Featured Postal Stationary

Discussion in 'Stamp Chat' started by David Youse, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. David Youse

    David Youse New Member

    Part of my collection consists of quite a few pieces of Postal Stationary. This is apparently something that many people, even collectors, are unfamiliar with. I've never met anyone else who collects these.

    Postal stationary is envelopes - air and regular, letter sheets - air and regular (also unfamiliar to many), post cards - air and reguar, newspaper wrappers (huh?), non-profit orginazitions and official mail pieces which have the postage device either embossed and colored, or simply printed flat on the envelope or sheet. Very little of this is seen today other than an occasional post card, but at one time these were seen and used almost as much as envelopes with stamps affixed.

    These peices are collected as either entires - the full postal piece, or as cut squares - a 2" square containing just the postage part. Most desirable are unused entire pieces. All of mine are unused entires.

    Not being a popular collectable, many of these items are relatively inexpensive but some are quite valuable. There are some die varieties, color varieties and varieites in paper color which make quite a difference in value. Letter sheets are similar to an unfolded envelope. The message would be written on the sheet which would then be folded, sealed and mailed. Newspaper wrappers were rectangular sheets which would be wrapped around a rolled-up newspaper and then mailed (yes, newspapers were once delivered by mail). There were also return post cards which were just two connected post cards, folded and sealed with address and postage on the outside. Then the recipient would fold the card out the other way and there was another area for address with postage inprinted.

    Scott's big multi-volume catalog has good coverage of these items in two of it's volumes but I've never seen any other coverage.

    View attachment 856
    Gunny likes this.
  2. kacyds

    kacyds New Member

    David, you summed it up greatly. I bought a box of stamps a couple of years ago, and it had the pages and many cut squares in them. Lots of airmail, officials, postal cards, and some wrappers. Never thought I would collect them, but yes, now I do. You have to have a Scotts Catalog to figure out all the Die varieties of each type. It keeps me busy. lol
  3. Sam B

    Sam B Active Member

    I have some of these ( the airmail envelopes and postcards ) and I never knew anything about them. Thanks for the info, and please share pics of some more of your collection.
  4. firstguild

    firstguild New Member

    I hadn't realized that these items were collected so widely, although I don't know why I didn't. I too have some of the cut squares from a Great Britain collection I purchased through an auction some years ago. I certainly kept them, but I found it difficult to find a source to discover their age and value. Can you recommend a source for information on these items?
  5. Philactica

    Philactica Active Member

  6. Barry

    Barry Member

    Here's some information I've found on postal stationery catalogs and handbooks:

    General Information:
    Here's a great introduction to the topic of collecting postal stationery:

    The 19 volume Higgins and Gage World Postal Stationery Catalog, last published in 1986 is still a good source of information, although somewhat dated now. In particular, for countries where no other postal stationery catalog exists, H&G numbering and pro-rated pricing is still used.

    The Unitrade Specialized Catalogue of Canadian Stamps has a sections on postal stationery from Canada and Newfoundland.
    Webb's Postal Stationery Catalogue of Canada and Newfoundland goes into much more detail than does Unitrade, particularly private order stationery such as the railway freight advice cards and railway pictorial cards.
    The British North America Philatelic Association (www.bnaps.org) has a study group dedicated to postal stationery.

    United States
    The Scott Specialized Catalog of United States Stamps and Covers has a section which lists US postal stationery.
    The United Postal Stationery Society based in California publishes the definite guides to US postal stationery:
    • United States Postal Card Catalog
    • UPSS Catalog of the 19th Century Stamped Envelopes and Wrappers of the United States
    • UPSS Catalog of the 20th Century Stamped Envelopes and Wrappers of the United States
    New Zealand
    The most comprehensive listing of postal stationery for NZ is recently published "The Postage Stamps of New Zealand Volume IX", which is an update of an earlier published work by the late Robert Samuel. This is not a catalog though and does not have a numbering system or prices.

    United Kingdom
    The best guide I've found so far is the 2007 "Collect British Postal Stationery" by Alan Higgins and Colin Baker, a joint publication of the Great Britain Philatelic Society and The Postal Stationery Society. The Postal Stationery Society, based in the UK has a world wide scope, although most of it's focus is on the British Commonwealth.

    The LAPE specialized catalog has a section on postal stationery.

    Michel publishes and East and West Europe postal stationery catalog, although it's been some time since either one has been updated.

    kacyds likes this.
  7. zararina

    zararina Simply Me! :D

    I am also not familiar with it and nice to learn new things!
    Will start collecting those if ever I could find some here since it is not commonly used here even before.
  8. CalzoneManiac

    CalzoneManiac Member

    I found a baggie once containing an 1893 2c Columbian envelope cut square.
  9. jim72051

    jim72051 Active Member

    I have several wrappers in my collection. When newspapers were only a few sheets and could be rolled into a tube about a foot long and an inch around they were wrapped in prepaid postal sheets.
    I avoid the cut squares after 1900 and keep entires, mint, used and fdcs. My organized part is all US but I jut grabbed a handful of foreign to try to figure out what they are. Some photos are attached

    Postal cards after 1960 are easy to find mint and FDCs but difficult to find canceled for non collector purposes.
    100_7408.JPG 100_7409.JPG 100_7410.JPG 100_7411.JPG
  10. jim72051

    jim72051 Active Member

    Here is an example of an Austrian wrapper from 1900 100_7412.JPG
  11. jim72051

    jim72051 Active Member

    100_7416.JPG 100_7417.JPG 100_7418.JPG 100_7419.JPG
    My all time favorite stamps and stationary have young Queen Victoria on them
    Gunny likes this.
  12. jim72051

    jim72051 Active Member

    these are some early Mexican stationary items
    100_7422.JPG 100_7423.JPG 100_7424.JPG 100_7425.JPG 100_7426.JPG
  13. jim72051

    jim72051 Active Member

    other odds and ends
    100_7420.JPG 100_7427.JPG 100_7428.JPG 100_7429.JPG

    Attached Files:

  14. zararina

    zararina Simply Me! :D

    You really have a lot of good looking postal stationary Jim. I like the classic looking ones. :)
  15. tasha

    tasha Active Member

    Postal stationery is fantastic, I love stationery isn't that weird when I get to a stationery store I can spend hours in there and come out with things that I don't need
  16. zararina

    zararina Simply Me! :D

    I do not think that is weird, just not common.
    Very few are collectors. :D
  17. tasha

    tasha Active Member

    Lol, thanks Zararina I don't feel like such a strange person now, collecting stationery. I have a fantastic stationery cupboard and the only thing I really use in there are the pens and staples.:)
  18. Wayne Buza

    Wayne Buza New Member

    The biggest difficulty I have with early US envelopes is discerning the colors. What is the difference for example between, manila and buff and amber and brown? And when is something white enough to be white? And then add in orange as a color and fawn. It makes my head hurt. The catalog values can be quite different for different colored envelopes.
    Hochstrasse and Gunny like this.
  19. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    I couldn't have said it better myself. For those reasons and others I prefer to collect stamped covers. I have acquired some of those postal cards and envelopes, but I don't actively collect them.
  20. CalzoneManiac

    CalzoneManiac Member

    i've heard of these before...there's almost zero interest in non-US postal stationary in this country.
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