Sale 1260 — 2022 Rarities of the World
Sale Date — Tuesday, 28 June, 2022
Category — Civil War and Confederate States: Stampless thru Postmasters' Provisionals
VERY FINE AND RARE DOCUMENT, SIGNED BY POSTMASTER GENERAL JOHN H. REAGAN. THIS IS REPORTED TO BE THE ONLY EXAMPLE OF A TEXAS CONFEDERATE POSTMASTER'S COMMISSION.
Joseph Whittenberg had served as the U.S. postmaster of Waxahachie, Texas, since 1850. Like the majority of other Southern postmasters, he switched his allegiance after June 1, 1861, and was re-appointed as Confederate postmaster. This is reported to be the only Texas postmaster's commission signed by John H. Reagan.
Featured in an exhibit at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum (exhibit page accompanies).
EXTREMELY FINE. THIS IS THE UNIQUE CHARLESTON 10-CENT PRESS-PRINTED PALMETTO TREE PROVISIONAL ENVELOPE, USED DURING A SHORTAGE OF CONFEDERATE GENERAL ISSUES.
After graduation from Princeton University, Alfred Huger returned to Charleston to run his plantation. Huger received his postmaster appointment from President Andrew Jackson on December 19, 1834, and he served until Federal occupation in February 1865. Huger was postmaster in July 1835 when sacks of mail containing abolitionist literature from the North were burned by a pro-slavery mob. After the war Huger declined President Andrew Johnson's offer of reappointment as a U.S. postmaster.
Huger issued press-printed typographic provisional envelopes in the summer of 1861, probably close to the earliest known date of August 16 (Calhoun census). The lithographed adhesive provisional stamp followed in early September 1861. Lithography was used by only three postmasters to print provisional stamps (Charleston, Livingston and Mobile). It is reported that the stamps and envelopes were printed by the large Charleston-based printing firm of Evans and Cogswell. The first supply of Confederate General Issue stamps was placed on sale on December 7, 1861, and the provisionals were withdrawn from sale. However, provisionals purchased by the public prior to withdrawal continued to be used concurrently with the General Issues.
This Palmetto Tree design is unique among Postmasters' Provisionals. On this entire--the sole surviving example--the woodcut is printed in dark blue, identical in shade and impression to the 5c provisional envelope stamp issued in August 1861. The circular datestamp is struck at the center of the upper half of the entire. Charleston did not have a separate cancelling device and used the datestamp to cancel adhesive stamps; therefore, the position of the complete datestamp on this entire confirms the presence of the printed provisional at upper right and precludes the removal of an adhesive stamp from the envelope.
The first Charleston provisionals were the press-printed 5c envelopes issued in August 1861 and used consistently until the estimated 5,000 prepared were sold out in November 1861 (dates range from August 16 to November 12, 1861). Approximately 25,000 5c adhesive stamps were produced and placed on sale as early as September 1861 (earliest recorded date is September 4). Both provisionals were used concurrently with the handstamped "Paid" markings, but the surcharge on the price of provisionals made the stamps and envelopes less popular with the public. When the General Issues were finally received and put on sale on December 7, 1861, the 5c provisionals still on hand were withdrawn from sale.
In June 1862, when the supply of 5c General Issues available at the Charleston post office was running low, Postmaster Huger authorized the renewed sale of provisionals. More than a dozen examples of the 5c provisional stamp are known used in the months of June, July and August 1862. The handstamped "Paid" marking was also used again briefly in June 1862 after having been previously retired in December 1861. The rate increase from 5c to 10c for any distance became effective July 1, 1862, during this shortage of General Issues. Charleston covers are recorded in early July 1862 with the 5c Blue Lithograph and 10c Rose Lithograph stamps, but these are scarce, indicating that only a small supply of the newer General Issues was available. Further evidence of the shortage is the August 5, 1862, cover with a combination of the 5c De La Rue stamp and 5c provisional for the 10c rate (Sale 1257, lot 2538). A supply of press-printed 10c envelopes from an earlier printing was probably released in anticipation of the July 1862 rate change and in response to the shortage of General Issues. The provisional envelope's great rarity is probably due to the arrival of 10c Rose stamps in July 1862, which are found on covers dated July 3, 4, 5 and continuing on with frequency until replaced by the De La Rue and Richmond
This unique example of the 10c Palmetto Tree entire was discovered by the late Dr. Don Preston Peters of Lynchburg, Virginia, in an original correspondence to A. O. Norris at Anderson Court House, South Carolina. Norris was a newspaper publisher and, after the war, a probate judge. The receipt docketing indicates that the sender was J. H. Johnson. There was an ordnance sergeant with the 10th South Carolina Infantry Regiment named J. H. Johnson, who might be the same person.
