Local and Private Posts

Carriers & Locals
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  • Lot# : 34 Local and Private Posts

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    Bayonne City Dispatch (New Jersey), 9L1, 1883 1c Black, four margin stamp showing a double transfer at the center of the design, tied by proper violet three ring concentric circle killer on locally used amber cover addressed to Philip La Tourette, 3-line "Bayonne City, May 15, 1883 Dispatch" postmark at center, the stamp with a light bend at the lower left caused by a cover wrinkle, the cover with small edge flaws at the top and missing part of the back flap, Fine and attractive; a 2002 article by John Bowman published in the Penny Post estimated that only 30 to 40 covers with this local exist and that all, but one of those covers were locally used (Scott $750)
    Start Price : 100.00 USD
    Current Opening : 230.00 USD
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    Lot# : 35 Local and Private Posts

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    Bayonne City Dispatch (New Jersey), 9L1, 1883 1c Black, tied by proper violet 3-ring cancel and lightly struck "Bergen Poing N.J. May 19" town marking on cover addressed to NY City, additionally franked with 1c Ultramarine and 2c Vermillion (Scott 206, 183) paying the domestic postage for delivery in NYC, stamp full margins, cover is slightly reduced at left and the stamps with trivial toning, Very Fine overall.

    This is the only cover recorded in John Bowman's 2002 article published in the Penny Post as being used outside of the local area of Bayonne, passing through the US mails and requiring US postage There is one other cover with the additional franking of a 3c Green (Scott 207), but as this is a local to Bayonne use, the stamp may not have been required.

    Provenance: Brad Arch (R.A. Siegel Sale 825, 2000)

    Edgar Kuphal (R.A. Siegel Sale 925, 2006)

    As discussed in Bowman's article (Vol. 10, No. 4), there is some debate as to whether the Bayonne City Dispatch provided legitimate service or was philatelically inspired. The late date (1883) seems to suggest the latter, although research by Robert Kaufmann provides a logical explanation for the service. The present-day city of Bayonne was served by four government post offices (Bergen Point, Bayonne, Van Buskirk, and Saltersville), but delivery between these offices often involved sending the mail to New York City and back again, with delivery taking four or five days. Therefore a local service carrying mail within Bayonne would have been a benefit to local businesses. Ultimately, Bowman concluded that Bayonne City Dispatch was "probably legitimate, possibly philatelically inspired, and collectible in light of their scarcity."

    Start Price : 1,000.00 USD
    Current Opening : 1,000.00 USD
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    Lot# : 36 Local and Private Posts

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    Berford & Co’s Express, 11L3a, 1851 10c Violet, Horizontal tête-bêche pairs, two nearly four margined pairs (from the same block of four) with six strikes of the red "B & Co. PAID" company handstamps (one tying the left pair to the envelope and the others cancelling the individual stamps), c.1852 cover addressed to "Lieut. Bush,/ U. S. Ship 'St. Lawrence'/ Valparaiso," ms. docketing on back side indicating reception on "April 28th" and signed by a "WH Vincent," pair positioned horizontally with a light pre-use crease, the other pair was removed and replaced on this cover of origin and has a light bend due to a fold in the cover which has a small piece out at lower left, Very Fine and choice; 2001 Philatelic Foundation certificate (Scott $75,000)

    One of two covers recorded bearing a Berford & Co.»s tête-bêche pair and the only cover with two tête-bêche pairs, additionally one of only four covers with Berford franking showing the 40c rate to the West Coast of South America. There are thought to be less than 20 covers total extant from this short-lived company, and only five covers with the 10c value.

    Provenance: George B. Mason (Private Transaction)

    Senator Ernest R. Ackerman (Private Transaction, 1928)

    John H. Hall family collection (R.A. Siegel Sale 830, 2000)

    D. K. Collection (R.A. Siegel Sale 862, 2003)

    An article in the July 8, 1851 issue of the New York Evening Post, titled "The Government Beaten in Cheap Postage," reads in part:

    Let the government come down as low as it may in its charges for doing what is properly the business of individuals, private enterprise, if left free, underbids it. It is supposed by many that the government has given the people cheap postage, and certainly the rates are low compared to what we have already paid. But Berford &. Company, whose Express office is established in this city, gives us cheaper postage yet.

