Stack’s Bowers Galleries to Present The Q. David Bowers Reference Collection of Encased Postage Stamps

Author: Stack's Bowers Galleries / July 30, 2019

Santa Ana, CA (July 30, 2019) -  One of the most interesting collections to cross the block this August at the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money is the personal reference collection of encased postage stamps assembled by Q. David Bowers.

Dave had a great deal of interest in the series starting at a very young age, and he went on to co-author The Standard Catalogue of Encased Postage Stamps alongside Mike Hodder in 1989. He assembled an astounding collection of encased postage to study during the writing process, and we are delighted to feature this exceptional cabinet in our August 2019 ANA Auction.

Encased postage stamps are an interesting chapter in the annals of numismatics. In the first decade of the 20th century they were one of the most actively collected series in American numismatics. Far more people collected these than sought Morgan silver dollars by mintmarks.

They were among several forms of emergency currency issued during the second year of the Civil War. Gold coins were hoarded to the extent that by January 1862 they were no longer paid out by banks. By late spring all silver coins had disappeared from circulation and by the summer even the copper-nickel Flying Eagle and Indian Head cents had been hoarded by concerned citizens.

Rising to the occasion, on July 17 1862, Congress made ordinary postage stamps legal tender, though these flimsy, tiny, gummed pieces of paper soon became dirty and torn.

In an effort to improve this durability, New York City entrepreneur John Gault developed an encasement for the stamps which was awarded a patent on August 12, 1862. This design would be eventually adopted for use on encased postage stamps that advertised for more than 30 merchants and products.

The Q. David Bowers Collection of encased postage stamps features some of the greatest rarities in the series including an 1862 Arthur M. Claflin One Cent example in lot 437, an 1862 L.C. Hopkins & Co Ten Cents piece in lot 449, and the 1862 B.F. Miles Once Cent (one of just two known) from the Ford Collection in lot 456.

Claflin David Bowers Encased Postage Stamp CollectionThe Q. David Bowers Collection of Encased Postage StampsStacks Bowers Galleries Rare Encased Postage Stamps 

For more information on this collection or for more information on bidding in the sale, please refer to the Stack’s Bowers Galleries website or contact Christine Karstedt at

About Stack’s Bowers Galleries

Stack’s Bowers Galleries conducts live, Internet and specialized auctions of rare U.S. and world coins and currency and ancient coins, as well as direct sales through retail and wholesale channels. The company’s 80-year legacy includes the cataloging and sale of many of the most valuable United States coin and currency collections to ever cross an auction block — The D. Brent Pogue Collection, The John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, The Norweb Collection, The Cardinal Collection and The Battle Born Collection — to name just a few. World coin and currency collections include The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection of World Gold Coins, The Kroisos Collection, The Alicia and Sidney Belzberg Collection, The Wa She Wong Collection, The Guia Collection, The Thos. H. Law Collection, and The Robert O. Ebert Collection.

Topping off this amazing numismatic history is the inclusion of the world record for the highest price ever realized at auction for a rare coin, the 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar graded Specimen-66 (PCGS) that realized over $10 million, part of their sale of the famed Cardinal Collection. The company is headquartered in Santa Ana, California, with offices in New York, Wolfeboro, Hong Kong, and Paris. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is an Official Auctioneer for several important numismatic conventions, including American Numismatic Association events, the New York International Numismatic Convention, the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring, Summer and Winter Expos, and its April and August Hong Kong Auctions.

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