Provenance and Owner Markings





Provenance in any area of collectibles, is a record of ownership from its earliest existence - in legal parlance, a chain of custody. It helps establish pedigree and authenticity. See Jay Bigalke's editorial in Linn's Stamp News November 18, 2019, which gives us insight to this policy.

Covers or stamps with demonstrable pedigree are more coveted than their mundane brethren. A cover that has once owned by Caspary, Ferrary or another famous collector tends to get our juices flowing. Markings of prior owners, dealers, initials, signatures or signature-guarantees are all something that help trace the lineage of an item. Many such markings are familiar to us, if we are serious students. While dealer and expertizing markings may not technically be provenance (not collector ownership), they are important in such a discussion. And sometimes the dealers are also collectors and thus the dealer markings are also provenance.

If markings are European and our experience has only been within the continental United States, we may not be familiar with them. Collectors may make a mistake if they erase these lightly penciled markings. Some European experts pencil(ed) their initials near a stamp as a guarantee of authenticity. European collectors are virtually insistent on certificates and guarantee signatures. What Americans may see as "defacing" are what Europeans (and others) see as critically important.

Decades ago, handstamped owners' markings began peppering the backs of covers. That is, until some of the ink began to seep through to the face - or someone placed a garish handstamp near an important marking on the verso, greatly reducing the value to future collectors. That, thankfully, caused a shift to lightly penciled expert or owner markings. Then the new owner has a choice whether to leave the old in place. I spoke out against owner backstamps in an editorial in the early 1970s in the Confederate Philatelist.

Knowing who owned an item and being able to track it via auction catalogs or articles is helpful not only in establishing lineage but in determining whether an item has been altered, forged or restored to greater or lesser degree. This will be even easier in the age of technology.

Click below on the LINKS IN BLUE TEXT to see the markings. Thumbnails at left are reduced in size and not linked.Markings may be those of experts, dealers, owners, or collectors as noted. Images come from varied sources in various resolutions and quality. Therefore, no sizes of markings have been given, as some are not known. Most, but not all, are small.

All signatures or handstamps on this page have been found on Confederate stamps or covers and personally seen by me or images of Confederate items with markings have been submitted to me. Some are noted with yellow highlight, simply indicating that I currently do not have a usable image to illustrate. Some are familiar to advanced students and others are not. A section showing markings indicating fake, faux, facsimile, and the like are not included.

During scanning and editing, the contrast has often been enhanced for light pencil markings and handstamps. Images are also generally enlarged. With exceptions, most of these markings are significantly smaller and often very light and easy to overlook.

This section will expand as more covers or decent images cross my path. If you can help identify any mystery signatures or handstamps, please share your knowledge and your source. If you have better images than what I have presented, I would also appreciate any high resolution upgrades. Remember, these are only for markings on Confederate stamps or covers.

Caveat emptor! It has been my experience that many European expertizing bodies or individuals, both past and present, freely give Confederate stamps and covers good certificates that are often laughably inaccurate. If you are buying something with a "good" European certificate, I would strongly recommend you have it authenticated by the Civil War Philatelic Authentication Service or the Philatelic Foundation.

I have enjoyed adding brief biographies of those on these pages, although it is necessarily time consuming. In most cases, volumes could be written on individual philatelic careers. Other biographical information or dates would also be helpful, bearing in mind that I may not be able to use everything to keep this page manageable.

Thank you so much to those who have helped add images, information and made helpful suggestions. I am very grateful.



Society Abbreviations used in these listings:

APS (American Philatelic Society)
ASDA (American Stamp Dealers' Association)
BIA (Bureau Issues Association), now United States Stamp Society
CCNY (Collectors Club New York)
CSA (Confederate Stamp Alliance), now CWPS (Civil War Philatelic Society)
CWPS (Civil War Philatelic Society), formerly known as CSA
PF (Philatelic Foundation)
RPSL (Royal Philatelic Society London)
USPCS (U.S. Philatelic Classic Society)
USSS (United States Stamp Society), formerly known as Bureau Issues Association
Kaufmann Auctions refers to John W. Kaufmann, Inc.

Albrecht, R.F.

R.F. Albrecht signature and handstamped guarantee on the back of a Jonesboro, Tenn., provisional entire sold to Hiram Deats June 6, 1893. It comes with a string of famous names behind it, as shown on the back of the cover in H.R. Harmer's Erivan (Haub) Sale VI, January 26, 2022. 

R.F. Albrecht & Co. was a respected early stamp dealer and auctioneer located at 90 Nassau Street, New York during the 1890s and turn of the century. The company handled top-of-the-line philatelic material, as well as entry-level stamps. Their clients included the top collectors of the day. Albrecht stamp catalogs for the years 1892, 1895 and 1896 may be found on the CWPS website under resources, courtesy of the Crawford Library at the Royal Philatelic Society London. Auction sales 1-29 were held 1892-95 and are on the RPSL website.

Alcuri, Paul J.

Alcuri signature guarantee in pencil near a CSA stamp on the front of a cover. Alcuri red handstamp (not on a Confederate item) and Paul J. Alcuri certificate, large handstamp (not used on philatelic items, rather on certificates).

Paul J. Alcuri in shown online as a firm established in 1945 and still active, located in Canterbury, England.

Antrim, Earl

Earl Antrim / Nampa, Idaho small green handstamp on the backs of covers.

Earl Blessing Antrim was an active member of the CSA, best known for his book Civil War Prisons and Their Covers, published in 1961, the standard on the subject until the 1977 publication by Galen D. Harrison. He was an active collector, writer, and exhibitor. He was made an honorary general in 1950, second to receive this CSA honor after August Dietz was promoted in 1948, as well as an honorary life member in 1968. He was given CSA membership number 1 when membership numbers were adjusted alphabetically in 1937.

Ashbrook, Stanley B.

Stanley B. Ashbook pencil-signed Frame Line stamp plated by him and noted as position 77. Cover guaranteed by Stanley B. Ashbrook signature, from the Harold C. Brooks Collection. Ashbrook signature and handstamped guarantee in green - cover also bears the code "Williamsburg" of collector/dealer/auctioneer William A. Fox and "RTR" of Ronald T. Tate (collector), as well as "WGB" of dealer William G. Bogg.

Stanley Bryan Ashbrook (1882-1958) was a world-renowned expert on the stamps and postal history of the classic United States issues. He produced a large body of original research which he published in many journals. Among his many awards, Ashbrook received the first Luff Award in 1940 for distinguished philatelic research, given by the APS, as well as being elected to the APS Hall of Fame after his death. Although his U.S. accolades overshadow his Confederate ones, he was on the CSA Authentication Committee 1945 - 1957 and well recognized as a serious Confederate student. He was given CSA membership number 2 when the numbers were adjusted alphabetically in 1937; he was a charter member who joined the year the CSA was formed in 1935.

Baptist, Frank

Frank Baptist 1862-1918  signed Fac-Simile Die-Proof prepared in 1918 and copyrighted in 1919 by August Dietz, Sr., who offered painstakingly-prepared reproductions of the Confederate States general issues at 1.5 times their size on glossy card stocks, as well as a few other miscellaneous subjects. The set was produced as a promotion for his then-forthcoming opus, Postal Service of the Confederate States of America, published in 1929. Close-up of Baptist signature.

Frank Baptist (Jean François Baptiste Le Bar, 1845-?) was a sixteen-year-old soldier in March 1862. He was detailed from Parker’s Light Artillery to report for service to the Richmond firm of Archer & Daly as a printer’s apprentice on behalf of the Confederate Post Office Department. It is Baptist who prepared the Richmond local prints done for the Confederacy from the De La Rue plates. Baptist later superintended the printing of the Dietz-printed facsimile die proofs and autographed some for Dietz. August Dietz, Sr., a printer himself, stated he had “the distinction of serving my apprenticeship under his tutelage.” Some are confused by the dates below his signature on the Dietz facsimile die proofs, “1862–1918.” No, they are not the dates of his birth and death. 1862 is when he prepared the Richmond prints and 1918 is when he oversaw the Dietz facsimile die-proof printing. Photo of Frank Baptist, as represented on one of the Dietz cards

Bartels, J. Murray

J.M. Bartels Jan.1927 dated signature or collector citing his source. J.M. Bartels Sept. 11.31 dated note. Both on the backs of Confederate covers.

Julius "John" Murray Bartels (1871-1944), was a very important figure in the history of American philately as an expert on stamps and embossed stamped envelopes. He was a leading auctioneer, and from 1898 to 1944 held 337 philatelic auctions. Bartels maintained his stamp shop on Nassau Street in New York nearly up until his death--just before his scheduled 338th auction. He is listed in the APS Hall of Fame, as well as other accolades. His name, found lightly in pencil, is found either front or back on major philatelic rarities, including classic Confederates.

Bloch, Herbert J.

H Bloch signed Philatelic Foundation certificate. Bloch served as the chairman. His cramped pencil signature may be found on the backs of stamps and covers.

Herbert J. Bloch (1907-1987) was the leading expert of his time on European stamps. In 1943, he joined the H. R. Harmer organization and was the describer for auctions of the famous collections such as Alfred Caspary and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, both of which contained Confederates. “Herbie” joined Edwin Mueller at the Mercury Stamp Company in 1956 and continued it after Mueller's death. He helped build many famous collections and received many honors for his long and valuable service to philately, including the APS Luff Award for Exceptional Contributions to Philately.

Bogg, William G.

WGB initials in tiny lightly penciled handwriting, a familiar sight to collectors of a certain age.

William Grice Bogg, Jr. (1928-1986) was a respected collector and dealer during the 1950s-1980s, originally from Massachusetts. He attended William & Mary College in Williamsburg, Va., where he roomed with William A. Fox. At shows, they always had booths side by side and were life-long friends. "Boggsy,"as Fox called him, always wore a gray suit and usually had a pipe clenched between his teeth. He was the owner of New England Stamp Co., established in 1893, which he moved to Naples, Florida, in the 1980s and is still in business today. He chartered a private plane to move his stamp stock. Bill Fox had a home in Naples too. Bogg handled the estate of August Dietz, Sr., and Bill's handwriting attesting that an item is "ex Dietz"on the back of a cover is a guarantee of same. He also famously owned the printing plate of the 2¢ Altered Plate, which came from the Dietz estate, and which he had made into a coffee table. I set my drinks on the glass that covered that plate in Bill's Florida living room. His personal collecting interest was Florida Confederate covers. He maintained one of the top Confederate dealer stocks in the country. The CSA still presents the annual William G. Bogg Award for the best exhibit on the evolution of Confederate postal history. He joined the CSA in 1949 as member 536. When he died at age 58, his death was taken hard in the philatelic community and many attended his funeral, including my husband John Kaufmann and me. John died two years later on his 47th birthday.

Bolaffi, Alberto A.

A. Bolaffi, handstamp of Alberto A. Bolaffi, Jr.

Alberto A. Bolaffi Jr. - son of Alberto A. Bolaffi, Sr. (1874-1944), who began an international philatelic dynasty that endures today. Bolaffi, Sr., was portrayed on a French stamp in 2010.

Bolaffi, Dr. Giulio

Dr. Giulio Bolaffi pencil signature guarantee on face of Confederate cover near the stamp. While the Bolaffi specialty is, not surprisingly, in the issues of Italy, they handle worldwide material.

Dr. Giulio Bolaffi, son of Alberto A. Bolaffi, Jr. The Bolaffi family has left an indelible mark on international philately. Father and son are portrayed on an Italian postage stamp.

