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Sale 1225 — Civil War Postal History, featuring the 'Ambassador' Collection

Sale Date — Wednesday, 9 September, 2020

Category — Postmasters' Provisionals (Chattanooga thru Memphis)

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
91
c
Sale Number 1225, Lot Number 91, Postmasters' Provisionals (Chattanooga thru Memphis)Chattanooga Tenn., 5c Black entire (17XU2), Chattanooga Tenn., 5c Black entire (17XU2)Chattanooga Tenn., 5c Black entire (17XU2). Clear strike of provisional handstamp with "Chattanooga Ten. Jul. 15, 1861" circular datestamp on buff cover to Kingston Tenn., minor edgewear, Very Fine, only five are recorded in the Crown survey, ex Boshwit and Powell, with 2015 P.F. certificate

1,750
1,700
92
c
Sale Number 1225, Lot Number 92, Postmasters' Provisionals (Chattanooga thru Memphis)Columbia S.C., 5c Blue entire, Seal on Front (18XU11), Columbia S.C., 5c Blue entire, Seal on Front (18XU11)Columbia S.C., 5c Blue entire, Seal on Front (18XU11). Clear strike of oval provisional seal at upper right corner of buff cover, provisional overstruck by “5” numeral handstamp and "Paid" in circle, “Columbia S.C. 5 cts. 10 Aug. 28” pre-war integral-rate circular datestamp, all markings in blue, addressed to "Mr. Robert Beaty, Santuc, Sou. R.Rd., S.C.," missing backflap and slightly reduced at top, Very Fine and rare, McDowell records eight Columbia provisional entires with the oval seal struck on front and not on the flaps, all dated in August and September 1861 with the pre-war integral-rate datestamp, ex Hessel and Dr. Brandon

2,500
1,200
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93
c
Sale Number 1225, Lot Number 93, Postmasters' Provisionals (Chattanooga thru Memphis)Courtland Ala., 5c Red entire (103XU1), Courtland Ala., 5c Red entire (103XU1)Courtland Ala., 5c Red entire (103XU1). Beautifully struck fancy woodcut provisional handstamp with central "5", "Paid" and circle of stars on cover addressed to Mrs. Bettie Dimind in Athens Ala., no date, some minor erosion in cover at top far from handstamp and not mentioned on accompanying certificate

VERY FINE. THIS IS THE UNIQUE EXAMPLE OF THE FANCY COURTLAND, ALABAMA, POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL. ONE OF THE GREAT RARITIES OF CONFEDERATE PHILATELY.

The postmaster of Courtland, Alabama, from 1851 through the Civil War was Alfred D. Simmons. Little is known about his unique handstamped provisional, and in previous years the catalogue listings for it were duplicative and incorrect. An early mention of it appeared in the June 1930 issue of the New Southern Philatelist (p. 405). "Among the remarkable covers that make up Judge Robert S. Emerson's collection of Confederate 'Paids' there is one in particular that attracted my attention on account of its striking design. I have never before seen this Provisional from Courtland Alabama. It is a crude woodcut, mortised for the insertion of a type figure '5' and impressed on the left (sic) upper corner of the cover in red-brown... It is addressed to Mrs. Bettie Dimind, Athens Ala."

The Courtland provisional has appeared at auction only a few times since that 1930 article. It was most likely privately sold from the Emerson collection. It appeared in a Siegel sale in 1958, (Sale 213, lot 1025) and then in a Fox sale in 1961 (Dec. 15, lot 66). In 1975 it was sold as part of the famous Kimmel collection (Siegel Sale 492, lot 579). The 1945 Dietz Catalog first listed the Courtland provisional in black and the 1959 edition added red. This confusion at one time extended to the Scott Catalogue, which listed it in both colors. However, both the new C.S.A. Catalog and Scott now correctly list the color as only red, and state that this is the unique example.

