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Posted Jun 20, 24 9:59 by Russell Ryle (hoosierboy)

The Charleston R mystery

Morning all,

Yes, there should be a three cent stamp on this cover since it lacks any ms markings. Ah, the mysteries of postal history :)

Best regards, Russ

Posted Jun 20, 24 9:33 by Leven Parker (levenparker)




Posted Jun 20, 24 9:31 by Leven Parker (levenparker)


Thank you to everyone for sharing your expertise. I do not have the cover in hand, it was part of a small archive a follower of mine shared. I asked him to send me pics under UV light to inspect for the stamp and I did not see any evidence, although the images are far from perfect and the collector is not a philatelist. I will include them here.

Would it be fair to say the consensus is it is missing a stamp and the R is a private marking?


Posted Jun 19, 24 23:05 by Wayne Farley (cwfarley)

Charlestown, VA black CDS with orangish red

I am posting 2 similar 33 mm Charlestown VA CDS's (in red and black). The red one is from 1853 or 1854. The black one is dated from 1855. These CDS's are similar to the one posted with the "R" in circle. This CDS was used from January 1851 through 1855 - and again in 1861. The letters "C" and "H" are close together and the "W" and "N" are spaced farther apart. (VPHS catalog & personal data) This is in comparison to the 31 mm CDS posted by Chip Gliedman that is seen used from October 1847 through November 1850 - and again in 1861. Note that the "C" and "H" spacing is wider and the "W" and "N" spacing are close together. Numerous rate handstamps are found in this time period, but I have never seen the red "R" in circle marking. The orangish red color seems to be different than examples that I own on similar Charlestown covers from the time period.


Posted Jun 19, 24 20:34 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)


The American Postal Markings catalog ( has that marking as 1847-55

Only have the tracing that was in the ASCC. If anyone wants to add a scan of a real cover and the marking, please do so. Thanks.


Posted Jun 19, 24 18:55 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Charlestown (WV)

I have no problem withj the postmark. I figure it is a private "R" (responded, replied ??) marking and the cover is missing a stamp (on back or at right). If I remember correctly, that CDS was used well into the CSA period.

Posted Jun 19, 24 15:23 by Matthew Liebson (liebson)

The Charleston looks like a crude fake to me. Has it been checked under UV?  the ink looks decidedly wrong.

Posted Jun 19, 24 10:38 by Russell Ryle (hoosierboy)

Charleston R in circle mark

Morning and all,

May be an unofficial, to the post office department, registration mark. Can anyone find it used on other Charleston covers of the period?

Posted Jun 19, 24 10:10 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Final Gross sale?

What about the July 2 1847 cover?

Posted Jun 19, 24 7:24 by Kimberlee Fuller (kimberlee)

Collectors Club - International Parcel Post - from pre-UPU-Chaos to UPU-system, etc. - Henrik Mouritsen - 6/19 - 5:30PM

Good morning! It was nice to see some of you at NAPEX recently. I look forward to seeing even more of you at The Happening in NOLA next month. In the meantime, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you to attend our virtual program, scheduled for this evening, Wednesday, June 19, 2024 at 5:30 pm EDT / 3:30 pm MDT / 2:30 pm PDT. Our specialist guest speaker, Henrik Mouritsen will discuss "International Parcel Post - from pre-UPU-Chaos to UPU-system and back again".

The postal rates for international parcels sent before 1907 are very elusive and most collectors and exhibitors cannot describe them properly. The pre-UPU international parcel rates are indeed very complicated. However, most UPU parcel rates are actually highly systematic, and in this talk Henrik Mouritsen will show how to analyze the rates of such parcels. The talk will be structured as a bit of a detective story where we will resolve the mysteries surrounding this important and interesting postal history topic which is relevant to collectors of the postal history of many different countries.

If you haven't registered already, please click here or copy and paste the link below into your browser or visit our website:

You do not need to be a member of the Collectors Club to view the presentation. Anyone may join!


Posted Jun 18, 24 22:45 by Leven Parker (levenparker)


The invitation.


Posted Jun 18, 24 22:43 by Leven Parker (levenparker)

Charlestown R in circle

Can anyone tell me about this R? It appears to be local delivery. I will include the wedding invitation enclosure, but the owner says there is no sign of a missing stamp. Is this a rate marking? Any info appreciated.


Posted Jun 18, 24 21:59 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)

The final Bill Gross Sale

There are many things to say about Friday night's sale. What seemed so amazing to me was that there were over 100 buyers in a sale with a little over 300 lots. I would say collecting classic stamps is alive and well.

Posted Jun 18, 24 20:04 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Say What?

John - I normally would not bother to respond to such a vague and indirect question, but - having five minuites to waste, i did a Geneaology Bank search and found the attached article.

If you have a question about a cover, show us the cover, dates, and a precise question in future and maybe somebody can help.


