Lot# 89 - Sales #3010-11 - NY 2016 Rarities Sales

  • Lot# : 89 Hawaii

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    The unique pair of folded letters WITHOUT FRANKING. The two letters are mailed from Honolulu via San Francisco and New York to France. The items are addressed: "Ruinart pere & fils" the famous Champagne producers in Reims.
    Prof. Guenther Heyd (Hamburg) reported in 1957 on the reason for the lack of postage. A San Francisco newspaper reported in 1865 about a postal clerk having been transferred and dismissed due to theft of postal stamps. The young man worked on transit mail from Hawaii.
    Letters coming from Honolulu were in many cases already franked with US stamps. This was done by "Forwarding Agents" in Hawaii. On arrival in San Francisco, the stamps on these transit covers were cancelled. That was the task of the supposed thief. It seems that he knew to remove the unused US stamps so well that no traces were visible. He then most likely sold the stolen stamps for cash. The thief was so ingenious that he gave the impression that the postage had been lost in the mail by the following trick. He placed little pieces of paper in size of a stamp on the places where there were stamps originally. Then he stamped the paper so it looked as though there were stamps in that place before. The fragments of the postmarks were so visible on the remaining journey of the letters. No one would question the existence of the valid postage stamps having been affixed initially.
    The thief probably didn»t feel that any damage was done to the Post Office.
    The San Francisco Post Office was so inefficient at the time that the citizens of the city called on President Abraham Lincoln to remove the Postmaster from power, and it is strongly suspected that these covers are evidence of this turbulent time in the city's history. A great pair of postal history covers giving a colorful insight in the Western life of the 1860ies!

    Both pieces considering the gigantic postal route, in very good condition.
    For further details see Charles Epting»s article in the May2016 American Stamp Dealer & Collector.
    Illustrated and described in Gregory «Hawaii Foreign Mails to 1870» (Vol. II, pp. 283 - 285
    Provenance : Noel
    Start Price : 4,500 USD
    Current Opening : 4,500 USD
    Hammer price : 4,500 USD