Sunday Morning... Bored... Let's Go to a Stamp Show!

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December 12, 2012

This past weekend was the first weekend of my Christmas vacation (I hadn't had a chance to use more than 2-3 vacation days all year long, so I have a bunch to burn up). With nothing on the docket, and really feeling in a "philatelic mood" on the spur of the moment I decided to drive up to the ASDA show in Lombard, IL.

I had not been to this venue before (Lindner Conference Center). The drive up was VERY easy, only about 2 hours door to door. Unfortunately it rained nonstop... all day long.

The show had about 15 dealers, many of whom I knew from Chicagopex and Indypex, but there were a couple I had not done business with before. One in particular had a number of nice pieces, so overall the trip was quite worthwhile.

I bought a small revenue collection in a tiny stockbook. The most surprising items in it though, turned out to be rather unexpected. A set of 4 stamps that appear to be locals, but are actually fantasies:

I figured that being fantasies, they would be of nominal value... apparently I was wrong. I found 3 different eBay results for partial sets ranging from $60 to $100.

There's gotta be some sort of story around these...

Outside of the the collection the individual keepers from the day are the following:

A nice CDV with a part perforate pair (R1b).

A check with a nice SON cancel from the Keystone Bridge Co.

A check from 1898, from the H.B. Smith Co. of Westfield Mass, manufacturer of boilers, with not only a crisp ornate handstamp, but a nice image of a boiler in the middle of the check.

Lastly, the one piece that made the trip worthehile: A cover with a revenue (R211) illegally used as postage... but not just any cover. A paquebot cover. This cover was sent from the S.S. Arabic, and canceled in Cherbourg-Octeville, in Normandy, France.

The S.S. Arabic was sunk off the cost of Ireland, en route to America, on August 19, 1915 by the German submarine U-24. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Ara...%281902%29), this incident had significant impact on U.S.-German foreign policy and submarine warfare.

The stamp on the cover was first issued in 1914, and the ship was sunk in 1915, but the datestamp doesn't appear to correlate to that period, but I don't know how to read the format.

I've included a closeup of one of the datestamps below the cover. Does anyone know how to read this format?

[UPDATE: Members on another board determined the answer to the cover. It's a different "S.S. Arabic", not the one that immediately comes up in Google. The cover was canceled January 20, 1929.]

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