Friday, May 12, 2006

Connell proof sheet sold at auction

McLeans (Canada) reports that a sheet of proofs with the likeness of Charles Connell sold for $12,650 at a Sotheby's auction.

The five-cent stamps (New Brunswick, SC #5, ) were printed in 1860 as part of the New Brunswick first postage stamp series under the American decimal currency system.

What makes them unusual is that Connell, who was then postmaster general of the region, ordered the stamps and risked treason charges when he put his face on one of them.

"It was unheard of that a commoner, so to speak, would have their image on a stamp - it was always royalty," Jaye Hargrove of the Carlton County Historical Society and Archives said from Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada.

"In that issue in 1860, there were images of a train and a steamship, but to have a postmaster general in the colony ... have the audacity to put his image on, was unheard of."

Apparently, the stamp with Connell's portrait was never issued. The article says, "Connell offered to buy up all the stamps but decided to burn them on the grounds of his Woodstock home instead after he was forced to resign as postmaster general. "

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM