Saturday, March 27, 2010

Seebeck / Hamilton and U.S. Philately

Following up on my last post, I want to point out another area where Seebeck had an input into U. S. Philately.

As pointed out in the Scott U.S. Specialized Catalogue, at least in the edition I have, Seebeck made one of the reprints of the New Haven Postmaster Provisional. Therefore, there are Seebeck reprints in U.S. Philately.

Further, the Hamilton Bank Note Company, during Seebeck’s period of involvement produced stamps for the Postal Telegraph Company, Scott #15T. Shown here are some proofs and stamps. As in previous posts, all these items are from the Bill Welch collection.

Trial color Die Proofs, India paper on card.

Additional Die Proofs and some Specimen stamps.

Scott # 15T3 and some other values.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

N. F. Seebeck and Hamilton Bank Note Company

Many collectors believe that the Hamilton Bank Note Company during the Seebeck period was a “kitchen table” operation. It was not. Seebeck was associated with Hamilton for 15 years, from 1884 until his death in 1899.

Stamps were only a small part of Hamilton’s business as its major business was printing tickets for New York City’s railways and bridges – tens of millions at a time. It was a fiercely competitive business. Hamilton was in court for years contesting a suit brought against it by New York Bank Note Company for mis-use of proprietary ticket-printing equipment.

Here are some tickets printed by Hamilton.

This is a litho proof of ticket by New York Bank Note Company.

Hamilton did other security printing, such as tickets for the 1888 Louisiana State Lottery, which was supervised by two Confederate war heroes, P.T.G Beauregard and Jubal Early.

All items are from the Bill Welch collection.

When financiers took control of Hamilton in 1893 part of their plan was to bid on the contract for U.S. stamps, which they did, but it went to the Bureau of Engraving & Printing instead, in 1894.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Another Gem from the Welch Collection

It is not too difficult to find originals of the Seebeck postage due stamps of El Salvador although many reprints are on the market.

In addition, it is not too difficult to distinguish between an original and a reprint once you have seen a number of originals. Almost all of the reprints have a muddy appearance while the originals are crisp and clean. Shown here is an example of each.

There are also a number of counterfeits on the market but if you can tell the difference between a lithograph (counterfeit) and an engraved (original) stamp they should not fool you.

Finding unquestionably genuine cancels on the postage dues of the Seebeck period is extremely difficult as most cancelled copies have been favor cancelled or had counterfeit cancels applied to them

Obtaining Seebeck era postage dues on legitimate covers is next to impossible, as only TWO covers are known. Shown here is another gem that was in the Bill Welch collection.

22 centavos charged on unpaid letter from the U.S. The 25 centimes was equal to 5 cents, the U.S. rate to El Salvador.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mosquito Coast Fiscal

Several years ago, Bill Welch loaned me a lot of his material to scan so that I would have a record of it. Since his collections will now be sold, I would like to share a few unusual, sometimes rare, items with other collectors.

The firs item is an 1893 Mosquito Coast fiscal. It is the 50c on document dated June 8, 1893. It may well be the only 50 centavos stamp on document. Even the 50c stamp by itself is a scare item. Do you know of another on document?

This item was part of a lot that Bill wrote up in The American Philatelist as "The Bones of Rolando Kuehn."
Bill speculated that Kuehn was influenced by the Egyptian Inter-Postal Seals as a group of these items was in the lot as well. He also thought that Kuehn produced these for sale to collectors.