‘Ten’ and The Frameline

Confederate States regular issues consist of fourteen Scott issued stamps that were issued over a period of four years during which the Civil War was fought. There are only two scarce stamps and both of these issues occurred when the Confederate States Post Office decided to change issues in 1863 . The new stamps were originally printed with the denomination in letters rather than in numerals. The history of having the denomination of stamps written in letters rather than numerals is one of generally short issues and low press runs. Postal workers hate them. Post office work has always combined high volume with stress and monotony which can be an unpleasant combination. Not being able to readily determine the denomination on the stamps on the envelopes presented to them slows postal workers down. It was for this reason that the denomination was changed to numerals and the TEN variety had a short press run. The “Frameline” varieties were varieties where framelines were drawn between the stamps as an aid to cutting the stamps apart evenly. But this was an example of a solution in search of a problem. No one had any difficulty cutting between the margins of the unframelined stamps ( people had far more trouble separating them when the lines were drawn). Postal patrons didn’t like  the stamps and they were withdrawn quickly and this stamp is the rarest of the regularly issued Confederate states stamps.

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