Rhode Island Stamp Issues and Covers 1846 to 1900
Providence Postmaster's Provisional
1898 Reprint of the 1846 Providence Postmaster's Provisional
Scott 10X2 - 1898 Reprint
(10 Cent Issue)

This stamp has a strange history. I originally bought it 8 years ago in Charleston, South Carolina for my U.S. Classics Collection. I moved to New Orleans six years ago and began collecting First Day Covers and Postal History. At this time I sold off my Classics Collection including the stamp above to a local dealer. When I added Rhode Island Postal History to my collecting interests last year, I went looking for another Providence Postmaster's Provisional. Imagine my surprise, when I found out the dealer still had the very same stamp I sold him 5 years ago in his stock, so an old friend is once again back in my collection.

The 1898 reprints of 10X1 and 10X2 were made from the same plates as the original stamps. They were printed on two types of paper; a Rhode Island variety and a New York variety.

The stamps were engraved on a copper plate containing 12 stamps. Each plate contained eleven 5c stamps and one 10c stamp in the upper right hand corner. They were engraved directly on the plate, thus each stamp position differs slightly from the others. There is no period after  "CENTS" on the 10 cent issue and positions 4, 5, 6, 9, 11 and 12 of the 5c issue. The stamps are worth more used than in mint condition.

The Reprints were made in 1898. Most of the reprints have a letter on the back; either B, O, G, E, R, T, D, U, R, I, or N. Some of the reprints did not receive the letters on the reverse. My stamp above did not have the lettering on the reverse.

There were several facsimile (fake) prints of these stamps, the most famous being the Geneva facsimiles. The printing on the facsimiles is generally courser and they were sold with cancellations strategically covering the obvious defects. The Facsimile stamp issues also tended to have heavy borders on all four sides. The originals and the 1898 reprints have heavy borders only on the right and bottom edges as can be seen from the example above.

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