Ex Emerson, Dr. Hertz, Kimmel and Dr. Brandon. With 2014 P.F. certificate

37,500
26,000
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94
c
Sale Number 1225, Lot Number 94, Postmasters' Provisionals (Chattanooga thru Memphis)Greenville Ala., 5c Red & Blue on Pinkish Glazed (33X1), Greenville Ala., 5c Red & Blue on Pinkish Glazed (33X1)Greenville Ala., 5c Red & Blue on Pinkish Glazed (33X1). Typical margins with borders and type almost complete, strong impressions and rich colors on bright fresh paper, uncancelled as always, "Greenville Ala. Oct. 19" (1861) circular datestamp on yellow cover addressed to "George L. Henry Esqr., Care of Capt. H. B. T. Montgomery, 5th Georgia Regiment, Pensacola, Fla.", light vertical folds in cover far from stamp, slight wear

VERY FINE. ONE OF TWO RECORDED COVERS BEARING THE 5-CENT GREENVILLE PROVISIONAL STAMP -- FOUR OTHER EXAMPLES ARE KNOWN OFF COVER. THE STAMP ON THIS COVER IS COMPLETELY SOUND AND HAS RICH COLORS. A MAGNIFICENT COVER BEARING ONE OF THE FIRST BICOLORED POSTAGE STAMPS TO APPEAR IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. AN OUTSTANDING RARITY OF CLASSIC AMERICAN PHILATELY.

The Greenville provisionals were issued by Judge Benjamin F. Porter (1808-1868). His papers are located at Auburn University Libraries and a biography of Porter from the library website provides details of his life (http://www.lib.auburn.edu/archive/find-aid/155.htm ): "Benjamin Faneuil Porter was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1808. His father died while he was very young, which left his family financially troubled. His educational background was limited, having left school at an early age to support his mother and sister. He initially worked as a druggist in Charleston and attempted to study medicine. Porter however changed his mind and began to study law. In 1826 was admitted to the South Carolina Bar and soon afterwards began to practice law in Charleston. Three years later, in 1829, Porter and his new wife relocated to Claiborne, Alabama. He was granted a license to practice law in Alabama in 1830. In 1832 he was elected to the State Legislature from Monroe County. Two years later he was elected as County Judge. He and his family moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1835. Returning to politics he was re-elected to the State Legislature in 1837 and elected Circuit Court Judge in 1839. He was the first chair of the University of Alabama School of Law in 1845 but resigned within the year. Prior to the American Civil War he edited a newspaper; served as Reporter to the Alabama State Supreme Court; was the Superintendent of Education; was the President of Will's Valley Railroad; and ran for State Senate but was defeated. At the outbreak of the war, he offered his services to Jefferson Davis and was appointed to command a camp of instruction at Greenville, Alabama. Following the war, Porter joined the Republican Party and accepted the Judgeship of the 12th Judicial Circuit. He died on June 4, 1868 in Greenville, Butler County, Alabama."

Postmaster Porter's typeset provisional issue is not only very rare, it is remarkable as one of three postmaster issues printed in two colors -- the others were issued at Baton Rouge and Lenoir. These are the first government-issued, bicolored adhesive postage stamps to appear anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.

After a thorough search of relevant records (auction sales, Levi clippings, Philatelic Foundation and Confederate Stamp Alliance certificates) we have located only eight examples of either Greenville denomination, including four off-cover 5c stamps, two 5c covers, and two 10c covers. None of the Greenville stamps is cancelled.

This cover was included in the Ferrary sale as part of a mixed lot of doubtful items, which included a few Greenville provisionals (Gilbert Sale 4, lot 4). The lot was purchased by Edward Stern of the Economist Stamp Co., and two of the 5c Greenville stamps were pronounced genuine: one off cover and the stamp on the cover offered here, which was sold to Alfred H. Caspary.

Ex Ferrary, Caspary, Dr. Graves, Birkinbine and "D.K." collection.

47,500
23,000
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95
c
Sale Number 1225, Lot Number 95, Postmasters' Provisionals (Chattanooga thru Memphis)Danville Va., 5c Black on Yellow entire (21XU1 var), Danville Va., 5c Black on Yellow entire (21XU1 var)Danville Va., 5c Black on Yellow entire (21XU1 var). Press-printed illustrated design on right side of envelope with Flippen, Redd & Co. Tobacco Manufacturers, Danville Va. corner card, addressed to Mrs. Jno. H. Redd in Talcott, (West) Virginia, docketing at left erased but "1861" still visible, no other postmarks, backflap tears from opening

VERY FINE. A RARE EXAMPLE OF THE DANVILLE TYPOGRAPHED POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ON YELLOW ENTIRE.

