The scans on this page are courtesy of Patricia A. Kaufmann Recording Secretary of the Confederate Stamp Alliance Authentication Committee and partner in Osborne-Kaufmann Philatelics. The items used as illustrations (with the exception of the fantasy labels at the bottom of the page) are either from her own private collection or from the CSA Authentication Committee's reference collection. Trish can be found at her philatelic website www.webuystamps.com
Very often seen in old collections are what are known as "Confederate Blockade Postage to Europe" labels one of which is illustrated above. These were apparently printed sometime in the 19th century, but I do not know exactly when or by whom. There are a great many variations to this label including perforated ones, some overprinted "Savannah" and some with fake Wilmington NC postmarks. But they all have the same basic design but may have different lettering styles. They also can be found in a variety of colors and in different denominations. There was no such thing in the Confederacy as official blockade mail to Europe or to anywhere else for that matter. These items are not rare and only have a nominal value.
There never was a Buck's Richmond Express. These are completely spurious lables printed in the 19th century. These labels are infamous as they are invariably taken for the real thing by inexperienced collectors. The labels come in two styles, a variety of colors, and in demoninations of 1c 2c 5c 10c 15c 20c 50c. Some are crude woodcuts and some are better quality lithographs. Beware the Buck's Richmond Express as their value is only nominal.
The label above showing the Confederate 8-Star Confederate Flag is a crude imitation of a very rare 10c essay submitted by the Hoyer & Ludwig Company for a stamp design that was never adopted. These fake imitations are 19th century in origin and are known in a dozen different colors and printed on a variety of different papers. Do not be taken in. The original essay is of very high quality and is extremely rare. The crude fake fantasies are very common.
The design above shows Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor with the Confederate Flag flying. This is a 19th century woodcut and is entirely spurious. It is known in various colors in denominations of 1c 2c 5c 10c and "X." Value is only nominal.
The above design shows a 5-Star Confederate Flag and purports to be a stamp from the Richmond, Va City Post. First of all, there never was a 5-Star Confederate Flag. The first Confederate Flag had 7 stars. Second, there never was at any time a Richmond City Post in operation. This fantasy exists in a number of different colors and at least two different types.
Above are illustrated three Fantasy Provisionals -- Galveston Tex on the left, Houston Tex in the middle, and New Orleans La 20c on the right. Fantasy Provisionals are distinguished from fake provisionals in that the fantasies are designs and stamps that are entirely bogus and do not represent or imitate any known genuine issue. The fake provisionals on the other hand are representations or imitations of known genuine issues. Almost all of these fantasy and fake provisionals (and there are a great many of them) are crude woodcuts. But many of the genuine provisionals are also woodcuts. Here is where it pays to have your catalogs available (Dietz and Scott Specialized). When in doubt, ask an expert. Always be extremely careful when dealing in the area of provisional issues and BEWARE the FAKES and FANTASIES. Never hand over good money for a CSA Provisional issue unless you know exactly what it is that you are buying.
Finally, there exists a whole series of Fantasy Labels printed to look like Confederate Postage Stamps using the basic frame design of the CSA #6, CSA #7 and CSA #14 stamps. There are dozens of different subjects, denominations, and colors. I have no idea exactly how many. I have illustrated eight different ones above so that the collector can see what they are like. I see them everywhere and currently have over 60 different ones in my own reference collection. They are nothing more than worthless labels, but they are interesting.