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Some Interesting US Revenue Collateral Items

Some Interesting US Revenue Collateral Items

Sometimes the related nonphilatelic items are just as interesting (or even more interesting) than the stamped items themselves. Exhibitors frequently seek out these items to add context and/or flavor to their exhibits. I don’t exhibit, so to me they’re just “cool related items”.

Here are some examples that I’ve picked up over time.

1. This tattered illegal use cover was part of a group lot of illegal usages offered on eBay in April of this year. All were either out-of-period usages (so likely philatelic) or had condition issues. The lot ended going inexpensively. When the lot arrived, the cover was enclosed in a letter… which had not been mentioned or pictured in the listing. It’s a 1956 letter from Hugh Shellabear, revenue collector and author, providing context to the letter’s attributes. The selling dealer was a revenue specialist, so they should have known the significance of the author. Why wouldn’t they have shown the letter? It’s a great selling point!

2. The fish imprint RN checks from John Elsey & Co. have been mentioned here on the forum before. They are great (and scarce) visual and topical items. I love the fish-shaped check protector imprint. Just scouring eBay for billheads I stumbled across the companion billhead, outside the taxation period, showing a similar vignette. A bit worse for wear, but makes a great companion piece.

3. When I purchased my first example of R106a (4-cent 2nd issue bisect), it included the original 1981 letter from Sherwood Springer confirming it as the Scott Catalogue listing example.

4. When I first encountered a document from the Market Fire Insurance Company, I was immediately taken by the ornate red and black engraving. I came to discover that other documents from the company were similarly ornately engraved, so I sought them out.

5. Lastly, probably my alltime favorite pair of related items, a horse theft insurance policy and companion advertising envelope from the “Pennsylvania Mutual Horse Thief Detecting and Insurance Company”. The piece de resistance is the embossed company seal depicting a horse thief being chased.


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