Sale Number: 973
Sale Date: Saturday, June 13, 2009
2009 Rarities of the World

Local Posts
Lot Sym. Lot Description Est/Cat Realized
280   American Express Co., New York N.Y., 2c Black on Green (4L1). Uncancelled, margins mostly clear of ornaments, slightly creased with minor surface disturbances, mounted on paper with notation "Ferrary Sale June 18/24"

VERY FINE. ONE OF THE RAREST OF ALL LOCAL POST STAMPS -- FIVE GENUINE EXAMPLES ARE REPORTED TO EXIST.

Researchers have argued over the origins of this post, but the best evidence available indicates that it was run briefly in 1856 as American Express Co. (no relation to the well-known firm by the name name) by proprietors Smith and Dobson, and was changed to Smith's City Express Post after Dobson departed. Several excellent forgeries of this stamp exist (the example in the Golden sale is evidently one of the forgeries). An article by William W. Sammis (Penny Post, April 2005) reports a fifth genuine copy of 4L1.

Ex Ferrary and Schwartz (Siegel Sale 824, lot 380, realized $8,000 hammer) (Image Magnifier)

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9,000 2,500
281   Bentley's Dispatch, New York N.Y., (unstated value) Gold (10L2). Large margins, lightly inked but clearly impressed "Paid" cancel, small scuff in enamel surface at top

EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. A CHOICE EXAMPLE OF THE RARE BENTLEY'S 10L2 STAMP WITH "PAID" CANCEL. ONLY SIX OF THE SEVEN RECORDED STAMPS ARE AVAILABLE TO COLLECTORS.

Ex Schwartz. (Image Magnifier)

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7,500 1,500
282 c Brigg's Despatch, Philadelphia Pa., (2c) Black on Rose (25L1). Three large margins, slightly in at left, ms. "X" cancel (not tied), used on blue folded cover to Wm. H. Newbold in Philadelphia, blue "5" in circle handstamped rate marking applied by Philadelphia post office, ms. "Paid" in sender's hand, docketed "G. S. Robbins & Son, Nov. 11, 1849"

A FINE EXAMPLE OF THIS EXTREMELY RARE STAMP, OF WHICH SEVEN EXAMPLES ARE RECORDED.

This Brigg's usage is enigmatic. There is no street address for Wm. H. Newbold, but the sender did mark the letter "Paid", and the Brigg's stamp is cancelled (but not tied). The docketing identifies the sender as George S. Robbins & Son, a well-known New York City firm. The cover entered the Philadelphia post office and was rated "5" with their distinctive blue handstamp. If the stamp originated on this cover and Brigg's was involved, it must have been carried outside the mails to Philadelphia and given to Brigg's for delivery -- without a street address, the cover was dropped at the post office. Refusing to accept it as a drop letter, Philadelphia rated it 5c due. The alternate explanation is that the cover came into Philadelphia by railroad and was never handled by Brigg's, which would of course make the stamp superfluous to the cover. Because of the possibility that this genuine 25L1 stamp has been added to the cover, it is offered on its own merits.

Ex Souren, Gibson, Boker and Golden. With 1999 P.F. certificate affirming the genuineness of the stamp but declining opinion as to whether it originated on this cover (Image Magnifier)

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E. 4,000-5,000 2,100
283 c Brigg's Despatch, Philadelphia Pa., (2c) Black on Yellow (25L1). Huge bottom margin showing dividing line and adjoining stamp, clear impression on bright yellow paper, usual small ms. "X" cancel, used on folded letter datelined "Philadelphia, Jun. 6, 1848", to Washington D.C., blue "Philada. Pa. 5 cts. Jun. 7" integral-rate circular datestamp partly torn away with top right corner of address panel, the letter is otherwise sound

VERY FINE STAMP AND A RARE COVER. ONLY NINE BRIGG'S DESPATCH "HAND & ENVELOPE" STAMPS ARE KNOWN ON ANY COLOR OF PAPER -- THIS STAMP ON DISTINCTLY YELLOW PAPER IS ONE OF SEVEN RECORDED 25L1'S ON COVERS.

Patton's history of Brigg's Despatch follows earlier accounts in attributing ownership to George W. Briggs, who Patton states is listed in Philadelphia city directories as a "currier" (mis-spelling for carrier) from 1841 through 1855. Based on surviving stamps and covers, Brigg's started his post in 1848 and probably closed the business in 1850. His office was located at 61 South 8th Street. Blood's office was located at 48 South 3rd Street in 1848 and moved to 28 South 6th Street in 1849. The similarity in design and issue dates between the Brigg's "Hand & Envelope" and Small "Paid" stamps and Blood's "Dove & Envelope" and Small "Paid" stamps suggests that Brigg's was a small copycat post.

