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A Cornucopia Of Auxiliary Postal Markings!

A Cornucopia Of Auxiliary Postal Markings!

This cover showed up in Eric Jackson’s most recent auction. I was interested in it as it’s the first RB30 (4-cent proprietary battleship) I’ve seen used illegally/improperly as postage on cover. It’s slightly out of period, so I didn’t think it would go that high, but boy was I wrong. A battle ensued and I ended up bidding more than 3 times what I originally expected to in order to win it. *wince*

But as they say, if it’s something you’ve not seen before you either stretch for it or rue not stretching after it’s gone.

It’s more than just an illegal usage; there’s a treasure trove of auxiliary markings here, as well as the tattered remains of a post office seal. If only the cover could talk!

Shown first is an image of the entire cover, front and back, and then high-resolution images of all of the individual markings.

1. A “HELD FOR POSTAGE” circular handstamp, subsequently partially covered when legitimate postage was affixed.

2. A “RECEIVED IN BAD ORDER” circular handstamp.

3. “This is the Letter for which you sent Stamp. (N.Y.-I.D.)” I.D. stands for inquiry division.

And on the reverse:

4. “SENT NOTICE OF DETENTION” circular handstamp.

5. A partial strike of “ORIGINALLY HELD FOR POSTAGE / BUT NOW FORWARDED ON RECEIPT / FROM YOU OF AMOUNT DUE / (N.Y. – I.D.).”

Retroreveal image and example of a complete strike (image courtesy of Jim Forte Postal History) shown below.

I’ve seen examples of some of these markings on revenue-use covers before, but definitely not #2, and not so many markings.

I assume that the post office seal was affixed in conjunction with marking #2, “RECEIVED IN BAD ORDER” ?

If anyone can provide any clarity as to all that transpired and the sequence of events, I would appreciate it.


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