Kevin Blackston
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

14¢ American Indian cover features Indian River postmark

The newest addition to my collection of covers bearing the 14¢ American Indian stamp is just as philatelic as they come. It’s an event cover commemorating the dedication of the Calvin Campbell Airport in Michigan, and it was postmarked in Indian River, Michigan, on August 24, 1936.

Front of cover bearing 14-cent American Indian stamp and postmarked in Indian River, Michigan
14¢ American Indian cover postmarked in Indian River, Michigan

While the 14¢ American Indian saw plenty of legitimate commercial use while in service, albeit relatively little solo usage, the stamp seems to have been a popular choice for collectors preparing covers with even the most remote connections to Native Americans.

The Indian River postmark with this stamp, although entirely philatelic, is nice enough in and of itself, but also of note is that the stamp on this cover shows what I think could be evidence of a double transfer.

Note the presence of a faint apparent curve through the tops of the “ATES” in “STATES,” as well as an extraneous curve or scratch near the bottom of the “D” in “UNITED.” When I first noticed this, I thought I might be seeing visual artifacts in my scan, but I went back and checked the stamp using a 10× magnifier, and the extra marks are actually present.

Detail of 14¢ American Indian stamp showing traces of possible double transfer in “UNITED STATES” lettering
Detail of possible 14¢ American Indian double transfer

This is the first time I’ve personally seen this variety, but now that I know it exists, I’ll be on the lookout for potential additional examples.

Published 2021-05-02


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