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Mourning Covers

 
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New Member
United States
3 Posts
Posted 12/26/2014   12:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add 1stampshop to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I got into collecting mourning covers a couple months ago after a presentation at a stamp club meeting. I keep thinking about what a dreadful feeling one would get after finding one of these in the mail box. The black border indicates it is a mourning cover (death announcement).

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Pillar Of The Community
Canada
1274 Posts
Posted 12/26/2014   1:07 pm  Show Profile Check CanadaStamp's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add CanadaStamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There are also "mourning stamps" - heard about them?
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
784 Posts
Posted 12/26/2014   1:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add acanalizo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This was (is) mostly a European custom, especially Italy and not usually practiced here in America. Many also blacken the back envelope fold edges as below:

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Albert
Pillar Of The Community
United States
578 Posts
Posted 12/26/2014   2:03 pm  Show Profile Check paperhistory's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add paperhistory to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There are plenty of US examples. Here's one from my collection of places I've lived. It's a bit unusual to find a mourning cover sent at printed matter rates; this one encloses a printed funeral notice.

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Edited by paperhistory - 12/26/2014 2:11 pm
Valued Member
United States
428 Posts
Posted 12/26/2014   4:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ldhaber to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I might very well be incorrect, but a mourning cover does not necessary indicate a death announcement. In the past, the rules regarding death and morning were quite exact and the mourning period observed for a departed depended on a number of factors. Such as your relationship to the departed, your age etc etc.

If you were in mourning, in "good" company, it was expected that your written correspondence would be written on mourning stationary. Pls see Emily Post here in 1922. http://www.bartleby.com/95/27.html. So most usually, it is the writer of a mourning cover that was in mourning, not the recipient and the contents of the letter might have little or nothing to do with death.

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Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12128 Posts
Posted 12/26/2014   6:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
An interesting exhibit on the subject is available here:

http://www.mscc.ms/page7.html
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
2659 Posts
Posted 12/26/2014   6:59 pm  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here's a stampless British mourning cover from 1841



U.S. mourning cover.



One from Hungary which doesn't look like one until you unfold it and see the contents:





I've seen quite a few from France and Germany as well and even one from Thailand.
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New Member
United States
3 Posts
Posted 12/26/2014   8:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 1stampshop to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have some mourning stamps with the black border. I had no idea what the border meant until I learned about the covers. Some mourning stamps don't have boarders at all. The United States Franklin D. Roosevelt series (Scott 930 - 933) can be considered mourning stamps.
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Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12128 Posts
Posted 12/27/2014   01:32 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Battlestamps: As to the US mourning cover posted above, as addressed to Cyril Archibald, Esq., Dickinson's Landing, Ontario, and postmarked Dundas, Minnesota, you may be interested in this collateral information on the addressee:

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Valued Member
452 Posts
Posted 12/27/2014   02:44 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add LarryBruce to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Three of these had cards and the backs were similar to what has been posted. This looks like it was stationary you could buy type material.







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Pillar Of The Community
1515 Posts
Posted 12/27/2014   03:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Jenny2U to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Small size 1873 mourning cover from France to England:



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Rest in Peace
United States
7097 Posts
Posted 12/27/2014   12:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add I_Love_Stamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I once seen, or maybe read that US Scott #77 is a mourning stamp or considered one maybe? Anyone know anything more about this?

Here is mine so you can see an illustration of what stamp I'm referring too. (for you non-US collectors)

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Edited by I_Love_Stamps - 12/27/2014 12:21 pm
Valued Member
452 Posts
Posted 12/27/2014   12:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add LarryBruce to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My Lincoln #77 does look mournful.

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Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12128 Posts
Posted 12/27/2014   12:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I once seen, or maybe read that US Scott #77 is a mourning stamp or considered one maybe? Anyone know anything more about this?


Yes, to some collectors it is considered a "mourning stamp" because of how quickly it was issued following Lincoln's assassination, even though it was never "promoted" to be a mourning stamp; other collectors consider it the first "commemorative stamp" for the same reason. Here are a couple of sources to verify:

http://arago.si.edu/index.asp?con=4...246&slide=27

http://www.linns.com/howto/refreshe...rcourse.aspx

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Valued Member
United States
44 Posts
Posted 12/27/2014   8:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add irisgarden to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm curious why Mourning Covers went out of style. They seem to be VERY popular early in the twentieth century and before. Anyone know?
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Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12128 Posts
Posted 12/27/2014   9:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I'm curious why Mourning Covers went out of style.


I don't know for sure, but in my opinion it comes down to "communication". Back in the 19th and early 20th centuries the only means of communication was via the mail, thus the mourning covers were created to send word of a death.

It seems to me that mourning covers fell out of favor about the time when it was commonplace to have a daily newspaper (instead of a weekly) and when the telephone came into popularity in the private home. Communication was much easier and quicker than it used to be, so the printed "death notice" typically enclosed in a "mourning cover" fell aside in deference to the published newspaper obituary or telephone communication advising a friend or family member of a person's death.

Although it is a rather morbid subject, back in the 19th and early 20th centuries it was not uncommon to have a wake or funeral in a person's house instead of in a funeral home or at a church. It was even considered acceptable to photograph the deceased as a remembrance of their passing.

For some of these sort of things modern times have changed for the better.
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Edited by wt1 - 12/27/2014 9:22 pm
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