The only known example of a variety of encased postage stamp issued by Boston merchant
Joseph L. Bates will cross the auction block Dec. 10 by Early American
The piece highlights the 272-lot auction, which includes seven
examples of encased postage stamps. Encased postage stamps are U.S.
postage stamps that served as small change during coin shortages
during the Civil War. The stamps were encased behind mica covers
attached to circular metallic discs that bore advertising messages
from the issuer.
The auction also includes collectibles under the categories of
Historic Autographs, Colonial America, Colonial Currency, Early
Lottery Tickets, Revolutionary War, George Washington Related, Federal
Period, Colonial Coinage, George Washington Coinage, Historic Medals,
and Indian Peace Medals.
A 20 percent buyer’s fee will be added to the final closing price of
each lot won.
Joseph L. Bates
The Reed-BA03FG piece as cataloged by Fred L. Reed III in Civil
War Encased Stamps: The Issuers and Their Times, is offered in
“Choice Extremely Fine” with an estimate of $20,000 to $25,000.
The Joseph L. Bates encased postage stamps are considered the rarest
in the collecting field. The 1-cent and 3-cent pieces with FANCY GOODS
inscribed on the reverse in two words are well known and highly sought after.
The unique example of the variety being offered exhibits FANCYGOODS
inscribed as one word. The stamp used is a rose 3-cent George
Washington stamp, Scott EP27.
John Isaac Brown established his pharmaceutical dispensery in Boston
in 1824. Among the encased postage pieces he issued were those
inscribed BROWN'S / BRONCHIAL / TROCHES / FOR / COUGHS, COLDS.
An “About New” piece in the auction, Reed-BT12, with a black 12-cent George Washington
stamp, is identified as the finest of just two known examples. The
piece has a plain frame exhibiting partial silvering.
It carries an estimate of $8,000 to $10,000.
Bailey & Co.
The Philadelphia jewelry firm of Bailey & Co. is represented by
by a “Choice About Uncirculated” example of Reed-BC01.
The piece features a blue 1-cent Benjamin Franklin postage stamp in
an encasement inscribed with the firm’s name, address and profession.
Only five to 10 examples of the Bailey & Co. encased postage
stamp are known extant.
The example offered has an esimate of $3,500 to $4,000.