US Coins

Unique FANCYGOODS encased postage highlight

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 History Auctions.

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.

Boston druggist

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.


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