Saturday, May 11, 2013

Reserve Book Notice Sells for $54,625

During World War I the cost of sending a government issued postal card in the U.S. was increased from one cent to two cents to help pay for the war effort. After the war the cost was lowered back to one cent. During the war the two cent Grant postal card which was intended for international mail destinations was frequently used for domestic mail. The postmaster of Long Beach, CA wrongly overprinted the Grant international postal cards at the reduced one cent rate for domestic mail after the war. He inadvertently created a philatelic rarity. Only three to four of these miss-marked cards are known to exist. Two of those were mailed by the Long Beach Public Library in 1921to notify patrons that reserve books were waiting for them.  At a philatelic auction conducted by Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries on March 21 in New York one of the Long Beach Public Library reserve book notices sold for $54,625. A preliminary value for the postal card was set at $100,000 by Siegel which means that the buyer got a real bargain. I previously wrote about these rare postal cards in a post on January 30, 2011. In that post I reported on the second of the two Long Beach Public Library postal cards which sold for $95,000 in 2010. In that post I also noted that I actually had the chance to buy one of the postal cards for $30,000.  I still don't understand why my wife wouldn't let me do it. The auction catalog for the Siegel auction on March 21, 2013 can be found HERE (large pdf file). The listing for the for the Long Beach Public Library postal card in on page 72.

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