Our records of the "Hand & Envelope" issue contain two off-cover stamps (one added to a cover) and seven covers, including the unique example on Blue paper (25L2, ex Golden). The design of the stamp is stylistically identical to Blood's "Dove & Envelope" (15L11), issued about the same time in 1848. Although the Scott Catalogue describes 25L1 paper as "Yellow-Buff", a comparison of the two 25L1 stamps offered in the Golden sale shows that one is on Yellow paper (as is the stamp on the cover offered here) and the other is on Rose paper (Golden lot 786). Other recorded 25L1 stamps are not available for comparison (nor are there any color photographs or accurate descriptions), so it is impossible to say how many are Yellow or Rose, or if other color varieties exists. The 25L1/25L2 examples we record (updated from the Golden sale) are as follows: 1) 25L1, Yellow paper, cut to shape, ms. "X" cancel, on Jul. 26 (1847-48) local folded letter to Wilkins, Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 785, realized $10,500 hammer); 2) 25L1, Rose paper, ms. "X", on folded letter with Philadelphia "5" handstamp, docketed Nov. 11, 1849, PFC "decline opinion" as to use, ex Souren, Gibson, Boker, Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 786, realized $9,500 hammer); 3) 25L1, Yellow paper, ms. "X" cancel, Jun. 7, 1848 folded letter to Rev. Ward, Washington D.C., part blue Philadelphia datestamp, the cover offered here, ex Caspary, Hall (Siegel Sale 830, lot 508, realized $6,250 hammer); 4) 25L1, ms. "X" cancel, tied by Philadelphia Jun. 29 datestamp on 1848 folded letter to Pennypacker, West Chester Pa., ex Boker; 5) 25L1, ms. "X" cancel, on local cover to Burrows, Costales photo files; 6) 25L1, smudged cancel (pen?), added to a cover to Adele U. Picot, Jul. 18 datestamp, Harmer, Rooke sale, Mar. 6-7, 1951, lot 241, and P.F. records as "did not originate"; 7) cut to shape, pen cancel, faults, Lyons collection; 8) 25L1, Yellow paper, ms. "X" cancels, Jul. 26 (1848) datestamp on folded letter to Mary A. Clark, Norwalk Conn., private collection; and 9) 25L2 on Blue paper, on printed circular to 28 S. Front St., Southwark, blue Philadelphia May 20 (or 30) datestamp, PFC "decline opinion" as to use, ex Caspary, Boker, Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 787, realized $7,000).

Ex Caspary and Hall. (Image Magnifier)

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11,500 1,500
284 ogbl Broadway Post Office, New York N.Y., (1c) Black (26L2). Left sheet margin block of four, original gum, large margins, horizontal crease in top pair and right margin, appears Very Fine, fresh, attractive multiple, with 1992 P.F. certificate (Image Magnifier)

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1,750 3,000
285 c Browne & Co.'s City Post Office, Cincinnati O., 2c Black (29L2). Usual tight margins just barely in, used with 3c Dull Red (11), tied together by blue "Cincinnati O. Oct. 26" circular datestamp on brown cover to Mount Pleasant O., a bit worn and wrinkled

FINE. THE BROWNE & COMPANY 2-CENT IS A GREAT RARITY ON COVER, ESPECIALLY TIED IN COMBINATION WITH THE 3-CENT 1851 ISSUE.

The 1c stamp, 29L1, was designed with the "Brown & Co." spelling error. The correct spelling, Browne (with an "e"), appears on the 2c stamp and the markings used by the post. If the spurious Cincinnati "Dec. 7" carrier and local covers are disregarded, this is believed to be the only known combination tied in this manner.

Ex Piller. With 1959 P.F. certificate (Image Magnifier)

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4,500 2,000
286   City Dispatch Post Office, New Orleans La., (5c) Black on Green Glazed (43L1). Comma after "Office", uncancelled, affixed to a folded cover but did not originate

VERY FINE EXAMPLE OF THE NEW ORLEANS CITY DISPATCH POST OFFICE ISSUE. ONLY THREE ARE RECORDED, INCLUDING ONE ON COVER AND TWO OFF COVER.

The three recorded examples of the City Dispatch Office 5c on Green paper (43L1) are: 1) Tied by New Orleans cds (Dec. date) on 1846 folded letter to Capt. W. H. T. Walker in Albany, ex Boker; 2) Uncancelled stamp affixed to cover but did not originate, the stamp offered in this lot, ex Caspary, Lilly; and 3) an uncancelled copy shown in the Sloane records with notation that it was found in "one of the departments in Washington in 1916 on covers from New Orleans dated 1847".

From the Estate of Dr. Hubert C. Skinner. With 2009 P.F. certificate (Image Magnifier)

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E. 4,000-5,000 4,000
287 ng City Dispatch Post Office, New Orleans La., (5c) Black on Pink Glazed (43L2). Period after "Office", large margins, unused, vertical creases painted over to improve appearance, tiny scrapes at left

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. ONLY FIVE EXAMPLES OF THE NEW ORLEANS CITY DISPATCH POST OFFICE 5-CENT ON PINK STAMP ARE RECORDED, INCLUDING THREE GENUINE COVERS (NONE CANCELLED).