The Danville post office issued provisional adhesive and press-printed envelopes in close proximity. William D. Coleman, editor of the Democratic Appeal newspaper, had been Danville's postmaster from September 14, 1860, to March 12, 1861. William B. Payne was appointed by the U.S. Post Office on March 12, 1861, but he served a very short term (Richard L. Calhoun, The Confederate Postmaster Provisionals of Virginia). Coleman enlisted in the army, but served only a few months before he was asked to replace Payne as Danville's Confederate postmaster. Coleman was officially appointed on August 2, 1861, but his recollection was that he took over in October 1861 (Crown book, pages 85-87).

The press-printed provisional envelopes bear Payne's name, and the adhesive bears Coleman's name. Coleman stated that his stamps were printed at the offices of the Democratic Appeal. Philatelic authors have reported that the envelopes were also printed at the newspaper offices, but no proof of that claim has been offered. Postmaster Payne also sold handstamped envelopes with his initials.

The Danville press-printed envelopes are among the most unusual of all Postmasters' Provisionals. A stock typographic engraving was used with loose type set inside the blank oval. The illustration depicts a shoe fitting for an Antebellum lady. She is seated, while another woman kneels before her with shoe in hand, and a gentleman stands over her, also holding a shoe. It is reported that this engraving was used in advertisements for ladies' shoes and boots. Another unusual feature of this provisional is the use of the slogan "Southern Confederacy" in addition to the post office and postmaster names, and the denomination. The word "Southern" is set in either a nearly straight line or slightly curved line.

The envelopes were printed with two different denominations: the 5c in Black, and the 10c in Red. The 5c envelopes properly used as provisionals are datestamped in July, August and early September. None of the 10c press-printed envelopes has been found properly used in that period. Both the 5c and 10c envelopes are found with later dates, sometimes with General Issue stamps affixed for postage (or removed), but these envelopes were used as stationery and not as provisional postage.

The Calhoun census lists 24 envelopes, but nearly half are not proper provisional uses (either lacking a Danville postmark or used with adhesive postage). While this cover lacks the postmark, the docketing clearly indicates an 1861 use and there is no indication that a General Issue stamp has been removed. The classification of envelope colors, including Buff versus Amber, is also questionable. We think it is quite probable that all of the other genuine July-September envelopes are more or less the same shade of Dark Buff (21XU3). While clearly not Buff, this envelope is closer to Lemon than Amber (which is listed as 21XU2 in Scott, but questioned by the editors in a footnote). We classify it here as Yellow (21XU1 var). It is the same shade as another example we offered, mailed in 1862 with a General Issue stamp applied to pay the postage (Siegel Sale 787, lot 3212).

Ex Dr. Brandon. With 2014 P.F. certificate

7,000
1,000
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96
c
Sale Number 1225, Lot Number 96, Postmasters' Provisionals (Chattanooga thru Memphis)Jackson Miss., 5c Black entire (43XU1), Jackson Miss., 5c Black entire (43XU1)Jackson Miss., 5c Black entire (43XU1). Clear strike of C.S.A. rate "Paid 5 Cents" provisional handstamp with "Jackson Miss. Jun. 21" (1861) circular datestamp on buff cover to Scooba Miss. with Mississippi Secession Date Patriotic design (FM-1), elaborate illustration in banner depicting riverboat and industry, titled "Mississippi Jan. 9, 1861", Hammond imprint

EXTREMELY FINE. AN OUTSTANDING AND EXTREMELY RARE JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ENTIRE WITH THE MISSISSIPPI SECESSION PATRIOTIC DESIGN.

This patriotic design commemorates the date Mississippi seceded from the Union. This is the only recorded example with the Jackson 5c provisonal handstamp -- see lot 54 for the same design with the Jackson 3c U.S. rate provisional.

