An 1861 Uniontown, Alabama 10c postmaster’s provisional on cover is offered with an estimate of $40,000 at Robert A Siegel.
It’s among the highlights of a March 3 auction of US civil war and Confederate states postal history.
Only eight examples of the Uniontown 10c provisional
Only eight examples of the issue are known to exist, seven of which are to be found on covers.
Another in comparable condition sold for $35,000 at Siegel in 2012.
Civil war provisionals are a particularly fascinating philatelic niche.
At the outbreak of the civil war in 1861, Washington ordered the recall of all pre-war stamps and began issuing new ones for use in Union states only.
While the Confederate states would issue their own stamps, there was a period of around five months where the regional post offices were without official postage.
Local postmasters got creative, producing provisionals to their own designs.
These are highly collectible today.
An 1861 Danville 5c provisional cover is expected to make around $9,000.
In this case the stamp is press-printed directly on to the envelope.
Adhesive stamps were much more common choices for provisionals, making this a key rarity.
It shows a southern belle having a shoe fitted and is embellished with the words: “Southern Confederacy/ Danville Va./ Paid”.
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