According to Huber's The Great Mail, the New Orleans "City Dispatch Post Office", as it was named, advertised in the Daily Picayune in 1847. The post was owned by J. Murray at 108 St. Charles Street at the corner of Poydras. It advertised four collections a day -- at 10 a.m., 12 noon, 3 and 5 p.m. -- and had 23 letter-drop boxes located throughout the city. Stamps were sold for 5c each, or 30 for a dollar. Prepayment was mandatory on letters to be delivered to the post office and optional on city-delivery letters. Unlike local-post operators in other cities, Murray enjoyed a cooperative relationship with the post office, evidenced by his notice that a box was located in the Post Office building and letters from the mails to correspondents in the city would be picked up and delivered by Murray's carriers. Given the peculiar politics of the city at the time, one wonders if the relatively higher letter rate of 5c included a small gratuity for the New Orleans postmaster.

The City Despatch P.O. stamps come in two colors of glazed paper: Green and Pink. Of the Green (43L1), three examples are known, including one tied on cover (see details in lot 286). Of the Pink (43L2), five are recorded, including three genuinely used on covers, one affixed to a cover and a stamp on piece. Details of these five examples are as follows: 1) comma after "Office", uncancelled (tiny corner creases), used on May 21, 1847 folded letter from Vera Cruz, New Orleans May 28 circular datestamp and "10", ex Hollowbush and Golden; 2) period after "Office", uncancelled (filing crease), used on 1847 folded letter to Adj. General, Washington D.C., New Orleans Apr. 29 circular datestamp and ms. "f" (free), ex Caspary, Boker, Lilly; 3) comma after "Office", uncancelled (filing crease), used on 1847 folded letter to Pres. James K. Polk, New Orleans Apr. 22 circular datestamp and ms. "f" (free), offered in lot 288, ex Caspary, Lilly; 4) period after "Office", uncancelled ("touched up at left"), ex Caspary on cover to which it did not belong, the example offered here; and 5) period after "Office", uncancelled (creases) on piece, ex Lilly.

From the Estate of Dr. Hubert C. Skinner. With 1967 and 2009 P.F. certificates (Image Magnifier)

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6,000 1,800
288 c City Dispatch Post Office, New Orleans La., (5c) Black on Pink Glazed (43L2). Period after "Office", large margins to barely touched along right ornaments, uncancelled, tied by vertical filing crease, partly clear "New Orleans La. Apr. 22" circular datestamp on greenish blue folded letter dated Apr. 20, 1847, and addressed to President James K. Polk in Washington D.C., ms. "f" for free delivery, cover has stain spots and is partly split along folds, one of two filing creases passes thru stamp

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. THIS IS ONE OF THREE RECORDED COVERS GENUINELY BEARING THE NEW ORLEANS CITY DISPATCH POST OFFICE 5-CENT ON PINK STAMP (NONE CANCELLED). ONLY FIVE EXAMPLES OF THIS LOCAL POST STAMP ARE KNOWN ON OR OFF COVER. THIS IS ALSO A RARE EXAMPLE OF A LOCAL POST STAMP ON A LETTER TO A SITTING PRESIDENT.

According to Huber's The Great Mail, the New Orleans "City Dispatch Post Office", as it was named, advertised in the Daily Picayune in 1847. The post was owned by J. Murray at 108 St. Charles Street at the corner of Poydras. It advertised four collections a day -- at 10 a.m., 12 noon, 3 and 5 p.m. -- and had 23 letter-drop boxes located throughout the city. Stamps were sold for 5c each, or 30 for a dollar. Prepayment was mandatory on letters to be delivered to the post office and optional on city-delivery letters. Unlike local-post operators in other cities, Murray enjoyed a cooperative relationship with the post office, evidenced by his notice that a box was located in the Post Office building and letters from the mails to correspondents in the city would be picked up and delivered by Murray's carriers. Given the peculiar politics of the city at the time, one wonders if the relatively higher letter rate of 5c included a small gratuity for the New Orleans postmaster.

The City Despatch P.O. stamps come in two colors of glazed paper: Green and Pink. Of the Green (43L1), three examples are known, including one tied on cover (see details in lot 286). Of the Pink (43L2), five are recorded, including three genuinely used on covers, one affixed to a cover and a stamp on piece. Details of these five examples are as follows: 1) comma after "Office", uncancelled (tiny corner creases), used on May 21, 1847 folded letter from Vera Cruz, New Orleans May 28 circular datestamp and "10", ex Hollowbush and Golden; 2) period after "Office", uncancelled (filing crease), used on 1847 folded letter to Adj. General, Washington D.C., New Orleans Apr. 29 circular datestamp and ms. "f" (free), ex Caspary, Boker, Lilly; 3) comma after "Office", uncancelled (filing crease), used on 1847 folded letter to Pres. James K. Polk, New Orleans Apr. 22 circular datestamp and ms. "f" (free), the cover offered here, ex Caspary, Lilly; 4) period after "Office", uncancelled ("touched up at left"), ex Caspary on cover to which it did not belong, the example offered in lot 287; and 5) period after "Office", uncancelled (creases) on piece, ex Lilly.

