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Offered is a fabulous little stamp vesta chatelaine, vintage late 1800s. It is silver, but not marked sterling, and appears to be a silver alloy such as "nickel silver." It is not silverplate.
The little vesta is shaped and decorated like a leather mail pouch, with "U.S. MAIL" on one side and the depiction of a strap with padlock, and nail heads trimming the pouch all around. On the front side is the depiction of a 2cent stamp, with the image of George Washington on it. The vesta has a "distressed" finish.
The vesta is 1" wide, 1 1/4" high, and 1/4" from front to back. Looking at the front, the hinge is on the right, and it has a loop with the original jump ring attached.
This little gem is in excellent condition. There are no dings or dents, no damage to the hinge, which is intact, tight and functional, no staining or discoloration. It is a wonderful, unique relic of the past.
The post office issued the first first-class letter stamp in 1863, which was 3 cents. In 1883, the 2cent stamp was issued, and the rate held until 1917 when it was raised to 3cents. In 1919 the rate fell again to 2cents. This little vesta represents the second release in 1883.
The vesta will be shipped first class, insured mail, with signature confirmation. Shipping to destinations outside the U.S. will be by Registered Mail.