Sale 1289 — 2023 Rarities of the World
Sale Date — Tuesday, 27 June, 2023
Category — Confederate States
VERY FINE. A RARE CARTE DE VISITE OF GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE WITH HIS SIGNATURE AT THE BOTTOM OF HIS PORTRAIT.
This photographer's imprint is seen on many cartes de visite of Confederate military figures, including Beauregard, Jubal Early, Ransom and many others.
VERY FINE. A STRIKING AND RARE USE OF EIGHT 3-CENT U.S. 1857 ISSUE STAMPS FROM CONFEDERATE MOBILE, ALABAMA, TO BARCELONA, SPAIN.
Alabama was one of the first states to secede from the Union and was admitted to the Confederacy on February 4, 1861. By the time this letter was sent, tensions were heating up between North and South. The first shots of the war were fired at Fort Sumter just two weeks prior to the sending of this letter. Postal relations would be severed after May 31. The contents, in Spanish, discuss methods of shipping cotton out of the Confederacy, since a Federal blockade of Southern ports had been declared.
The 3c overpayment of the 21c rate meant that the letter was treated as fully prepaid to England. The recipient was charged the equivalent of the postage due from England to Spain. It was treated as a double-weight letter from England to Spain, and so was charged 4 reales for the postage plus 4 reales penalty for being unpaid.
Ex Grunin and Myers. Discussed in an article in the Confederate Philatelist by Brian Green (Jan.-Feb. 1977)
EXTREMELY FINE PAIR ON AN ATTRACTIVE COVER. ONE OF FOUR RECORDED COVERS BEARING THE ATHENS PROVISIONAL TETE-BECHE VARIETY.
Only four post offices are known to have produced tete-beche provisional varieties: Athens, Macon, Memphis and Nashville. In each case the tete-beche multiple was created by the work-and-turn printing method, as opposed to an inverted cliche among subjects on the plate. All are extremely rare.
Of the Athens 5c tete-beche, we record four covers and the Crown census at the Civil War Philatelic Society website concurs. They are:
1) Nov. 14 (1861) to Capt. George Hillyer, one stamp with piece out, Sale 1146, lot 1594
2) Nov. 25 (1861) to Dr. E. D. Newton, ex Brooks, Solomon, Ballard and "D.K." collection, the cover offered here
3) Dec. 2 (1861) to Capt. Porter King, ex Brooks, Weatherly, Kilbourne and "D.K." collection (Sale 1022, lot 1004)
4) Jan. 6 (1862) to A. H. Stephens, ex Ferrary, Caspary, Lilly and Haub.
There are three additional off-cover tete-beche pairs. This cover has the same date and address as the cover with a pair listed in the Charles J. Phillips census (Crown book, page 19) as belonging to Harold C. Brooks. The cover offered in Sale 1022 (lot 1004) is also from the Brooks collection, and neither cover was offered in the Laurence & Stryker sale of the Brooks Confederate States collection (April 24, 1943). Some of the collection was sold privately. There is a notation on the back of this cover "C. S. Watson Co." in Brooks' hand.
Ex Brooks, Solomon, Ballard and "D.K." collection. With 2009 P.F. certificate.
VERY FINE AND CHOICE COVER. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE DISTINCTIVE POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL STAR-IN-CIRCLE HANDSTAMP OF AUTAUGAVILLE, ALABAMA. ONE OF THE GREAT RARITIES OF CONFEDERATE PROVISIONALS.
Autaugaville, situated on the Alabama River about 25 miles west of Montgomery, had a Civil War population of less than 1,500. Its postmaster, Albert William McNeel, seized all U.S. Post Office Dept. property and turned it over to the Confederacy. During the provisional period, Postmaster McNeel used two different handstamps to make provisional envelopes and both are among the great rarities of Confederate philately. The earlier type is this fancy Star in Circle handstamp and this cover is the only recorded example. The second type is a brass handstamp with negative design similar to the appearance of the Athens adhesive provisional, of which only four examples are recorded (Scott 10XU1, see our Dr. Brandon Sale 1073, lot 211 for a census).
This cover is accompanied by more than 15 documents relating to the Autaugaville Provisional, including correspondence dated between 1897 and 1926, with letters between stamp dealer P.M. Wolsieffer and Andrew H. McNeel (son of the Autaugaville postmaster), letters between McNeel and collector Harold Brooks (who declined an offer to buy one of the covers), a copy of an affidavit from McNeel attesting to the creation of the Autaugaville provisionals by his father, as well as other letters (see complete scans in linked PDF).