Ex Caspary and Lilly. From the Estate of Dr. Hubert C. Skinner. With 2009 P.F. certificate (Image Magnifier)

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E. 7,500-10,000 9,000
289 og Eagle City Post, Philadelphia Pa., (2c) Black on Pelure (61L1). Original gum, small h.r., bold impression of "EAGLE POST, 80 CHESNUT STREET" with circular rim terminating within the margins of the stamp, suggesting a part strike, top edge slightly ragged (described as "defective at top" on certificate)

ONE OF FOUR RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THIS LOCAL POST STAMP AND THE ONLY STAMP KNOWN UNUSED. RARER THAN THE UNITED STATES ALEXANDRIA PROVISIONAL, THE BERMUDA PEROT PROVISIONAL, THE HAWAIIAN TWO-CENT MISSIONARY AND THE MAURITIUS POST OFFICE STAMPS.

Between the July 1845 commencement of William B. Stait's Eagle City Despatch Post and sometime before October 1, 1846, the post's advertised address was 85 Chestnut Street, which appears in the handstamped markings used during the first fifteen months. Beginning no later than October 1, 1846, the address changed to 80 Chestnut Street, where the allied Adams' office was located. The title was also changed to "Eagle City Post" at this point and was further shortened to "Eagle Post" (the title on this stamp) as early as March 1849. Beginning July 1850, the name change to Stait's Despatch is reflected in markings on covers. In September 1848 Stait expanded to a second office at 48 South 3rd Street (source: Gordon Stimmell, The Penny Post, Apr. 1991).

The 61L1 stamp is listed in Scott as the first Eagle City Post adhesive, but Scott's 1847 issue date is probably incorrect. The cogwheel stamp (61L2) is recorded used as early as October 1, 1846. Logically, the handstamped adhesive with the new 80 Chestnut Street address would have been issued before the printed stamps -- the presence of Stait's initials on two of the stamps indicates a sort of provisional issue. The shortened title ("Eagle Post") and absence of any reference to Adams' Express in the 61L1 stamp are more typical of the early 1849 period, but the abbreviated wording probably owes itself to space limitations in the marking. Curiously, both the handstamped adhesive and the printed stamp (61L2) show the misspelling "Chesnut".

Only four examples of 61L1 are recorded: 1) cut-square stamp initialled "WS", uncancelled, used on folded cover (reported 1847) to Emily S. Townsend, 101 Arch St., ex Caspary, Boker; 2) cut-square stamp, initialled "WS", on piece, ex Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 1031, realized $8,000 hammer); 3) irregular margins, unused (no initials), the stamp offered here, Siegel Sale 797, lot 1899, realized $12,500 hammer; and 4) cut to shape (no initials), affixed to cover with Norristown Pa. datestamp, addressed to local street address, ex Needham, Gibson, Middendorf. The lower right portion of the stamp shows very faint small printed letters -- an "N" appears most clearly just below the "T" of "Street". There is also a small loop of manuscript in the same area.

With 1997 P.F. certificate. Scott Retail $14,000.00 (Image Magnifier)

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14,000 3,000
290 c Locomotive Express Post, (unstated value) Black (97L1). Clear handstamped strike of illustrated locomotive oval on bright white stamp paper, uncancelled, used on folded letter datelined "New York March 27, 1847" and addressed to Morgan & Lapham in Glens Falls N.Y., red "New York 5cts. Mar. 29" integral-rate circular datestamp

EXTREMELY FINE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE LOCOMOTIVE EXPRESS POST ADHESIVE. A GREAT RARITY WITH AN IMPRESSIVE PEDIGREE DATING BACK TO FERRARY.

The unique Locomotive Express Post stamp was first reported in The American Journal of Philately, October 28, 1905, page 377: "The New England Stamp Co. has show us a new local stamp, which, as will be seen by the illustration below, has no value expressed upon it. It is printed on white paper and was issued at Glens Falls, N.Y. Imperforate, no value, black." Obviously, this report erred in stating that the stamp was issued at Glens Falls. It was issued by a post operating within New York City and used on this letter to Glens Falls. For years the Scott U.S. Specialized Catalogue erroneously identified this as a Buffalo N.Y. post with an 1854 year date. Research by Pitt Petrie proved this to be incorrect (The Collectors Club Philatelist, Vol. 32, No. 2). Notes from the Eugene N. Costales files indicate that Elliott Perry and Costales both felt it was "good" (genuine). To date no other example has turned up.

Ex Ferrary (with pencil sale notation along bottom edge of cover), Caspary and Lilly. With 2009 P.F. certificate (Image Magnifier)

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E. 10,000-15,000 15,500
291   Mason's New Orleans City Express, New Orleans La., -1/2c Black on Blue, Value Changed to 1c (102L1). Ample margins to just touching, ms. "1" thru "-1/2 Cent." value, tiny ms. "1851" year dates written at top corners, red grid cancel, thins

FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF TWO RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE MASON'S NEW ORLEANS CITY EXPRESS ONE-CENT STAMP, WHICH EXISTS ONLY AS A MANUSCRIPT OVERPRINT ON THE HALF-CENT VALUE. AN EXTRAORDINARY AND UNUSUAL LOCAL.

