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Nice Illegal Use Cover... With A Bonus.

 
 
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Posted 06/01/2019   9:07 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add revenuecollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Recently, I've been actively bidding on various and sundry covers with illegal uses of revenue stamps as postage. It's a bit of a minefield, as these covers are frequently contrived.

Additionally, the competition is quite fierce; I've ended up being the underbidder, or my bids not even executing because they're too short, quite a bit as of late. To those who lament the demise or malaise in philately, I say "phooey!" It all depends on the areas you collect. In fact, from the perspective of someone who's still in the acquisition phase of their philatelic life, I'd say it's a bit too active, dadgum it!

At any rate, I won the cover below at considerably less than I was willing to pay, which always makes me suspicious. However, upon receipt and examination, I can find no evidence of contrivance. The "Coals Mouth" cancel ties the leftmost stamp, and there are additional strikes of the same cancel on the two other stamps, and there is a correct 2x penalty marking "Due 6" at left.

When people manufacture covers like this, they usually use low-to-medium value stamps (R2c catalogs $210 for a single and $450 for a pair), as it's typically not worthwhile to create something with components whose intrinsic value is almost as much as that of the item being created.

The bonus came when examining the stamps, revealing the single and left stamp of the pair to have previously unrecorded plate scratches. It first appeared that if you were to place the single above the left stamp of the pair, they might comprise a single continuous scratch crossing both stamps... which is a possibility as the stamps conceivably would have originated from the same sheet. However, the angles of the scratches look like they are different.

So that just means more plate scratches to document and plate.





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Posted 06/01/2019   9:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting. The scratch does seem to have been across both of those stamps so from the same sheet. I wonder what someone was doing with three playing cards stamps, and why they thought of mailing a letter with them? It might have been entirely innocent. For what it's worth, I don't see any town in West Virginia anymore with that name (using Google Maps), so maybe it didn't last long?
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Edited by DrewM - 06/01/2019 9:38 pm
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Posted 06/01/2019   9:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It sounds like the kind of mining town that would disappear as soon as the coal bed ran out.
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Posted 06/01/2019   10:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There used to be a "Coalmont" in Kanawha County ( WV ). Could that be it?

Peter
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Posted 06/01/2019   11:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
It first appeared that if you were to place the single above the left stamp of the pair, they might comprise a single continuous scratch crossing both stamps... which is a possibility as the stamps conceivably would have originated from the same sheet. However, the angles of the scratches look like they are different.


I think your initial suspicions are correct:

Now I may be off a few tenths of a degree in orientation of the two stamps with scratches, but I believe this is essentially correct.

The doubter will say "The scratch is not straight" It's a scratch and it doesn't have to be so.

The doubter will also say "The scratch is not the same weight/heaviness all the way across". Again, it doesn't have to be and closer examination will show the transition from heaviest at the very top (single stamp) to lighter and dotted as you get to the bottom(left stamp of pair).

I think what confirms the positions is the alignment of perfs/perf holes both horizontally and vertically, along with the alignment of designs in the two stamps.

It's Coalsmouth or Coals Mouth, just as stated. In Kanawha County in WV. The 1859 Postal Guide lists the town as "Coalsmouth", still in Virginia at that time; statehood for WV came in 1863.
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Edited by hy-brasil - 06/01/2019 11:58 pm
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Posted 06/02/2019   08:40 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, hy-brasil. I had tried something similar in Photoshop, but the resulting angles were too far off in my opinion, or alternatively, the amount of rotation to the stamp to make the scratch angles the same made me doubt it, so I erred on the side of caution.

The only true way to know for certain would be for someone to have plated R2c, and given the relative scarcity (and cost) of R2c compared to other 1st issues revenues, I don't know that anyone has ever undertaken that challenge.
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