Ex Emerson, Brooks and Kilbourne. Dietz backstamp

E. 2,000-3,000
2,300
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97
c
Sale Number 1225, Lot Number 97, Postmasters' Provisionals (Chattanooga thru Memphis)Jackson Miss., 5c Black entire (43XU1), Jackson Miss., 5c Black entire (43XU1)Jackson Miss., 5c Black entire (43XU1). Clear strike of "Paid 5 Cents" provisional handstamp, no Jackson circular datestamp, on buff cover to Utica Miss. with brown Jefferson Davis Medallion, 7-Star Flags and Sunburst Patriotic design (JD-1A), slightly reduced at right, Very Fine and rare use of the Jackson provisional handstamp on a Jefferson Davis Medallion cover, ex Brooks and Kilbourne, Scott value $3,000.00

E. 1,000-1,500
750
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98
 
Sale Number 1225, Lot Number 98, Postmasters' Provisionals (Chattanooga thru Memphis)Knoxville Tenn., 5c Carmine on Grayish Laid (47X2), Knoxville Tenn., 5c Carmine on Grayish Laid (47X2)Knoxville Tenn., 5c Carmine on Grayish Laid (47X2). Large margins, deep rich color, neat pen "X" cancel, Extremely Fine, with 1975 and 2016 P.F. certificates (XF 90), Scott value as pen-cancelled

1,100
1,200
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99
c
Sale Number 1225, Lot Number 99, Postmasters' Provisionals (Chattanooga thru Memphis)Livingston Ala., 5c Blue (51X1), Livingston Ala., 5c Blue (51X1)Livingston Ala., 5c Blue (51X1). Large margins, beautiful rich color and fine impression, neatly tied by "Livingston Ala. Dec. 10" (1861) circular datestamp on buff cover to Mrs. Ann E. Taylor, Enterprise Miss., stamp has tiny tear at bottom right, stain removed from top center of cover and a few other minor cosmetic improvements

EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF ONLY SEVEN RECORDED COVERS BEARING THE LIVINGSTON, ALABAMA, POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL. A STRIKING PICTORIAL STAMP THAT DEPICTS THE SOUTHERN SHIELD AND ALLEGORICAL FIGURES.

Livingston is the county seat of Sumter County, Alabama, lying on the Selma and Meriden Railroad line about 130 miles north of Mobile, near the state's western border. Official records name Stephen W. Murley as the Livingston postmaster in 1861. Although other sources attribute the stamp to another postmaster, Robert F. Houston, it seems almost certain that Murley was solely responsible for the Livingston provisional. According to research by Van Koppersmith, "Houston served as postmaster at Livingston on at least three different occasions for a total of about twenty years beginning in the late 1830s. He was also a member of the state legislature in 1839 and again in 1857-1858, about the time he began and ended his terms as postmaster. Stephen W. Murley had taken over as postmaster at Livingston well before secession and remained to become the first Confederate postmaster, serving at least until the end of 1861. A thorough search of state, county and city history books yielded very little information on either postmaster. It is interesting to note that an S. W. Murley served as the postmaster in Selma, Dallas County, for a few years around 1840. However, further research showed that his first name was Samuel." The Livingston provisional is known used in November-December 1861 and again in March 1862, coincidental with Murley's term as postmaster.

The Livingston stamps were printed from a lithographic stone. Lithography was used by only three postmasters to print provisional stamps (Charleston, Livingston and Mobile). Every transfer on the stone has a small partly-complete circle (or curl) extending into the margin below the "T" of "Cents" at bottom. The allegorical design depicting images of the South is very unusual. 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 was responsible for both the Livingston and Mobile stamps, whose imprint "W. R. Robertson Mobile" appears on the Mobile lithographic stones. The size and layout of the Livingston stone has yet to be determined, and probably never will, due to the small number of surviving copies.

Our records contain a total of 11 stamps, including the famous and unique pair on cover (Nov. 12, 1861), 6 singles on separate covers (1861--Nov. 15, Nov. 15, Nov. 25, Dec. 10 offered here; 1862--Mar. 17 and Mar. 21), and 3 off-cover stamps -- the two discovery copies, originally used together on a cover and offered in lot 100, and the example offered in lot 101. One of the single frankings, a corner-margin stamp (Nov. 25 date, ex Caspary, Antrim and Cole), was severely damaged when someone attempted to remove ballpoint pen ink with an eraser.

