United States - Regular Issue Seals

The regular issue post office seals of United States are well-covered in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps & Covers, so this section will concentrate mostly on some of the more unusual usages, or less commonly seen seals.


Catalog: Scott #OX1P3

Date issued: 1877

Printing: Brown on india paper

Perforation: imperforate

Inscription: "Post Office Department. / OFFICIALLY SEALED. / United States of America / National Bank-Note Company, New York" with Liberty head in central vignette and repeating "POST OBITUM" ("after death") within frame in background

Control Number: none

Description: Plate proof of first issue. Originally prepared for use by the Dead Letter Office, but small quanitites were issued to regular post offices where the seals were used in the same manner as the later ones. The regularly issued perf 12 "Post Obitum" seal, Scott #OX1, is very scarce on cover.


Catalog: Scott #OX2

Date issued: 1879

Printing: Red brown on thin, crisp semi-translucent white paper

Perforation: 12

Inscription: "Post Office Department. / OFFICIALLY SEALED. / United States of America / National Bank-Note Company, New York" with Liberty head in central vignette and "lace" scrollwork background design within frame

Control Number: none

Description: Engraved second issue seal on reverse of 1881 cover from London, England to New York, NY that was incompletely addressed with street name ommitted. Markings on front of envelope include black manuscript "opened by Mr / C.T. Jones 78 Bway" (the wrong addressee), blue double-ring oval "D(irectory).S(earch). / No 1", red oval "NEW YORK POST OFFICE / ADV(ertised). 20 / DUE 1 CENT", and purple straightline "UNCLAIMED". Seal is tied on reverse by black Washington, DC "DEAD LETTER OFFICE / JAN / 30 82" triangle, and is also cancelled with a blue boxed "RECEIVED AT / P.O. N.Y. / UNSEALED" marking. Additional Dead Letter Office of New York datestamp struck on back.



Catalog: Scott #OX4

Date issued: 1881

Printing: Deep brown on thin, hard porous white paper

Perforation: 12

Inscription: "Post Office Department. / OFFICIALLY SEALED. / United States of America / National Bank-Note Company, New York" with Liberty head in central vignette and "lace" scrollwork background design within frame

Control Number: none

Description: Engraved so-called "Special Printing" of the second design type seal.


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by T. Hirn
E-mail:thirn@poseal.com

Updated June 9, 2003