Boshwit, Buck

pencil code in oblong box - distinctive and recognizable once you've seen it, usually found on the right side cover flap

Richard Buck Boshwit was most well known for his Tennessee collection, although he collected Confederates across the board, also favoring Arkansas and spectacular adversity uses. Buck's collection was sold by Siegel in 2007 after his death in 2006 following a long illness. Buck joined the CSA in 1981 as member 2385. He served as CSA secretary 1984-87. Shelby County, Tennessee, still hosts his Tennessee collection on their website. A 4th generation Memphian, he was president of Boshwit Bros., a family owned real estate business since 1865. 

Boyd-Dale, Louise

Louise Boyd-Dale signed 1964 Philatelic Foundation certificate during the time when she served as chairman.

Louise Boyd-Dale (1913-1967) was already a philatelic student with a major collection on the death of her father, Alfred F. Lichtenstein (1876-1947). The Vassar-educated Louise inherited her father’s world-class collection. In the 1940s, philately was almost exclusively a “Men Only” fraternity. This did not deter her. She energetically continued to build upon the great collection. Not content to rest upon her father’s philatelic laurels, she became a major philatelist in her own right. She is one of my heroes.

Brooks, Harold C.

Harold C. Brooks penciled notation Laurence & Stryker Auction 4-24-43 Ex Harold C. Brooks Collection with lot information.

Harold Craig Brooks was the mayor of Marshall, Michigan, and a self-proclaimed stamp expert. He ran advertisements in many general publications looking for stamps to buy, particularly asking readers to "search through old trunks for correspondence running from 1845-1870." His collecting began during a stay in London in 1910-11. In the succeeding years, he spent nearly $60,000 advertising in rural and religious newspapers of eh Est and South. Those ads produced some of the rarest of U.S. and Confederate gems. The Brooks collection of Confederate States Provisionals and General Issues was sold by Laurence & Stryker on April, 24, 1943 at the Collectors Club, New York.

Brown, Stephen D.

Brown Collection 1939 penciled on backs of covers is still recognized today.

Stephen D. Brown of Glen Falls, N.Y. This name sale of U.S. stamps and covers, which included Confederates, was sold by Harmer Rooke & Co., Ltd. October 30-November 4, 1939, with over 2,600 lots. The high-end catalog is found in the collections of many bibliophiles. Although the London based firm had won the privilege of selling the collection, the outbreak of World War II made the sale impracticable and it was transferred to the Collectors Club in New York. The auctioneers had expected realizations of $75,000 or so; instead, the total sales were $106,625.50. Many prices were above catalog quotations and some broke records.

Brown, William P.


WP Brown penciled initials guarantee on Macon provisional. On the back flap of covers, this one is dated 9/10/92 (1892).

William Penn Brown identified himself as the second earliest stamp dealer in New York City. He helped finance John Walter Scott  when Scott decided to open a stamp business and start publishing catalogs. Brown was an early innovator in conducting auctions of rare postage stamps, resulting in other dealers following his auction methods. He was born in India to missionary parents and raised in Japan before immigrating to the United States. He was added the the APS Hall of Fame in 2008. Begnning in 1870, he published The Curiosity Cabinet, in which he listed the first locals and announced important new finds such as the New Haven postmaster's provisional.

Bühler, Georg

Georg Bühler handstamp, usually at the very edge of cover or stamp. According to a German report in 1974, some Bühler expertizing marks have been forged. I have no idea which may be good or bad. Bühler signed 1994 authentication certificate for CSA Frame Line in which they identify it as "Scott Nr. A6" which is the image number, not the catalogue number.

Georg Bühler is a philatelic auction auction house advertised as the oldest auction house in Berlin [Germany], established in 1949.

Burger Brothers

Large pale purple BURGER & CO., handstamp on the backs of covers.

The Burger Brothers, Arthur and Gus, were early stamp dealers back into the 19th century. There are several stories in Nassau Street by Herman (Pat) Herst about them. Apparently. there was an informal Fox Club one could only join if you outsmarted the Burger Brothers on a purchase – buying from them and selling it at a profit in an auction. Since, as Herst notes, the Burgers were ‘anticipatory’ in pricing, it was a small rather elite ‘club.’ Charles Burger specialized in rare stamps and U.S. locals. In 1895, he sold out to his brothers, Gustavus Burger (1867-1952) and Arthur H. E. Burger (1868-1949), most widely known as the Burger Brothers, although the company was actually Burger & Co., as seen in their business handstamp. They moved the firm to 59 Nassau in 1887; however, by the time of the 1913 International Exhibition, it was at 90 Nassau. In the 1950s, it was the oldest stamp firm on Nassau Street. Charles remained at the Ottwell Pharmacy, which he owned at 243 Broome Street.  It was one of the best known in the city. Per the Siegel website, in 1952, Robert A. Siegel scored a coup in securing for sale the dealer’s stock formed by the famous Burger Brothers, which he sold in four sales in 1952 and 1953. See 1952 Burger sale catalog  Provenance scan courtesy of Frank Kaplan, this one on a Petersburg, Va., postmasters' provisional cover. Auction catalog cover courtesy Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries, Inc.

Bush, Conrad L.

B capital letter in Old English font, blue handstamp. Often found on the back of Confederate fancy cancel covers for which he was known, but not limited to those scarce items.

Conrad (Connie) Leonard Bush (1931-2017) is probably best known for his book Straightline, Fancy & Unusual Cancels & Handstamps on Confederate General Issue Stamps as well as his award-winning exhibit of this scarce area. He joined the CSA in 1971 as member 1541 and was life member 18. Although he never aspired to be an officer or trustee, he actively served the CSA in countless other ways, which earned him innumerable service awards. He was promoted to "General" in 1995. He was also well known as being the sidekick of his good friend, Dr. John L. Kimbrough, with whom he co-authored the Collector’s Guide to Confederate Philately.

Calhoun, Richard L.

R.L. Calhoun small red handstamp usually found at bottom left on backs of covers as an owner's marking.

Richard L. Calhoun is most well known for the study of the stamps and postal history of Charleston, SC. He sold his extensive Charleston collection in 2014 at a Robert A. Siegel auction. Since retiring as an engineer, he has had more time to devote to active research and has published both articles and books on various topics, usually in-depth studies of Confederate provisional. He currently enjoys topics related to the area around Williamsburg, Va. Rick was part of what many of us called the "Chicago Mafia" of Ron Tate, Rick Calhoun and Roger Oswald. They were fixtures at the CSA hospitality suites at annual conventions. While never a CSA president, that was by his choice. He served as secretary in 1992-93 as well as both Southern and Northern Vice President.

Cole, Ezra D.

Ezra Cole lightly penciled notation that this cover belonged to Judge Robert S. Emerson, with price and date. See listing for Judge Robert S. Emerson for more information. A second example, dated 1938, has a more detailed description and still the old Scott numbering system.

Ezra Danolds Cole (1902-1992) was a major philatelic dealer during the Golden Age of Nassau Street. A Cornell graduate, he decided the philatelic world was where he wanted to be. He handled many of the major collections of his day. When I first met him in the 1970s, he was mayor of Nyack, NY, where I had cousins. He also served as chief of police for the town on the Hudson River. He was president of the ASDA 1970-71 and received the coveted APS Luff Award in 1970. He was, and still is, a legend.

Colson, Warren H.

W.H.C. small handstamp found on major Confederate rarities, either front or back, usually at the edges of covers. It is both a dealer and expert marking. W.H.C. (2)

Warren Howard Colson was a world famous dealer who specialized in classic United States, Confederate States and Hawaii. He was also a major market-maker in foreign treasures. For over a half-century, Colson bought and sold great rarities for some of the most famous collectors of his time -- Charles Lathrop Pack, George Worthington, Senator Ernest Ackerman, Col. E.H.R. Green, and Arthur Hind numbered among his clients. Colson began in the late 1890s as a partner in the New England Stamp Co. in Boston, Mass., one of the largest and most influential stamp companies of the period. He left in 1906, forming his own company, Colson of Boston. Following his death, renowned philatelist John R. Boker, Jr., directed the disposal of Colson’s vast philatelic holdings. Even today, "ex Colson" has special meaning to advanced collectors.

Crown, Francis J.

Francis J. Crown, Jr. signed 2010 CSA Authentication Service certificate. Frank typically does not / did not sign covers but this is a good reference signature, nonetheless.

Francis (Frank) J. Crown, Jr., a retired U.S. military officer, began collecting stamps at the age of six and started collecting Confederates about the age of fifteen. His Confederate collecting focused on the postal history of Columbus, Georgia, but he also developed a keen interest in the postmasters' provisionals of Georgia. He was been a lifelong active philatelic author, mainly on Confederate postal history and has edited several books on the subject including Confederate Postal History and Surveys of the Confederate Postmasters' Provisionals. For many years he was editor of Georgia Post Roads, the publication of the Georgia Postal History Society and prepared and published the Georgia Stampless Cover Catalog and Handbook. He was on the lead editorial board of the award winning 2012 Confederate States of America Catalog and Handbook of Stamps and Postal History along with Trish Kaufmann and Jerry Palazolo and CSA past president, as well as winner of numerous awards for service and writing. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Civil War Philatelic Authentication Service.

Crumbley, Tony L.

TLC initials, date and code.

Tony Lamar Crumbley has been a stamp collector since childhood. While in college, he worked for a local coin and stamp shop. During this time, he purchased his first Confederate postal history collection which contained remnants of Tom Pratt’s collection. This began his interest in postal history. He has focused on North Carolina covers and has assembled an award winning exhibit of Confederate North Carolina Covers. Tony has been an editor of the North Carolina Postal History Journal since its inception in 1982. He is past president of the Confederate stamp Alliance and serves on the CSA Authentication Service. He has also been a part-time postal history dealer for nearly 50 years. Many of the covers that have passed through his hands have his initials, inventory number and a cost code in pencil on the reverse.

d'Antignac, Munroe

d'Antignac penciled signature; active 1953-1980

Munroe Demere D'Antignac, Sr. (1904-1980) Griffin, Ga., collector who joined the CSA in 1953 as member 709. He traced his family lineage back to the Civil War.

Diena, Alberto

AD penciled initials, expertizing guarantee, usually placed on the front of cover near the stamp

Alberto Diena (1894-1977) was one of the most highly regarded experts in the world. He was the son of Dr. Emilio Diena, a pioneer philatelist and Italy's first great philatelic student and expert.

Diena, Emilio

ED stylized penciled initials, expertizing guarantee, usually placed on the front of cover near the stamp

Emilio Diena (1860-1941) founder of the Diena philatelic dynasty and father of Alberto Diena. He was an original signer of the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists (1921) and received the Lindenberg medal in its first year (1906). His signature on the back of a stamp was the best possible guarantee of its authenticity. He was very much in demand as a philatelic judge and served on many international juries from the 1890s until the 1930s.

Deats, Hiram E.

HED stylize initials, of Hiram E. Deats. Courtesy Bob Snyder, Cohasco, Inc. The tiny handstamp is on the back of a pane of Confederate stamps; contrast of the light marking has been enhanced. One of my favorite philatelic photos is of Deats and Dietz - two giants in their golden years.