Posted Jun 18, 24 12:13 by John Sheffield (jsheffie)

US Stampless Covers

Anyone have info on Capt James Lowell of Maine and the brig Pleiades?

Posted Jun 18, 24 9:57 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

Air Mail Facing Slips

The U.S Postal Guide Supplement of December, 1928 contained the attached notice. Do any of our Board members have an image of such a facing slip?


Posted Jun 17, 24 14:54 by Sören Andersson (sorena)

Parcel items from Richard Matta's collections

Yes, it looks as many of the due and parcel items at the Kewriga auction were from the Matta collection. Many of them have been decribed on this board. Among others he showed as no 27180 in the Cover Databse a foreign parcel tag with Special Handling. This is the only foreign special handling parcel I have seen. Unfortunately it cannot be seen to which country it was sent. 14c/lb was the rate to most foreign countries with an ocean harbour. Does anyone know if this item also was on offer at the auction. And have anyone seen any more foreign special handling parcels

Posted Jun 17, 24 13:46 by Gregory Shoults (w/f coils)

Parcel Post

Here is an example from Bell & Company after the date in which stamps could be used for parcel post. This is a bit more uncommon than the 3c rate.


Posted Jun 17, 24 13:42 by Gregory Shoults (w/f coils)

Parcel Post

Richard, congrats. I had an interest in the cover when it opened at $500, but I bet Matt was surprised by ending amount as I was. I figured it to be zone 3 at 7c for the first pound, but with the five 2c coil stamps the weight may have been 5 ounces, which fits the rate of being over 4 ounces and less than 1 pound.

Posted Jun 17, 24 12:46 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Held for Parcel Post Stamps

From January 1 through the end of June 1913, only Parcel Post stamps could pay fourth class postage. Ordinary stamps could not. The mailer most affected by the rule was Bell & Company of Orangeburg, New York, which preferred to use coil stamps affixed by machine on its fourth class mail. To make matters worse, no 3¢ Parcel Post stamps were issued until April 1913, so Bell & Co. had to hand-affix 1¢ and 2¢ stamps on envelopes that contained patent medicine samples to physicians.

Added: Richard, I think the PP tags and covers in Matt's auction were from Rick Matta's estate.

Posted Jun 17, 24 11:22 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Held for Parcel Post Stamps

I couldn't resist buying the cover below in the recent Kewriga sale. I have never seen the label before.


Posted Jun 16, 24 7:50 by Rob Faux (robfaux)

Postal History Sunday

For those who might be interested, Postal History Sunday #200 is available.

Have a good day all!


Posted Jun 16, 24 7:41 by Scott Trepel (strepel)

Gross U.S. Sale

Hammer $16,272,500 18% BP $2,929,050 Total $19,201,550

317 lots 100% sold 100+ buyers 370+ registered bidders 200+ active bidders

Posted Jun 15, 24 16:01 by Bob Watson (neopanax)

Postal Guides


Have you looked at the resources in ?

Posted Jun 15, 24 11:17 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

That looks like a printer's proof of this PB notice. Good luck with finding another. It might exist, but there cannot have been many pulled.


Posted Jun 14, 24 21:43 by Rick Kunz (segesvar)

Alan Bates Knighthood

Highly deserving of honors is Mr. Bates. Anyone who has watched the docu-drama on the debacle at the British Post Office will heartily agree.

Posted Jun 14, 24 21:14 by Gregory Shoults (w/f coils)

Postal Notices

Ken, What I am interested in is the actual notice like the one I am posting. It came from a collector who sold their material at auction. Does something exist for the coil stamps outside of the bulletin?


Posted Jun 14, 24 20:29 by Terence Hines (thines)

Alan Bates

Alan Bates, who took on the British Post Office and won, has received a knighthood in birthday honors. Well deserved, to say the least.

Posted Jun 14, 24 14:17 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Coil stamps notice

We have gone through this previously, more than once. Notices were published in the Postal Bulletin, which went to every post office, just as they are today. This was the coil stamps announcement.


Posted Jun 14, 24 13:47 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Pittsburgh card

I wonder if it could be Czech. Podrav = greetings also in Czech (Also, wouldn't a Bohemia -- German connection be more likely?

Posted Jun 14, 24 11:02 by Gregory Shoults (w/f coils)

Postal Notices

Is there anyone who knows of a source for postal notices. I am looking for an original notice announcing the sale of coil stamps in 1908.

Posted Jun 13, 24 11:29 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


Flat-plate coils had to be special ordered as 500- or 1,000-stamp rolls, perforated or imperforate, sidewise or endwise, with the buyer's intended use specified.
Rotary press coils were ordered quarterly for inventory and kept to levels according to anticipated demand.
Coiling fees continued until October 1, 1953.


