Article for the CHRONICLE
by Leonard H. Hartmann
All rights reserved, copyright ©2006, Leonard H. Hartmann
In Chronicle 207, August 2005, we presented a census of the CSA 5¢ Green Misplaced Transfers with the concept that the 23 discrete collectable items were the total for now or at least for a reasonable time. Wrong! Another showed up in the Robert A. Siegel sale 907, March 16, 2006, lot No. 2816.
To put it into this census we have: ID 24, Green, Name Spur Misplaced Transfer, Transfer Stone 2, Position 21, the Printing Stone position is not known. It is not from the Hall collection unless in a large lot, only one example known, Used on cover from Oxford, Miss March 9, 1862., Figure 1.
The stamp in question is definitely Transfer Stone 2, Position 21 and as such is easy to recognize. The upper left scroll ornament has a distinct broad line often referred to as The Spur. This basic position, Spur on upper left scroll (Pos. 21) is listed in the Scott specialized catalog and also in the Dietz Confederate catalogs.
This misplaced transfer designation is evident for this specific stamp because the transfer stone position is from the left of the pane, third row down, but there is a small sliver of another stamp to the left. This portion of another stamp is too close to be the adjoining stamp (position 30 on the left pane with respect to the known multiples which show reasonable spacing. Misplaced Transfer Census. Item 4 in the Chronicle 207 census, a block of 32 showing two misplaced transfers (1 & 11 in positions 10 & 20) also show Position 21 but it has normal spacing and is not a misplaced transfer. We thus have a in Figure 1 a Transfer Stone Position 21 which is a misplaced transfer, but we have no idea where it was on the printing plate or which printing plate.
And now for something completely different!
The CSA lithographs have a tremendous list of varieties as one could consider every Transfer Stone Position a variety and there are further variations on the printing stones but these require some ability to plate the stamps to appreciate the differences. Markings in the sheet margins are evident to all however they are surprisingly few and rare. The scarcity of these evident markings such as the notations: "CSA", "J", "Cammann" and now the "X" proves they were not on all of the printing stones and were not on for many impressions. In all cases three or less are known for each versus hundreds of examples of the adjoining plate positions.
We present, as Figure 2 a long known variety, but we do think was not previously published, a script letter "X" on the 5¢ Green Lithograph, Stone 1, in the left margin below position 21 and above position 31. The stamp showing the "X" below position 21 is on a cover once owned by David Kohn, Figure 2. It was used from Richmond, February 20, 1862 with a Bolling, Bros & Co. corner card. The stamp is cut in and the stamp and cover have been badly repaired twice, once these repairs were removed (three slivers of other stamps were pieced together to hide the cut, the stamp and cover can be properly appreciated. The second stamp, position 31, was used in Richmond on January 20, 1862 on a cover from Alfred Paul, the French Vice Consul in Richmond to Leon Schisamo, the French Vice Consul in Norfolk, Figure 3.
The two single stamps showing portions of this "X" are each unique. We can only surmise that this "X" was used in some way to lay down either the transfer or the printing stone. The two singles are evidently from the same printing stone as the relative alignment is normal with respect to the transfer stone. The left margins suggest, but does not prove, that they are from the left pane and not from the vertical gutter of the right pane. It is also possible that this X was on the transfer stone and was removed with other excess margins prior to laying down a printing stone but by chance one was not removed and was removed after the printing plate was placed in service.
The usages of these two stamps showing the "X", used January 20 and February 20, 1862 is well into the recorded time of the original printings from Stone 1 which is at least as early as mid- October 1861. Had this X been on the printing stone from the start we would surely have more examples. Perhaps Stone 1 also had more than one printing stone and our X is from a second stone. The time of this usage is about the start of our misplaced transfers from Stone 2. and may relate to additional printing stones. As more material is found and documented in the literature we may eventually be able to get a clear picture.
To speculate and summarize possible explanations! There is no question of multiply printing stones: for the normal Stone 2 we have one stone for the green printing and two for the blue, the 10¢ Hoyer in blue may have had a second printing stone as one block of four suggests this, the 10¢ Paterson may have had a second printing stone, our Stone 2 misplaced transfers were probably from still another printing stone or stones.
As it now stands this "X" is one of the many interesting but unexplained printing marks. Any help or insight that anyone can offer on this printing marking will be most appreciated. We need to publish more stamps that don't quite fit the normal picture.
Figure 1. Newly discovered misplaced transfer (Transfer Stone 2, position 21) on the Confederate States 5¢ green lithograph stamp. The stamp is affixed to a cover postmarked Oxford, Mississippi, March 9, 1862.
Figure 2. Mystery "X" in the bottom margin of a 5¢ Green lithograph stamp from Transfer Stone 1, position 21. On a cover from Richmond postmarked February 20, 1862.
Figure 3. Mystery "X", in the top margin of a stamp from Transfer Stone 1, position 31. On a cover postmarked Richmond, January 20, 1862.