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"Ice House" Cover


Although numerous examples of the 1869 90-cent Lincoln stamp are available to collectors, this is only known one which is still attached to its original envelope.

It was discovered in 1914 by a collector touring India and passed from collector to collector until its theft in 1967 from the home of an Indianapolis philatelist J. David Baker, now deceased.

In 1974 the FBI recovered the stolen Baker collection, except for the 'Ice House' Cover. Most collectors thought the thieves had soaked off the 90-cent Lincoln to make it more sale able.

In January 2006, an elderly couple walked into a small stamp shop in Chicago and inquired if three stamp items had any value. Two were worthless, but one was recognized by the dealer as having great value. After consulting another dealer, he determined that the item was the legendary stolen "Ice House' Cover."

The 90 cent has been torn and repaired the 10 center is a replacement for a stamp that had been removed from the cover.

The buyer at the June 13, 2009 auction was Dr. Arthur K. M. Woo, who is renowned in philatelic circles for his worldwide exhibits of rare covers. He paid a total of $431,250, including buyer's commission.
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  • SCDHunterSCDHunter Posts: 686 ✭✭✭
    Neat story. Thanks for sharing!

    I wonder how the old couple came in possession of the cover?image
  • coinpicturescoinpictures Posts: 5,345 ✭✭✭
    Makes you question though: how original is the cover really, when the 10c isn't original (added after the fact) and the 90c has been removed, repaired, and placed back on the cover?

    Kinda like cleaning coins.... bleagh.
  • originalisbestoriginalisbest Posts: 5,912 ✭✭✭✭

    TTT (as if anyone will see it in the stamps forum) but it's still a neat story -- the theft and recovery sort of adds to the mystique. A shame about the repair and the replaced 10c stamp, but it is what it is, the only one extant. Should a new 90c on cover discovery be made one day, that would be headline material -- but unlikely ever to happen? :smile:

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