1909

New $2 and $5 piece found, updated censuses

A piece from a package wrapper was recently listed on eBay (Sep 14, 2018).  The small blue and white piece is franked with six stamps, a vertical strip of three 3rd Bureau Washington-Franklin 15¢ stamps, and three 2nd Bureau $1, $2, and $5 stamps for a total of $8.45 of postage.  Five of the six stamps have one straight edge.  All of the stamps are canceled with three New York registry killers.  Unfortunately, there are no postmarks bearing dates.  Depending on the watermarks on the 15¢ stamps, the date of mailing could be constrained a bit.  A double line watermark was first used on the 3rd Bureau stamps in early 1909 (Scott 340).  The single line watermark made its debut in 1911 (Scott 382).

Census items 312-14 and 313-13

I’ve been maintaining a census for both the $2 and $5 2nd Bureau stamps for more than ten years.  This piece adds to both censuses and is designated 312-14 (for the $2 Madison stamp) and 313-13 (for the $5 Marshall stamp), the 14th and 13th items in each count.

This wrapper is very similar to another piece designated 312-5 and 313-9 in the censuses and is displayed below. This item recently sold on eBay (April 28, 2018) for $1350, and has an accompanying Philatelic Foundation expert opinion that identifies the 3rd Bureau stamps as Scott 340, therefore circa 1909.

Census items 312-5 and 313-9

I would surmise that both of these items were sent in 1909 or 1910 by a large company or financial institution.  They had not yet used up their supply of high face valued 2nd Bureau stamps and were using the recently printed Washington-Franklins for more common lower denominations. The $8.45 franking may have paid the 10¢ registry fee plus 417 times the 2¢ first class mail rate for a 26-pound package.

For this business or bank, this may have been a fairly typical package to send, perhaps other wrappers or pieces are in Washington-Franklin collections.

Posted by Geoff in News, 2 comments

Philatelic $5 Cover

I’ve maintained a census of the 2nd Bureau $2 and $5 stamps for several years now.  As far as I know, there are only 13 pieces or covers with the five dollar Marshall stamp (Scott 313), and many of the items were created by contemporary philatelists.  Shown below is the only solo franked $5 cover in the census, item 313-12.

Five dollar Marshall stamp on cover.

Sent from Klotzville, Lousiana on the 17th of January, 1909 to a P.O. box in New Orleans.  The $5 franking hugely overpaid the 2-cent first-class domestic letter rate to a man named N. W. Taussig.  Mr. Noah William Taussig and his brother, Issac, were prominent businessmen in New York and New Orleans sugar industries where Noah was the board chairmen of the American Molasses Company.  Noah most likely created and sent this cover from a sugar factory in Klotzville to himself.  The handwriting on the cover matches his 1922 passport application (available on ancestry.com).

Constance and Noah Taussig’s passport photo (circa 1922).

Mr. Taussig’s name may be familiar to airmail collectors as the creator of the “Taussig” first flight cover that is on display at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.  Taussig created the cover that bears President Woodrow Wilson’s autograph and was carried on the historic May 18, 1918, flight from Washington, D.C. to New York City.  The prized cover was sold to Mr. Taussig for $1000 at auction to benefit the American Red Cross.

Inaugural airmail flight envelope created and later purchased by N. Taussig.

June 14, 1918, newspaper clipping of autographed cover purchase.

These are the only two philatelic “Taussig” covers known to me.  Know of any others?

Posted by Geoff in Covers, 0 comments