This cover was first offered at auction in 1892 as part of the Kleine collection, where it realized $780. Also ex Sellers, Duveen, Emerson, Brooks, Weatherly, Peyton ("Isleham"), Hill and "D.K." collection. With 2004 P.F. certificate

75,000
22,000
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100
 
Sale Number 1225, Lot Number 100, Postmasters' Provisionals (Chattanooga thru Memphis)Livingston Ala., 5c Blue (51X1), Livingston Ala., 5c Blue (51X1)Livingston Ala., 5c Blue (51X1). Two stamps originally tied together on a cover, left stamp ample even margins all around, lightly struck "Livingston Ala. Nov. 23" circular datestamp, upon careful examination of the thin wove paper we find a tiny sealed tear at top, a few minute scrapes and a slight crease, none of which significantly affect the appearance, right stamp with ample margins to slightly in at bottom right corner, light strike of the right portion of the Livingston Ala. Nov. 23 circular datestamp, tiny internal sealed tear

VERY FINE AND FINE APPEARING SINGLES OF THE LIVINGSTON, ALABAMA, POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL. THESE STAMPS, TWO OF ONLY ELEVEN RECORDED EXAMPLES IN TOTAL, ON OR OFF COVER, ARE THE ORIGINAL DISCOVERY COPIES OF THE LIVINGSTON PROVISIONAL AND WERE USED ON A COVER TOGETHER. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1872 THAT THEY ARE REUNITED IN ONE COLLECTION. A FABULOUS RARITY OF THE CIVIL WAR AND OF CLASSIC PHILATELY.

Livingston is the county seat of Sumter County, Alabama, lying on the Selma and Meriden Railroad line about 130 miles north of Mobile, near the state's western border. Official records name Stephen W. Murley as the Livingston postmaster in 1861. Although other sources attribute the stamp to another postmaster, Robert F. Houston, it seems almost certain that Murley was solely responsible for the Livingston provisional. According to research by Van Koppersmith, "Houston served as postmaster at Livingston on at least three different occasions for a total of about twenty years beginning in the late 1830's. He was also a member of the state legislature in 1839 and again in 1857-1858, about the time he began and ended his terms as postmaster. Stephen W. Murley had taken over as postmaster at Livingston well before secession and remained to become the first Confederate postmaster, serving at least until the end of 1861. A thorough search of state, county and city history books yielded very little information on either postmaster. It is interesting to note that an S. W. Murley served as the postmaster in Selma, Dallas County, for a few years around 1840. However, further research showed that his first name was Samuel." The Livingston provisional is known used in November-December 1861 and again in March 1862, coincidental with Murley's term as postmaster.

The Livingston stamps were printed from a lithographic stone. Lithography was used by only three postmasters to print provisional stamps (Charleston, Livingston and Mobile). Every transfer on the stone has a small partly-complete circle (or curl) extending into the margin below the "T" of "Cents" at bottom. The allegorical design depicting images of the South is very unusual. 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 was responsible for both the Livingston and Mobile stamps, whose imprint "W. R. Robertson Mobile" appears on the Mobile lithographic stones. The size and layout of the Livingston stone has yet to be determined, and probably never will, due to the small number of surviving copies.

Our records contain a total of 11 stamps, including the famous and unique pair on cover (Nov. 12, 1861), 6 singles on separate covers (1861--Nov. 15, Nov. 15, Nov. 25, Dec. 10 (offered in lot 99); 1862--Mar. 17 and Mar. 21), and 3 off-cover stamps -- the two offered here and the single in lot 101. One of the single frankings, a corner-margin stamp (Nov. 25 date, ex Caspary, Antrim and Cole), was severely damaged when someone attempted to remove ballpoint pen ink with an eraser.

These two stamps were found in 1869 by a Southern railroad employee. Used together on one cover, they are the first Livingston provisionals discovered by philatelists and were reported in The American Stamp Mercury on page 110 of volume 3 (1869). News of the discovery was later reported by J. W. Scott in the June and July 1869 editions of The American Journal of Philately. The left stamp was sold to Dr. Petrie and is ex Ferrary, Walcott, Hall and "D.K." collection (Siegel Sale 1022, lot 1034). The right stamp was sold to Francis C. Foster. In the May 1872 edition of Stamp Collector's Monthly (p. 95) Foster gave an account of his acquisition of the stamp. "I chanced to secure the only two Livingston, Ala. provisional stamps that I ever saw or heard of, one for myself and the other for a fellow collector, both being on one envelope, duly postmarked, dated & c: but had I not received them from a young man well known to me, who discovered them in file of old letters, I should have doubted their genuineness."

Since these two discovery stamps were separately dispersed in 1872, they have, until now, remained in different iconic collections. Ambassador Middendorf reunited them after purchasing them in separate Siegel sales. This is the first time they have appeared together since they were soaked off their cover almost 150 years ago.

