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Posted Jul 21, 19 1:27 by Frederick Lawrence (fplawrence)

Brazil Postal Rates - Hyperinflation Period of the 1980s

I am working on a new exhibit which involves a couple stamp issues during the Brazil hyperinflation period of the 1980s, and am in need of Brazil postal rates, to understand the frankings on covers - particularly, on foreign (international) airmail. ARPL has nothing, and the Brazil post office (ECT) is not responding to inquiries - at least those sent to them in English. Does anyone know a source(s)? Thanks!


Posted Jul 21, 19 0:06 by Stephen Tedesco (steddy)

Vera Cruz - NY via Havana

According to Wierenga, US Incoming Steamship Mail this 5 in circle is found on incoming British Mail from 01/13/49 to 07/01/51. This cover dated 1862 via Havana on inside leaf? Help would be appreciated.


Posted Jul 20, 19 22:46 by Richard Matta (rkmatta)

Returned mail

This facing page refers to a letter from Keene NH to Kingsley, Quebec but I assume that the page originated on the return trip from Canada and was not attached to the original letter?


Posted Jul 20, 19 21:41 by Farley Katz (navalon)

The unknown Mr. X returns home from the Cherrystone New Amsterdam auction.


RF converted the continuation to a PDF file:  here

Posted Jul 20, 19 12:44 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Cherrystone New Amsterdam sale

According to Alex Haimann's report in the August 5 Linn's, one floor bidder bought all three rare grills (including the original B-grill envelope), and after the sale the stamps were transported to that person in an armored car.

Come on, Alex. If he or she wasn't hiding behind an agent, a desire for anonymity can't be a factor. Who bought them?

Posted Jul 19, 19 18:42 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Refused Mail

Here is an interesting Return to Writer cover in my collection. See Cover ID 28333 for details.and back image with home-made seal.

Note that it is addressed to the same person that wrote opened by mistake, after being forwarded, and ultimately being returned to sender, after being sealed by the recipient.

I think what happened is that it was actually refused, even though that reason is not checked in the box. Back in 1938, as nowadays, you can refuse a piece of mail, and as long as it is unopened, can return it to sender without paying additional postage.

So I figure the recipient made this unofficial seal from whatever he had on hand, wrote what happened, and evidently his explanation was accepted by the post office and sent back at no cost.


Posted Jul 19, 19 14:18 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Rick, Mark

Many thanks, guys.

I was so focused on the route that I neglected to consider a double rate. So Rockland evidently met their declared sailing plan, to Callao and Panama. Then steamer from Aspinwall to New York.

Posted Jul 19, 19 9:35 by Mark Schwartz (schwamoo)

Melbourne to NY 1853

That mark is a match for the New York “40” shown in North Atlantic Mail Sailings (W. 316). There it is listed as used in May 63.

Posted Jul 19, 19 2:31 by Rick Mingee (ramingee)

Melbourne to New York, 1853


I do not have an answer for you but that style 40 handstamp is N/A to San Francisco. Yes they had a 40 then but never this italic/slanted style, ever. Obviously the relevant rate to get 40 was a double "Over 2500 Miles - 20 cents" in place from July 1851 - June 1864, so the period is right, but that rate was for a contract ship not a private ship, so would have needed to find a PMSC vessel at Panama. Had this come in privately it would have been a clamshell 6.

Not sure who put the 40 there but not SF.


Posted Jul 19, 19 1:27 by David Snow (dwsnow)

dating New York cds

Leonard Hartmann,

I am glad you found in the PhilaMercury census my 1865 cover ID 25130, similar to the NYC duplex cds on your cover which you are trying to year date.

Here is another cover with NYC cds of that style, with original 1866 letter originating from Vera Cruz, Mexico, handled by a forwarding agent. See Cover ID 21070.  I had fun researching that cover.

Apparently various killers were used with these New York City duplex postmarks.

As a side note,  I sold both of these covers to a good friend who saw them in PhilaMercury census, and approached me. So I am pleased they have gone to a good home, and I have a record of them in the census.

So I encourage all of you board participants to list your covers in PhilaMercury census, and make use of the user-friendly search feature. It is worth your time. Thanks, Richard, for providing it.


