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

Apparent Washington coil stamp turns up in stamp dealer’s postcard box

While browsing through a box of postcards at the local stamp shop a couple of weeks ago, I ran across a card that caught my attention because it has what appears to be a coil stamp from the Washington-Franklin series, the third Bureau issue.

1-cent George Washington stamp on 1914 postcard picturing Niagara River
1¢ George Washington stamp on 1914 postcard

Although it’s obviously not one of the earliest coils since it’s not perforated 12 or 8½ vertically, even some of the later Washington-Franklin coils can if genuine have a catalogue value of a couple of bucks, so I paid the asking price of $0.50. You can probably imagine my surprise when I consulted my Scott catalogue that evening and realized that the stamp is an apparent Scott 443 with an on-cover catalogue value of $60!

As the Scott catalogue notes, the Washington-Franklin coils are frequently faked from trimmed sheet stamps or fraudulently perforated imperforate stamps, but this particular example has a few things going for it. The design’s size is right for a stamp from one of the flat plate printings; it’s tied to the postcard by the cancellation; and the July 6, 1914, postmark is just a few weeks after the earliest known use of the stamp.

There’s always the possibility that the sender was having a little fun and trimmed down a booklet stamp or perforated an imperforate stamp before affixing it to the postcard, but on the surface, at least, it looks good. I’ve shipped it off to APEX for expertizing, so we’ll find out what the experts say!

Published 2018-03-25

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