Notes from the Past

Nicholas F. Seebeck - Part IV

"However, " continues Gentle, "when the contracts with the Hamilton Bank Note Co. were in force, the governments of the 'Seebeck countries' were solely interested in obtaining stamps needed for their postal and telegraph services at no cost.

"There was no intention of picking philatelists' pockets, because collectors knew that after a year had passed they could obtain stamps of the previous year below face value, thus over-the-counter sales to collectors could hardly be expected."

Gentle also notes the possibility that the high denominations may have been used in settling interdepartmental accounts and subsequently destroyed.

The greatest objection to the Seebeck arrangements is claimed by Gentle to be the permission to reprint the stamps, plus the fact that many exist in cancelled-to-order condition and with counterfeit cancelations.

It has been claimed that reprints were not produced until 1899, shortly after Seebeck's death, but this is by no means certain.

Seebeck himself, being a stamp collector, is said to have understood why his actions were something less than popular in the philatelic community.  Gentle reports that he offered to cancel the contracts he had negotiated on behalf of the Hamilton Bank Note Co. if the respective governments would agree and give guarantees that they would not negotiate similar agreements with any of the printing firm's competitors.

To be Continued

- Kenneth A. Wood
This is Philately - Volume Three Q-Z
Van Dahl Publications 1982
Posted October 20, 2000

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

Note:  If the link isn't returned the first try, try again.

Comments? Send me an e-mail
Please include a reference to this item.