Ex Walcott, Caspary, Lilly, Gallagher and Dr. Agre. Scott value for both Nos. 10XU1 and 10XU2 is $20,000.00, despite the unique nature of 10XU2
View PDF of contents of this lot
EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF THE FINEST EXAMPLES OF THE RARE LAKE CITY, FLORIDA, 10-CENT POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL.
Edward R. Ives served as the Lake City postmaster from Mar. 11, 1859, until he was replaced by Arthur S.T. Wright on Sep. 25, 1860. White was then appointed the Confederate postmaster from July 25, 1861, until Ives was re-appointed sometime prior to Nov. 26, 1863.
There are two types of Lake City Provisional control marks -- the "E. R. Ives" postmaster straightline as seen on this cover and the undated circular handstamp. Only eight examples of any Lake City Postmaster's Provisional are recorded in the Briggs census, including six with the postmaster straightline and two with the circular control mark. The covers are split between two correspondences, the other addressed to Sparta Ga.
Illustrated in Briggs Florida Postal History During the Civil War on p. 119. C.S.A. Catalog value for either control mark $5,000.00. Scott value for either control mark.
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. THE LARGEST RECORDED MULTIPLE OF THE 5-CENT MEMPHIS POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL. WIDELY REGARDED AS ONE OF THE GREATEST OF ALL SOUTHERN POSTMASTERS' PROVISIONALS MULTIPLES.
The stereotype plate used to print the Memphis 5c provisional in sheets of 50 was created with ten subjects (two rows of five) at right turned 90 degrees clockwise relative to the other 40 subjects. This arrangement is confirmed by the existence of corner-margin multiples that have precisely the same alignment, which would be impossible if the sideways positions resulted from work-and-turn printing. Only a few multiples exist that show this unusual tete-beche format. Multiples are also known that show the work-and-turn printing method, including three tete-beche pairs (vertical head-to-foot, vertical foot-to-foot, and horizontal head-to-foot).
Ex Walcott, Matz, Pope, Boshwit and "D.K." collection. Illustrated in the Pratt book on page 27
FINE. ONE OF ONLY THREE RECORDED 5-CENT MEMPHIS PROVISIONAL TETE-BECHE PAIRS ON COVER, AND THE ONLY RECORDED COVER WITH THE STAMPS FOOT TO FOOT.
If we count only the tete-beche printing varieties and exclude the multiples which contain sideways positions on the plate, there are just three recorded examples of the Memphis 5c provisional tete-beche. Each is a pair on cover, and each shows a unique orientation. The vertical pair on the cover offered here has the impressions aligned foot to foot. The other two are a head-to-head vertical pair and a side-to-side horizontal pair. These tete-beche multiples were created during the work-and-turn printing process. They differ from the sideways tete-beche multiples, which reflect the unusual 5c plate layout (see lot 747 in this sale). The sideways multiples are only known in unused condition.
The stamp to the left (as positioned on this cover) shows some of the plate marks of Position 45 (Pratt named this Position 37 in his plating diagram, because he assigned "S" numbers 1-10 to the sideways positions). If we imagine the second plate impression on the same sheet of paper to be turned 180 degrees and aligned below the bottom row, then the adjacent stamp (to the right on this cover) would be Position 47 (Pratt's Position 39). Neither Pratt nor we have been able to analyze Position 47 (or 48) for plating marks (they are missing from the block of 37). However, the alignment between the full impression and the small portion of the adjoining stamp to the right, which is visible in the margin, does not match the alignment of any two of the other known positions in the bottom row. Therefore, by process of elimination, it seems almost certain that this pair comes from one of the two Position 45/47 vertical tete-beche pairs in the original sheet.
Illustrated in the Pratt book (page 30) and Crown book (page 210). Ex Worthington (acquired from New England Stamp Co. on 3/9/1907), Caspary, Wise, Pope, Boshwit and "D.K." collection. With 2007 P.F. certificate
AN IMPORTANT POSTAL HISTORY ARTIFACT. THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE MOBILE POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ON A COVER ORIGINATING IN EUROPE. THIS WAS SENT FROM BRUSSELS TO WASHINGTON D.C., THEN CARRIED BY DIPLOMATIC POUCH ON A UNITED STATES NAVY VESSEL TO THE BELGIAN CONSUL AT MOBILE, WHO MAILED IT TO GENERAL ELISHA Y. FAIR IN MONTGOMERY.
