The Scarsdale Collection: Matches and Medicine

Part eight of the Scarsdale Collection, featuring "Match and Medicine" stamps, has been unveiled in a New York auction and will be topped by a stunning example of Dr Moore's 2c black on October 3.

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

The term Match and Medicine relates to the private die proprietary stamps that were issued between 1862 and 1883, during the American civil war. In order to raise funds to finance the Union war against the Confederate rebellion, private dies were made specifically for certain private companies that dealt with proprietary products, such as matches and patent medicines.

The stamps were issued specifically for payment of civil war taxes to the US government.  In use for over two decades, they were discontinued after the taxes were repealed on March 2, 1883. True oddities of US philately, they feature classic advertisements with many displaying the ludicrous cure-all claims that were commonplace at the time.

One such stamp, a highlight of the collection, is the Dr C C Moore 2c black on pink paper. As seen in the picture above, the stamp advertises a "sure cure for chills" and is characteristic example of the Match and Medicine variety.

According to the Michael Aldrich's A Census of United States Match and Medicine Stamps, there are only seven recorded examples of the Dr Moore 2c black, with just four of these remaining in sound condition. The auction house believes its example to be one of the finest in existence, featuring superb centreing and wide margins. It will sell with a $15,000 estimate.

Matching this estimate, the highest in the sale, will be a stunning example of the Dr M A Simmons 1c black on watermarked paper. Boasting top left corner selvedge, it is said to be one of the finest examples of the few Simmons Iuka, Mississippi issue recorded. The stamp is a great rarity and one that will undoubtedly attract the highest bids of the auction.

Paul Fraser Collectibles specialises in sourcing the finest investment-grade stamps available on the current market. Our unique example of Canadian 1851 12d black - better known as the Black Empress - is unquestionably the finest in existence.

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