Mason's New Orleans City Express, located at 23 Royal Street, is consistently reported to have operated from 1850 through 1857 (Huber and Wagner, Skinner, Perry, et al), yet all of the seven recorded Mason's stamp usages (and three stampless covers) fall into a much narrower timeframe, from July 5, 1850, to August 9, 1851 (a list of 102L2 covers is provided in lot 292). The latter date coincides with the inauguration of New Orleans postmaster Michel Musson's carrier service. Despite the obvious implications of this date sequence -- that Mason became an official U.S. carrier -- researchers have been frustrated in their attempts to locate any official documentation that Mason or his letter carriers joined the New Orleans carrier department in or after August 1851. The two-part Elliott Perry article edited by Robert B. Meyersburg (Chronicle 126 and 127) provides much of the information that has been uncovered so far, including the official carrier appointments from 1851 through 1860, to the extent they were published in city directories. There is still the possibility that further research will yield evidence to link Mason's with the New Orleans carrier department, which of course would change the status of Mason usages (after the appointment date) to a semi-official carrier status.

Only two examples of the blue stamp are recorded. Both have -1/2 cent printed denominations changed in manuscript to "1" cent. The other example is tied on a cover locally addressed to Leads Foundry in New Orleans, with a clear strike of the "N-Orls. City Express Post La. Feb. 6" circular datestamp (1851), ex Caspary and Boker. The Caspary cover was described in the 1956 sale as having had the stamp lifted and moved with some thinnings. The -1/2c stamp was probably printed for a special newspaper rate and overprinted with the one-cent rate as needed or after a change in the city-delivery rate. There has also been speculation that the stamp actually has a dual-rate denomination, which was fixed when sold. The point is somewhat moot, because there are only two known examples, and both show the "1" overprint.

This stamp is illustrated in the Scott U.S. Specialized Catalogue. Ex Burrus and Golden. From the Estate of Dr. Hubert C. Skinner. With 1999 P.F. certificate (Image Magnifier)

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12,500 16,500
292 c Mason's New Orleans City Express, New Orleans La., 2c Black on Yellow (102L2). Huge left sheet margin, large at right and bottom, slightly in along top frameline, cancelled by red "Mason's Express 23 Royal St." in small circle handstamp, red "New Orleans La. Jul. 4 10" integral-rate circular datestamp on blue Jul. 3, 1850 folded letter to Montgomery Ala., file fold with small erosion spots in address

VERY FINE. ONE OF SIX RECORDED COVERS BEARING MASON'S NEW ORLEANS CITY EXPRESS 2-CENT STAMP.

This is the earliest recorded cover during the period from July 1850 through August 1851, when Mason's operated prior to the formation of the New Orleans carrier department. As observed by Dr. Hubert C. Skinner (Texas Philatelist, Feb. 1969), two different city-delivery rates have been found on Mason's covers. This July 1850 usage is a 2c rate, while the Feb. 6, 1851, cover has a 1c stamp (see description of lot 291). There is no rate change evidenced by the four recorded Mason's 2c stamped covers delivered to or from the post office from July 1850 through August 1851. One local cover (number 4 below) is dated Apr. 21 (1851), but it has a 2c stamp; we have not read the letter, addressed to the Archbishop of New Orleans, but perhaps it originated outside New Orleans. Based on the Feb. 1851 1c cover, it seems that Mason reduced the local rate from 2c to 1c between Dec. 27, 1850, and Feb. 6, 1851, which may explain the need for a re-rated 102L1 stamp.

Our records contain seven 102L2 stamps, including the following six on covers, listed chronologically: 1) Jul. 4 (1850 contents) New Orleans datestamp (10c rate), stamp with wide left sheet margin and cancelled (not tied) by Mason's small circle (no datestamp) on folded letter to Chas. T. Pollard, Montgomery Ala., ex Ackerman, Caspary, the cover offered in this lot; 2) Dec. 26, 1850 folded letter locally addressed to J. R. Hyde, stamp tied by red grid, Dec. 27 company datestamp, ex Worthington, Caspary, Middendorf; 3) Mar. 25 (1851 contents) New Orleans datestamp (10c rate), stamp tied by red grid, Mar. 25 company datestamp on back of folded letter to Dr. Banks, New York City, ex Ferrary, Hollowbush, offered in this sale as lot 293; 4) Apr. 21 (1851?) company datestamp, stamp cancelled by red grid on folded letter to Rev. Anthony Blane, Archbishop of New Orleans, P.F. records; 5) Jul. 4 (1851 contents) New Orleans datestamp (new 5c rate), stamp tied by Mason's small circle (no datestamp) on folded letter to Eleanor Fratherly, Sodus Pt. N.Y., ex Boker; and 6) Aug. 9 (1851 contents) New Orleans datestamp, "Way 6" and "Adv. 1" handstamps on Aug. 7 folded letter from Mobile to Carl Marten, New Orleans, stamp has trace of red ink but not cancelled, ex Golden. In addition to the six stamps on covers, we record one off-cover stamp on piece with the Mason's small circle (lot 294 in this sale).

