National Postal Museum Acquires Rare Confederate Printing Plate from the Franklin Institute

0
259

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum has acquired from The Franklin Institute a Confederate postage-stamp printing plate that was confiscated during the Civil War. The printing plate contains 400 5-cent Jefferson Davis stamp images etched in copper and weighs nearly 100 pounds. The copper plate was ordered by the Confederate States of America and manufactured by De La Rue & Co. of London in 1861. The federal vessel Mercedita captured the British ship Bermuda between Bermuda and Nassau April 27, 1862, and as part of the contraband, the printing plate was brought to Philadelphia and sold. It was never used to print stamps by the Confederacy. The Confederate printing plate was acquired by The Franklin Institute in 1954, when it was actively building a philatelic collection. Subsequently, the institute has deacessioned and disposed of most