Left stamp is ex Petrie, Ferrary, Walcott, Hall and "D.K." collection. With 2002 P.F. certificate. Right stamp is ex Foster, Caspary, Kirkman, Siegel 1965 Rarities sale and Dr. Brandon. Raymond H. Weill backstamp and with 2014 P.F. certificate. Scott value as two singles

30,000
0
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101
 
Sale Number 1225, Lot Number 101, Postmasters' Provisionals (Chattanooga thru Memphis)Livingston Ala., 5c Blue (51X1), Livingston Ala., 5c Blue (51X1)Livingston Ala., 5c Blue (51X1). Ample even margins except at lower right where just slightly in, lightly struck circular datestamp, affixed to thin card, upon careful examination of the thin wove paper we find a couple small sealed tears and a few minute scrapes, none of which significantly affect the appearance

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. THIS STAMP IS ONE OF ELEVEN RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE LIVINGSTON, ALABAMA, POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL, ON OR OFF COVER. A RARE OPPORTUNITY TO OWN ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS AND DESIRABLE OF ALL CONFEDERATE POSTMASTERS' PROVISIONALS.

Our records contain a total of 11 examples of the Livingston Postmaster's Provisional, including the famous and unique pair on cover (Nov. 12, 1861), 6 singles on separate covers (1861--Nov. 15, Nov. 15, Nov. 25, Dec. 10 (offered in lot 99); 1862--Mar. 17 and Mar. 21), and 3 off-cover stamps -- the two discovery copies, originally used together on a cover and offered in lot 100 and the example offered here. One of the single frankings, a corner-margin stamp (Nov. 25 date, ex Caspary, Antrim and Cole), was severely damaged when someone attempted to remove ballpoint pen ink with an eraser.

Ex Ferrary, Hind, Tyler and Freeland. With 1982 and 2008 P.F. certificates

15,000
5,750
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102
 
Sale Number 1225, Lot Number 102, Postmasters' Provisionals (Chattanooga thru Memphis)Macon Ga., 5c Black on Light Blue Green Laid (53X8), Macon Ga., 5c Black on Light Blue Green Laid (53X8)Macon Ga., 5c Black on Light Blue Green Laid (53X8). Large to huge margins including part of two adjoining stamps, showing clear laid lines, unobtrusive strike of circular datestamp cancel, light vertical crease, Extremely Fine appearance, the laid paper stamp is far rarer than the wove, with 2018 P.S.E. certificate

2,250
850
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103
c
Sale Number 1225, Lot Number 103, Postmasters' Provisionals (Chattanooga thru Memphis)Marion Va., 10c Black (55X2), Marion Va., 10c Black (55X2)Marion Va., 10c Black (55X2). Margins on three sides, frame and part of post office name cut away at right, tied by "Marion Va. Nov. 16" (1861) circular datestamp on oatmeal cover to Emory Va.

FINE AND ATTRACTIVE. ONE OF SIX AVAILABLE COVERS BEARING THE MARION POSTMASTER'S 10-CENT PROVISIONAL STAMP.

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. The most recent discovery of a Marion provisional occurred in March 2000 when a nearly complete cover surfaced in an auction of the R. G. Hunter estate in Virginia (sold in our 2000 Rarities sale, Sale 824, lot 443). In addition to the seven stamps on covers, there are two unused singles and perhaps one or two off-cover singles. Of the seven known covers, one is part of the Tapling collection at the British Library (a sound example dated Oct. 15, 1861).

Signed Ashbrook. Ex Emerson, Brooks, Weatherly, Kilbourne and Gross.

35,000
9,000
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104
 
Sale Number 1225, Lot Number 104, Postmasters' Provisionals (Chattanooga thru Memphis)Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2), Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2)Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2). Huge margins including part of adjoining stamps on all four sides, rich color, neat strike of "Memphis Ten. Oct. 15, 1861" circular datestamp, Extremely Fine Gem, with 2018 P.F. certificate (Gem 100)

250
550
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105
c
Sale Number 1225, Lot Number 105, Postmasters' Provisionals (Chattanooga thru Memphis)Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2), Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2)Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2). Large margins three sides, touching at top, tied by "Memphis Ten." (date unclear) circular datestamp on cover to Clarksville Tex. (approximately 300 miles distance) with blue 12-Star Confederate Flag, Cannon and Verse Patriotic design (CN-1C, Verse 39), most of top flap missing and tear at left edge, scattered toned spots

VERY FINE. A COLORFUL AND RARE USE OF THE MEMPHIS POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ON A FLAG-AND-CANNON PATRIOTIC COVER.