Posted Jul 19, 19 0:40 by Richard Taschenberg (coverzz)


BALPEX reminder (Aug 30 – Sept 1, Hunt Valley, MD)

We still have frame space available for both of our new classes, and will be accepting entry forms through Aug 5.

Open class: The only rules are that you must own the material, and the exhibit must be philatelically oriented. Other than that it’s wide open. Get creative or just have fun. Winners will be by vote of the exhibitors in this class.

One of My Favorites class: These are single page exhibits intended to present a special item from your collection. We expect to have several frames with a wide variety of interesting material.

We will also have an exhibit tour with the exhibitors giving brief presentations at the frames, and an exhibitor meet and greet, all to promote the exchange of knowledge.

Please consider joining us. Come see Chip’s Postal History Map and other ‘outside the box’ exhibits.

Posted Jul 18, 19 23:34 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Roman Coins

Since two people have asked about the Romans, I will post a link to my small group of Roman Republic coins from the period of transition from cast coinage to struck coinage here.

Also included are two coins at bottom of page that relate to communications in Rome at later dates.

Posted Jul 18, 19 21:53 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Civitates Foederatae Americae


As long as you're at it, why not go full Latin on your USA map? See attached.


Posted Jul 18, 19 20:45 by Russell Crow (cornwall2)

What is the rate

Certainly looks like an "f" to me and since it is addressed to the Post master it almost has to have been sent free even though that may be in violation of postal regulations at the time (was it really postal business). .

Posted Jul 18, 19 20:32 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Dating origins

Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia by Christine Thompson (recommended reading) notes that historians have tended to date South Seas events in years B.C. and A.C. (before and after Cook).

Posted Jul 18, 19 20:27 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


italic is best

Posted Jul 18, 19 19:34 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

New York

There is an extensive census of NY postmarks around this period. Unfortunately, it is unpublished. I have several probable EKUs of the grilled stamps that might be clarified if it were. Skinner, I believe worked on this. (Likewise the grand DPM listing from the published federal lists.

Posted Jul 18, 19 18:54 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

something like this is where it will end up.

I will make the cartouche a bit smaller and a bit greyer in the final, I think. Also, I eliminated the title in English from the top. I think it may not need it.

and for David, I think I would rather do LXIII A.C. - 63 Anno Chip.


Posted Jul 18, 19 18:12 by David D'Alessandris (davidd)

Roman Numerals

Shouldn’t the year be MMDCCLIII (2753) a.u.c. (anno urbis conditae)? Dated from Romulus and Remus rather than Jesus?

Posted Jul 18, 19 18:08 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

and I wish I could figure out how to use this somewhere

Wonderful image

(the last two were from the David Rumsey Map site - a place that you must know about, if you don't already).



Posted Jul 18, 19 18:07 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

Original Map (1714)

I lifted the cartouche from here:


Posted Jul 18, 19 18:06 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

Latin Postal History

Well, as long as this seems to have generated some interesting comments (and nice coins, Richard), here's the original I lifted and some of the edited possibilities. Anyone have a favorite?


Posted Jul 18, 19 17:45 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Yes, but Chip's page and typography are medieval, not old Roman, just as were the maps and prints on which they appeared.

Posted Jul 18, 19 17:44 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

One As

A circa 225 BC 1 as cast bronze coin is rather impressive and with significant heft

AE Cast As, Libral series, Rome mint, 225-217 BC, 277.3g, 62mm
Obv. Janus head right
Rev. Prow of ship right; mark of value "I" above


Posted Jul 18, 19 17:37 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Roman Numerals

Ca. 210 BC during the Roman Republic period an inverted (down) arrow plus an "X" was used to designate 60 asses.


Posted Jul 18, 19 17:22 by David Handelman (davidh)

Roman numerals

Chip: In Roman times, abbreviations such as IV or IX were not in use (they were adopted in ecclesiastical Latin, much later). So MMXVIIII is how a Roman would have written the year. [I once used the long way to write the year 1999 for a book frontispiece: MDCCCCLXXXXVIIII.]

Also, if you have a small caps font, it might look better (especially the OE ligature).

Posted Jul 18, 19 16:52 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Good. Now it resembles the Genova original.

Posted Jul 18, 19 16:10 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

More Better, I think

Thanx again, Ken.



Posted Jul 18, 19 15:24 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)



Posted Jul 18, 19 15:17 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Fœderatæ Americæ [ligatures]

Posted Jul 18, 19 14:51 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

Latin in use

This is why I wanted the Latin translation.

(for my "Postal History Map", which I will be showing at Balpex in Aug/Sept. If anyone has a better way to say this, please feel free to help me along. Thanks.)



Posted Jul 18, 19 14:39 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

More philatelic Latin

From my Spotlight feature in the December 2009 Scott Stamp Monthly

The world’s oldest stamp collection belongs to the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin. It’s an album of revenue stamps and handstamped chargemarks compiled in 1774 by John Bourke, Receiver General of the Stamp Duties. That was the year Ireland’s Stamp Duty Act took effect, following similar taxes on legal documents that had begun in 1694 in England and Wales, and in 1707 in Scotland. . . . .

An inscription at the front [of the album] reads, “A collection of the Impressions to be made on every Skin or Piece of Vellum or Parchment or Every Sheet of Paper in Manner and Form as hereinafter expressed.” A motto in Latin, “agnosco veteris vestigia flammae,” [I recognize traces of an old flame] followed the title. In Virgil’s epic poem Aeneid, the Carthaginian queen Dido spoke those words about the wandering Trojan warrior Aeneas, who stirred passions she had not felt since her brother murdered her husband at Tyre many years earlier. . . . .

Virgil’s “old flame” line in the Aeneid opened an extended metaphor of burning passion for the year that Aeneas and Dido were lovers at Carthage, an initial spark that ended in a tragic conflagration. When Aeneas abandoned her to resume his destiny, the distraught African queen took her own life atop a pyre, departing this world in a blaze of glory.

It has now been 235 years since Bourke assembled the oldest stamp collection. The end of stamp collecting is not yet in sight, and those of each generation who predict its demise are not prone to imagining a final fiery fadeout. But most of us who carry on, and most new recruits, are imbued with passion for our hobby. The tradition of mature adults rediscovering a childhood pastime does resemble an encounter with an old flame. In that respect, Bourke was not only a founder, but also perhaps a prophet.

Page from the album:


Posted Jul 18, 19 11:22 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

Thank you , Ken.


Posted Jul 18, 19 6:46 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Root of Treason

Here's a side by side comparison of the Root of Treason image and the TREASON one. The Root is much better printed and TREASON has lost a lot of detail. Also, the text is interesting. Part of it is identical, but not all. The Fs in Found are different. Also, the distance between "of Virginia" and the dotted line below it are noticably different. But the dotted line has the same irregular shape. Looks like The Root of Treason was the original and TREASON an altered - and patched up - copy.

And, of course, "Treason" by itself makes little sense.


Posted Jul 18, 19 2:49 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


historia epistolarum (literally, history of letters)

Posted Jul 18, 19 2:43 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Samuel C. Upham

Upham is one of three counterfeiters profiled in the book Money-Makers: The Wild Lives and Surprising Adventures of Three Notorious Counterfeiters by Ben Tarnoff. I read it eight years ago, too many for me to recall details, but possibly enough to deduce which products were being printed and distributed when.

Posted Jul 18, 19 2:16 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

Highly Esoteric Request

Anyone know how to say "Postal History" in Latin?

(and please don't send me to Google Translate - I think that the results may not be the best possible choice of words)



Posted Jul 18, 19 1:07 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)

NYC Cancels


the Frajola census item, ie 25130 by D Snow has an Oct 21
CDS and both the CDS and the GRid are exactly per my
cover, also a commercial handstamp having  a clear 1865 year
and day date

to me this means probably 1866 but perhaps 1865

my interest is in Upham and when he operated, etc. we know in 1862 but
how much longer as a purveyor of patriotic, etc. we have a number
of unused ones but not many used so when was it used, i am pleased
with either 1865 or 1866


Posted Jul 18, 19 0:43 by Scott Trepel (strepel)

NYC cancels

The problem with using data is year date issues. NYC stopped using year in cds after 1863 or 1864 (I forget which). There is some guesswork involved in dating covers when the cds has no year, no docketing, no letter.

