Encased Postage Stamps Silvered Three Cents J. GAULT with Plain Frame EP-46, HB-129, S-95, Reed-JG03. Three Cents. "J. Gault". Plain Frame. Original Silvering. Extremely Fine. Rated as a Rarity-7+ (11 to 15 known) according to Fred Reed. Very likely the only example known to have or have retained so extensive Original Silvering. We have offered just five prior examples of this important 3 denomination over the past three and a half decades, so we believe its true rarity to perhaps be Rarity-8. The 1863 issue red George Washington stamp shows some even light tone. The mica is clear and fully intact with just some typical natural lamination layer crazing. This rare Three Cents has lovely surfaces to the chestnut case front, with most of its original Silvering remaining on the reverse. An unusual Silvered rarity that should be strongly considered. John Gault began "encasing" postage stamps for use as small change. The original patent to him, No. 1627, was granted in August, shortly after the passage of legislation authorizing the use of stamps as currency in July of 1862.
It appears likely that the encasements he issued under his own name were the first in the series, made after July 1862 but before his partnership with Kirkpatrick. Towards the end of the year Gault moved to New York City and entered into partnership with Joseph Kirkpatrick. The new firm of Kirkpatrick & Gault set up business at 1 Park Place.