RS228TC1e H. R. Stevens Medicine Stamp, Trial Color Proof ex-Joyce



Henry R. Stevens was in the shipping business, located at Prentice’s Warf, Boston, where he became acquainted with Dr. Cummings. But it was not until 1871 that we know that Henry R. Stevens had become the propri­etor of Dr. Cummings Vegetine. By that time the nostrum was packed in cardboard cartons covered with bright orange glazed paper; the bottle containing the liquid was hand blown, oval in shape. Advertisements in 1871 described Vegetine “composed of roots, barks and herbs” and called it “The Great Blood Purifier.” Subsequently H. R. Stevens assumed pro­prietorship of Dr. Soule’s Oriental or Soverign Balm Pills and Week’s Magic Compound, formerly manufactured by William Joslyn & Sons of Troy, New York. In 1880 or 1881, George Pierce & Co. of Boston became the successors to H. R. Stevens but Vegetine and the other products were manufactured for a number of years.

(Holcombe, Henry W., weekly Philatelic Gossip, 26: 41-42, March 26, 1938)

Models, Essays and Proofs of the Morton Dean Joyce Collection
The collection of Morton Dean Joyce contained a magnificent array of the models and large die proofs, including trial color and plate proofs. It seems that Morton Dean Joyce was able to obtain the majority, if not the complete holding, of the Butler and Carpenter Archives including the Order Book which contained the original models. Nearly all of the models that are listed in the Turner book are present in the Morton Dean Joyce Collection. From that point on Joyce researched the large dies according to company from Butler and Carpenter through the National and American Bank Note Companies to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Whenever there was a chance to show trial color proofs or additional information, Joyce did so and the results (were) his collection…The area of models, essays and proofs of the private die proprietary issues was quite possibly Morton Dean Joyce’s most outstanding accomplishment.
Richard Friedberg, Introduction to the Morton Dean Joyce Private Die Proprietary Collection Auction Catalog, Andrew Levitt, September 12-14, 1991

Additional information

Catalog Number







india die sunk on card


Die approved March 1879. First issued 1879.

Catalog Value