We regard this entire as one of the most important and distinctive of all Southern Postmasters' Provisionals, by virtue of its extreme rarity, the distinctive Palmetto Tree design, and as one of the few 10c provisionals issued east of the Mississippi.
Ex Dr. Don Preston Peters, Metta Heathcote, Dr. J. A. Graves, John Birkinbine II and "D.K." collection. Scott value $80,000.00. E. 30,000-40,000
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE BLOCK OF THE FREDERICKSBURG 5-CENT BLUE PROVISIONAL, CROSSING TWO IMPRESSIONS OF THE TYPESET FORM.
The Fredericksburg Va. Postmaster's Provisional was issued by Postmaster Rueben Thom. A typeset form of ten subjects was produced -- each subject with unique characteristics in the lettering, border stars and horizontal lines. Sheets of 20 stamps were printed, using two impressions of the form arranged top-to-bottom. Blocks of this issue are rare and this one, cut from the bottom and top of the two settings, is a fascinating study in the stamp's production. In this case the two impressions were executed very close together, with the stars of the top and bottom stamps at left partly intersecting. A Power Search review found only one other block cut in this nature, plus the complete sheet offered in our 1999 sale of the Kilbourne Collection. At one time there were five complete sheets recorded but it is unlikely that all of them remain intact.
Scott value $3,500.00 as a normal block of four. E. 2,000-3,000
EXTREMELY FINE. THIS IS BY FAR THE FINER OF THE TWO RECORDED UNUSED EXAMPLES OF THE 10-CENT MARION, VIRGINIA, POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ISSUE.
Our records contain two unused singles and 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 also perhaps one or two off-cover used singles. Of the seven known covers, one is part of the Tapling collection at the British Library. The other unused single has paper restoration with part of the bottom design drawn in.
Ex Ferrary, Rev. Freeland, Weill Brothers' Stock and Dr. Maffeo. With 1969 and 2007 P.F. certificates.
EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF THE FINEST OF THE TWELVE RECORDED COVERS BEARING THE RARE NEW ORLEANS 2-CENT RED PROVISIONAL.
The New Orleans postmaster, J. L. Riddell, prepared provisional stamps in June 1861 and advertised them for sale on June 12. The 2c Red stamps were printed without the marginal inscription "Usable exclusively in the New Orleans Post Office". The 5c and subsequent 2c Blue printings all have the imprint. It is the accepted theory that the 2c Red stamps were printed first, before Riddell added the imprint, and were withheld from use until January 1862 when the supply of 2c Blue stamps was exhausted. The Crown census at the Civil War Philatelic Society website lists twelve 2c Red covers.
Ex Mason, Dr. Simon and "D.K". collection. With 1964 P.F. certificate. Scott value $25,000.00 on cover. E. 15,000-20,000
FINE AND RARE EXAMPLE OF THE NEW ORLEANS POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL CANCELLED ON ARRIVAL AT NATCHEZ AFTER A STEAMBOAT TRIP UP RIVER.
Ex Everett, Zimmerman and "D.K." collection.
VERY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE NEW ORLEANS POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL POSTMARKED AT SHIELDSBOROUGH, MISSISSIPPI.