This cover originated in Brussels, Belgium, on July 12, 1861. It was sent by Mrs. Wyatt Fair to her husband, Gen. Elisha Y. Fair, who was former U.S. Minister to Belgium and left Brussels in late June 1861 to join the Southern cause. Mrs. Fair was unable to return to her native land until June 1862, due to the Federal blockade of Southern ports. This cover and the New Orleans provisional cover offered in lot 753 surfaced in 1999 and provide heretofore unreported examples of mail brought into the Confederacy through diplomatic channels. If this was sent by regular transatlantic steamer, then it was carried on the Cunarder Arabia, departing Queenstown July 14, 1861, arriving Boston July 25.
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. THIS IS THE LARGEST RECORDED MULTIPLE OF THE NEW ORLEANS 2-CENT BLUE POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL.
Our records contain just one other block, which is very defective. This block is illustrated in Dr. Skinner's 1978 Congress Book article. Ex Caspary, Dr. Graves, Weill, Dr. Skinner and "D.K." collection. With 2001 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE. WITHOUT QUESTION ONE OF THE FINEST NEW ORLEANS 2-CENT BLUE COVERS WE HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED.
Approximately 50 covers are known with the 2c Blue (according to the Crown census at the Civil War Philatelic Society website), including circular rates and drop rates. More than half of the covers have stamps without four margins or faults in the stamp or cover. This is one of the most pristine covers we have seen.
Ex Caspary, Dr. Graves and "D.K." collection.
EXTREMELY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLE OF THE NEW ORLEANS 2-CENT RED PROVISIONAL USED ON AN IMMACULATE PRINTED CIRCULAR. ONE OF THE HIGHEST-QUALITY COVERS AMONG THE 12 RECORDED.
New Orleans postmaster, J. L. Riddell, prepared provisional stamps in June 1861 and advertised them for sale on June 12th. 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 12 2c Red covers.
Ex MacBride, Kimmel, Haas, Dr. Green and "D.K." collection. With 2000 P.F. certificate
THIS REMARKABLE COVER IS UNIQUE IN SEVERAL RESPECTS -- MOST NOTABLY AS A COVER FROM EUROPE WITH THE NEW ORLEANS POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL.
This unusual cover was found with the Mobile cover offered in lot 749 and undoubtedly carried a letter from Mrs. Wyatt Fair in Brussels. If sent on a standard transatlantic steamship, then this was carried by the Cunarder Europa, departing Liverpool Jul. 27, 1861, arriving Boston Aug. 9.
The handwriting does not match the Mobile cover, but the use of a U35 entire indicates that the envelope had to have been addressed by someone in the northeast who had access to the new-issue 3c embossed envelope. That person probably enclosed Mrs. Fair's letter for delivery to Gen. Elisha Y. Fair and arranged for it to be carried south to New Orleans via diplomatic pouch. Based on the docketing, it originated in Brussels on July 23, 1861. It was routed through New Orleans, almost certainly through the Belgian consul, J. Deynoodt, or his vice-consul, J. Noblom. The unusual franking suggests that the sender used the new 3c entire and searched for a 3c stamp -- finding an old imperforate 1851 Issue -- in expectation that the letter would travel via the U.S. post office. The Belgian consul mailed the letter in New Orleans and affixed the two pairs of provisional stamps for the double 10c rate to Montgomery.
EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. ONLY SEVEN EXAMPLES OF THE NEW ORLEANS 5-CENT RED ARE RECORDED, INCLUDING FOUR ON WHITE PAPER FROM THE FIRST PRINTING. HOWEVER, ONE OF THE FOUR IS A HYBRID BROWN-AND-RED SHADE, AND ONE HAS NOT BEEN SEEN IN MORE THAN 70 YEARS. IT IS ALSO THE ONLY COLOR ERROR CANCELLED BY THE NORTHERN “DUE (3cts)” MARKING APPLIED TO MAIL AFTER SUSPENSION OF REGULAR MAIL SERVICE IN JUNE 1861. AN OUTSTANDING CONFEDERATE RARITY.
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 (Sale 1022, lot 1101) 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.