Hiram Edmund Deats (1870-1963) was an internationally-known giant among philatelists. As a youth, Deats started collecting postage stamps of the United States and the Confederate States of America, and eventually created one of the finest collections of his era. Deats specialized in U.S. revenue stamps, and his collection was unsurpassed. George L. Toppan and Alexander Holland used this collection as a basis for writing, in 1899, An Historical Reference List of the Revenue Stamps of the United States Including the Private Die Proprietary Stamps, which was re-printed in 1979 as the more familiarly recognized Boston Revenue Book. Deats was founding member 36 of the American Philatelic Association (now the APS), joining in 1886 at the age of 16. For the next two decades he served the Association in various capacities, including president (1904-1905). He was founding member 5 of the CSA in 1935, which was converted to member 17 when the Alliance inexplicably alphabetized the membership roll. Deats amassed one of the finest libraries of philatelic literature in the United States, rivaling that of John Kerr Tiffany, and that abroad of Lord Crawford. In 1952, he donated it to the Free Library of Philadelphia. Deats signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 1933, deemed the highest philatelic honor in the world.

Dietz, August

Aug. Dietz, Sr. signed 1947 signed letter. Dietz tiny cramped "signature" printed in black India ink, easy to overlook (this image enlarged). Sometimes "OK Dietz" was also used, by way of assuring the opinion. Often found on the back flaps of covers but really anywhere on the cover or under a flap. It was a combo expert/dealer/owner all-purpose marking well recognized and treasured by the serious student.

Deats and Dietz - two philatelic giants in their golden years.

August Andreas Dietz, Sr. (1869-1963) is accepted as the Father of Confederate philately. He began publishing philatelic magazines in the late 1800s with countless important titles among them. Publication histories are easily found online. In 1929, he published The Postal Service of the Confederate States of America; it is the scholarly work referred to by generations of students to this day and still an important work. In 1931, Dietz published the first actual catalog that bore his name, a tiny volume of 320 pages that was followed up with a supplement of 80 pages in 1932. Subsequent editions were issued in 1937, 1945, 1959 and 1986. The Confederate Stamp Alliance was founded in February 1935 when Dr. Marye Yeamans Dabney suggested to Dietz that a national organization of Confederate collectors be formed; Dietz was the first president. In 2006, the CSA acquired the rights to the Dietz catalogs and in 2012 published the Confederate States of America Catalog and Handbook of Stamps and Postal History (edited by Kaufmann, Crown and Palazolo), the lineal descendant of the Dietz catalogs. He was the first recipient of the prestigious Luff Award of the American Philatelic Society for Exceptional Contributions to Philately in 1940, as well as countless other national and international awards and recognitions.

Emerson, Robert S.

Emerson Coll / E Cole lightly penciled by Cole with price and date. A second example, dated 1938, has a more detailed description and still the old Scott numbering system. In the H.R. Harmer Erivan X sale, there were a couple of covers with a neat encircled RSE handstamp which is likely Emerson's handstamp, although there are many covers known to be his that do not have this handstamp.

Judge Robert Stephen Emerson (1876-1937)accumulated a remarkable collection of U.S. stamps and covers which was dispersed 1937-1951 through major private treaty sales and many public auctions. His collections were legendary and this brief bio does not do them justice. The Emerson Collection of U.S. Revenues was considered the finest known. It was acquired by renowned dealer Ezra D. Cole with the financial backing of Frank Levi. Cole was involved in many of Emerson's acquisitions and sales. Cole bought Emerson's important Confederate collection, selling the balance to Caspary and Harold Brooks while the Civil War patriotics and Confederate covers went to August Dietz, Van Dyk MacBride and A. Earl Weatherly.

Engstler, Bruce E.

Decorative BEE, usually handstamped in black on the back of Charlottesville, Va., covers which he collected. His initials are B.E.E. - hence the obvious use of a bee as his symbol.

Bruce Edward Engstler joined the CSA in 1964 as member #1290. He maintains a "philatelic services" office in Charlottesville, but is mainly known as a collector and authority on the postal history of Charlottesville, Va. His collection was sold in several sales by Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries in 2019.

Everett, Morris

ME joined initials, usually in pen on tip of cover back flap. Occasionally, his permanent opinion may be found in ink, as shown by this baddie in my fake collection, marked Fake M. Everett

Morris Everett, Sr. (1910-1993) of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, was a Yale graduate and investment counselor by trade. He was a serious collector and researcher who was heavily involved in the CSA, joining in 1940 as member 110. He was president from 1976-77 and chairman of the CSA Authentication Committee 1968-1993. His passion was CSA stampless covers. He won numerous writing and service awards, and was made an honorary life member in 1991, as well as being promoted to "General" in 1978. His collection was sold at auction by Robert A. Siegel shortly after his death.

Ferrary, Philip von

Ferrary trefoil, usually handstamped in purple and discretely placed on the front or back of philatelic rarities, both stamps and covers. It is a treasured mark of philatelic distinction. Ferrary trefoil 2 - Uniontown provisional with Ferrary trefoil typically placed on the front of the cover at bottom right.

Philip Ferrari de La Renotière (1850–1917) was one of the most noted collectors of all time, assembling probably the most complete worldwide collection that ever existed, or is likely to exist. It included the famous 1856 1c British Guiana, as well as countless other unique rarities. Ferrary was the son of the Duke and Duchess of Galliera and money was no object. His "occupation" was stamp collector. Due to his extreme wealth and proclivities, dealers often took advantage of him. Thus, there are also numerous fakes and forgeries that passed through his hands. He was famous enough to be featured on a 1968 stamp of Liechtenstein, Scott 448.

Finney, Eben D.

E.D.F. small distinctive initials in pencil but also found in pen E.D.F.

Eben Dickey Finney, Jr. (? - 1999) known as "Pete," joined the CSA in 1947 and was given member 439. He was a Princeton graduate from Baltimore, Md. Pete was the third winner of the CSA Trophy in 1949 (considered the CSA grand award for exhibiting at a CSA annual convention). I was amused to read that generations ago, an earlier Ebenezer Finney, although flattered, refused to let his grandson be saddled with the name Ebenezer and thus baptized him Eben, assuring a long line with an abbreviated version of that name. Obviously "Pete" agreed.

Flick, Theodore E.


Theo. E. Flick / APS 3212 / GALVESTON TEXAS blue oval collector handstamp incorporating his APS member number.

Theodore Emil Flick (1881-1943) was born in Haiern, Germany, immigrating to the U.S. at an unknown date, possibly as a child. He was active in the early to mid 1900s as both a stamp and coin collector. “Theo” was an early CSA member at #111 and served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Texas Philatelic Association. In 1911, the Philatelic West singled him out as having a particularly strong collection of U.S., Canada, Hawaii and Mexico. August Dietz mentioned him in 1937 in an edition of the Stamp and Cover Collectors’ Review in in a discussion about two purported blockade covers. By trade, he was Secretary-Treasurer of the First Texas Prudential Insurance Company. Jerry Palazolo contributed this early owner marking; it is on the back of a rather common cover with a pair of Scott CSA 7 from Natchez, Miss.

Foote, Sterling D.

S. D. Foote Collection handstamped signature, active 1954-1966. He joined the CSA in 1954 as member 756. He was from New York City but I have found no further information on him. Rumor has it that his collection was dispersed at auction but this has not been verified.

Fox, John A.

John A. Fox penciled signature found on many genuine covers, as well as many Fox-created fakes. It is sometimes also seen as J.A. Fox. When a collector says a cover looks "foxy," that is not a good thing. Most Fox-faked covers do not have his signature on them, but there are exceptions that do.

John A. Fox (1911-1988) became interested in stamp dealing at age 12 and went on to become one of New York’s most colorful and most successful dealers and auctioneers during the 1950s and early 1960s. Fox was censured in 1966 by the American Stamp Dealers Association (ASDA). He was also expelled from the APS in 1966. In 1974, he was dropped from membership in ASDA, of which he had been president 1952-53. Despite significant damage to his reputation, Fox continued to hold auctions until December, 1987. His incredibly deceiving creations command at least a couple hundred dollars each. Both Confederate and U.S. rarities were serious targets and many top-flight collectors fell victim to his wares. The Classics Society's SCRAP program maintained a spectacular collection of Fox fakes which has since been donated to the Philatelic Foundation. Widely distributed information on Fox is both entertaining and scary.

Fox, William A.

Bill Fox price code on the back of covers in his collection. To my knowledge, he never signed or initialed them, but his handwriting (to me, anyway) is unmistakable. His code was WILLIAMSBURG, where he and Bill Bogg roomed together in college.

William A. Fox (1929-2008) was known as a consummate dealer, auctioneer and collector. Although born in Pennsylvania, he was most often though of as from Short Hills, NJ. He caught the philatelic bug in the 1950s and attended William & Mary College in Williamsburg, Va., where he roomed with dealer and best friend William G. Bogg. Bill joined the CSA in 1961 as member No. 1140. At shows, Fox and Bogg always had booths side by side. Bill's garment trademark was a burgundy jacket. I never saw him at a show without it; we teased him that it was going to disintegrate on his person. He worked as a describer for Robert A. Siegel before launching out on his own. Bill's personal collecting interest, among many, was South Carolina Confederates. His collection was eventually sold by Schuyler J. Rumsey Auctions as the Reynard Collection. Reynard is French for Fox, so this was a thinly disguised name to those in the know. He also had a top collection of U.S. 3c 1861 issue sold by Rumsey at the 2006 Washington international show. In later years, Bill split his time between his home in Hilton Head, SC, and Naples, FL, with his second wife, Gisela. The Kaufmanns regularly visited both "Boppsey Twins," as we called them, in both locations.

Frajola, Richard C.

R C Frajola light pencil signature

Richard C. Frajola has been a professional philatelist since 1968, a former auctioneer (1980-95), and a serious student, mostly of U.S. and Confederate postal history, having published many articles and books on his own or with others. He maintains a popular chat board aimed at answering collector questions online. He is a recognized expert and works with the leading expertizing committees in the U.S.

Gallagher, D. Scott

SG initials in light pencil, usually in the lower right corner on backs of covers

D. Scott Gallagher was a serious student, collector and grand award-winning exhibitor of Tennessee and Kentucky postal history, as well as a respected dealer from Cincinnati, Ohio. He was first an engineer by trade. I well remember late night bridge games with Scott and others in earlier days at shows. Also remembered fondly is eating huge avocados with him in Puerto Rico, where he regularly visited. Scott partnered with John Hill to buy the collection of Confederate fakes, forgeries, and fantasies formed by the late Rev. Paul B. Freeland. It was purchased at auction and donated to the CSA in 1977. He was also very active in USPCS, serving as president, as well as serving as a board member of the PF.

Gerhmann, Charles F.

CFG Coll[ection] in pencil on backs of covers

Charles F. Gehrmann was a serious early collector who joined the CSA in 1944 as member 184. His collection was sold by Eugene N. Costales in 1950. Many advanced collectors still recognize the name today.

Stanley Gibbons & Co.

S.G. & Co. handstamped initials

Stanley Gibbons & Company is listed on the London stock exchange and trades in stamps and other philatelic items, coins, medals and banknotes. The firm was set up by Edward Stanley Gibbons in 1856 and is the world's longest established rare stamp trader. It opened its first shop in 1891 on The Strand in London from where it continues to trade today. It also has overseas sites in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Gibson, Henry C.

Henry C. Gibson Collection / Ward Sale 12 handstamp. also, H.C. Gibson double/line handstamp.

Henry C. Gibson (1885-1997) Financier, astronomer and renowned stamp collector from Palm Beach, Florida, who lived over a hundred years--from the introduction of the light bulb to the landing on the moon. Philip H. Ward of Philadelphia handled the sale of his fabulous collection. The title page of the sale catalog is shown here.