Ex Felton and Kilbourne. With 1989 P.F. certificate

E. 2,000-3,000
1,500
Back to Top
106
c
Sale Number 1225, Lot Number 106, Postmasters' Provisionals (Chattanooga thru Memphis)Memphis Tenn., 5c Red on 5c Red on Orange entire (56X2, 56XU3), Memphis Tenn., 5c Red on 5c Red on Orange entire (56X2, 56XU3)Memphis Tenn., 5c Red on 5c Red on Orange entire (56X2, 56XU3). Adhesive affixed next to press-printed stamp, both tied by "Memphis Ten. Jun. 20" (1861) circular datestamp on orange cover to Havana Ala., forwarded to Nicholson's Store, Choctaw Co. Ala. with blue "Havana Ala. Jul. 5" circular datestamp and matching "Paid" and "5" handstamps, manuscript "Via Mobile & Ohio R.R." matches the forwarding address, slightly reduced at right with tiny paper repair just to edge of but not touching the press-printed stamp

VERY FINE. A SPECTACULAR COVER COMBINING MULTIPLE DESIRABLE ELEMENTS. MEMPHIS IS THE ONLY POST OFFICE REPRESENTED BY COVERS COMBINING THE POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ADHESIVE AND PRINTED ENTIRE. THIS IS ALSO THE EARLIEST KNOWN USE FOR BOTH THE 5-CENT ADHESIVE AND THE PRESS-PRINTED ENTIRE, AND A FORWARDED USE WITH THE FIRST POSTAGE PAID BY STAMPS AND THE SECOND POSTAGE PAID BY CASH.

Three Confederate post offices issued provisional adhesive stamps and printed entires concurrently: Charleston S.C., Lynchburg Va. and Memphis Tenn. Of the three, only a few Memphis entires are known with an additional 5c provisional stamp for the 10c rate. In this case, the distance between Memphis and Havana is approximately 250 miles, well under the 500-mile limit for 5c. Therefore, the weight must have exceeded one-half ounce. The forwarding postage was paid in cash as a single rate.

The C.S.A. Catalog lists this cover as the earliest known use of both provisionals -- by a wide margin. July 8 for 56X2 and July 4 for 56XU1-56XU4 are the next earliest recorded dates of use. It is believed that the Memphis provisionals were printed on June 19, 1861, making it unlikely that this earliest known use will be eclipsed by another.

Ex Emerson, Weatherly, Matz and Dr. Brandon. Accompanied by a 1975 letter from Billy Matz to Ralph Brandon attesting to the authenticity of the cover and expressing his strong desire to purchase it back. Dr. Brandon purchased it as lot 1479 in Siegel Sale 472, which contained the extensive Matz collection of Memphis Provisionals. With 2014 P.F. certificate

E. 5,000-7,500
8,500
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107
c
Sale Number 1225, Lot Number 107, Postmasters' Provisionals (Chattanooga thru Memphis)Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2), Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2)Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2). Two singles, faults from being affixed slightly over top of cover, tied by "Memphis Ten. Nov. 12, 1861" circular datestamp on oatmeal cover to Circuit Court of Franklin Tenn., edgewear and reduced at left, otherwise Fine, ex Pegram, with 2004 P.S.E. certificate, Scott value as single on cover $2,000.00

E. 750-1,000
350
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108
c
Sale Number 1225, Lot Number 108, Postmasters' Provisionals (Chattanooga thru Memphis)Memphis Tenn., 5c Red on Orange entire (56XU3), Memphis Tenn., 5c Red on Orange entire (56XU3)Memphis Tenn., 5c Red on Orange entire (56XU3). Cancelled by "Memphis Ten. Jul. ?, 1861" circular datestamp and addressed to Tate's Station Tenn., endorsed "Via Clarksville" at left, slightly reduced at right and with some edge flaws at right

FINE AND SCARCE EXAMPLE OF THE 5-CENT MEMPHIS PROVISIONAL ON ORANGE ENTIRE.

Ex Seybold, Dukeshire, Golden, Myerson and Pegram

2,500
800
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