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

Only half a cover, but a wholly commercial usage

The most recent addition to my collection of 14¢ American Indian stamps on cover is a cover fragment mailed from Ohio to Denmark in August 1938. The 14¢ postage covered the then recently-introduced 5¢ for first ounce international surface mail plus 3¢ per ounce surcharge for air mail within the United States, plus 3¢ per half ounce for air mail within Europe.

Front of cover bearing 14-cent American Indian stamp
14¢ American Indian cover mailed from Chillicothe, Ohio, to Copenhagen, Denmark

The cover was at some point in the presumably distant past cut down to probably about half of its original size, probably to make it fit more nicely on an album page. I bought it because it’s a difficult solo usage that fits into my collection, but it’s definitely not the nicest example I own.

I can remember a stamp or two that I wish I had left alone, and perhaps you can think of a stamp or cover that you didn’t treat quite as well as you wish you had. Still, I would like to think that in today’s collecting world, a cover such as this would have been preserved intact as a piece of postal history. The visual impact of a full cover instead of a fragment like this is indisputable.

Update (2021-09-12): a previous version of this post identified the cover as being postmarked in 1932 with the 14¢ American Indian stamp paying a different rate, but closer inspection revealed that the date in the postmark could not be 1932. I’m sorry about the error.

Published 2021-02-03 Last updated 2021-09-12


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