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The Best Item I Acquired At Chicagopex: Civil War Playing Card Deck Wrapper

 
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Posted 11/22/2018   8:38 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add revenuecollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I've only ever seen these pictured in books; I'd never seen one in person. So when a fellow collector offered it to me at an eminently reasonable price, I didn't hesitate.

It's a complete playing card wrapper from the Samuel Hart & Co. playing card company for their "Linen Eagle" playing cards. It features 2-cent and 3-cent Playing Cards stamps with printed script December 1863 "SH&Co." cancels. Presumably the selling price of the deck of cards increased at a later date, thus necessitating the addtiion of the 3 5-cent Playing Card stamps using a later single-line block style handstamp cancel.

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Posted 11/22/2018   9:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add No1philatelist to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
RC, I am not big on revenues but boy, that is a very nice historical presentation item. And the color of the stamps pop right out at you against that background.

Mike
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Edited by No1philatelist - 11/22/2018 9:46 pm
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Posted 11/22/2018   11:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add southpaw to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Wow very nice!
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Posted 11/23/2018   12:10 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This deck would have to have been priced at $1.50. That's a VERY expensive deck.

If you want to compare the value of a $1.50 Commodity in 1864 there are three choices. In 2017 the relative:
real price of that commodity is $24.10
labor value of that commodity is $213.00 (using the unskilled wage) or $463.00 (using production worker compensation)
income value of that commodity is $323.00
economic share of that commodity is $3,060.00
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Posted 11/23/2018   01:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add James Drummond to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Another realistic possibility is that the strip of five cent stamps didn't originate on the wrapper, but were added later, for whatever reason, by perhaps a stamp collector.

And/or the two cent stamp as well.

See this example:

http://www.rumseyauctions.com/aucti...apter/60/180

Same company, same brand, except with just one three cent stamp.

Jim

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Edited by James Drummond - 11/23/2018 01:18 am
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Posted 11/23/2018   10:47 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Most of the wrappers shown in Kristen Patterson's book "It's a Wrap!" from this era range from 1-cent to 5-cent rates, with the 5-cent tax rate not being uncommon. It appears that the Samuel Hart cards were more expensive than the norm, as there are 15-cent and 20-cent taxed Samuel Hart decks pictured in the book.

So I don't know that you can jump to the conclusion that the wrapper usage is contrived.
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Posted 11/23/2018   10:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I would expect that the 3 cent and 2 cent are certainly original. The strip is a bit more difficult to prove, but since the government provided a rate one must assume that there were packs of that price available.
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Posted 11/23/2018   11:18 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Something else in it's favor is that adding the strip of three does not change the value of the wrapper all that much, and it would be a good item in it's own right as well. So why bother?
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Posted 11/23/2018   11:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
And the original rate was any pack retailing for over 36 cents was 5 cents. It changed August 1, 1864.
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Posted 11/23/2018   8:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sideshowbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Dan,

One of the wrappers I have from the Joyce collection was also taxed at the 20 cent rate.

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Posted 11/23/2018   8:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

One wonders if the scribble down the left hand side, was the owner's winnings at poker.
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Posted 11/24/2018   3:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add SPQR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have two similar wrappers, but with M&M stamps
Here is one with the Hart stamp (RU9)
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Posted 11/24/2018   3:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add SPQR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here is a second with the NY Consolidated Card stamp (RU14)
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Posted 11/24/2018   9:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add RevenueFun to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Dan,

This a great first wrapper for your collection. As you assumed, Hart decks were more costly than others and I assume the deck originally was listed for sell for over 36c in Dec. 1863. When it was sold by the reseller sometime between Aug. 1, 1864 and July 31, 1866 at which time the deck price was over $1 and the tax was 20c. So the reseller added the strip of three 5c Playing Cards stamps to cover the tax and required cancellation on the stamps with S.H. & Co. hand stamp.

Looks legit to me. A really nice wrapper and great history.

Kristin Patterson
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Posted 11/25/2018   09:50 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Kristin.
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