Gimelson, Bruce

Gimelson signature in pencil on backs of covers, letters and documents

Bruce Gimelson states that he has been actively buying and selling all forms of Americana for parts of eight decades. His first autograph was acquired in 1947. A partnership, Bernard and Bruce Gimelson, Inc., was offered by his father, Bernard Gimelson, in 1964. During the next 25 years they specialized in coins, stamps, autographs, and paintings, and continued to do so until his father's death in 1989. Bruce continues with a top-drawer clientele and never-ending enthusiasm. He joined the CSA in 1966.

Green, Brian M.

Brian Green CSA 1255 penciled signature and CSA membership number 1255. Sometimes this is accompanied by a brief description and sometimes it is only BMG initials plus 1255. Brian originally used a handstamp of the back of a cover in which B was in the left triangle, G at the top and M at right with 1255 (CSA member number) at bottom. Thanks to Jerry Palazolo for providing a better one than I had on file. The handstamp was in use 1963-1970 and indicates it was his personal collection before he became a dealer. After he retired the handstamp, he later used it to tie the photo images to his one-man certificates. He resigned from CSA when it was renamed CWPS.

Brian Michael Green (1939-present), with his wife Maria, is a dealer in Civil War soldiers' letters, documents, autographs and postal history. He has been an active collector and dealer for over 50 years. His first professional philatelic experience was with Earl P.L. Apfelbaum in the late 1960s, then the US Postal Service, Gala Stamps (Richmond), Confederate Philately, Inc. (Jack Molesworth) and the Philatelic Foundation. Brian married Patricia A. Cozad in 1966, who became known as "Patty Green" until their divorce in 1973. She is today known as Trish Kaufmann. It was Brian who introduced me to Confederate postal history and taught me the basics. The rest, to the great surprise of both of us, is history.

Green, Howard P.

Mortar and pestle, initials HPG below mortar, green handstamp. There is also a similar smaller mark.

Dr. Howard P Green sold his Confederate collection at auction in 2000 but is still a CWPS (fornerly CSA) member, having joined in 1972 as member 1652. He is a pharmacist, hence his choice of handstamp design. Howard's stellar exhibit won the Grand Award at the 50th CSA Anniversary show in Richmond in 1985. He won coveted International Large Golds at Stockholmia 1986, Praga 1988, PhilexFrance 1989 (200th Anniversary of French Revolution), Stamp World London 1990, and Pacific International Stamp Exhibition 1997.

Haas, Marc

APE (American Philatelic Enterprises - Marc Haas) in tiny pencil markings followed by inventory information, on the front of great U.S. and Confederate rarities, usually at the cover edges. On the reverse he penciled, in two lines or fraction format, the vendor, date of purchase and cost. My thanks to Dan Knowles for the improved image he contributed.

Marc Haas (1908-1990) was a consummate philatelist and powerful business executive, who owned homes in Burgenstock, Switzerland, and Manhattan. Haas was a 1929 graduate of Princeton University and founder and president of American Diversified Enterprises, a privately held conglomerate and venture capital company formed in 1955. Haas's collection included 3,500 rare stamps, as well as memorabilia signed by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. He sold his main collection in 1979 for $11 million. Kaufmann Auctions did numerous "side deals" with him and I well remember being on the phone with him for the entire sale of the Jack Solomon Confederate collection, in which he actively participated. He was charming, engaging, and a crackerjack philatelist and postal historian. After the sale of this collection, his collecting continued but the new purchases were made by "ADE" (American Diversified Enterprises) with the same code and inventory system. Marc re-purchased several large portions from Gibbons to jump-start the new collection.

Hall, Alexander

AH stylized initials, 3-5mm green colored pencil (mostly) usually on the back lower right corner of a cover, looks like a capital "N" with a center bar through it. The number following the initials is the year he marked the cover. Second AH example from 1996.

Alexander (Alex) Hall (1945-present) - From childhood, Alex was a collector of Confederate stamps as well as classic United States, and other areas. He progressed into Confederate covers in the 1970s after purchasing a starter estate collection from a descendant of Savannah, Ga., Confederate postmaster. It contained roughly 70 covers, mostly from the holding department of the local Dead Letter Office. Shortly after joining the CSA (renamed CWPS in 2020) in the late 1980s, he began exhibiting. His first time out, he won a Gold at Stamporee in West Palm Beach. A year later, he won the Grand Award at Balpex followed with another Grand at Vapex. He sold his exhibit and most other CSA holding in a 1997 Siegel Confederate auction which also incorporated the collections of Birkinbine, Nunnelley and Murphy. He and his wife, Carol, have hosted two CSA shows within the state of Florida. A CSA life member, Alex was on several committees of the CSA and remains active in the organization. 

Hall, John H.

JHH penciled initials, John H. Hall, Jr. signed 1973 PF certificate

John Hudson Hall, Jr. (1926-1999) was a serious collector and expert. He served as chairman of the Philatelic Foundation in New York and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He joined the CSA in 1948 as member 475.

Hall, Richard A.

RH initials, usually in pen on tip of back cover flap. Also "EX RICHARD A HALL" handstamp, although less frequently encountered.

Richard A. Hall of Missouri is not currently collecting Confederates. He specialized in advertising covers and sold most of his collection at auction around the turn of the 21st century. He was, at one time, publicity chairman for the Confederate Stamp Alliance.

Harris, James H.

James P. Harris penciled signature, date and description on the back of cover, active 1969-1991.

James P. Harris was a car dealer from Wilmington, NC. He collected and exhibited Wilmington postal history, as well as U.S. stamps. He and Wilmington collector Ernest H. Wyche were close friends an used to travel to shows together. Harris was CSA member 1452 from 1969-1984 and then reinstated in 1991. He was also a philatelic judge, editor of the American Philatelic Congress Book in the 1970s, and president of the Society of Philatelic Americans. Image and information courtesy of Tony Crumbley.

Hart, Frank E.

Solid Heart handstamp of Frank E. Hart, found in various colors on backs of covers.

Frank E. Hart (1907-?) was mainly known in Confederate circles for his 1950s survey of postmasters' provisionals which were incorporated into Frank Crown's compilation of same. He sold the bulk of his U.S. and British North America collection in 1932. In 1949, he met Eugene Wulfekuhler, who convinced him he should collect Confederate covers. In 1949, he sold his remaining collections through H.R. Harmer and with the proceeds began building a general collection of Confederate covers. He exhibited extensively and won awards in national competition. including the Grand Award with his provisionals at the Collectors Club of New York.

Hartmann, Leonard H.

Leonard H. Hartmann initials with stone and plate positions are valued on lithographed issues.

Leonard H. Hartmann is a serious student, collector, exhibitor, writer on Confederate lithographed and typographed issues. He maintains arguably the strongest philatelic literature stock in the country as "Philatelic Bibliopole" with specialized sections of Confederates, a lithograph plating service and links to his articles. He is the "go-to" person for these issues and widely respected in the philatelic community. He edited the stamp section of the 2012 CSA catalog. He first joined the CSA in 1958 as member 1004 and has won countless writing and exhibiting awards. He immediately preceded me as editor of the Confederate Philatelist 1968-70. He is also a publisher of a wide array of scholarly philatelic titles.

Hendershott, Gary

Hendershott penciled signature

Gary Hendershott is a dealer from Little Rock, Ark., specializing in rare Civil War documents and relics, as well as World War II collectibles.

Herst, Herman (Pat)

HH in small circle, handstamp of legendary dealer and writer Herman (Pat) Herst

Herman Herst, Jr. (1909-1999) was a stamp dealer, auctioneer and prolific writer who began his career on Nassau Street in New York City in 1933 before moving to Shrub Oak, New York in 1946, where he remained until he retired to Florida in 1973. His friends, noting his birthday every year on March 15, called him "Pat." He was famously known for many popular philatelic books and articles, as well as his house newsletter, Herst's Outbursts from 1940s to 1973. He was honored with numerous notable awards such as the APS Luff Award in 1961 as well as being posthumousely inducted in the APS Hall of Fame in 2000.

Hind, Arthur

H handstamp

Arthur Hind (1856-1833) came to the U.S. from England in 1890. He was a textile industrialist and powerful philatelist with deep pockets. Hind poured the profits from his business into rare stamps, and soon acquired many of the world's greatest rarities. Unfortunately, he had the  infuriating habit of taping great rarities to album pages on the sides of the covers. At the Ferrary sale, Hind purchased the 1-cent British Guiana for a then world-record price, as well as all of the best U.S. provisionals. He was described as "the Ferrary of America." 

Hill, John R.

JRH pencil marking with date acquired

John R. Hill, Jr. received his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M. He interrupted his college studies in 1944 to serve as an officer in the 13th Airborne Division in the European Theater. He completed his degree in 1947. After serving in WWII, he joined Gifford-Hill and Co., rising to President, CEO and Chairman of the Board. He graced the floor at Kaufmann Auctions when there was a good Confederate collection being offered. One of my favorite memories is of him taking his private jet from his home in Dallas to pick up Bill Bogg, then in Florida, and from there flying to Washington, D.C. Fun memories. John partnered with Scott Gallagher to buy the collection of Confederate fakes, forgeries, and fantasies formed by the late Rev. Paul B. Freeland. It was purchased at auction and donated to the CSA in 1977.

Holcombe, Peter

Peter Holcombe signature near a Confederate Frame Line stamp on a prisoner of war cover, with 1995 Peter Holcombe certificate. Unfortunately, although well respected in Europe, it is pretty clear that he knew very little about Confederate States. While I have found his signature on genuine material, I have also found it on laughably bogus or misdescribed material.

Peter Holcombe (?-2012) was an independent philatelic expert in Luzern, Switzerland. Peter was born in England but lived his last thirty years in Switzerland. Most of his life, he was an active dealer but in the last years he was more of an expertizer. 

Houston, James H.

J.H. Houston large blue dealer handstamp on the back of Confederate cover. The really horrifying aspect of these is that they were used on both the backs and fronts of covers. Fortunately, the trend in today's world of philately is away from such disfiguring nightmares. A second similar J.H. Houston example is similar to the first except it omits the street number. It was shared by Vince King, who measured the marking at my request.

James H. Houston (1845/46-1933) was a dealer circa 1870-1920. According to an obituary in the November 17, 1933, issue of Mekeel's Weekly Stamp News, as a boy, he was selling newspapers on the streets of Washington the night President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. The illustrated dealer handstamp shows his address as 205 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. Despite my decent knowledge of D.C. area philatelic denizens, I had no prior information on Houston. In an 1889 issue of the American Philatelist, he is noted at 461 Missouri Avenue N.W. with APA (the prior name of what is now APS) member number 85 - clearly a pioneer APS member. The APA / APS was founded in 1886. I found another Pennsylvania Avenue address with street #337, which advertised "stamps and autographs" in a 1907 issue of The Collectors' Union. In the June 4, 1921, issue of Mekeel's Weekly Stamp News, there is an ad by Houston in which he says that for he has been selling stamps, Confederate bills and autographs for nearly 50 years, but now he is disposing of his stock.

Hussman, C.E.




C.E.H. CO. tiny purple handstamp on the back edge of covers, deceivingly large from this link because it is scanned at 600 dpi. This particular example was graciously provided by Dr. John L. Kimbrough on behalf of the Civil War Philatelic Authentication Service. The front of the rare Macon postmaster provisional on which it is applied is shown here, a lot from the last of the series of Erivan collection auctions by H.R. Harmer.

C.E. Hussman Stamp Co. Inc. was located in St. Louis, Missouri, in the early 1900s, and proably late 1800s (more research to be done), at several different addresses. The cover of the 35th auction catalog by Hussman is shown here. In the Collectors Club Philatelist and elsewhere, Hussman advertised as one of the oldest philatelic companies in America "with a stock of rare stamps, covers, etc., - larger than 90 per cent of the dealers in this county." They were particularly known for Mexico and Latin America. The G. Kock list of philatelic expert marks indicates this marking is also known to be forged.