The five stamps offered in lots 1100 to 1104 in our 2012 sale of the "D.K." collection (Sale 1022) constituted the largest number of the New Orleans 5c Red Color Error ever assembled by one collector. Two of those stamps are offered in this Rarities sale. Each shade of Red is different
Our records contain the following seven examples of the 5c Red error:
White Paper (62X6): 1) Unused with traces of gum, ex Ferrary, Hind and Brooks; 2) "DUE (3cts)" straightline, partly rebacked over thins, ex Caspary, Lilly, Kilbourne and "D.K." collection, the stamp offered here; 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, 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, offered in this sale as lot 755; 7) Position 1, "Paid" and part datestamp, thinned with small nicks at left, ex Caspary, Dr. Skinner and "D.K." collection.
Ex Caspary, Lilly, Kilbourne 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. 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 (lot 1101) 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.
The five stamps offered in lots 1100 to 1104 in our 2012 sale of the "D.K." collection (Sale 1022) constituted the largest number of the New Orleans 5c Red Color Error ever assembled by one collector. Two of those stamps are offered in this Rarities sale. Each shade of Red is different, and the stamps provide an opportunity to see the shades compared to one another.
Our records contain the following examples of the 5c Red error
White Paper (62X6): 1) Unused with traces of gum, ex Ferrary, Hind and Brooks; 2) "DUE (3cts)" straightline, partly rebacked over thins, ex Caspary, Lilly, Kilbourne and "D.K." collection, offered in this sale as lot 754; 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, 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, the stamp offered here; 7) Position 1, "Paid" and part datestamp, thinned with small nicks at left, ex Caspary, Dr. Skinner and "D.K." collection.
Ex Ferrary (with his purple trefoil backstamp), Hind, Lilly, Dr. Graves and "D.K." collection
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. ONLY 19 COVERS BEARING THE UNIONTOWN 5-CENT ON WHITE PAPER ARE RECORDED IN THE CROWN CENSUS.
The Cobb correspondence was found by R. S. Nelson of Birmingham, Alabama. According to reports at the time of the discovery, Mrs. Cobb had been ill in a Montgomery hospital, and her husband wrote to her from Uniontown “daily, and sometimes twice a day, for some three weeks” (Crown book, page 344).
Ex Caspary, Antrim and Gross. With clear 1997 C.S.A. certificate.
EXTREMELY FINE. A SUPERB AND RARE CONFEDERATE PATRIOTIC CANNON AND FLAG DESIGN USED FROM FLORIDA, IN THE FINEST CONDITION.
Of the various Flag and Cannon Patriotic designs, this is one of the rarest. To find it in this exceptional condition, with the first General Issue stamp and used from Florida, is remarkable. This is almost identical to a cover offered in our 2017 sale of the Dr. Briggs collection (Sale 1153, lot 2161), which realized $23,000 hammer.
Ex Judd, Murphy and Corwin.
VERY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL AND RARE EXAMPLE OF THE JEFFERSON DAVIS MEDALLION PATRIOTIC DESIGN WITHOUT THE ALLEGORICAL BACKGROUND SCENE. PARTICULARLY DESIRABLE USED FROM FLORIDA.
This design is one of the rarest of the Jefferson Davis Medallion Patriotics. It has 11 stars in both the flags and the sunburst. It omits the bridge, cannon, train, steamboat and cotton bale allegorical scene below the medallion, which is found on most of the other Davis designs (JD-1 thru JD-3). This is one of only three recorded Florida uses of this design (one of the others offered in lot 759).
Ex Antrim, Finney, Dr. Briggs and Kilbourne. Illustrated in Briggs Florida Postal History During the Civil War on p. 254
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE AND CHOICE FLORIDA USE OF THE 10-CENT ROSE LITHOGRAPH.
The census compiled by Dr. Dean Briggs records only five examples of the 10c Rose on covers from Florida. This is one of two recorded from Welaka and was sent to Jacksonville during a period in between Union occupations. This is accompanied by a second cover with a U.S. 3c 1857 (26) tied by a perfect strike of the Welaka Fla. dateless double circle, manuscript Dec. 12 date, some toning and edge wear but still Very Fine and an excellent pre-War companion to this 10c Rose cover.
Ex Bilden, Dr. Briggs and Kilbourne
VERY FINE. THE FINEST OF ONLY THREE RECORDED 10-CENT FRAMELINE COVERS FROM FLORIDA.
Dr. Deane Briggs recorded only three 10c Frameline covers from Florida. The other two (Sale 1153, lots 2130-2131) both bear pen cancelled stamps and manuscript postmarks from Madison and Stark. This is the only one of the three with a handstamp postmark.
Ex Hall. Scott value for No. 10 on cover without regard to the Florida origin is $3,500.00