- What is it about the Lindbergh
covers?Theyre not the oldest; theyre not the
rarest; theyre not the most attractiveBut, tradition
has settled on them as the premier treasure of the hobby. On
the other hand, there certainly arent many of them, after
all, and theyre dated, and they feature a VIP. Overlaying
the covers, themselves, though, there has always been a certain
mystique about them within the hobby.
- In June 1927, Lindbergh was
apparently wined and dined at both a luncheon and a dinner in
NYC. Matchbooks were given out at each (Ive heard about
200). Thats two variations. Theres supposed to be
a third variation (perhaps an error having to do with whether
he was a Capt. or a Col.), but I havent been able to find
anything on that as of yet).
- Perhaps the beginning of
the curious mystique surrounding these covers came in 1970 when
one was auctioned off for $160. That was the highest price paid
for a single cover up to that date. In 1991, however, another
Lindbergh cover was auctioned off for $4,000, an all-time record
price for any single cover [a few years later, in 1994, a
full-book Washington Crisps cover, c. 1910, sold for $4,001,
which would make in the current record holder, however there
was a considerable amount of grumbling and rumors that the whole
thing had been purposefully set up to 'steal' that record, and
some collectors today do not recognize the latter as the legitimate
- Ironically, the Lindbergh
that went for $4000 in 1991had reportedly been found by a trash
collector in someones garbage put out for pickup!
- In any event, subsequent
sales of Lindberghs after the $4,000 peak in 1991 have gone up
and down but have never approached and certainly never surpassed
the $4,000 mark. In 2008, for example, one went for $1,725 on
ebay. In 2010, another was purchased for $50, again on ebay.
Also, in 2010, a collector sold his for "more than $1,500
and less than $4,000."
- Adding to the mystique, one
might argue, is the additional fact that two Lindberghs in the
hobby have been stolen. One was from a collector in the late
1940's at a New England meeting at his home. The other was from
a San Francisco collector in the 1980s when her home was burglarized.
The whereabouts of both are currently unknown.
- In 2011, I tracked down a
total of 11 Lindberghs currently in the hands of collectors.
How many more are there outside the hobby still awaiting discovery?
There's no way of telling, of course, but time has shown that
there is still that tantalizing possibility of a few more showing
- Every couple of years or
so, it seems, a hitherto unkown Lindbergh cover pops up, either
on ebay or from a non-collector advertising within the hobby.
Will they maintain their unique status in the hobby? Will they
one day go on to set further records? Only time will tell.
- In the meantime, keep your