History Auctions' June 26 online auction features a 9-cent
encased postage strip housed in a Feuchtwanger cent-embossed copper case.
The sale contains 239 total lots, with nine lots representing Encased Postage Stamps. Other categories offered
comprise Autographs, Colonial America, American Revolution, George Washington Related, Federal Period & War of 1812, Civil War Era, Abraham Lincoln Related, Black History & Slavery, Decorative Arts & Liverpool Pottery, Political & Historic Americana, Colonial Currency, Colonial Coinage, Washington Medals & Buttons and Historic Medals.
A 20 percent buyer's premium will be added to the final closing
price of each lot won, according to the terms of sale.
Described in the auction lot listing as Choice About Uncirculated,
the encased postage strip is attributed as EP-95a as cataloged
in The Standard Catalogue of Encased Postage Stamps by
Michael J. Hodder and Q. David Bowers.
Three red George Washington 1863 3-cent stamps are housed between a
rectangular piece of clear mica and a copper strip whose top and
bottom edges are rolled to keep the stamps contained. The back of the
copper strip is embossed with an eagle and snake motif reminiscent of
the earlier design of pharmacist Dr. Lewis Feuchtwanger's 1837 Hard
Times token, Low 120 as cataloged by Lyman H. Low in Hard Times Tokens.
With a shortage of coinage during the Civil War, merchants resorted
to using postage stamps as currency, often securing them behind mica
attached to a round metallic piece having the name of the issuer or
manufacturer on the side opposite the stamp. These were referred to as
encased postage and functioned as money.
The Hodder-Bowers reference suggests that the 9-cent strips and
27-cent strips containing 9-cent stamps are likely fantasies made in
New York City, years after John W. Gault ceased selling his encasements.
The authors cite a 1939 article in the American Numismatic
Association journal, The Numismatist, in which it is
reported that the 9-cent strips were being made in New York City at
the close of the 19th century.