Dr Moore's 2c black leads Scarsdale Collection at $14,500

DR CC Moore's 2c black "Matches and Medicine" stamp provided the highlight of part eight of the Scarsdale Collection, which was auctioned on October 3 in New York.

Dr Moore's Match and Medicine stamps
The Match and Medicine stamps often feature cure-all claims

The Scarsdale Collection focuses on the fascinating Matches and Medicine stamps, which were issued in 1862, during the US civil war. The stamps were created specifically for the payment of civil war taxes to the government, with private dies created for companies that dealt with proprietary products - such as matches and patent medicines - in order to further increase revenue.

The stamps were in use for over two decades, before being discontinued after the war taxes were repealed on March 2, 1883.

Dr Moore's 2c black is a classic example of the Matches and Medicine issue, with its advertisement for "Moore's Pilules Sure Cure for Chills". According to Michael Aldrich's A Census of United States Match and Medicine Stamps, there are just seven recorded examples of the 2c black remaining, with just four in sound condition. The auction house was confident that the example in the sale was one of the finest in existence, warranting a final price of $14,500.

1c blue matches and medicine E K Smith
The Aldrich census suggests that half of the surviving 1c blues are fake

Following closely behind Dr Moore's stamp was the EK Smith Matches 1c blue, which is one of just 10 recorded copies. Eight of these stamps are faulty, and this example is considered to be the finer of the two remaining. Against a $7,000 estimate, the stamp achieved $14,000 - a 100% increase.

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