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United States/Covers & Postmarks : USS Texas BB35

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
04 Oct 2011
06:49:10am

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Image Not FoundOccasionally one stumbles on a find that isn’t immediately apparent. Such was the case with this lot, purchased on eBay, for about $10, including shipping.

I search auctions for tied seals; that is, seals that are demonstrably part of the original mailing as opposed to having been added later. So this seal fit the bill.

It’s a relatively common seal, defined by one catalogue (Scott) as WX19. It’s the normal perf 12 variety. Scott values it at 40c, so, just as a plain seal, I overpaid. There are other varieties, some of which are fairly rare and, consequently, significantly pricier, by a factor of 30. This is not one of them; it’s the common one.

And it graces an ordinary picture post card, of a former Michigan Governor in Detroit. Worse, the picture side is poorly printed, with terrible color registry.
But here’s where things get better.

First, it’s addressed to a young man with a name absolutely perfect for any Christmas mailing: “Christ.”

And, second, he’s serving on board a ship, the USS Texas, which would shortly be sailing for England.

And, third, it’s franked with a pair of 1c Washington coils (Scott’s design A140). I measured the perfs and the design size to determine that this was Scott 443, the flat plate variety of the perf 10 vertical coil. I was quite pleased to find that 443 was valued at $7.50 each, and $15 on cover, according to my 2003 Scott specialized. The very next day, I looked at an SOR auction and saw a pair of used 443s; the seller listed the value at $135. I wrote Mario and asked him about it; he wrote back and said the 2009 catalogue he was using listed a pair at $135. It had jumped exponentially in price. Moreover, there’s usually a premium for on-cover usage.

Finally, for postal historians, the two Franklins pay the recently enacted war-time post card rate of 2c, in effect from November 2, 1917, to June 30, 1919, a rate that lasted for less than 20 months.

I include the front and back of the post card. For more information on the Texas, please see juicyheads, http://juicyheads.com/link.php?PLJBLKFW. And for more information on the seal, please see the upcoming issue of Seal News. As soon as I’m able, I’ll write this up a little further and add it to the articles Image Not Foundsection.

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"Save the USPS, buy stamps; save the hobby, use commemoratives"

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parkinlot
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President - West Essex Philatelic Society www.wepsonline.org
04 Oct 2011
10:07:38am
re: USS Texas BB35

That is awesome!!! You have a little bit of everything in one cover/postcard.

Bob

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"APS - AFDCS - GBCC - USSS - SCC - IPDA"

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auldstampguy
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Just one more small cover .....
04 Oct 2011
08:12:48pm
re: USS Texas BB35

I agree with Randy. This is great David. I'm looking forward to your full article.

Regards ... Tim.

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mncancels.org
Rhinelander
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Support the Hobby -- Join the American Philatelic Society
29 Apr 2013
01:13:24am
re: USS Texas BB35

Looking at old discussions ... what's up with the year date on top of everything else, David?

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
29 Apr 2013
09:01:06am

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re: USS Texas BB35

Arno and I have been back channelling on this, and I now understand his puzzlement. I believe I can supply a credible answer to his question about the year in date slug.

I, too, was first puzzled by it, thinking it might be "16", but while seals are often found tied to covers the following and subsequent year, they aren't to prior years.

I believe we're looking at an underinked date slug, in which the initial and final numbers of the year date 1917 are missing, and only the central 91 remains, with the initial 1 and concluding 7 absent.

other possibilities exist, but the brother has luckily hand-dated his post card for us, defining the year as 1917.

thanks for asking, Arno.

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"Save the USPS, buy stamps; save the hobby, use commemoratives"

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
29 Apr 2013
09:06:23am

Auctions
re: USS Texas BB35

those of you who wish to see the article, can look at http://stamporama.com/articles/display_article.php?id=RAAEy6qg1GAMY

or at a slightly different version at http://juicyheads.com/jh/articleSearch2.php?i=40&l=3794725.8524876.358850.49633460.1016257.6672400.2573347&j=Y&few= or its companion article, http://juicyheads.com/jh/articleSearch2.php?i=40&l=34560898.8020603.7418534.14467.7597532.5871119&j=Y&few=

There is yet another version highlighting the seal itself in a print journal. I got almost as much mileage out of this card as the USN did out of the Texas

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"Save the USPS, buy stamps; save the hobby, use commemoratives"

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