Lot Details

June 2023

"Erivan" Collection Part IX and Canal Zone Stamps and Covers

June 20-21, 2023 in New York City

Our June sales include Part IX of the "Erivan" Collection of United and Confederate States Postal History and a catalogue of Canal Zone stamps and covers featuring the collections of James W. Crumpacker and Paul F. Ammons.

LOT# : 12
Date: June 21, 2023

1857-60 Issue

39, 1860 90c Blue,

used alongside 3c Dull red (26), 5c Brown (30A), 10c Green (35), and horizontal pair of 30c Orange (38), tied by large "Paid" in grids from Boston to 1860 folded letter to Shanghai, China (Augustine Heard correspondence), endorsed "Via Marseilles" and "pr. Str. Fulton from New York", backstamped "Boston Br. Pkt. Nov. 9", London November 23 transit, manuscript "8" and red crayon "84/4" ratings, 90c reperforated on all four sides, other stamps small faults, very fine appearance, one of just six 90c 1860 covers in existence, one of the most iconic and spectacular classic United States covers, 1993 Philatelic Foundation certificate
Of the six 90c 1860 covers in existence, two originate from the Augustine Heard correspondence to Shanghai. $1.68 postage pays the rate for letters between 1¼ and 1½ ounces. It was carried by the Havre Line's Fulton to Southampton, and then by Great Britain to China via Marseilles, with the United States and Britain each collecting 84c.  This cover was extensively discussed by Stanley B. Ashbrook, both in his Special Service and in the 1951 17th American Philatelic Congress Book. In his 1987 article on the 90c 1860 issue on cover (Chronicle Vol. 39, No. 3), Richard Searing declared this to be the "most striking of the five recorded genuine examples" (the census has been updated, but we agree with his sentiment). 
With regards to the 90c stamp being reperforated on all four sides, we will turn Ashbrook's Special Service (page 602):
A number of years ago two brothers wandered into a dealer's shop and each had a shoe-box of some family correspondence, which they wanted to sell. One had a cover with a single 90c 1860, a cover as good as gold. The other one also had a cover with various stamps of the 1857-60 issue, including a 90c 1860 with the perforations trimmed from all four sides. The dealer told the young man that his cover would have had more value if the 90c stamp had not been timed, and the young man explained that he had removed the stamp from the cover and cut the perforations from all four sides because he had a perforated 90c in his album and no 90c imperf to go in the imperf space. Later he replaced the trimmed copy on the cover. This is a true story.
For many years the 24c, 30c, and 90c were listed in the Scott Catalogue as imperforate stamps although it is now known that they were never issued as such. It was the owner's blind acceptance of the catalogue listings that caused him to alter the stamp on this cover; or, as Searing eloquently put it, "Such is the price of ignorance in trying to fill an album space created for a proof that never should have been listed as a stamp."
Provenance: Henry C. Needham 
Robert A. Paliafito 
Ryohei Ishikawa (Christie's Robson Lowe, 1993)
Blake Myers (R.A. Siegel Sale 882, 2004)

Scott 39
Starting Price: $30,000
Hammer Price: $30,000