According to the ArtDaily.org website, "The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum has acquired from The Franklin Institute a Confederate postage-stamp printing plate that was confiscated during the Civil War. The printing plate [shown above] contains 400 5-cent Jefferson Davis stamp images etched in copper and weighs nearly 100 pounds. The copper plate was ordered by the Confederate States of America and manufactured by De La Rue & Co. of London in 1861. The federal vessel Mercedita captured the British ship Bermuda between Bermuda and Nassau April 27, 1862, and as part of the contraband, the printing plate was brought to Philadelphia and sold. It was never used to print stamps by the Confederacy."
Cheryl R. Ganz, chief curator of philately at the National Postal Museum is quoted as saying, “This spectacular acquisition will be a centerpiece in the display case of the three-dimensional objects from the National Philatelic Collection to be featured in the new William H. Gross Stamp Gallery. The 5-cent plate provides a wonderful connection to the first philatelic object ever collected by the Smithsonian Institution-a pane of the Confederate States of America’s 10-cent blue Jefferson Davis stamp.”
To read the entire article, click here