I know the "Treason" cover has a cds that is either 1865 and 1866, and I am leaning toward 1866.

Somewhere in my files is a copy of Louis Grunin's NYC cancellation collection, with everything arranged in chronological order. That would probably answer the question, if there is a reliably dated cover with the same cancel.

If I find some time to look, I will.


Posted Jul 17, 19 21:56 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

1865 / 1866

I wish people would think of using the census site!

The search results here for 1866 in date order for a New York origin on domestic mail do not show a match for March pmk that is similar. While the 1865 search here shows a no match for a cover posted by Milke Ellingson for early March but and accurate match for a May 10, 1865 cover entered by Tom Mazza. I did not bother checking other year dates. But better than guessing!

The database is very useful when you get into the capabilities ...

Posted Jul 17, 19 21:44 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)

New York 1860's

My posting of the Upham Patriotic for a NY year date received
only one reply, ie Scott T saying 1866 versus my guess of 1863-4

I have used Scott's data base many times for information but not yet Richards,
on doing so i found a cover posted by David S. having the identical CDS and
Grid with a documented Oct 21, 1865 usage

My cover is probably 1866 but perhaps 1865

Now some of you NY specialist, can you say what time it was postmarked !


Posted Jul 17, 19 18:03 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Melbourne to New York, 1853

This 21 Oct 1853 letter was sent out of the mails aboard the 992 ton Ship "Rockland," which both cleared and sailed that day for Callao.

The sailing was advertised in The Argus (Melbourne) on 12 October:

"United States, via Callao and Panama - Express Line - The magnificent New York Packet Ship ROCKLAND, Hiram Vinnel, Esq., Commander, will succeed the Gem of the Sea, and sail for Callao on the 16 October next."

I have been unable to find dates in Lloyd's List for Rockland's arrival at either Callao or Panama. Does any board member have access to to arrivals for either of these two ports?

The 40 (cents) due postmark suggests the letter went to San Francisco, perhaps put in the wrong bag aboard ship. Can anyone offer other theories?


Posted Jul 17, 19 17:37 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Fox Auction

I once bought a late 18th century cover in a Fox Sale. The rate was strange. When I got it, I found that the date had been modified (perhaps an error while attempting to reinforce the marking). John took the item back without objection. I have no way of knowing who modified it.

Posted Jul 17, 19 11:46 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)


Jim: USPCS - SCRAP program site here

Posted Jul 17, 19 11:21 by Jim Baird (bairdo)

Fox's fakes

Has there ever been an effort to assemble a list of known/probable covers created by John Fox? 

Word has it that he did not sell such material in his auctions. That may have been - but is it true?


Posted Jul 17, 19 3:19 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)


Astronauts are from that small group of people who are happy when they are down and out.

Posted Jul 17, 19 0:26 by Bob Bramwell (rudy2donline)

Launch Day

I was about a month short in Viet Nam when Apollo 11 launched and knew nothing about it. Thank you AFVN - must have been a "security" concern.  Anyway, my old man, a Navy man from 1944 penned this for delivery after I got back


Posted Jul 16, 19 23:54 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Astronaut letters

Many years ago, I used to frequent John's Pizzeria on Bleecker Street (I think). The owner was a serious astronaut fan and had a number of letters sent to him by astronauts hanging on the walls in frames. One letter began:

John's Pizzeria

123 Bleecker St.

New York, NY

Dear Mr. Pizzeria:

Posted Jul 16, 19 23:26 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)

Upham NY

Thanks Scott

my NY 1863-4 was based on the yellow envelope, i know nothing on
the dating of the pm

the later ones of this design that i know of; all unused on white envelopes with minor
changes in inscripton, also "Roots of Treason' and not just "Treason"


Posted Jul 16, 19 22:49 by Scott Trepel (strepel)

NY Upham

Leonard H

I think 1866 is more likely

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