Sunday, May 3, 2009

Half Cent Orange Documentary: Usage

I don't have a Scott Catalogue out here in Kenya with me. One is on its way. Meanwhile, I'm working from memory here. And I recall that the used value for the 1/2 cent orange documentary was $20 in the 2008 specialized catalog and that for 2008, as in previous catalogs, the value has been intalicized. Scott uses italics when market activity is usually too low to be able to determine a likely accurate value even though there is some sort of pricing history, like a 4 year old auction result.

Well there isn't likely to be much auction activity for 1/2 cent orange stamps. But somebody must buy and sell these stamps somewhere. Whatever the case, I've got a few of these italicized stamps and three are posted below. The half center was mostly used for paying the tax on low budget insurance policies. Without doing too much research you can tell the above stamp was used by an insurance company. The stamp also has a nice clear guideline running across the bottom of the stamp.

Birckhead & Son and Hall & Henshaw were insurance companies.

All of these stamps were cancelled in the first year of use of the 1898 series, more than a year before the half cent gray stamp became available. The relative scarcity of the orange stamp in used condition must be a function in part of complete withdrawal from use of the orange stamps as soon as the gray version became available.
As in a previous post, all the half cent documentaries were printed before hyphen-hole replaced the roulette. All oranges and grays appear only with roulettes.

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