Encased Aerated Bread Co stamp will sell for $15,000 in New York

A unique example of the 1861 5c Aerated Bread Co stamp will lead an important collection of US encased varieties on October 3 in New York.

1861 5c Aerated Bread Co stamp
Gault capitalised on his idea by printing company advertisements on the reverse

In the first stages of the US civil war, the public predicted the hard times ahead and began to hoard the coins, removing them from circulation.

This, combined with various disruptions to trade from the Confederate army, led to a shortage of silver and copper-nickel coins, making small transactions almost impossible.

Soon, the Postage Currency Act was signed, allowing the public to use postage stamps as change in local shops and businesses. John Gault, an inventor from New York, had the idea to produce encased postage stamps, which could then be sold at a mark-up of the worth of the stamp and the manufacturing costs.

Further capitalising on his idea, Gault also offered companies the chance to have their logo or names die-stamped into the metal backing, making them an effective marketing tool. These encased varieties of the 1861 issue now provide some of the most fascinating US stamps available.

Starring in the forthcoming sale with be a fine 5c red brown, encased in an Aerated Bread Co backing. This stamp, a unique example in very fine condition, is considered one of the greatest rarities of encased postage collecting.

As its name suggests, the New York company produced aerated bread that claimed to have various health benefits. Gault produced two denominations of his encased postage for the business, the 1c and 5c.  

11-15 examples of the 1c encased stamp are known to exist, yet only one recorded example of the 5c example exists in all published data. A superb piece of US history, it will sell with a $15,000 estimate.

Paul Fraser Collectibles brings you the latest news from the philatelic community, as well as offering our own selection of investment-grade rarities. Keep up to date with all of the week's top stories with our free newsletter.

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