Stamp Dealer Covers

Discussion in 'United States Stamps' started by Molokai, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    Hi Hockstrasse:

    I don't know if Zenith Stamp produced an album and have never seen one offered. Actually, I was unaware that S.M. Friedlander was the proprietor of Zenith Stamp Company. Thanks for that information. The ASDA checklist of Nassau Street dealers lists Friedlander as having an office at 116 Nassau St., and Zenith at 95 Nassau St., but does not link the two dealerships. Judging from the Zenith postal card and the "Exciting Special Offers" on the cover above, my guess is that Zenith at 95 Nassau Street sold less expensive stamps and, perhaps, the 116 Nassau address offered more quality items. Something to look into.

    Don
     
  2. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    Hi Don,
    I have seen a few of these albums. Upon further investigation here is an inside sheet of one of a couple of albums that were sold by the Saleroom auction site. The blue Zenith album was done by G. F. Rapkin Ltd. of Goswell, London. Perhaps the albums had some connection to Friedlander, who also had offices in London? I'm guessing because of the name they were done on his behest. The different addresses on Nassau St. could be as simple as one being a shop and the other being an office. You have gotten me interested in dealer covers, perhaps when and if things get back to normal I'll have to browse for them at a future stamp show. Happy New Year to you and all our fellow philatelists on Stamp Exchange.

    upload_2020-12-30_11-5-0.png
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    https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/...c8d9fc-385a-42ec-8d05-ac5600e22d83#lotDetails
     
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  3. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    hochstrasse:

    Rapkin's sold stamp collecting accessories, albums, stamp hinges, tongs, etc, although, I doubt he produced any of the items himself, just marketed them. Maybe someone from the U.K. can comment on Rapkin's, Anglobob, maybe. It is my impression Rapkin's was a prominent player in the GB stamp world.

    I look forward to seeing some of your stamp dealer covers in the near future. You will have to specialize some as there are a ton of them out there. California dealers would make a fine specialty, in my opinion.

    Don
     
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  4. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    Don,
    I hung onto many dealer covers from my days of accumulation. Unfortunately they are mixed with other covers I have collected over the years, about 4 large cardboard boxes. Dealers always put interesting stamps on their covers. I got a Hank Williams 11.2x11.5 stamp on one, several with the ECA Guard, user printed denomination, vending stamps and some with nice blocks on them. I'm going to look for some from much earlier, perhaps a few from Nassau St.. If I get a chance to rummage through my boxes I'll post some of the more interesting ones.
     
  5. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    A recent acquisition for my Stamp Dealers cover collection. Actually a post card sized item, I was attracted to it for Emauel Strauss' business name "Mr. Postage Stamp," and for the note in the lower left corner identifying him as the author of a Linn"s Weekly Stamp News column entitled "The Plate Blocker."

    Collecting plate blocs of four used to be a hot specialty. Current, and several older ones could be collected at face value by going to the local post office and finding a helpful clerk who would sell a plate block from a sheet. Finding matching numbers for all four positions was a goal as was finding the occasional elusive numbers. There was a strong secondary market with dealers specializing in them. All the fun went out of plate block collecting, however, when the Post Office started to print commemoratives with multiple plate numbers and collecting a strip of up to twelve numbers became just too unwieldy, and expensive.

    All that said, there is an interesting statement on the reverse of this card that astonished me. That is "Due to the tremendous response and the time necessary to sort over 10,000 bids, ... ." I know plate block collecting was popular, but this number of bids seems incredible for a mail sale. The message goes on to say it would take 10 days to determine and notify the high bidders. That was over 1,000 bids a day to sort through.

    How times change. Besides the demise of plate block collecting, the internet has made the mail bid sale obsolete as well. Although, I was surprised to received a mail sale catalog for RPO covers earlier this month.

    DonSellos

    b395.jpg b396.jpg
     
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  6. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    Hi Don,

    I collected a few of those awfully large "plate number blocks" for my airmail collection just to plug a few of those holes in my White Ace Airmail album. The market was already dead when I reentered the collecting field. I did get in on the tail end of the mail bid market which I sadly miss. I got some very good deals there. I remember some of those plate block of four selling for less than face when I took up collecting again. Thanks for the interesting story Don. The same fleecing of the collector seems to be happening in the coin market too. The state quarters, then the America the Beautiful quarters and now the new innovation series, but I digress.
     