Shieldsborough was later renamed Bay St. Louis and lies in the harbor east of New Orleans. This cover was probably carried by a vessel out of New Orleans and mailed at Shieldsborough for the trip north to Jackson, Mississippi. Although covers are known with New Orleans provisionals postmarked at offices along the Mississippi River, this use from Shieldsborough, a harbor office, is quite remarkable and, to our knowledge, unique.
Ex Worthington, Emerson, Grant, Dr. Graves ("Argentum") and "D.K." collection
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. ONLY THREE OF THE SEVEN RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE NEW ORLEANS 5-CENT RED ERROR ARE PRINTED ON BLUISH PAPER. THIS IS THE MOST INTENSE SHADE OF RED WE HAVE ENCOUNTERED. ONE OF THE RAREST SOUTHERN POSTMASTERS' PROVISIONALS AND THE ONLY COLOR ERROR IN CONFEDERATE PHILATELY.
There is only one true color error among all Southern Postmasters' Provisionals: the New Orleans 5c Red, which is found on both White and Bluish papers.
In his 1978 Congress Book article, Dr. Hubert C. Skinner theorized that either "too much red ink was introduced onto the platen in blending the brown ink or the components of the ink separated while the press was idle for a time." This, he speculated, "produced a mottled impression on a very few sheets" and "would have been corrected as soon as the rollers passed across the platen a few times re-mixing or blending the ink." The discovery of the hybrid Red-and-Brown stamp confirmed Dr. Skinner's theory. The ink mixture error had to have occurred more than once, because the stamps on White paper were printed in June, and the stamps on Blue paper were printed in August.
Our records contain the following examples of the 5c Red error:
White Paper (62X6):
1) Unused, traces of gum, ex Ferrary, Hind, Brooks (currently in the Haub collection)
2) "DUE (3cts)" straightline, partly rebacked over thins, ex Caspary, Lilly, Kilbourne and "D.K." collection
3) Cut in at bottom, tied by "Paid" straightline on part of cover to Mrs. Wm. Reynaud, Baton Rouge, photo by Hiram Deats in P.F. files
4) Mixture of Red and Brown, corner strike of circular datestamp, partly rebacked over thins and tear, discovered in recent years, ex "D.K." collection
Blue Paper (62X7):
5) Dec. 4 circular datestamp, thin spots and small repair, ex Crocker. Felton and "D.K." collection
6) Sep. 17 circular datestamp, small faults, ex Ferrary, Hind, Lilly and "D.K." collection
7) Position 1, "Paid" and part datestamp, thinned with small nicks at left, ex Caspary, Dr. Skinner and "D.K." collection, the stamp offered here
Ex Caspary, Dr. Skinner and "D.K." collection. With 2001 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. THE EARLIEST KNOWN USE AND ONE OF THE FINEST OF THE SIX RECORDED COVERS BEARING THE RHEATOWN POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL.
The 5c provisional stamps issued by Postmaster D. Pence were printed by the same printer who produced the Tellico Plains Tenn. provisional. An affidavit by the Tellico Plains postmaster, M. F. Johnson, dated March 24, 1876, states that his stamps were printed in Knoxville by "Hawes Lea." The June dates recorded for the Rheatown suggest that it came first, and the postmaster's own recollections place the issue in "midsummer 1861" (see Crown book, p. 307). Although dated examples show use into April 1862, a relatively long period of time, the issue is extremely rare.
The same basic type form containing three subjects was used for the Rheatown and Tellico Plains Tenn. provisionals. For the Rheatown, all three were 5c denominations. The inside border at the top of each stamp is made up of seven ornaments; the unique arrangement of the ornaments in each subject enables philatelists to identify the position of any stamp.
