Royal Reels: Gambling


A cover from an Australian Colony to an American philatelist is the subject of this paper. It is addressed to Mr. Henry Clotz, P.O.B. NO 999, New York, U.S. America and has a pair of the 1d lilac ‘View of Sydney’ issued in 1888 as well as the ½d grey Q.V. stamp, postmarked with 2 fine duplex cancels of Goulburn (Type D4 of Hopson & Tobin, 1995): GOULBURN/ MY 11/ 330 PM/ 95/ N.S.W with the barred numeral ‘35′ in 3 concentric ovals, as the obliterator on the stamps. The reverse not seen, was back-stamped with a reception postmark of “NY PAID ALL 6/13/95″ (Figure 1).

Henry Clotz had a very low member number of ‘47′ as he was a charter member of the American Philatelic Association in its 1894 list of stockholders, and his address at that time was as on the cover. In The American Philatelist of May 10, 1887 Vol. 1 No. 5, the Secretary’s report for April 1887 on page 34 states that “Mr. Henry Clotz (address, P.O. Box 3489, New York City) has been appointed Exchange Superintendent, to succeed Mr. Hanes, resigned. Mr. Clotz has accepted the appointment and announced his readiness to proceed with the work of the department.”

The role of the “Superintendent of Exchanges shall prepare and distribute Exchange sheets and covers, bearing the stamp of the society, to contain stamps, entire envelopes, postal cards, etc., sent to him by those members desiring to avail themselves of the opportunities of this department. Five cents will be charged for each sheet, and ten cents for each cover for envelopes or postal cards, and they will be sent by the superintendent free of postage to the receiver……The postage for sending exchanges to the next branch or individual, or back to the Superintendent, must be paid by the branch society or individual so sending.”

The rules for administration of the department are spelt out in remarkable detail amounting to 1½ columns of very fine print (approximating 8 point). Henry Clotz must have been a very keen and industrious philatelist to take on this important position from Mr. Hanes.

In the December1892 issue of the Philatelic Journal of America, Vol. viii, No. 12, page 415 under the heading of “Prominent Stamp Collectors”, there is a short description of Henry Clotz, New York City which is quoted in its entirety: “Mr. Henry Clotz has been one of the most prominent among the German collectors in the vicinity of New York, residing in Staten Island. He has been identified with the Staten Island Philatelic Society as Treasurer; he also distinguished himself as Exchange Manager of the American Philatelic Association during the early years of its existence.”

“Mr. Clotz is a good authority on all philatelic matters, and has a very valuable collection. He is engaged with the firm of Chas. Pfizer & Co., of 81 Maiden Lane, New York, manufacturing chemists.” Figure 2 is taken from this publication.

My access to further information, of philatelic &/or non-philatelic nature, is surprisingly meagre. I have a penned note that ‘The Henry Clotz Local Stamps’ were included in the January 12-13, 1893 J.W. Scott sale and, that the Staten Island Philatelic Society’s Permanent Album (advertised as “the only perfect album in existence”) may have been the idea and prime mover of 2 of its members, Henry Clotz and August Dejonge. Henry Clotz was also described as a collector-sponsor at the Eden Musée exhibition in 1889. Very slim pickings for a prestigious American Philatelist!

I wish to acknowledge the fine assistance of Ellen S. Peachey of the American Philatelic Research Library for her research on Henry Clotz.

Categories: Philatelists