36 covers, each 5½" X 3", Philadelphia, PA, n.y. Very good to near fine. All unused and exceptionally bright and nice, with just the faintest bit of age toning to some. Item #45238
Superb complete grouping of this state arms collection published by Charles Magee of 316 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia -- issued as the prospect of civil war loomed. Of these 35 state envelopes, 11 would become Confederate states, 20 would remain Union states and 4 would be classified Border States. Each contains a 2¼" diameter circle at left and a slightly smaller inner circle with the words "ARMS OF" at top and the state name at bottom. In the middle of this inner circle is a colored image of the state coat of arms or appropriate image: "UTAH TER.," for instance, depicts a large beehive resting on a low platform surrounded by grass and shrubbery, bees a-buzzing amidst a blue sky; "ALABAMA' depicts a closeup of a gnarled tree trunk with a large "Map of Alabama" pinned against it. All but 9 of the Union state envelopes bear a printed slogan beneath the circle: "One Flag and One Government" for Maine, "Death to All Traitors" for Minnesota, "The Union at All Hazzards" [sic] for California and other pro-Union sentiments. Interestingly but not surprisingly, none of the future Confederate states include slogans in this Union-slanted collection and the two future Border States often identified as Confederate likewise have none (though future Border States Delaware and Maryland do). A thirty-sixth envelope serves as the title page for this collection, captioned "Arms of the United States" and of course showing a bald eagle, arrows in one talon and olive branch in the other, against a backdrop of American flags. Although undated, this series presumably was published pre-1861, as West Virginia was admitted in that year and thus is not present, nor is Nevada, admitted in 1864. Individual envelopes from this series turn up occasionally, invariably NOT colored; a complete group such as this, all bearing period color and in uniformly exceptional condition with original gum, is quite scarce and would be near-impossible to duplicate.