Jakubek, Wolfgang

Jakubek BPP handstamp and Jakubek handstamp. BPP is a German expertizing organization parallel to the Philatelic Foundation - Bund Philatelistischer Prüfer. Back of cover showing both Jakubek BPP and E. Mohrmann handstamps. Jakubek signature, usually lighty in pencil on face of covers (courtesy Jerry S. Palazolo).

Wolfgang Jakubek is a respected German stamp dealer and auctioneer who includes high-end Confederates and quality early U.S. among his numerous specialties. He is one of the dealers who continued the philatelic auction house of Edgar Mohrmann when he died in 1964. Jakubek is an expert who issues independent authentication certificates, as preferred by European clientele, as well as for BPP. He brokered the sale of my award-winning personal collection of antique valentines in 1984 to major German collector and exhibitor, Edgar Kuphal, a former CSA member. One Kaufmann stipulation was that we fly the collection to Germany to meet in his office in Hamburg. It also afforded me the opportunity to visit Frankfurt American High School, from which I graduated in 1965 (I'm an Army brat). The school no longer exists.

Jaretsky, Rolf-Dieter

R D Jaretsky owner handstamp

Rolf-Dieter Jaretsky is a major collector, writer and exhibitor from Germany with a wide variety of tastes, which includes Confederates. He was recruited to CSA (now CWPS) membership in 2015 at Europhilex.

Judd, M. Hubert

M. Hubert Judd neat penciled descriptions, with the old Scott catalogue numbering system, are found on top back flaps of Confederate covers. It is easy to see from viewing a second example of Judd's descriptions just how easy it is to recognize. Most indicate exceptional quality and scarcity.

M. Hubert Judd (circa 1923- ) of Dalton, Ga., was a collector and exhibitor of superlative Confederates. He joined the CSA in 1945 as member 209. His neat penciled notations on the back are considered a sign of a quality cover. Kaufmann Auctions sold part of his stellar collection in 1975, sale 22.

Kaufmann, Patricia A.

P A Kaufmann penciled signature and inventory number, usually (but not always) along left diagonal flap edge or bottom but can be anywhere, even under a flap if dictated by necessity or logic. Older PAK system was just my initials plus inventory number and price code, or even TK, price code and inventory number. If a cover was reacquired, the original inventory info might be crossed out and substituted with new. Sometimes these are simply owner/dealer markings and sometime authentication. I rarely initial a stamp except by request or verification of plating/authenticity; if I do, it is in light pencil.

Patricia A. Kaufmann was introduced to Confederates in 1965. It has been a consuming passion ever since. I am honored to hold CSA life membership number 1. For more than you ever wanted to know, see About Trish Kaufmann

Katz, Harold

Cat face within Star of David clearly handstamped in black. Sometimes they are very poorly struck.

Harold Katz is no longer actively collecting. He is from the Richmond, Va., area. Over the years, he sold selected portions of his collection at auction and by private treaty.

Kimbrough, John L.

John L. Kimbrough penciled signature and date, usually along left diagonal flap edge or bottom but can be anywhere as dictated by necessity or logic. Seen 1980s to present. Also seen as J.L. Kimbrough or just JLK.

Dr. John L. Kimbrough of Benbrook, Texas, has been an active collector since childhood and began collecting Confederates in 1982. He retired from the U.S. Air Force with 24 years service as a military surgeon, and later ventured into the world of stamp dealing, specializing solely in Confederate States. With Conrad Bush, he co-authored the Collector’s Guide to Confederate Philately. John has contributed to Confederate philately in countless ways, earning him numerous service, as well as writing awards. He is a recognized authority on Confederates and currently chairman of the Civil War Philatlic Authentication Service.

Kohn, David

David Kohn handstamped marking of a cone within Star of David. Seen in blue or black David Kohn.

David Kohn (1880-1973) was a resident of the D.C. area and my closest-ever connection to the Civil War. He was a special mentor in my early collecting days. He was an ardent collector, student and exhibitor. His father, Theodore Kohn, enlisted in the Edisto Rifles from Orangeburg and was in Charleston when the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter. Dave joined the CSA in 1944 with membership #151. He served as President, was promoted to General and made honorary life member in 1972. He sold portions of his collection in multiple auctions, some of which was sold by Kaufmann Auctions after his death, but mostly by Robert A. Siegel in 1970. He was a charming man who loved to spin a good tale.

Knapp, Edward S.

Plating markings in pencil on the backs of covers and stamps. This was for Stone 1 (CSA 1), position 6.

Edward Spring Knapp (1878-1940) held legendary collections of U.S. and Confederate stamps and postal history. He worked along side colleague, Stanley B. Ashbrook, to plate the 5-cent New Orleans provisionals as well as the Confederate Frame Line issue (CSA 10). His massive collections were sold in three sales by Park-Bernet in 1941-42. Before the sales, the entire collection was photographed. A set of the photos, illustrating 7,822 subjects in 186 volumes arranged by Y. Souren and H.W. Carhart, resides in the Collectors Club of New York library. His Confederate collection was sold privately. He was added to the APS Hall of Fame in 1941.

Kramer, George J.

Kramer in pencil on backs of cover as well as source information. This cover was lot 895 in the Risvold collection and sold in 2010 for $3,600.

George Jay Kramer is a prominent philatelist who signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists (RDP) in 2005. It is an award of international scale, created by the Philatelic Congress of Great Britain in 1921. He has won a host of other awards on a national and international scale, including the APS Luff Award. He became a trustee of the Philatelic Foundation in 1988 and served as its chairman. He was been a distinguished judge for decades. He competed in the APS Champion of Champions nine different years with six different exhibits and in the only person to have won it three times in three different decades. He has been a generous donor to the APS, the National Postal Museum and the PF. His reputation is legendary.

Laurence, Robert

Guaranteed Genuine Robert Laurence - smudged pencil example on back of CSA cover

Robert Laurence joined the CSA in 1945 as member 213. He is best remembered for compiling the George Walcott collection of used U.S. patriotics in 1934, a book still used as a catalog system today. S. Kellogg (Kelly) Stryker started out in the stamp business in 1928. In 1942, he and Robert Laurence formed Laurence and Stryker, a philatelic auction house which sold rare postage stamps and postal covers from 1942 to 1960.

Lehmann, Howard A.

HAL penciled initials

Howard A. Lehmann - Best remembered today for his publication of Confederate States, the Two Cent Green Stamp; A Record and Review published by the Collectors Club (New York). Lehmann, a New Yorker, joined the CSA in 1935 as a charter member with 38.

Lemley, Harry J.

H.J.L. penciled initials during the mid 20th century.

Judge Harry Jacob Lemley (1883-1965) was a Federal District Court judge from Hope, Arkansas, appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Lemley holds a special place in my heart, although I never knew him. He joined the CSA in 1944 as member 671 and served as General Vice President. He was an avid writer and researcher, particularly known for his knowledge of Arkansas and Indian Territory material--rare in Confederate postal history. I became close with one of his sons, Kenneth M. (Mac) Lemley who used to tell great stories about the judge literally going into teepees and retrieving what are now Confederate postal history treasures. Judge Lemley's articles were important enough that when Mac offered his father's collection through Kaufmann Auctions (sale 38), he paid to have all the articles Judge Lemley wrote in the Confederate Philatelist reprinted in the back of the auction catalog, thus making it a valuable collectable handbook. This sale was not only important to me personally because of the wonderful material I was thrilled to handle, but because it was the first philatelic auction catalog (I believe) in the country printed in full color and which I personally laid out. Great memories.

Littlejohn, Broadus R.

BRL stylized penciled initials, BRL, example 2 and BRL, example 3 in red, the clearest of these examples. Not easy to decipher unless you are familiar with them.

Broadus R. (Dick) Littlejohn, Jr. (1924-2010) was president of Community Cash Stores, a Southern supermarket chain. He created the Margaret and Dick Littlejohn Foundation to preserve his collection of historical materials which is available to scholars and known as the Littlejohn Collection at the Wofford College Library. He joined the CSA in 1947 as member 434, but mostly stayed in the shadows. He was well known to dealers and auctioneers, but not to most collectors. He was a hoarder and rarely took items off auction pages or dealer stock pages. His collecting tastes were eclectic; he literally had warehouses and bank vaults precariously stuffed with historical documents of all time periods, as well as coins and relics. I was tickled to be part of the team that handled the dispersal of his amazing collection, although it had its many challenges. His wife must have been a saint.

Lowe, Robson

Robson Lowe signature in pencil on the back of one of the De La Rue plate proofs from the only sheet of 400 which he discovered framed and hanging on the wall in their offices in 1976. The sheet has subsequently been broken to singles, blocks and gutter multiples. He had put plate positions on most but not all and signed most but not all. Careful students have completed the plating/signing job. See before and after.

John Harry Robson (Robbie) Lowe (1905-1997) was a larger than life stamp dealer and one of the most celebrated philatelists of his time. He established his business in 1920, and became a stamp auctioneer in the 1930s. His company was the first to recognize postal history as a specialist category; he held regular postal history auctions from 1939. Robbie was a serious student and collector of U.S. Carriers and Locals, both the genuine stamps and their numerous imitations and forgeries. Among his many books was the Robson Lowe Encyclopedia of British Empire Stamps published in six volumes between 1948 and 1990. During his 80 years in philately, he sold stamps, built collections, wrote articles, edited journals, published books, spoke extensively and received nearly every honor given by organized philately. Lowe was inducted into the APS Writers Unit 30 Hall of Fame in 1980 and received the APS Luff Award in 1980 for Exceptional Contributions to Philately.

Luff, John N.


John N. Luff penciled attestation on the back of the legendary Boscawen N.H. (Scott 4X1) provisional. Close-up of Luff signature. Courtesy of H.R. Harmer.

John Nicholas Luff (1860-1938) was one of the greatest philatelists of all time, among the first to use scientific methods in his research. Luff became seriously interested in philately in 1890. In 1893, he moved to New York City to become a stamp dealer, and in 1894 he joined Scott Stamp & Coin Co., one of the world's largest stamp businesses. He headed the approval department, edited the American Journal of Philately (2nd series), co-edited the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, and wrote the Scott stamp auction catalogs. In the process, he established himself as a leading expertizer of the stamps of a large number of countries. In 1896, he joined with others to establish the Collectors Club (New York), of which he was twice president, as well as a long-time governor, and Honorary Life Governor at his death. Luff built an important U.S. collection, which won a gold medal at the international philatelic exhibition in Paris in 1900. In 1903, he became president of Scott, but left in 1905 to join Stanley Gibbons, Inc. He soon returned to Scott, remaining with the firm for the rest of his life. From the 1890s until the 1930s, Luff was one of the country's leading philatelic writers. His greatest work was his Postage Stamps of the United States (1902), which still remains a major reference work. He is in the APS Hall of Fame, and the Luff Award, the highest honor bestowed by the APS, is named in his honor. A long-time member of the APS, Luff was its official expert for many years and its president from 1907-1909. Luff signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 1921.

MacBride, Van Dyk

VDMacBride penciled neat signature, usually with a brief description of the cover. Sometimes seen just as VDMacB

Francis Van Dyk (Mac) MacBride (1890-1961) was a serious collector, researcher, student and dealer in Confederate States postal history. He joined the CSA in 1944 as member 118, and was serving as president when he died in 1961. He was a contemporary of August Dietz and won numerous awards for service and writing, heavily contributing to Confederate philately during his era and widely remembered to this day. In 1959 he, along with Larry Shenfield, co-chaired the editorial board of the Dietz Confederate Catalog and Handbook

Martin, Thomas P.

