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1851 Internal Revenue Two Cents Stamp "Take Ayer's Pills" Unique & Listed as "AP0251" "Experimental" Usage
Reed AP0251 (See Fred Reed's "Civil War Encased Stamps" Pages 445 & 462). Genuine. Nonstandard Usage. 1851 Two Cents Internal Revenue Issue Stamp. Encased Postage Experimental / Trial Specimen. TAKE AYER'S PILLS. Silvered. Choice About New.
Rarity-10 (Unique). Absolutely Genuine and as made, properly sealed and defect-free, showing no sign of any tampering. The bold Orange 2 George Washington Revenue stamp has exceptional, vivid eye appeal. It is seen under clean, unbroken natural mica with just an insignificant tiny lamination above Washington's head. The case has virtually full original Silvering on its reverse. Only the highpoints on the legends show some faint friction or cabinet wear. There are no major marks or detractions.

According to the "Standard Catalogue," authored by Q. David Bowers & Michael Hodder, no example of a standard United States issue 2 Stamp with "Take Ayer's Pills" exists. It further notes this specific example with mention on page 52 reading: "A 2 1862 Internal Revenue stamp denomination is known." Although they meant 1851 (and not 1862 as there is no such 1862 stamp). In addition, this exact specimen is noted in Fred Reed's reference book, "Civil War Encased Stamps" on page 462, where it is listed as "AP0251."

This specimen is also nearly identical to one illustrated on page 445 of Fred Reed's reference. That early photo shows a Set of 11 different Experimental or Trial types, including the 1851 United States Issue 2 Internal Revenue Postage Stamp Usage, which is similar to the specimen currently offered. Fred Reed's comment stated that these 11 illustrated pieces were, in part: "defied explanation for decades. Purportedly given by a former Scovill (company) employee to that company in 1884, these pieces were presented to the Mattatuck Historical Society (Waterbury, CT.) four decades later (about 1924). They were subsequently disbursed." We believe that this example came from that source.

This example is considered to be Unique as a "Take Ayer's Pills" Merchant type, as is the other 2 1851 Revenue example illustrated on page 445 in the Fred Reed book. First offered in our January 22, 1988 Auction, we offered the following information:

"A magnificent rarity that is extensively discussed by Arlie Slabaugh in the Hewitt catalog (on Encased Postage Stamps). He addresses knowing of another 1851 2 Internal Revenue Stamp used with a Drake's Plantation Bitters reverse. He explains that there are several other experimental pieces known using other denominations of stamps and other reverses. Most of these pieces were in a collection purchased in 1884 by the Scovill Manufacturing Company and it was later given to the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, Connecticut. Slabaugh continues, that since the records of the company were destroyed by a fire in 1881, it is not been possible to ascertain just what all denominations and quantifies Gault had made for different issues. Nor, has it been possible to ascertain definitely just what the above listed piece represented as to the ultimate purpose for manufacture."

We last sold it back in our January 22, 1988 Auction, Lot 287, where it sold at $11,500. now being well over two decades ago. We have never seen a different example of this Unique Experimental / Trial 1851 Two Cents Internal Revenue Issue Stamp Usage.
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Item #96712Price: $24,950.00Add to Cart
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