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66
c
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 66, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Knoxville Tenn., 5c Blue on White entire (47XU1), Knoxville Tenn., 5c Blue on White entire (47XU1)Knoxville Tenn., 5c Blue on White entire (47XU1). Typographic press-printed provisional at upper right corner of envelope, uncancelled as always, addressed to Haynesville Tenn., few light age spots, still Very Fine, only fourteen are recorded in the Crown survey, with 1973 P.F. certificate

2,500
2,100
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67
c
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 67, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Knoxville Tenn., 5c Blue on Orange entire (47XU2), Knoxville Tenn., 5c Blue on Orange entire (47XU2)Knoxville Tenn., 5c Blue on Orange entire (47XU2). Typographic press-printed provisional at upper right corner of envelope, uncancelled as always, addressed to Governor Isham G. Harris in Nashville Tenn.

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

3,500
5,750
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68
 
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 68, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Lynchburg Va., 5c Blue (52X1), Lynchburg Va., 5c Blue (52X1)Lynchburg Va., 5c Blue (52X1). Tight margins with full design all around, lightly cancelled, small faint toned spot, appears Fine

1,500
500
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69
c
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 69, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Lynchburg Va., 5c Blue (52X1), Lynchburg Va., 5c Blue (52X1)Lynchburg Va., 5c Blue (52X1). Full to clear margins, tied by "Lynchburg Va. Nov. 12" (1861) circular datestamp on buff cover to Indian Valley Va., barely reduced at right with tiny margin nick in stamp at bottom along that edge

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.

Ex Kimmel

7,000
5,000
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70
c
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 70, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Macon Ga., 5c Black on Light Blue Green Wove, Comma After "Office" (53X1), Macon Ga., 5c Black on Light Blue Green Wove, Comma After "Office" (53X1)Macon Ga., 5c Black on Light Blue Green Wove, Comma After "Office" (53X1). Large margins to clear at bottom, tied by "Macon Geo. ? 15" circular datestamp on orange-buff cover to Pickens C.H. S.C., slightly reduced at left

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

7,500
4,750
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71
c
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 71, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Macon Ga., 5c Black entire (53XU1), Macon Ga., 5c Black entire (53XU1)Macon Ga., 5c Black entire (53XU1). Clear strike of Type I ("Paid" over "5") provisional handstamp, "Macon Ga. Nov. ?" double-circle datestamp on buff cover to Haynesville Ga., Very Fine, scarce and seldom struck this clearly

650
500
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72
c
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 72, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2), Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2)Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2). Ample even margins clear of design, tied by Memphis circular datestamp with unclear date on cover to Carrolton Miss., sender's notation under stamp "Paid 5 cts", missing most of top flap, Very Fine

2,000
650
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73
c
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 73, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2), Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2)Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2). Large margins to clear at right, tied by Memphis circular datestamp with unclear date on buff cover to Carroll Hoy in New Orleans, usual filing pinholes, Very Fine

2,000
800
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74
c
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 74, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2), Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2)Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2). Two singles, both with full margins except left stamp touched at bottom, tied by "Memphis Ten. Sep. ? 1861" circular datestamp on Aug. 8, 1861 folded letter originating in Rotterdam, Netherlands, addressed to James Thomas Jr. in Richmond Va., second folded letter from Rotterdam also included and may have been enclosed, a "duplicate" of an earlier letter from June considered lost, both letters concerning tobacco business

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.

E. 4,000-5,000
5,750
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75
c
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 75, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Milledgeville Ga., 5c Black entire (57XU1), Milledgeville Ga., 5c Black entire (57XU1)Milledgeville Ga., 5c Black entire (57XU1). Clear strike of provisional with "Paid" straightline and "5" handstamps, "Milledgeville Ga. Aug. 22" circular datestamp on cover to Thomasville Ga., missing half of top flap, Very Fine

500
300
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76
c
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 76, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.10c Dark Blue, Hoyer & Ludwig (2b), 10c Dark Blue, Hoyer & Ludwig (2b)10c Dark Blue, Hoyer & Ludwig (2b). Tied by "Milledgeville Ga. Jan. 27" (1862) circular datestamp on Milledgeville Ga., 5c Black Provisional entire (57XU1) to Vice President Stephens in Richmond, stamp affixed over the "Paid 5" handstamps, moved and hinged at center for display, clear strike of control handstamp at left, missing backflap as usual for Stephens covers and stamp with vertical crease, the 10c stamp paid the entire postage so this is not a provisional use, still Very Fine appearance and nice combination

E. 500-750
1,700
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77
 
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 77, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Mobile Ala., 2c Black (58X1), Mobile Ala., 2c Black (58X1)Mobile Ala., 2c Black (58X1). Full to large margins three sides, close just at lower left, tied by Mobile Ala. double-circle datestamp on small piece, Very Fine, signed Costales

1,200
800
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78
 
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 78, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Mobile Ala., 5c Blue (58X2), Mobile Ala., 5c Blue (58X2)Mobile Ala., 5c Blue (58X2). Two singles, first part original gum, second "Mobile Ala. Dec. 6, 1861" double-circle datestamp, both with four margins, one side on each close, Very Fine pair

750
700
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79
c
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 79, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Mobile Ala., 2c Black (58X1), Mobile Ala., 2c Black (58X1)Mobile Ala., 2c Black (58X1). Full to large margins all around, intense shade and impression, tied by bold Mobile Ala. double-circle datestamp on circular rate cover to Greensboro Ala.

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.

Ex Judd

6,000
13,000
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80
c
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 80, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Mobile Ala., 5c Blue (58X2), Mobile Ala., 5c Blue (58X2)Mobile Ala., 5c Blue (58X2). Large margins to clear incl. trace of adjoining stamp at bottom, tied by "Mobile Ala. Oct. 18, 1861" double-circle datestamp on cover to Knoxville Tenn., manuscript "Due 5c" at top for weight, missing top flap, some minor toning on back, otherwise Very Fine

2,000
700
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81
c
Sale Number 1064, Lot Number 81, Postmasters` Provisionals: Galveston Tex. thru Montgomery Ala.Montgomery Ala., 5c Red entire (59XU1), Montgomery Ala., 5c Red entire (59XU1)Montgomery Ala., 5c Red entire (59XU1). Clear strike of provisional handstamp with "Montgomery Ala. Jul. 17, 1861" circular datestamp on folded letter to Marion Ala., minor soiling at left, Very Fine, "W.H.C." Colson handstamp

1,100
500
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