Thos. P. Martin Jr. - Fort Worth - Texas large handstamped purple name and town. Second Martin example, this time on the FRONT of a rare cover! It has since been removed by the owner (photo courtesy Tony L. Crumbley).

Thomas P. Martin, Jr. was an original member of the APS, a collector during the late 19th century. Tony Crumbley was kind enough to share images of this handstamp and the horrifying story of the unique Gaston, NC, provisional which Martin "decorated" with said handstamp. The first example is the back of the Gaston cover, where it remains untouched. As the premier collector of North Carolina Confederates, Tony owns that cover and wisely had the Martin handstamp on the front professionally removed.

Matz, Billy

BM within state of Tennessee - small neat green handstamp, usually seen on Tennessee postal history

Billy P. Matz (1925-2008) was widely recognized for his Tennessee postal history collections, mainly of Memphis. The Matz family were fixtures at CSA conventions in the last half of the 20th century, including CSA members Betty, his wife, and sons Rusty and Will. Billy joined the CSA in 1963 as member 1276. He served as president from 1970-71 when I became co-editor of the Confederate Philatelist. He was promoted to General in the CSA in 1972 and made an honorary life member in 1999.

Milgram, James W.

J.W.M. tiny tasteful initials handstamp usually, if not always, in black

Dr. James W. Milgram, a retired orthopedic surgeon and professor from the Chicago area, is one of the most prolific of philatelic writers, perhaps of all time. He specializes in U.S. and Confederate topics and is the recipient of countless literature awards for philatelic articles and books. He joined the CSA in 1959 as member 1055.

Miller, Robert H.

RHM initials, very tiny owner handstamp usually, if not always, in black

Robert H. Miller (1926-2006) was a life-long stamp collector who became a full-time dealer in 1970 when he opened Pittsburgh Stamp Company. He specialized in rare U.S. and British North America (BNA) stamps and postal history. Born in Syracuse, N.Y., he served in the Army in the Philippines from 1944 to 1946 as an entertainment specialist who organized and performed "tricks and other feats" for his fellow troops, an accomplished magician and. I am grateful to Cliff Woodward who identified the marking as Bob’s. Yet Cliff is not a Confederate collector, showing this database is more widely used as a resource. Bob's former protégé, David Coogle (Kelleher Auctions), confirmed that the RHM-marked covers were from Bob’s personal collection and incorporated into his unmarked retail stock. David shares, “Bob was a very astute philatelist who was a ‘collectors’ dealer. He helped form some great collections, assisting in building and dispersing them when the time came. He travelled to many shows and enjoyed having a philatelic ‘happy hour’ at his office or hotel room on the road. His tricks and magic included owning the ‘Magic Bar’ in Pittsburgh. He always would take time with other, especially younger, philatelists and show them the technical aspects of philately.” My sincere appreciation to both Cliff and David for sharing.

Mohrmann, Edgar

E. Mohrmann small red handstamp

Edgar Mohrmann, a businessman from Lübeck, Germany, founded an auction house for stamps in 1929 which is still going strong today. In 1962, the German magazine Der Spiegel dedicated a 12-page cover story to Edgar Mohrmann. When Mohrmann died in 1964, Wolfgang Jakubek continued the Mohrmann auction house until he struck out in his own name. Other well-known international philatelists have continued the Mohrmann auction house since then. In Confederate circles, the most well-recognized sale was that of the "Stonewall Collection," which was sold in 1980. Mohrmann was a towering figure among German philatelists.

Molesworth, Jack E.

Jack E. Molesworth or J.E. Molesworth signatures with profuse and untidy descriptions, often taking up entire backs of covers. Sometimes there is no signature, just lengthy descriptions, price codes and dates. In later years, his philatelic staff would write the descriptions but they are nonetheless distinctive as Molesworth derivation. His price codes were in encircled nearby. On the illustrated cover, he owned it three times, which you see with most dealers who have been around for awhile. His code was LUCKY STAMP.

Jack E. Molesworth (1925-2007) was a Boston stamp dealer most active in the last half of the 20th century. Jack E. Molesworth, Inc. handled his U.S. material while Confederate Philately, Inc. represented his Confederate interests. He joined the CSA in 1948 as member 483. He long sponsored a CSA exhibit award for off-cover material, today endowed by an anonymous donor. He could be cantankerous and opinionated but was nonetheless respected for his wide philatelic knowledge. He was a heavy auction buyer and seller. "Back in the day," he would present Kaufmann Auctions staff with an agent list of bidders usually numbering 60-70 clients (before internet bidders). As a sideline, Jack owned several trotting race horses. He also ran for political office as a staunch Republican. One of my strongest memories (not a good one) is when my late husband, John, called in early morning from the Molesworth brownstone in Boston where he had been staying overnight. Jack and John slept on different floors. Fortunately, wife Phyllis was away, but Jack was attacked in his bedroom by a baseball-wielding burglar. Jack was bleeding severely and took innumerable stitches. John was, understandably an emotional train wreck. He quipped that he was luck he had a hard head.

Mueller, Harrie S.

Open Square handstamp with small protractions on each side, usually struck on tip of back cover flap in purple

Harrie Stevens Mueller was an active collector in the mid-20th century. He joined the CSA as a charter member in 1935 and was given member number 49 when the roll was alphabetized in 1937. He served as Trans-Mississippi Vice President 1953-55. He was from Wichita, Ks. He returned to Wichita after graduation from the University of Illinois in 1914. He would become president of the Charles P. Mueller Floral Company, which was founded by his father in 1883. A retired Army colonel, he was part of the border expedition against Pancho Villa, served as 2nd Lieutenant in World War I, and was Chief of Staff for the 35th Division during World War. He retired as director of the Central Security District with headquarters in San Francisco.

Oswald, Roger H.

R.H.O. within state of Wisconsin, handstamp of Roger H. Oswald. Some covers are found with full signature in pencil or initials RHO in pencil.

Roger H. Oswald is a collector and dealer from Wisconsin. He used to specialize in Confederate stampless covers, which he actively exhibited. He joined the CSA in 1973 as member 1736, served as president in 2000-2001 and holds life membership #34. He won numerous awards for service and exhibiting. Roger was part of what many of us kiddingly called the "Chicago Mafia" of Ron Tate, Rick Calhoun and Roger Oswald. They were fixtures at the CSA hospitality suites at annual conventions.

Palazolo, Jerry S.

Jerry S. Palazolo signed 2009 CSA certificate

Jerry S. Palazolo is a respected collector, student, author and dealer, as well as a liquor store owner in Memphis, Tenn. He handles both U.S. and Confederates. He was on the lead editorial board of the award winning 2012 Confederate States of America Catalog and Handbook of Stamps and Postal History aside Trish Kaufmann and Frank Crown. He joined the CSA in 1965 as member 1310. He is a CSA past president and winner of numerous awards for service, writing, and exhibiting. He is CSA life member 3.

Pavoille, Emile

PAVOILLE / PARIS - 2-line purple handstamp. There is also a purple 3-line PA / VOIL / LE handstamp known. These have also been found on forged stamps.

Emile Pavoille of Paris, France, was a dealer / philatelic expert in the 1920s. I have not found out much more about him. This example was found on the backs of CSA 3 and CSA 9 and contributed courtesy of Jerry Palazolo.

Phillips, Charles J.

C.J.P. small penciled initials

Charles J. Phillips (1863-1940) was a distinguished dealer who is in the APS Hall of Fame. He began his career in London as head of the most famous stamp firm of its time, and ended it in New York as a specialist dealer and chronicler of philatelic history. He purchased the world-famous Stanley Gibbons & Co. in 1890 and remained its head until 1922 when he sold it and moved to the United States. Phillips was retained by the estate of Arthur Hind to advise it on the sale of Hind's world famous collection of rarities and classic stamps. It was in 1933, in the midst of the Great Depression, but the auction of Hind's U.S. and Confederate States stamps obtained prices that were higher than most observers believed possible under the circumstances. He was one of the original group of philatelists to sign the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 1921.

Powell, Peter W. W.

PWWPowell signed 1995 CSA certificate as Acting Chairman for then-chairman Warren Sanders. Powell penciled signature or PWWP initials usually found on backs of covers he owned and occasionally stamps.

Peter W. W. Powell (1936-2023) was a life-long student of Confederate philately, joining the CSA as a junior member in 1953. He served the Alliance as president 1990-93 and was honored as Life President. He was chairman of the Authentication Committee 1997-98. He was recognized as a serious collector, exhibitor, and author who won numerous awards with those endeavors. He was probably most widely recognized as a student of Richmond, Va., postal history on which he wrote the authoritative work on the subject. Most recently, he published the award-winning volume Confederate States of America, Philatelic Fakes, Forgeries and Fantasies of the 19th and 29th Centuries in 2015, which was co-authored with Dr. John L. Kimbrough.

Provera, Ing. Pietro

Evergreen (Christmas) tree green handstamp used by Ing. Pietro Provera on backs of covers, as well as his penciled acquisition codes.

Ing. Pietro (Pierino) Provera (1927-2012) was an Italian collector of quality Confederate States and 19th century U.S. stamps and Postal History. His collection was offered by H.R. Harmer in December 2020 in New York City. The title "Ingegnere" in Italian stands for Engineer. He was considered an expert and student of diverse knowledge and collecting interests, particularly Austria, Lombardy-Venetia and Switzerland. He was well known and respected in European philatelic circles. Image courtesy Charles Epting of H.R. Harmer.

de Quesada, Alejandro

de Quesada handstamped guarantee markings - two types and colors - "ADQ" APS blue marking with postmark at center and "ADQ" red CSA/CWPS marking with cover at center

Alejandro "Alex" M. de Quesada is an author, historian, film and museum consultant, and a militaria collector -- especially philatelically related. He is a a member of APS and CWPS, a Fellow of The Company of Military Historians, as well as a member of other societies. The handstamps are usually applied on certificates of authenticity, on small cards placed within Civil War period covers, and on reference books regarding Civil War philately. 

Richter, Heinzgeorg

Richter 1996 signed certificate for CSA cover shown on other side

Heinzgeorg Richter is/was a German dealer and expertizer. I do not know if Richter ever signed covers, but he did issue certificates for Confederate States material.

Risdon, F. Ray

Risdon Collection handstamp

F. Ray Risdon (1888-1958) was a Los Angeles lawyer who collected Lincolniana for almost fifty years. His collection passed to Occidental College Library in 1957, by which time he had amassed 3,000 monographs, 1,500 pamphlets, and 85 linear feet of non-book items. Obviously, his interests extended to the Southern side as well.

Roosevelt, Franklin D.

From the Franklin D. Roosevelt Collection / Auctioned Feb., Arpil, 1946 by H.R. Harmer Inc., N.Y. handstamp was, and still is, a much sought after owner handstamp

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) 32nd president of the United States and avid philatelist. A stamp collector from his youth, he joined the APS while he was governor of New York. During his presidency from 1933 to 1945, he promoted stamp collecting in many ways. Roosevelt had a hand in every stamp issued during his period in office, suggesting some, designing many and giving his final approval on all issues. He arranged for the issuance of souvenir sheets at national stamp conventions and saw that many stamps had their first day ceremonies at philatelic events.