The manner in which the Mason small circle is struck on this stamp leads us to believe it might have been applied as a precancel when Mason carried letters to the post office for mailing to another city. This cover is accompanied by a handwritten original "rough-up" copy of the Mason's ad in the New Orleans City Directory for 1851 and a copy of the printed ad. The cover and these collateral items would make a perfect exhibit display.

Ex Ackerman and Caspary. From the Estate of Dr. Hubert C. Skinner. With 2009 P.F. certificate (Image Magnifier)

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E. 5,000-7,500 5,750
293 c Mason's New Orleans City Express, New Orleans La., 2c Black on Yellow (102L2). Mostly large margins just barely in at corner ornaments, tied by criss-crossed red circular grid cancels, matching "Mason's Express 23 Royal St." in small circle handstamp and "N-Orls. City Express Post La. Mar. 25" circular datestamp on back, red "New Orleans La. Mar. 25 10" integral-rate circular datestamp on blue Mar. 24, 1851 folded letter to New York City street address, slight crease away from stamp

VERY FINE. ONE OF SIX RECORDED COVERS BEARING MASON'S NEW ORLEANS CITY EXPRESS 2-CENT STAMP, OF WHICH ONLY THREE ARE TIED TO THE COVER. A MAGNIFICENT LOCAL POST RARITY IN SUPERB CONDITION, BEARING ALL THREE MARKINGS ASSOCIATED WITH MASON'S POST.

Our records contain seven 102L2 stamps, including the following six on covers, listed chronologically: 1) Jul. 4 (1850 contents) New Orleans datestamp (10c rate), stamp with wide left sheet margin and cancelled (not tied) by Mason's small circle (no datestamp) on folded letter to Chas. T. Pollard, Montgomery Ala., ex Ackerman, Caspary, the cover offered in lot 292; 2) Dec. 26, 1850 folded letter locally addressed to J. R. Hyde, stamp tied by red grid, Dec. 27 company datestamp, ex Worthington, Caspary, Middendorf; 3) Mar. 25 (1851 contents) New Orleans datestamp (10c rate), stamp tied by red grid, Mar. 25 company datestamp on back of folded letter to Dr. Banks, New York City, ex Ferrary, Hollowbush, the cover offered here; 4) Apr. 21 (1851?) company datestamp, stamp cancelled by red grid on folded letter to Rev. Anthony Blane, Archbishop of New Orleans, P.F. records; 5) Jul. 4 (1851 contents) New Orleans datestamp (new 5c rate), stamp tied by Mason's small circle (no datestamp) on folded letter to Eleanor Fratherly, Sodus Pt. N.Y., ex Boker; and 6) Aug. 9 (1851 contents) New Orleans datestamp, "Way 6" and "Adv. 1" handstamps on Aug. 7 folded letter from Mobile to Carl Marten, New Orleans, stamp has trace of red ink but not cancelled, ex Golden. In addition to the six stamps on covers, we record one off-cover stamp on piece with the Mason's small circle (lot 294 in this sale).

This cover has all three markings associated with Mason's post: the grid, small circle and large circular datestamp.

Ex Ferrary and Hollowbush. From the Estate of Dr. Hubert C. Skinner. With 1966 and 2009 P.F. certificates (Image Magnifier)

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E. 10,000-15,000 15,500
294   Mason's New Orleans City Express, New Orleans La., 2c Black on Yellow (102L2). Mostly large margins just touching corner ornaments, criss-crossed red grid cancel, affixed to a piece with red "Mason's Express 23 Royal St." small circle handstamp but did not originate, when held to light the stamp shows thins which are not mentioned on accompanying certificate, Very Fine appearance and rare, from the Estate of Dr. Hubert C. Skinner, with 2009 P.F. certificate (Image Magnifier)

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3,000 1,100
295   Menant & Co. Express Post, New Orleans La., 2c Dark Red (104L1). Full margins all around, small thin spot and tiny pinhole at top right, small ms. marks which may or may not be related to use

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF FOUR EXAMPLES OF THE MENANT & CO. LOCAL POST STAMP AVAILABLE TO COLLECTORS. A GREAT PHILATELIC RARITY.

According to The Great Mail, Menant & Co.'s Express Post commenced operations in 1853 at 21 Conti Street and were still in business as late as 1856, although at a different address, 118 Exchange Place, near the post office.

