Notes from the Past

City Despatch Post Die on Market

The original die of the 3 black, City Despatch Post, of New York, and from which the stamps of 1842 were printed, is on the market -- for sale.  It was recently offered for $700.  It is a small, flat piece of steel, about 1 3/4 by 2 inches, and about 1/4 inch in thickness, but it is cleanly split in half horizontally across its face, caused many years ago when a number of reprints were made from it, and it looks rather worn down.  The present owner, who is seeking a purchaser on the strength of the reprints which might be made from it, maintains that a new transfer could be taken from it and retouched to cut out the evidence of the break, "so that you couldn't tell the difference."  Well, mebbe so, I dunno.  I doubt that the retouching could be concealed.  People unfamiliar with the philatelic hobby fail to appreciate the close study collectors apply to their stamps.

The 1842, 3 Black of the City Despatch Post was the first adhesive stamp issued in the Western Hemisphere.  

- George B. Sloane
Sloane's Column
November 9, 1935

Posted October 6, 1999

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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