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2010 Funded Research Projects

The first 2010 funded research award has been given to Diane DeBlois, Robert Dalton Harris Ph.D., and Kristina Wilson who works at the Danforth Museum of Art (dedicated to Boston expressionists) in Framingham, Massachusetts. The award is jointly funded by Smithsonian National Postal Museum (NPM) and Washington 2006 World Philatelic Exhibition. The Project Proposal: Spectral Analysis and Comparison of Josef Albers’s Interaction of Color and the Presidential Series of U.S. Postage Stamps. The experiments will use the NPM VSC6000 Video Spectral Comparator to analyze select exercises from Albers’s Interaction of Color, the calibration material from the collections of the National Postal Museum, and the 1980 postage stamp based on Albers’s “Homage to the Square: Glow ” (Scott 1833).

The results of their research are found in:
Harris, Robert D. and DeBlois, Diane 2011. The Colors of Martin Van Buren: An Engraved Postage Stamp (1938-1959)The Prexie Era, 52(1): S1-S6.
Harris, Robert D. and DeBlois, Diane. 2011. Prexies and the Interaction of ColorThe Congress Book 2011.ed. Kenneth Trettin. The American Philatelic Congress, pp.20-30.


Confederate Stamp Alliance and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum are pleased to give their first jointly funded research award to Kevin P. Andersen for his study “From Richmond to Columbia: Following the Trail of Frank Baptist and the 1864 Transfer of the Confederate 10-Cents Stamp Steel Printing Plates.”

Sometime during the Fall of 1864, certain Confederate stamp printing plates used in the printing of Scott CSA Nos. 11 and 12 were transferred from the firm of Archer & Daly in Richmond, Virginia to the firm of Keatinge & Ball in Columbia, South Carolina. The exact date of the transfer of plates is not currently known. Recollections by those involved in the transfer were scant and extant records on the subject may be few.

Nonetheless, ascertaining the date that the plates were transferred, or a more closely determined approximate date thereof, is important as one additional factor in distinguishing the stamps from one printer or the other. Because both Archer & Daly and Keatinge & Ball used the same plates in the printing of Scott CSA Nos. 11 and 12, differentiating the stamps of each printer is a challenge to say the least. Scholars of Confederate stamps have relied upon identification based upon ink color, quality of application, paper quality, gum color and quality of application to make “educated opinions” as to which printer was responsible for the printing of a particular stamp.

While a determination of the date the aforementioned stamp plates were transferred from Archer & Daly to Keatinge & Ball may not conclusively differentiate one printer from the other, it can be quite instrumental in many cases where the stamp is a used example with a clearly discernable date stamp. Knowing the date of printing plate transfer will certainly assist in eliminating certain stamps from the realm of possibility with regard to Keatinge & Ball issues.