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  7. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    Hi Hochstrasse:

    I have been tempted for years to take up collecting, first, the state quarters, then the national parks and/or what ever came next. So, far I have resisted the urge. Just too difficult and expensive to store or mount coins. That was the main reason I switched to stamps from coins many years ago. Coins are still attractive to me, though.

    Back in the early 1960s, when I worked for the Post Office in Omaha, my last assignment was as a substitute window clerk. That is, I would go to the outlaying stations and work one of the windows whenever one of the regular clerks would take some time off. That was my favorite task in my short-lived post office career, mostly because of the different requests the people would make, among which was a request for plate blocks.

    Most of the clerks were mildly irked by stamp collectors and were reluctant to break up a new pane of 50 stamps for just the plate block. I was never sympathetic with those clerks' attitude. This was before I collected stamps, but I was a coin collector and I used to go to small town banks and buy 20 to 30 dollars worth of pennies, nickels, dimes, etc to go through at home looking for the good dates and mint marks of those I did not have. I guess I was just more empathetic with the plate block collectors.

    I remember one collector particularly that frequented the South Omaha station. It was a larger station and there were always two window clerks on duty. My partner who worked the window next to me wouldn't sell just a plate block and would warn me when this one collector came in the door. I always sold him what blocks I had until my stock was depleted, except for the Special Deliveries. The guy even bought those which amazed me as I don't remember every selling more than two or three Special Delivery stamps at one time.

    Omaha's stockyards and large packing houses were in South Omaha. The packing plants were staffed by large numbers of immigrants, especially Czechs and Italians and they made my work day interesting with their requests for airmail stamps and money orders. Seems that few of them had bank accounts and they paid many of their bills with postal money orders and sent money back to the homeland using foreign money orders. Come November they also descended on the post office with huge packages to be mailed to foreign destinations in time for Christmas.

    South Omaha was my favorite station. Today, the packing houses are all gone and nobody collects plate blocks anymore, and the window clerks probably don't have current commemoratives in stock anyway. I would guess that working there is not as interesting as it used to be.

    DonSellos
     
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  8. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    Hi Don,
    I looped myself into those two sets of quarters starting in 1999 with the state quarter program. Midway through the second, America the Beautiful, series I got that exploitative feeling I got with collecting new stamp issues that were coming in so many formats that it became discouraging: the same stamps in postal cards, press sheets, booklets, panes and sheets. This is why I stopped new issue collecting after the year 2000.
    I used to go to a philatelic window years back and found a nice postal clerk that
    indulged collectors. During those years the big collector interest was coil number strips. While I never got into that niche I was a big fan of the transportation series. I was content with getting either single examples or coil pairs. The requirement for purchase at the philatelic window if I remember was 10 coil stamps (or something like that). Sometimes getting a coil number required purchasing even more stamps, but the clerk allowed me to get singles or pairs. I think the idea of a philatelic window was a good one, allowing collectors and clerks the time to make relaxed selections and purchases.
    I used to collect coins as a kid so like stamps it is something that I returned to as an adult. I guess just like with stamps I'm going to concentrate on the older stuff. The last ATB quarter is coming out this year. Yes, the times have changed and stamp collectors now deal with the Fulfillment Center if they want any kind of variety of selection. The San Francisco bay area has gone through immense changes, from Defense industry employment, truck gardens and sleepy suburbs into a 50 mile long urban zone and large tech companies being the largest employers.
     
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  9. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    A cover from a philatelic accessories dealer to a collector. Super H. Mounts were probably an early version of "hingeless" mounting. I found no evidence that they are still available as a brand. The addressee, however, had a listing in the 1938 Blue Book of Philately, that identified him as a sales manager, secretary-treasurer of the Brattleboro Stamp Club, and collector of U.S. and British Colonial airmails.

    The semi-mute machine postmark implies that there was some initial separation of mail by class before the envelopes were run through the canceling machines. Super H. Mounts was probably a bulk mailer and handed a large number of covers to a postal clerk over the counter. Covers like this one surely carried advertising to potential customers. This cover is headed for my Stamp Dealers Cover collection.

    Don Sellos

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  10. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    This is the fourth Tatham Stamp & Coin cover that I have. I keep buying them because the cachets and/or the advertising on the reverse are different. The cachet on this cover depicts a different store front than the others I have and the reverse is also different in that it is divided between stamp and coin offers. The use of a precanceled 1938 Martha Washington 1 1/2 cents stamp does not offer a date, but I suspect it was posted between 1938 and 1940. With the low postage rate the cover surely carried additional advertising. No information on the addressee.

