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1853 -- "INTEMPERANCE IS THE CURSE OF THE WORLD [AND] THE BANE OF SOCIETY" - Two different, detailed, and… by In the style of James Valentine - 1853 - from Read 'Em Again Books & Paper (SKU: 009766)

1853 -- "INTEMPERANCE IS THE CURSE OF THE WORLD [AND] THE BANE OF SOCIETY" - Two different, detailed, and postally-used propaganda envelopes illustrating the horrors of drunkenness and the virtues of sobriety.

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1853 -- "INTEMPERANCE IS THE CURSE OF THE WORLD [AND] THE BANE OF SOCIETY" - Two different, detailed, and postally-used propaganda envelopes illustrating the horrors of drunkenness and the virtues of sobriety.

by In the style of James Valentine

  • Used
  • very good
Condition
Very good
Seller
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Item Price:
£935.25
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About This Item

One envelope is "published and sold by George D. Jewett", and the other by "Wm. C. Hale", both of Hartford, Connecticut: 1853. Both envelopes are postally used and measure approximately 5" x 3".

One features five morose workmen passing a bottle within a scroll that reads "Intemperance is the Curse of the World. Three vignettes on the left show a group of men brawling outside of a saloon, a woman and child entering a pawn shop, and several men using a hatchet and sledgehammer to destroy barrels labeled "Demon Gin" and "Rum". On the right, above a slogan that reads, "Execution, Operation & the effects of the Maine Law" are two vignettes, one showing a happy couple in front of a large home and a dignified man wearing a sash that reads "Love, Purity, and Fidelity" standing in an idyllic garden. It bears a North Chester, Massachusetts manuscript postmark dated June 20. It is accompanied by a Philatelic Foundation Expert Committee certificate attesting to its "Genuine Usage. The envelope contains a Quaker letter from Farmington, dated June 29, 1853 that reads in part:

"Friend Sewall Dear Sir: Mr Fields has proposed to purchase the Pew in the Meeting house owned by yourself & me on the condition that he can pay in boots & shoes at his shop. . .. "

The second features a snake within a banner that reads, "Intemperance is the Bane of Society." On the left are vignettes showing a drunken brawl outside a saloon, a woman selling her cooking pot to a pawnbroker, a prostitute with breasts exposed dropping her young child to the ground while she sits in a drunken stupor at a street-corner gin stall (no doubt inspired by William Hogarth's famous engraving, Gin Lane). The vignettes on the right show happy families with a large home, church, and "Savings Bank" in the background. The letter is franked with a 3-cent Washington stamp (Scott #11), struck with a barred cancel handstamp and a circular postmark that reads "New Britain / Ct. / Oct 23". No contents.

These covers are based on a propaganda envelope designed by James Valentine of Dundee, Scotland. Valentine was a printer and active in a variety of progressive causes including prison reform, abolition, penny postage, and temperance. Valentine was an associate of Elihu Burritt, another all-round social justice activist who advocated the use of propaganda envelopes such as these to publicize causes via the mail. They have been "Americanized" by referencing "the Maine Law", which refers to that state becoming the first to fully prohibit (save for medicinal use) the sale of any alcoholic beverage in 1851.

(For more information, see Bodily, Jarvis, and Hahn's British Pictorial Envelopes of the 19th Century.)

Scarce. Stamp Auction Network and the Rare Book Hub show that only six Valentine-derivative temperance covers in similar condition have sold at auction since 2010 with an average sale price of $723.

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Details

Seller
Read 'Em Again Books & Paper US (US)
Seller’s Inventory #
009766
Title
1853 -- "INTEMPERANCE IS THE CURSE OF THE WORLD [AND] THE BANE OF SOCIETY" - Two different, detailed, and postally-used propaganda envelopes illustrating the horrors of drunkenness and the virtues of sobriety.
Author
In the style of James Valentine
Format/binding
Envelope or Cover
Book condition
second hand - Very good
Quantity available
1
Place of Publication
One "published and sold by George D. Jewett", the other by "Wm. C. Hale", both of Hartford, Connecticut
Date Published
1853
Bookseller catalogs
Philately;

Terms of Sale

Read 'Em Again Books & Paper

Sales tax of 6% required for books shipped to addresses in Virginia. Standard domestic shipping is free, however additional fees may be required for heavy, oversized, or unusually-shaped items.

Returns accepted for any reason for a full refund (less shipping) if we receive the return within 14 days of shipment and items are received in the same condition as sent. Advance notice of any return would be appreciated.

About the Seller

Read 'Em Again Books & Paper

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio.co.uk member since 2003
Virginia Beach, Virginia
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About Read 'Em Again Books & Paper

We always have an inventory of unique Americana on hand, that is, we keep a selection of personal narratives such as diaries, work journals, correspondence collections, photograph albums, scrapbooks, and similar items that shed light on some aspect of North American life, history, culture, or society.We also have a nice selection of unusual ephemera and postal history items in stock as well. Member: Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, Ephemera Society, Manuscript Society, American Stamp Dealers Association, American Philatelic Society, U.S. Philatelic Classics Society, Military Postal History Society

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