Several weeks ago, I got a card in the mail for the Indiana Stamp Club Spring Fair, and it coincided with the first weekend of my vacation, so I gave some thought to going. I gave Denny Peoples a call, as in all likelihood he’d be the dealer I’d be buying the most from. He said he didn’t have much for me, and that since it was a club show, I was unlikely to find much up my alley. He encouraged me instead to attend the St. Louis Stamp Expo at the end of the month.
The problem with the St. Louis Show for me is (1) it’s a much longer drive, roughly 3.5 hours each way as opposed to just under 2 hours, meaning likely a hotel expense, and more importantly (2) the money I had available wouldn’t go far at the St. Lous show… I know myself well enough to know that if I saw goodies from Richard and Eric I’d extend myself too far to get them; better to not risk temptation.
I knew that I might possibly be bidding heavily in the Aldrich John Lewis auction, so I wasn’t sure if I would have any funds left to attend anyway. Still, I put it on my calendar, and as it turns out I got pretty well shut out at the auction, so I decided to go.
I’ve been burned when timing my travel for Indianapolis-area shows in the past, as half the year they are the same time zone as I am, and the other half they are an hour ahead. This being time-change weekend meant that depending on which day I decided to attend would mean leaving at different times. But as usual, I opted to go Saturday, the first day of the show.
So I hit the road at 6:30AM, and the drive there was uneventful, outside of some horrific potholes on the interstates that made me question whether my car would survive. I got there at 9:45AM local time, 15 minutes before the show opened.
It’s a smaller venue, the Lawrence Community Center. No exhibits, just a bourse. There were maybe a half dozen collectors waiting for the show to open.
As always, my first stop was with Denny. My modus operandi is to set a stack aside with Denny, do the room, then settle up and see whether there are some last-second impulse buys with him before I hit the road home.
Most of the dealers didn’t have anything for me. I purchased a couple of revenue cancels from Jim Bardo, cherrypicked a DT from another dealer, and purchased a couple of neat items from Dave Allego, but the majority of my time and budget was spent with Denny. Roughly 2.5 hours after I arrived, I was back on the road again headed home… and the flood gates opened. Biblical rain all the way home; not a pleasant drive at all. Still I was back by roughly 2:00PM my time, so a fairly short and easy day, all things considered.
So… was it worth the trip? In short, I am SERIOUSLY glad I went. As it turns out, Denny had a couple of amazing items, that I can absolutely guarantee would not have been there the next time I see him (COMPEX last weekend in May)… especially with him doing the Garfield-Perry March Party this coming weekend and St. Louis 2 weeks after.
Unlike many other philatelic dealers, Denny hits coin shows, paper money shows, ephemera shows, etc., for material and somehow manages to regularly scrounge up great and unusual material. Whether you collect the esoteric or just like unusual or aesthetically pleasing material, his inventory is like no other.
On to the pickups. The majority are keepers for my collection, but a few were bought to flip.
First, the few stamps I purchased.
Two different stamps with the same sheriff handstamp cancel.
An R249 double transfer. Heavy horizontal crease, but still, a nice DT.
That’s all for just stamps; the rest of my acquisitions are all documents. We start with a variety of checks, some stamped, some RN.
A slightly better RN, cat $40. Not bad for $2.
An illegal usage battleship documentary cover. A bit water damaged, but from a hotel in South Dakota.
A lovely 1863 use of R8c.
Nice use of red bank processing handstamp tying an R5c.
Leadville, Colorado RN-G1a (printed on reverse).
Lovely diminuitive RN, Crosby Opera House Art Association, Chicago.
A couple of attracive billheads. I’ve started collecting these for the advertising and imagery, not the philatelic aspects.
Two proprietary battleship revenues still on their original sachet envelopes. The second one is a beautiful metallic silver embossed envelope with pebbled texture.
A certificate of membership in Bryant Stratton & Co’s International Chain of Business Colleges.
A Certificate of Profits from the Continental Insurance Co. I love the stylized globe floating in the clouds.
An interesting real estate mortgage bond with bond coupons attached (the one at the lower left was reattached after being separated) showing not only tax paid on the original transaction, but also on each of the bond coupons… at the time of origination. Was that standard? I thought that the tax on each of the interest payments would be paid at the time of payment, not in advance.
I’m obviously not understanding how this worked…
UPDATE. Per Frank Sente:
This is awfully formal for a $300 mortgage! Under the 1898 law mortgages were taxed 25c beginning at the first $1,500. and 25c per each additional $500 in value.
Mortgages for amounts less than $1,500 were set up as promissory notes like this. So the basic document you have is a promissory note for $300 taxed at a flat 2c/$100 or in this case 6 cents; hence the 1c and 5c battleships on the basic document. Then those attached interest coupons ALSO were taxed as individual promissory notes SEPARATE from the basic loan. And 2c was applicable to each coupon as the rate for promissory notes was 2c/$100 OR ANY FRACTION THEREOF.
And now the last 2 pieces that utterly made my day…
First a beautiful and fresh stock certificate from the Columbia Transportation Co. in the Washington Territory. This is the first document I’ve seen from Washington Territory. It has maintained its color and brightness exceptionally well. The paddlewheel steamer is great and the embossed seal with locomotive is absolutely hammered. I love it!
And lastly, one that when I saw it, I pounced. Not inexpensive by any means, but I wasn’t about to pass it by.
It’s a pawnbroker’s ticket from Isaac Nathans in Philadelphia. Pawn tickets are an incredibly scarce document type. Very few survived the period. Additionaly it has a Star of David handstamp cancel, the first I have seen on any Civil War-era piece. I do not know what “S.G.N.” stands for. Perhaps someone more versed in Jewish-American history might chime in? I suppose that the “N” could stand for Nathans, perhaps a sibling or father or other business predecessor?
So when all was said and done, I spent a fair bit of money, had to endure The Sinkholes of Madison County, and 40 days and 40 nights of rain condensed into a 2-hour drive, but am oh so glad I went.