Our records contain at least a half-dozen off-cover examples of the Rheatown 5c, including an unused pair, the only known multiple. The six covers we record and listed in the Crown census at the Civil War Philatelic Society website are as follows (in chronological order, type identified):
1) Jun. 20 (1861), Ty. II, cover to Lt. D. R. Wilson, ex Worthington (his source code on back "11/26/04 Luff BISSS"), Caspary, Antrim, Weatherly, Kilbourne and "D.K." collection, the cover offered here
2) Jun. 30 (1861), Ty. I, small cover, faint address, Siegel 1984 Rarities Sale
3) Feb. 8 (1862), Ty. III, lady's embossed cover to Eliz. Devault, the only tied example, ex Caspary, Gallagher and Haub
4) Feb. 13 (1862), Ty. II, on restored cover, ex Steves, Crown book (Sale 1104, lot 2275)
5) Feb. 15 (1862), Ty. I, cover to David Cleage, circular datestamp struck twice, ex Caspary and Haub
6) Apr. 9 (1862), Ty. II, cover to Mrs. Wm. Brown, ex MacBride, Dr. Graves, Boshwit and Dr. Brandon (Siegel Sale 1073, lot 329)
Ex Worthington (his source code on back "11/26/04 Luff BISSS"), Caspary, Antrim, Weatherly, Kilbourne and "D.K." collection. Scott value $17,500.00 on cover. E. 7,500-10,000
AN IMPORTANT AND VERY FINE COVER, BEARING THE ONLY RECORDED PAIR OF SPARTANBURG PROVISIONAL STAMPS--APPROXIMATELY 20 EXAMPLES ARE KNOWN ON OR OFF COVER.
John A. Lee was a prominent merchant who served as postmaster of Spartanburg from 1850 through the end of the war. Residents of Spartanburg remembered him as the "Wartime Postmaster" (John B. O. Landrum, History of Spartanburg County, available at Google Books -- thanks to Vince King for this citation).
Postmaster Lee created his provisional stamps by applying the "5" numeral rate marking inside the "Spartanburg S.C." double-circle datestamp on a sheet of paper. The stamps are known cut square and cut to shape. As one might imagine, the stamps come on a variety of papers. Two types of "5" markings were used, and one example is known with the denomination omitted. Most of the paper and numeral varieties are listed separately in the the C.S.A. and Scott catalogues.
Spartanburg S.C. takes its name from the "Spartan Rifles," a group of militia soldiers during the Revolutionary War. The name was adopted by Confederate soldiers from Spartanburg during the Civil War.
Corporal Edward J. Dean and the Dean correspondence were the subjects of an article by the late Daniel M. Gilbert, published in the Confederate Philatelist.
Joseph Walker was enrolled as captain of the Spartan Rifles on April 13, 1861. Micah Jenkins, a resident of Yorkville, South Carolina, was mustered into service as colonel of the 5th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment in June 1861. He was elected colonel of the Palmetto Sharpshooters Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers, on April 13, 1862, and promoted to brigadier general in July 1862.
This pair on cover -- the only recorded pair -- is illustrated in the Crown book on page 328. Accompanied by 1899 letter to N. P. Strauss of Henderson, N.C., the original purchaser, identifying the Dean family as the original source.
Ex Schenck, Everett and "D.K." collection. With 2002 P.F. certificate. Scott value $30,000.00 for pair on cover. E. 15,000-20,000
EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF THE TWO FINEST OF THE SIX RECORDED SE-TENANT SHEETS OF THE TELLICO PLAINS POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL IN PRIVATE HANDS.
The Rheatown and Tellico Plains provisionals were printed by the same printer, using a typeset form of three subjects. For the Tellico Plains provisional, which probably followed the Rheatown, the post office and postmaster's names were changed, and the third subject at right was reset with a 10c denomination. Only two are known used, including one on cover (both are December 1861 dates).
Our records contain eight se-tenant sheets, including two in the British Library's Tapling collection. Of the six available to collectors, only three are sound (two have clear margins, including the one offered here). One of the six is repaired, and the remaining two have small faults.
"W.H.C." Colson backstamps. Ex Ferrary and Kilbourne. With 2000 P.F. certificate. Scott value $11,000.00 for se-tenant strip. E. 5,000-7,500