Posted Jun 13, 24 10:51 by Gregory Shoults (w/f coils)

Flat Plate Coils

Ken: From what I know coil stamps were not available over the counter like sheet stamps. They had to be ordered by the local postmaster and the buyer paid a small fee for making the coil.

Is there a date or notice in which the local post offices started to stock coil stamps like sheet stamps and booklets?

Also, I am looking for an original postal notice that announced that coil stamps could now be ordered from the local post master. Any help in locating one would be greatly appreciated.

Posted Jun 13, 24 10:09 by Michael Schreiber (michaelschreiber)

card from Pittsburgh

Pozdrav z Pitsburgu = Greetings from Pittsburgh

in Croatian

Posted Jun 13, 24 5:51 by David D'Alessandris (davidd)

Supplementary Mail

"Tozdran" is "this morning" in Bulgarian according to google translate.  The next line looks like Pittsburgh.  So I think the sender was a Bulgarian immigrant that had just arrived to work in the steel mills and had no idea of the proper postage rate.  

Posted Jun 13, 24 5:37 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Flat-plate coil stamps

For every example of a pre-rotary coil stamp — imperforate, government perforated, or privately perforated — used on a card, cover, or wrapper, the first question ought to be, "Why did the sender use a coil stamp or stamps instead of a less expensive sheet stamp or a more convenient (but more expensive) booklet stamp?"

The great majority were mechanically affixed. A substantial quantity were dispensed by coin-operated vending machines. Many, especially seldom-used denominations, were stamp dealers' discounted scrap postage. A relatively small but often attractive number were used by stamp dealers and collectors on philatelic correspondence.

Posted Jun 12, 24 18:50 by Gregory Shoults (w/f coils)

Supplementary Mail ?????

Len, yes, there is a paste-up at the left end. Also, both ends have similar cuts from the dispensing machine. Ken, good reasoning for why they used the whole strip. Interesting postal use. I will check the paste-up to see if anything is on the tab.

Posted Jun 12, 24 15:30 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

Supplementary Mail ?????

Ken, Good explanation. The left end of the strip looks like a paste-up.

Posted Jun 12, 24 14:51 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

I think the sender of Greg's card put a nickel in the station's stamp vending machine, which dispensed the coil strip of four (1¢ profit over face value) and, without knowing how much postage was required, put the entire strip on the card and posted it.

Posted Jun 12, 24 13:11 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Supplementary Mail

Maybe the sender was in a hurry (as one often is in a train station), was unsure of the postage rate, and added the overage for piece of mind.

Posted Jun 12, 24 12:34 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

Supplementary Mail ?????

Doesn't look like it. First, there's nothing on the card to suggest supplementary mail, like a ship endorsement. Second, three ships sailed from NY the morning that this card was postmarked in Pittsburgh, 300+ miles away. There were no sailings for Europe the next day May 3rd. There's no reason for more than 2c, not even a "just in case" franking.

Posted Jun 12, 24 11:29 by Gregory Shoults (w/f coils)

Supplementary Mail ?????

Not quite sure why the sender paid double the UPU rate to Germany for this post card. It seems to have been mailed from a train station, but not sure if there is any reason for the 4c being paid on a post card to Germany.


Posted Jun 12, 24 11:09 by george dekornfeld (docgfd)


Thank you Mark !

PM sent.

Posted Jun 12, 24 7:13 by Mark Schwartz (schwamoo)

Barr Fyke

George, Yes. It’s a nice example of one of the Kansas City experimentals. Listed as x-4, it’s reported used from August 15 to Nov. 27, 1896. You can see a few more by searching the Rumsey archives. Best, Mark

Posted Jun 11, 24 21:19 by Richard Coffey (rcoffey)

Happy Days in Taos

Congratulations Richard and Jaya!

Posted Jun 11, 24 20:24 by george dekornfeld (docgfd)

Barr-Fyke Machine Cancel ?

This 1896 Kansas City. Missouri cover appears to have had its 2c Washington issue cancelled by a Barr-Fyke machine cancellation.

Am I correct (if memory serves) that this is an example of one of their scarce Experimental Types of machine cancels?


Posted Jun 11, 24 0:04 by Ravi Vora (nusivar)

Heartfelt Congratulations

Dear Richard and Jaya:

Kathy and I wish you a most wonderful, enjoyable life together. May you be in perfect harmony to bring out the best in each other.

Kathy / Ravi

Posted Jun 10, 24 14:48 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)


All the best for a long and happy time together.

Posted Jun 10, 24 12:59 by Roger Heath (decoppet)


It was a pleasure meeting Jaya when I visited Taos in March. Wishing you both many happy years ahead.

Posted Jun 10, 24 10:47 by Russell Ryle (hoosierboy)

re: Happy Days are here again - and for many many days to come

Congratulations to both of you. Enjoy!

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