Rosenberg, Arnold J.

penciled code of Arnold Rosenberg: CASHPROFIT. In this case, he paid $80.00 for the cover. The xx equaled cents, back when cents mattered. Although I never used it, I always thought it was a fitting code.

Arnold J. Rosenberg of Louisville, Ky., joined the CSA in 1961 as member #1143. He was a serious U.S. and Confederate collector until he sold his his collections in two sales held by Kaufmann Auctions in 1981. They were two of the nicest sales of material in my career but little referred to in the recent past as most do not recognize the provenance.


Scott, J.W.

Three-line purple handstamp: Genuine / JW Scott / 163 Fulton backstamped on Confederate covers (and other material). This example, on the back of a Mobile, Ala., postmasters' provisional cover, is courtesy of Frank Kaplan. The Fulton address was one of several over the years, this circa 1890.

John Walter Scott (1842-1919) first began dealing in stamps in his native England in 1860. He continued when he emigrated to New York City in 1863. In 1865, he tried his hand at prospecting during the California Gold Rush but returned two years later to continue his stamp business. During the next two decades, he became the leading stamp dealer in the country, publishing the first important stamp journal in the U.S. in 1868, the American Journal of Philately. The same year, he issued hs first multi-paged stamp catalog. He had innovative business practices, such as holding the first public stamp auction in May 1870, as well as the first in England in 1872. In 1885, he sold the rights to his business to the Calman Brothers, who renamed it the Scott Stamp and Coin Company. Nonetheless, Scott continued his stamp business after a legal battle over the use of his name, which he won. He was the organizer of the first important philatelic exhibition in the Ul.S. which took place in New York in 1889; he was a founded member of the Collectors Club of New York (1896), serving in many positions, including president in 1910. He was APS president (1917-19) when he died and is, not surprisingly, in the APS Hall of Fame.

Seebeck, N.F.

N.F. Seebeck signature on Nashville, Tenn., postmasters' provisional stamp. I don't believe he is known as having had a magnificent collection of Confederate States stamps that fetched a high price when sold after his early (42 years old) death, but such is the case. Images courtesy of Civil War Philatelic Authentication Service.

Nicholas Frederick Seebeck (1857-1899) was an early stamp dealer and printer, best known for his stamp-printing contracts with several Latin American countries in the 1890s, which swirled in controversy both then and now. Born in Germany, he emigrated in 1866, at age nine. By age fifteen, he had already set up shop in New York. German philatelic experts who studied the Seebeck issues early in the 20th century claim that Seebeck, instead of reprinting after the stamps were demonetized, had excess quantities printed before the stamps were delivered. Since these stamps were printed during the time they were valid for postage, they are still considered original postage stamps, whether they were ever delivered to the respective countries' postal authorities or not. Much has been written about him over the years. One source is Seebeck: Hero or Villain? By Danilo A. Mueses. A second edition was edited, revised and enlarged by Michael Schreiber in 2018.

Seybold, John F.

John F. Seybold / Syracuse, N.Y. large purple handstamp or penciled signature

John Freidrich Seybold (1857-1909) from Syracuse, NY, was the son of a German immigrant and owner of a dry goods store. One of the world's first serious collectors who had amassed an enormous collection by the time of his death. He began collecting postal history in the mid-19th century. Amazingly enough, some of the rare covers were actually addressed to Seybold! Talk about someone with vision. Tragically, during what was termed a nervous breakdown, Seybold took his own life with a shot to the temple on Friday, August 13, 1909. It is said he may have been a closet alcoholic and was subject to serious depression and insomnia. Seybold died intestate, but during his lifetime he verbally expressed his intentions to bequeath his library to the Boston Philatelic Society, which is what happened on May 30, 1910, when his father Jacob presented it to the BPS. J.C. Morgantheau negotiated a sweetheart deal for the 365 volume collection chock-full of the greatest of rarities.

Shenfield, Lawrence L.

Lawrence L. Shenfield full penciled signature or L.L.S. penciled initials often found. 1955 CSA Authentication Committee letter-certificate during period when Shenfield was chairman.

Lawrence Lewis (Larry) Shenfield (1891-1974) was an advertising executive who was instrumental in promoting the development of radio broadcasting during the 1920s and 1930s. After World War II, he also worked as an architect. Shenfield was a prominent collector, student, author, writer and expert on Confederates. He was the first chairman of the CSA Authentication Committee 1945-48, 1950, and 1952-68. In 1959, he, along with Van Dyk MacBride, co-chaired the editorial board of the Dietz Confederate Catalog and Handbook. His most widely known publication was Confederate States of America, The Special Postal Routes, published in 1961, still a major reference work. He was a contemporary of August Dietz and won numerous awards for service and writing, heavily contributing to Confederate philately during his era and widely remembered to this day.

Sloane, George B.


Geo B Sloane penciled signature or small stylized handstamp SLOANE measuring 6mm wide x 3mm high. The handstamp is tricky in that the S and L are stylized, making it look like CANE in a fancy box because the O of SLOANE does not strike well on the right side, giving it the appearance of a C.

George Benedict Sloane (1898-1958) was an important dealer, auctioneer, expert and writer on U.S. stamps. His address was 116 Nassau Street in the heyday of the trade there, called the Stamp District by some. Sloane was considered an expert on everything to do with U.S. philately, with an encyclopedic knowledge thereof. He wrote a weekly column in Stamps Magazine from its first issue in 1932. His 1,350 columns were compiled and published in 1961 as Sloane’s Column by George T. Turner under the auspices of the Bureau Issues Association (BIA – today the United States Stamp Society). According to Pat Herst (Herman Herst Jr.), “He had gone into stamps as a youngster in knee pants; a photograph of the dealers at the 1912 (1913) International Exhibition shows him in the front row, a boy of about twelve, already a satcheleer. (A roving New York dealer)” Sloane is in the APS Hall of Fame, as well as the ASDA Hall of Fame. He handled countless name sales during the 1920s and 1930s. Among those were the collections of J.S. Frelinghuysen, B.S. King, and Max Johl. Sloane was also an advisor to the estates of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Alfred F. Caspary. He formed an important reference collection of fakes, forgeries and fantasies of Confederate U.S. locals, the former part of which I was fortunate enough to acquire, replete with his handwritten notes. Penciled signature image courtesy of H.R. Harmer.

Sperati, Jean de

Jean de Sperati signed forgery die proof of CSA 9

Jean de Sperati is recognized as the "Rubens of Philately," for this forger produced incredibly deceptive likenesses of stamps from across the globe, including CSA 5 and CSA 9. He was born Giovanni Desperati in Pisa, Italy, in 1884, although he lived most of his life in France where he Francophiled his name to Jean. The story of his forgeries is fascinating. Countless articles and books have been written about him and much information is easily found online, including an article of my own on Sperati available on this website. These forgeries are widely collected and command nearly as much, sometimes more, than the genuine stamps. I have seen requests to the CSA Authentication Service to certificate something as a "genuine Sperati," which somehow just seems amusing.

Stolow, J.H.

J.H. Stolow red handstamp, J&H Stolow, and other variations. Sometimes forged.

J.& H. Stolow - Henry Stolow was Latvian (Henrijs Stolovs/Heinrihs Stolovs - 1901-1971), a stamp dealer in Berlin, New York, and Munich who was behind the issue of numerous stamps of doubtful validity. In 1936, Henry and Julius Stolow emigrated to Brussels, and later to New York. There, they founded the wholesale company J. & H. Stolow, Wholesale Stamp Dealers, which existed until the 1970s. their company became one of the world's largest stamp wholesalers.

Taff, James

JT tiny penciled initials, usually in the lower left corner on the backs of covers, followed by his codes.

James (Jim) Taff is an active show dealer from Sacramento, Cal., with no online presence. He handles worldwide material but has consistently handled some quality Confederate material, as well as unused Civil War patriotics.

Tate, Ronald R.

RTR initials with T raised in the center for TATE, usually found on the tips of back cover flaps

Ronald R. Tate (1944-2008) was a collector of Confederate lithographed issues on cover and active exhibitor from Manitowoc, Wisconsin. He joined the CSA in 1969 as member 1482 and held life membership #31. He was CSA president 1998-99 and promoted to general in 2000. He won numerous awards for service and exhibiting. He was part of what many of us affectionally called the "Chicago Mafia" of Ron Tate, Rick Calhoun and Roger Oswald. They were fixtures at the CSA hospitality suites at annual conventions. Ron had a laid-back and warm personality; he died too soon of brain cancer at age 64.

Telep, Daniel M.

D.M.T. initials handstamp, usually struck on tip of top back flap

Daniel M. Telep was a serious collector of Confederates until he sold his collection through Kaufmann Auctions in December 1987. He joined the CSA in 1961 as member 1170 and is still a member today. He served as treasurer 1972-79. He moved on to collect the postal history of Pittsburgh as well as other philatelic topics. Today, as a former marine, he collects Vietnam and finds the postal history parallels to Confederates fascinating. He became board member of CWPS again in 2022.

Thacker, William C.

W.C.T. initials in small red handstamp. He also penciled source and price codes on the backs of covers. Bill did divulge his price code to me, although I do not recall it. The source and date are easy to discern. In this example, he purchased the cover from New England Stamp Co. (Bill Bogg) October 31, 1975.

William C. Thacker was an active collector of Virginia Confederates in the mid to late 20th century. He specialized in Albemarle County. He joined the CSA in 1972 as member1698. I bought his collection by private treaty in 2012.

Thomas, Hunter M.

H. M. Thomas, Jr. or full name Hunter M. Thomas, Jr. penciled signatures with either initials or full name. Often had brief description of the cover as well - or not.

Hunter M. Thomas, Jr. was a collector of Confederate Virginia material and U.S. 1851 issues. He was active in the mid-late 20th century as a collector and philatelic student/author. He was Route Agent #93 in the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society and CSA colonel 258 (joined in 1945). He was a regular attendee and buyer at Kaufmann Auctions in the early days since he lived in Arlington, Va., right across from our D.C. offices.

Toaspern, Herman

Heman Toaspern blue handstamp

Herman (Toasty)Toaspern (1893-1936) was a native New Yorker who became one of Nassau Street’s leading auctioneers and stamp dealers by the time he reached the age of thirty. At age twenty, he was apprenticing with J. Murray Bartels. By this time, he was already writing for various philatelic publications. Starting in 1924, he began conducting stamp auctions, using the offices of the Collectors Club. By 1930, he had held 18 auctions, each with very active participation from well-known collectors. Many classic covers are still seen with his “Herman Toaspern” stamp on the back. Caricature cartoons of “Toasty” were a major feature of his advertising in philatelic publications in the 1920s and 1930s. He was an early member, and officer of the American Stamp Dealers' Association (ASDA), which had recently been formed. He was also an associate editor of the recently developed Scott U.S. Specialized Catalogue. Sadly, he passed away at the young age forty-three in 1936 from pneumonia or he would undoubtedly have continued to mark his mark in the philatelic world. 

Walske, Steven C.

SCW initialed profuse Steve Walske descriptions with valuable information to the collector. These notes should not be erased.

Steven C. Walske, Harvard and Princeton educated, is a consummate student of postal history, honored collector, exhibitor and author. His books and articles are myriad, which just happens to be the name of his corporation, Myriad Investments LLC. When I was working on the 2012 CSA catalog, Steve was to be one of the contributing editors. He had produced such a prodigious amount of information that the CSA instead decided to publish it as a book in its own right (obviously, also extracting listings and information for the catalog). That became the 2008 grand-award winning publication Special Mail Routes of the American Civil War: A Guide to Across-the-lines Postal History by Steven C. Walske and Scott R. Trepel. He is life member 39 of the CSA and winner of the August Dietz award for literature. He is generously shares his expertise and disseminates knowledge. Steve is the son of the late Carl Walske, another philatelic luminary, so it is clearly in his DNA, for which we are grateful.

