Music in Philately

There is perhaps but a very small proportion of the stamp collectors of this country that are aware of the fact that music has contributed in a small way to their hobby. The writer has met with three American pieces of music, which, from the appearance of their title-pages, are wedded to philately.

The first is the “Stamp Galop” by Arthur O’Leary. This piece was published by Oliver Ditson & Co., of Boston, in 1864. The title-pge is embellished by facsimiles of forty-three stamps, in their original colors. They are quite correct in their general appearance and some are representations of very rare stamps. The principal stamp-issuing countries of that period are represented. This title is no longer in use, as among the number of stamps are three of the United States, and the law making it an offense to print facsimiles of this country’s stamps has since gone into effect. To philatelists who have a library, this piece of music is quite an addition, and very few are fortunate enough to own a copy. There may possibly be copies in some of the old stocks of music, but it is doubtful, as they have been in demand of late and most of those remaining on hand have been sold. The price of this piece was sixty cents; the music is of a pleasing character, being spirited and lively.

The second piece is called “Postal Card Galop,” by Wm. H. Pond, Jr. It was published in 1875 by W.H. Pond & Co., of New York. The title-page is illuminated with a reproduction of the first issue of the U.S. Postal Card. It is an exact facsimile as regards color, size, and general appearance, but the wording is not exactly the same. On the face it says: “This is not a lawful U.S. Postal Card, and you may write the address and message where you like, and send it.” On the stamp there appears: “Not U.S. Postage. Not one cent.” The wording was changed so as to conform with the law and at the same time give a good illustration of the card. This is also a fine curiosity for collectors and will no doubt be in demand. The price of it is forty cents.

The third piece is a song entitled “Good-Bye Old Stamp. Song and chorus, by Uncle Sam, author of all the stamps; words by Sam, Jr.” It was issued in 1883 when the old three-cents green was succeeded by the present two-cents stamp. The publishers are H.S. Perkins & Co., Chicago. On the title-page, in the center is printed, in green, a large three-cents stamp, about three times as large as the original stamp. Above the center is the inscription: “To those who buy, by those who bought,” followed by an epitaph which says:

“By an Act of Congress into being I came,
With a smiling face and a noble name.
I met my death by an act of the same,
In March ’83, I say to my shame.”

There is also a stamp of the original size in each corner, making five in all on the title-page. Above the first page of music is a condensed history of postage and stamps. The words of the song are very humorous, and all musical collectors when they hear of it will want a copy, which may be had for forty cents. The words of this song will be found familiar by many collectors, as they were published in most of the philatelic papers about the time of the old stamp’s demise. The writer has heard of several foreign pieces of music that are of interest to philatelists, but has not been able to obtain copies of them, or information concerning them. Should any of my readers chance to know of any other music of a philatelic nature, either American or foreign, the writer would be thankful for such information as they can afford.