Xavier Bazin established a soap and perfumery business in Philadelphia sometime before 1850. He manufactured X. Bazin’s Celebrated Toilet Soaps, Shaving Creams, Bandoline, Philocome Pomade, Toilet Waters, Cosmetics, Bulk Extracts, Cologne, etc. He was the sole proprietor until the mid 1870s when his sons joined the business. In 1875, he formed a partnership with Robert O. Kilduffe, forming X. Bazin & Co. In 1877, Hall and Ruckel of New York became sole agents for his products.
The X. Bazin stamp and essays defy easy categorization – dies were prepared in three values 1¢, 2¢, and 3¢. The 2¢ die was approved by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue in October 1862, and the other values were presumably approved at that time also. Butler and Carpenter prepared plates of all three values and informed X. Bazin that the plates were ready by letter of January 19, 1863. By letter of December 7, 1863, Butler and Carpenter informed X. Bazin that they had “printed in the designated and approved colors the various denominations, 1, 2, & 3 cts.” and asked whether Bazin intended to order any stamps. On March 21, 1864, Butler and Carpenter wrote to the Bureau of Internal Revenue to, “draw the attention of the Dep’t. to the fact that, in accordance with the instructions of X. Bazin Esq,. of this city, we engraved for him three private plates, and printed therefrom in colors approved by him, the following am’ts. of perfectly prepared stamps . . . which have been in hand since March 1863 (one year ago) as Mr. Bazin has never made an order on the Dep’t for any of them. Would it not be well to enquire why Mr. Bazin does not use his stamps?”
X. Bazin 1¢ and 3¢ Essays
The entire production of stamps was declared obsolete and the stamps were destroyed in 1867. Nonetheless, some of the 2¢ stamps escaped destruction and reached collectors. The authors of the Boston Revenue Book were of the opinion that the stamp should be deleted from the catalog because the records of Butler and Carpenter demonstrate that the stamp was never placed in use.
X. Bazin Handstamped Proprietary Cancels and Provisional Use of Hall & Ruckel Proprietary Stamps
Although Bazin never made use of his private die stamps, his handstamped cancellations are well known on the proprietary stamps of the first revenue issue, and the first and second issue proprietaries. In addition, when Hall & Ruckel became the sole agents for his products, they overprinted the Hall and Ruckel private die stamps with “X.B.” and obliterated the names “Hall & Ruckel.”