    DonSellos

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  11. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    Don,
    I can see why you keep collecting this dealer. The cover serves double duty as both a dealer cover as well as a fine advertising cover. Very nice!
     
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  12. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    A couple more recently acquired stamp dealers' covers here.

    The first I collected for what seemed to me a novel business name, i.e. Mr. Postage Stamp. The addressee of this cover, J. L. Keffer, has an entry in the 1938 Blue Book of Philately, that identifies him as, then, a teacher at the Kentucky University Training School, the Vice President of the Henry Clay Philatelic Society, and a collector of U.S., precancels, British colonials, Mexico, and Chile. This cover came with a bonus insert, unmentioned by the seller, advertising the Stamp Collectors Jamboree held at the Hotel McAlpin in NYC. The dealers at the bourse included many well-known names of the 1940s, including "Mr Postage Stamp."

    b410.jpg b411.jpg

    The second cover, the Stamps of the Month Club, was a company that most likely emulated the successful Book of the Month Club. If it did, whoever began it probably offered a few stamp sets each month, U.S. & worldwide, from which a member could choose one or all. I would also guess that stamps from previous months still in stock might also be purchased. I would truly like to find some information about this company to see what it offered and how successful it was. My best bet for information might be the periodical philatelic literature of the time.

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    Don Sellos
     
  13. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    Hi Don,
    The address of the Stamps of the Month Club indicate the original site was demolished and rebuilt in 1950. While it was rebuilt as a single family home, it has reverted to a commercial space now hosting a game and comic book shop. You are right about having to resort to philatelic literature of the period to find out anything about the company because of the overlap of stamps of the month club with labels, stamping devices and stamped printings when searching the Internet.
     
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  14. RichardBabcock

    RichardBabcock Active Member

    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
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  15. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    The Book of the Month Club remains live and well. It has gone through several owners, now owned by Pride Tree Holdings, NYC.

    A link to its website:

    https://www.bookofthemonth.com/?msclkid=53abc4b861651b73ce0aa4b422ceec2e&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=SEM_Core_Brand_Trademark_Exact&utm_term=book of the month club&utm_content=Core_EXT_Book-Of-The-Month_Club

    Still no info on the Stamps of the Month Club, though. I doubt it was a predecessor of the Atlanta Stamp Collectors Club.

    Don
     
  16. RichardBabcock

    RichardBabcock Active Member

  17. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    The Atlanta Stamp Collectors Club merged into the Southeast Federation of Stamp Clubs, but I see no evidence that Stamps of the Month Club was ever part of the Atlanta club or the Southeast Federation of Stamps Clubs.

    My guess is that the Stamps of the Month Club did not gain the participation necessary to be profitable to it originator and was short lived.

    Don
     
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  18. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    A couple of stamp publication covers. The first from Mekeel's Weekly Stamp News dated 1944 after it moved from its original home St. Louis to Portland, Maine. Founded in 1891, Mekeel's describes itself as the oldest continuously published stamp periodical in the world. It is still publishing albeit as a merger with Stamps Magazine. It is now called Mekeel's and Stamps. This cover, surely addressed to a subscriber, a potential subscriber or possible contributor is franked with a plate number single of the 3 cents stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of Wyoming statehood, Sc. 897.

    b418.jpg

    The second cover is from stamp dealer and auctioneer H. R. Harmer's London office and addressed to Chambers Stamp Journal. This is a "half a loaf" for me in that I have been seeking a cover from Chambers for a couple of years with no success. It is still a nice item with a collectable slogan cancel "Are You On The New Voters Lists --Check Now! and franked with Great Britain, 6 pence, either Sc. 300 or 325 depending on the watermark. Chambers stopped publication in 1957 and merged with National Stamp News. I am putting this cover in my Philatelic Publications collection for the time being.

    b419.jpg

    Don Sellos
     
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  19. anglobob

    anglobob Moderator Moderator

    Interesting cover from UK. Harmer is an old established family name in stamps and now has offices in New York and London ,mostly dealing with auctions.
     
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  20. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    Thanks, Bob for the comment. I have never known before if H.R. Harmer was a U.S. dealer in London or a London dealer with offices in NYC.

    Don
     
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