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# : 1
Date: June 21, 2023

Baltimore, MD

3X2, Baltimore, MD, 1845 10c Black on white,

lower left corner margin copy (position 11) showing framelines on three sides, tied by blue straightline "Paid" with matching "Baltimore Md. May 5" datestamp alongside on 1847 cover to "Mr. Nathan Smith Lincoln, Member of College, Hanover, New Hampshire", neat "May 5, 1847" docketing, extremely fine and choice, undoubtedly the finest of the five covers bearing a 10c Baltimore adhesive on white paper

The discovery of this cover was first announced in the New York Times on April 17, 1930, in an article titled "Baltimore Stamp, Worth $10,000, Is Found By Natalie S. Lincoln on an 1848 Letter." Natalie Sumner Lincoln, the editor of the Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine and a noted detective novelist, found it while "rummaging through [a wicker] basket" in her workshop. The letter was addressed to Lincoln's father, Dr. Nathan Smith Lincoln, an officer in the Civil War and prominent physician, while a senior at Dartmouth College. The article makes several inaccurate claims, such as the 1848 date and the fact that the stamp was cancelled in red ink.

In 1930 this cover was sold to John A. Klemann of the Nassau Stamp Company for $10,000, who then sold it to Alfred H. Caspary. In its three appearances at public auction, the cover has realized $9,000 (Caspary), $19,000 (Lilly), and $110,000 (Weill). In the Caspary catalogue, it was described as "one of the most outstanding philatelic items in existence."

Baltimore 10c Provisionals are extremely rare. Just two examples are recorded on blue paper, one on a small piece and one on cover (which realized $155,000 in the "Erivan" Collection Part VII). The stamps were subsequently printed on white paper, despite the incorrect order of the Scott Catalogue listings. All five known examples of the white paper stamps are still on their original covers. The cover offered here is by far the finest example known, and rivals the 10c blue paper cover in terms of beauty and quality.

Provenance: Alfred H. Caspary (H.R. Harmer Sale 967, 1955)

Josiah K. Lilly (R.A. Siegel Sale 312, 1967)

Weill Brothers' Stock (Christie's, 1989)

Scott 3X2
Starting Price: $40,000
Hammer Price: $115,000