The five examples of 104L1 in our records (all unused) are: 1) ex Souren, illustrated in The Great Mail (p. 133), ex Hall and Sale 878 (realized $5,500); 2) ex Middendorf (faults incl. hole at top right); 3) ex Caspary (thin and pinhole), the stamp offered here; 4) a recent discovery, offered in Sale 811 (realized $22,000); and 5) the copy in the British Library, Tapling Collection

Ex Caspary. From the Estate of Dr. Hubert C. Skinner. With 2009 P.F. certificate which declines opinion as to the significance of pen marks (Image Magnifier)

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15,000 2,100
296 ogbl Penny Express Co. (Holladay Overland Mail & Express Co.), 5c Black (114L1a). Complete sheet of 32, each stamp initialled "HR" by Henry Reed, full sheet margins, original gum, a few faint toned spots, several creases

EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. THE ONLY RECORDED PENNY EXPRESS COMPANY SHEET WITH REED'S INITIALS -- THESE ARE ALL OF THE INITIALLED STAMPS THAT ARE KNOWN.

The "Penny Express" stamps were issued in 1866 by Henry Reed of the Holladay Overland Mail and Express Co., which in 1867 became part of Wells, Fargo & Company. One of the entries from Henry Reed's journal, published by Henry C. Needham in his American Philatelist series (Apr. 1920), makes reference to the stamps: (excerpt from entry datelined Salt Lake City, June 26, 1866) "Charge yourself ten cents for the red stamps instead of twenty cts. as first verbally instructed by me." Although the numeral "5" appears on both the Red and Blue stamps (114L2 and 114L3), as well as the Black, Reed's instructions and advertisements indicate that the standard letter rate was 10c up to a half ounce, and 10c for each additional half-ounce. No used examples of the adhesives are known, and it appears that the printed envelopes were used for Holladay's express, perhaps because the "5" denomination of the stamps caused confusion. Several sheets of Red and Blue stamps, without gum, reached the stamp market. However, only this one sheet of Black stamps with Reed's initials and original gum is known.

Ex Chapman, Middendorf and Golden (Image Magnifier)

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7,000 2,100
297 c Ricketts & Hall, Baltimore Md., 1c Red on Bluish (127L1). Square margins mostly clear of circular frame, pencil cancel, used on cover addressed to "Master Hammie Keplenger, No. 280 W. Lexington St. Balto.", accompanied by Valentine enclosure with handwritten poem which may or may not originate with the cover (we are inclined to believe it does based on the fact this was an original find in Virginia), stamp has small tear at bottom and slightly rounded lower right corner, faint gum stains around stamp, cover has backflap removed and some minor edge tears

FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF SEVEN RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE RICKETTS & HALL STAMP, OF WHICH ONLY FOUR HAVE THE NAME AND ADDRESS AROUND THE PERIMETER STILL INTACT AND ONLY THREE ARE KNOWN ON COVER. THIS IS THE ONLY COPY KNOWN WITH SQUARE MARGINS. ONE OF THE MOST SOUGHT-AFTER OF AMERICAN LOCAL-POST STAMPS.

Denwood N. Kelly provided an excellent overview of what little is known about Ricketts & Hall in his Collectors Club Philatelist series on Baltimore (Vol. 50, No. 6). Stephen Gronowski updated the census of known examples in The Penny Post (Apr. 1994) and Steven M. Roth included the three recorded covers in his February 1997 Baltimore survey (Chronicle 173). A review of our own records (including the Costales and Sloane notes and P.F. files) produced no additional examples or information, and the following information is drawn from the sources noted.

The stamps and advertisements from The Sun (Feb. 10-11, 1857) give the address of Ricketts & Hall as 4 Rechabite Hall, the location of Cook's Dispatch three years earlier (considered by Kelly to be purely coincidental). Several candidates for the proprietors are found in city directories, but nothing is known that directly links any of them to the post. Kelly speculated that John Ricketts, a printer, and Robert Hall, a tailor, were the best choices, given their proximity to 4 Rechabite Hall. The post started in February 1857 (the year appears on the stamp) and probably did not exist more than a few months. The three recorded 127L1 stamps with the surrounding name and address cut away have led to speculation that the post was sold to a new owner, who removed his predecessor's imprint; this is not an unreasonable theory, but no evidence beyond the stamps has been found to support it. If this occurred, it would have to pre-date the May 15, 1857 cover listed below as number 7, which bears a stamp with the outer circle and label cut away.

The Gronowski census is current with seven recorded examples: 1) cut to shape, pencil cancel, ex Caspary, Middendorf, Gronowski collection; 2) cut to shape, pencil cancel, ex Ferrary (?--as reported by Sloane), Needham, Hollowbush, Richardson and Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 1459, realized $8,000 hammer); 3) outer circle with name and address cut away, uncancelled, ex Burrus; 4) outer circle with name and address cut away, tied by Baltimore blue datestamp (date?) on piece with 3c 1851, 1991 Park Cities net price sale; 5) cut to shape, uncancelled, used on back of Justice of the Peace corner card cover to George C. Whiting, Comm. of Pensions, Washington D.C., 3c 1851 tied by Baltimore Feb. 17, 1857 datestamp on front of cover, ex Lilly, Boker; 6) the only cut square stamp, pencil cancel, used on cover to Master Hammie Keplinger, local address, Valentine enclosure, illustrated in Kelly article, the cover offered here; and 7) outer circle with name and address cut away, uncancelled, used on front only, 3c Red Nesbitt embossed stamp, Baltimore May 15, 1857 datestamp, to George N. Forney, Hanover Pa., discovered in 1909, ex Hollowbush, Lowe. Therefore, there are only four 127L1's with the outer label intact, including two covers and two off-cover stamps (cut to shape except for one stamp on cover).