Warren, Daniel C.

DCW initials in rectangular box, handstamp in black ink

Dr. Daniel C. Warren is an active collector who has sold most of his Confederate material but still dabbles in specific areas of US and CSA. He joined the CSA in 1969 as member 1483 and served the CSA in many capacities from secretary to president, as well as editor of the Confederate Philatelist. He is an exhibitor, author and one of the few active APS-accredited judges in Confederates. He has won numerous awards for service, writing and exhibiting. He is also very active in the US Philatelic Classics Society. He resigned CSA when it became CWPS.

Weatherly, A. Earl

AEW penciled description and AEW initals. Robert A. Siegel sold his collection at auction October 20, 1982. His signature is shown on a souvenir cover at the bottom of this page under Autographs 1.

Andrew Earl Weatherly (1895-1981) was an outstanding collector and student of Confederate States stamps and postal history. He was one of the early members and supporters of the Confederate Stamp Alliance, serving in many offices including that of president from 1946 to 1949. His collection of Confederate States won gold medals both nationally and internationally. One of his favorite topics was the history of North Carolina before, during and after the Confederacy. His book, The First Hundred Years of Historic Guilford, 1771-1871 (1972) gave the social and postal history of this North Carolina town. One of his last articles, “A Confederate Find from ‘The Land of Eden’,” (Confederate Philatelist, 1973) was typical of his research - combining social history with postal history. I was editor of the CP at that time and well remember our interactions. The CSA made him an honorary general in 1950. At the time of his death, he was the society's Honorary Life President. He was inducted into the APS Hall of Fame in 1984.

Weill Brothers

R.H.W. Co. handstamp in red, blue or black which stands for Raymond H. Weill Company. RHW Co penciled on penned R.H.W. Co. initials are also found on both stamps and covers.

Raymond H. Weill Co. Lifelong bachelor brothers Raymond (1913-2003) and Roger Weill (1909-1991) created a high-class dynasty in New Orleans from their stamp shop on Royal Street in the French Quarter. They went into business in 1932. They were legends in the hobby and friendly to all, novice and expert alike. I still remember my first trip to their shop around 1967. I knew little at that time, but the shop was impressive and their hospitality delightful. The son and grandson of stamp collectors, Raymond (born in St. Louis) is said to have begun selling stamps from his bedroom to help feed the family. That modest beginning mushroomed into one of the largest and most valuable stocks of stamps to ever come on the market, which was sold to a London bank in 1989 for more than $10M. The Weill Brothers built great collections, and bought and sold great philatelic rarities. They brought stamp collecting to the attention of the non-philatelic world through their noteworthy business transactions.

Werner, Robert W.

RW Werner name in triangle

Robert W. Werner was one of the collectors I best remember in my early collecting days. He was amusing as well as knowledgeable, and he was usually accompanied by his friend Etta M. Jurissen. He joined the CSA in 1959 as member 1061, served as General Vice President and won awards for service and literature. He was a good friend of the late Jack Solomon.

White, Marcus W.

Collection / Marcus W. White / Worcester, Mass. handstamped signature (middle initial usually weakly struck), sometimes but not always accompanied by printed / filled out slip of paper with details as to catalog number, die, type, variety, size, knife, and watermark. Active 1920-1970. Also seen are his lightly penciled signature or initials, sometimes under a back cover flap.

Marcus Wilbur White (1877-1970) became a legend in the world of US postal stationery, a collector with massive holdings with a popular exhibit award named after him. His collection was sold by his estate in a two-part sale by Robert A. Siegel Auctions. He is shown in a catalog of Williams College in 1892. He is listed as an APS member at least as early as 1920. He joined the CSA in 1945 as member #319.

Whittle, Kenneth A.

W within a circle, tiny handstamp on back of Confederate covers, owner marking of collector Ken Whittle.

Kenneth Alonzo Whittle was active in mid to late 20th century. He was an engineer for Dupont in Wilmington, Del. He had a passion for Civil War material but also other interesting material. He was a quiet but friendly gentlemen whom I remember well to this day, always in dapper dress. I suspect dealers knew him better than collectors, as he was a solitary sort. He joined the CSA in 1949 as member 518.

Wilder, Thomas B.

Thomas B. Wilder black handstamped signature about 1 1/2" long. Both Tony Crumbley and I have seen this marking in the past. No known details on owner.

Williams, B.R.

BRW or B.R. Williams small owner handstamp. These handstamps have only made an appearance on the market in the 21st century. There was a Byron Williams from Stamford, Conn., who joined the CSA in 1958 as member 1014, but I've no idea if this is the same person. No concrete information for Williams, who is assumed to be a collector.

Wiseman, Robert W.

RWW boxed handstamped initials. The unknowing often confuse the RWW of Wiseman with R.W. Werner. They collected around the same time.

Robert W. Wiseman was an avid Confederate collector, serious student and expert who was most well known for his plating of the Frame Line issue and his study of the Danville provisionals. He was a charter member of the CSA, joining in the year it was formed, 1935, as member 79. Numbers were reassigned alphabetically in 1937 and, as his name was at the end of the alphabet, he kind of got the short end of the stick. He served as president 1957-59 and on the Authentication Committee for 37 years from 1962-1999. I also personally remember him as a gentle soul who made me feel welcome in my early years in philately.

Woodward, Harry M.

From the collection of Harry M. Woodward - Large two-line handstamp on the back of a Confederate cover, neatly struck in brown ink.

Harry M. Woodward is unknown to either the author or to Jerry S. Palazolo, who kindly submitted it. If you know who this is/was and have any information on him or his collection, when he collected, etc., please let me know so it can be shared here.

Wyche, Ernest H.

E.H.W. tiny initials handstamp of collector Ernest H. Wyche. The following link shows EHW APS 1906 -17587 and SPA 24940, his membership numbers in those organizations. It also shows his owner handstamp, struck twice at lower right. The first APS number would be his life member number; I have verified with APS that the longer number was his main member number. My thanks to Jerry Palazolo, who submitted this.

Ernest H. Wyche lived in Wilmington, N.C. Per Tony Crumbley, Ernest and Jim Harris were good friends and traveled together to shows. Ernest collected and exhibited advertising covers. Tony knew both of them well. Ernest first joined the CSA in 1946 (member 354), lost contact with the Alliance, then rejoined in 1978 as member 2222 until 1998.

Wulfekuhler, Eugene Hall

E.Wulfekuhler Jr. penciled signature

Eugene Hall Wulfekuhler, Jr. joined the CSA in 1945 as member 243. He was from Florida and an avid CSA collector. He was made an honorary life member of the CSA in 1991. He was a fifty year+ member.

Zimmerman, Sam

Zim light pencil notation, usually with purchase source, price and date

Sam Zimmerman, Jr. (?-1999) of Greenville, S.C., was an avid collector and exhibitor of 2-cent rated covers. His collection was sold at auction. He joined the CSA in 1950 as member #562 and served as Vice President from 1989-91. He was made an honorary life member in 1997.

Autographs 1

Autographs of CSA collectors and dealers at 1954 CSA convention in Richmond. Top to bottom, they are Raynor Hubbell, ?, John A. Fox, A. Murl Kimmel, ?, Earl Antrim, Roland C. Noe, Bob Wiseman, John L. Howard, and Earl Weatherly. Several of these signatures are occasionally found on covers in some shape or form and thus this card may be useful as a reference.

Autographs 2

Autographs on 1954 CSA convention souvenir cover including Harry Weiss at top left, Aug. Dietz, Sr., Raynor Hubbell and T.W. Crigler, Jr., Secy C.S.A.

Autographs 3

Autographs on 1954 CSA convention souvenir cover including Earl Antrim, Marcus J. Brown, G.G. Frazier, David Kohn, Gordon Bleuler and T.W. Crigler, Jr., Secy CSA

Autographs 4

Autographs on 1954 CSA convention souvenir cover including Harry Weiss, Percy W. Graves, H.L. Lindquist, Van Dyk MacBride, John A. Fox, Aug. Dietz, Sr., Raynor Hubbell, Edwin Hunter and Lawrence L. Shenfield

Unidentified - V.M.

V. M. (?) small blue handstamp at the bottom of cover edge. This one is on a cover franked with a pair of Confederate local prints tied Columbus, Miss., CDS. My thanks to Jerry Palazolo for submitting this conundrum. One erroneous speculation, was Van Mozian, Inc. I contacted his grandson, Larry Mozian, who still carries on the stamp business his grandfather began in 1901. He confirmed it was not his grandfather's.

Unidentified - Miller

? Miller small green handstamp on cover franked with a pair of Confederate local prints tied Columbus, Miss., CDS. This puzzle submitted by Jerry Palazolo, for which I thank him. The word in front of Miller appears to end in ALL and perhaps the first letter is an M, but that does not seem to make much sense. If you have a clue, please let us know.

Unidentified - Clown

Clown Face modern handstamp in aqua blue-green. Considered by most, if not all, to be garish and objectionable. Unquestionably devalues whatever it touches, unidentified handstamp / owner. My thanks to John Kimbrough for providing a better image than the prior one.

Unidentified - SR

SR handstamp in black. Tiniest of initials measuring only 1mm x 1.5mm; scan is high resolution, so deceivingly large. Found struck in the lower corners on the back of a Confederate cover.

Unidentified - "S"

S large red handstamp in shaded sans serif font on tip of back cover flap, unidentified handstamp / owner

Unidentified - ?

Unidentified owner handstamp or, more likely written initials (I have seen in pencil), possibly used in late 1800s or turn of the century. Would really like some help on this one. This small marking is seen on many important covers and would be very helpful for provenance.

Unidentified - DK

DK in small circle, unidentified handstamp / owner

Unidentified - F

Unidentified "f" handstamp / owner. This is found on the back of a cover bearing a rare Lenoir NC postmaster provisional, as viewed from the front. On the back, bove and to the side of the "f" in pencil are "Burger, Jun.2, '89." and "US." The fact that it cites "US" leads me to believe this is of European origin. "Burger" refers to the Burger Brothers stamp dealers and "'89" is 1889.

Unidentified - HSR

H.S.R. initials in oval, unidentified handstamp / owner

Unidentified - JRS

J.R.S. tiny red initials, unidentified handstamp / owner

Unidentified - DHD

DHD green initials in small green circle, unidentified handstamp / owner. Submitted by collector Herb Herndon. This is on the back of a Columbus, Georgia, PAID 5 cover. If you have any idea whose initials these are, please share.

Unidentified - WE

WE initials, tiny unidentified handstamp / owner, perhaps of European origin. Initials could be interpreted another way. Image and submission courtesy of Jerry Palazolo.

Unidentified - AW


Unidentified - RGW


A.W. initials, small unidentified blue owner handstamp in circle. A long shot would be Andrew Earl Weatherly. In the 1954 CSA Muster Roll, he is listed as Andrew E. Weatherly, when he usually went by A. Earl Weatherly. I have usually encountered only penciled information with A.E.W. on it.


R.G.W. initials, small unidentified blue owner handstamp in stylized font, perhaps European. This was found on the back and front of a Canton, Mississippi, Confederate Use cover and submitted by Jerry Palazolo. Another R.G.W. strike, somewhat clearer, is from a U.S. cover sold by H.R. Harmer in the Erivan X sale April 30, 2024.