Illustrated in Kelly CCP series (Vol. 50, No. 6, p. 358), where described as follows: "...discovered in an original find in Virginia in late 1969. Shown in Figure 79, the envelope bears the only Ricketts & Hall stamp so far recorded which is not cut to shape. It is manuscript cancelled in pencil and has a slight imperfection in the lower right corner which does not involve the design. Addressed to a young boy, the envelope encloses a Valentine of the period; there are no postal markings of any sort on front or back." (Image Magnifier)

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E. 10,000-15,000 21,000
298 c Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, ($1.00) Red Type II East-to-West Frank, 10c Green on Thin Hard White Entire (unlisted in Scott). Clearly struck "Philadelphia Pa. Aug. 16, 1861" octagonal datestamp and dotted cork cancel, printed address to the "Agent of Pony Express, St. Joseph, Mo." and handwritten address to San Jose Cal., few tiny edge flaws

EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF 21 RECORDED TYPE II EAST-TO-WEST PONY EXPRESS FRANKED ENTIRES AND ONE OF ONLY TWO RECORDED PONY EXPRESS COVER ORIGINATING IN PHILADELPHIA.

According to The Pony Express--A Postal History, there are only 20 examples of the Type II $1.00 East-to-West frank, including a few that have stamps added or have been extensively repaired. This entire is not listed in the census and now becomes the second known Pony Express cover that originated from Philadelphia during any time period. These two are the only examples of the Type II frank used from Philadelphia (almost all originated in New York City).

The $1.00 franked entire and $1.00 "Garter" adhesive were needed by Wells, Fargo & Co.'s eastern offices when the Pony Express entered its official U.S. government mail contract period on July 1, 1861. The 1861 10c "Pumpkin" entire with the Type II printed frank was ordered from George F. Nesbitt & Co. (New York) by the Overland Mail Company after they obtained approval for the design and imprint from the Postmaster General's office (a June 21, 1861, letter and essay submitted for approval are recorded). Nesbitt was specifically asked to produce envelopes on a thinner, tougher paper than that used for regular stamped envelopes, presumably to reduce weight for the Pony riders. Comparing the Type II franked entires with others, it does appear to be a thinner, less opaque paper, although the Scott Catalogue does not list the 10c entires on more than one kind of white paper.

The period commencing July 1, 1861, was an important one for the Pony Express. Under new management and connected with Wells, Fargo & Co.'s vast network of offices and routes, the Pony Express was authorized by Congress to carry mail under government contract at the rate of $1.00 per half ounce. Although collectors generally perceive all Pony Express stamps and franked entires to be unofficial non-government forms of postage, effective July 1, 1861, the new stamps and entires are semi-official issues intended to prepay goverment contract rates.

This August 16, 1861, usage from Philadelphia comes just as the old stamp issues were being demonetized and the new 1861 Issue was released, due to the Civil War. This Pony Express cover entered the post office and was treated as regular mail until it reached the Wells, Fargo & Co. agent at St. Joseph, Missouri. From there it made the August 18, 1861, westbound Pony trip to California. At Placerville, it was carried by Wells, Fargo & Co. to San Jose. For no apparent reason, the St. Joseph office did not apply a Pony Express datestamp to this entire or one of the other Type II entires carried on this trip.

This becomes Census No. W51A to fit in chronological order. With 2006 P.F. certificate (Image Magnifier)

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E. 20,000-30,000 26,000
299 c Wells, Fargo & Co., Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9). Large margins to well clear at right, used with 3c Rose (65) on 3c Pink entire with Wells, Fargo & Co. printed frank, addressed to Clara C. Crittenden in San Francisco, all stamps tied by light strikes of "Wells, Fargo & Co. Virginia Cty. N.T. Jul. 14" blue oval datestamp, pencil route notations, opened at top, couple tiny edge tears at top

VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE VIRGINIA CITY PONY EXPRESS USAGE WITH ADDITIONAL UNITED STATES POSTAGE PAID BY THE 3-CENT 1861 ISSUE.

Covers with the 25c Red stamp are very scarce, and only a few are known with additional U.S. stamps. This cover originates from the famous Crittenden correspondence. The letter was franked with double-rate U.S. postage at Virginia City, but only one Pony Express stamp. Presumably the additional express rate was collected from the addressee by Wells, Fargo & Co.'s agent in San Francisco.

Ex Ishikawa and Kuphal. With 2007 P.F. certificate (Image Magnifier)

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E. 15,000-20,000 30,000
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