    After a tumultuous several-year existence that included frequent legal troubles with the United States government, advertisements for Berford & Co. appear to cease abruptly around April of 1854, suggesting the end of the service. For the few years that they existed, however, Berford & Co. was quite popular (as evidenced by the article quoted above). In the early 1850s Berford & Co. were advertising service to Rio de Janeiro, Valparaiso, Panama, and California. The 40c rate to the west coast of South America was most often paid with four 10c stamps (three of the four covers known), with the fourth cover featuring a unique rate make-up of a 3c stamp, two 6c stamps, and a 25c stamp.

    Only three tête-bêche pairs of 11L3a exist (all contained on two covers), making this amongst the scarcest varieties of all local stamps. According to Elliott Perry this cover was missing the righthand pair when Senator Ackerman acquired it and the right edge of the cover was folded over. It was only at a later date that the missing pair was once again offered and reunited on its original cover. This unlikely occurrence adds an air of romance to what is already one of the most significant local covers in existence.

    Start Price : 15,000.00 USD
    Current Opening : 15,000.00 USD
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    Lot# : 37 Local and Private Posts

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    Philadelphia Despatch Post, 15L1, 1843 3c Red on bluish, initialed "R & Co.," cut square (only recorded example, all others are cut into an octagonal shape), lightly tied by large numeral red "3" and attached with a wafer on 1843 folded cover/wrapper with red "Philadelphia Pa. Jun 13" postmark, addressed to "Mr. Fredk Fritz, Present," cover with manuscript "Refused" above address, Very Fine; one of only 14 or 15 recorded covers with this stamp and the only one with the stamp cut square (Scott $8,500)

    Provenance: Alfred H. Caspary (H.R. Harmer Sale 1069, 1957)

    John R. Boker, Jr. (Private Transaction)

    A 2013 Penny Post article Dr. Vernon R. Morris, Jr. (Vol. 21, No. 2) records 14 covers with 15L1, all used between February 15 and November 8, 1843 (R.A. Siegel reports 15 covers). The cover offered here is #3 in Morris's census. Following the British "Penny Black" and Greig's City Despatch Post in New York City, the Philadelphia Despatch Post was only the third entity in the world to issue stamps for the prepayment of postage (15L1, 3c red on bluish, and the earlier 15L2, 3c Black), both of which are extremely scarce. To this end, Morris states that "15L1 participated in the advancement of written communication through specialization and innovation of postal service dedicated and restricted solely to local service in one city." The significance of this cover, then, which has not been offered publicly in over 60 years, is considerable. Although primitive in design, the Philadelphia Despatch Post stamps represent an important step in the develpment of the American postal system.

    Start Price : 1,500.00 USD
    Current Opening : 1,500.00 USD
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    Lot# : 38 Local and Private Posts

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    Bradway’s Despatch Millville, NJ, 21L1, 1857 Gold on lilac, four margined single with manuscript cancels not tied on 3c Red on white entire (Scott U9) which is cancelled by a "Millville N.J. Jan 27" postmark, addressed to Philadelphia, entire with light creasing and soiling, Very Fine and extremely rare; a 2014 census by Larry Lyons (NJPH Vol. 42, No. 3) lists only four covers with this local stamp, including an ex-Boker cover to Philadelphia dated Jan. 17; given the circumstances we believe this date to be an error, and this to be the cover once owned by Boker (Scott "on cover, not tied, with certificate" at $9,250 and "on cover, not tied, with 3c #11, with certificate" at $12,000), 2019 Philatelic Foundation certificate (mentions "tiny gum stains")

    Provenance: John R. Boker, Jr. (Private Transaction)

    An enigmatic local company that has confounded collectors since it first appeared in catalogues as early as 1863. Lyons presumed the operator to be Isaac Bradway, and based on the dates of the known covers it appears the service only opperated between January and March of 1857. There are no known examples either used or unused off-cover. "Bradway's Dispatch," with an "i" in place of an "e," was the subject of a fantasy stamp of a radically different design by S. Allen Taylor. The cover offered here is the only Bradway's Despatch cover not pictured in the Lyons census; this is apparently the first time it has ever been offered at public auction.

    Start Price : 1,000.00 USD
    Current Opening : 1,000.00 USD
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    Lot# : 39 Local and Private Posts

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    Brooklyn City Express Post, Brooklyn NY, 28L3, 1855-64 2c Black on crimson, nearly four margined stamp with circular black ring cancellation on envelope with "Troy House/Troy NY" corner card, addressed to "Wall Street New York," oval "Boyd's City Express Post Nov 3 9" handstamp at center showing conjunctive usage with Boyd's, cover with a trivial spot along the bottom center edge, Very Fine, originated in Brooklyn and and delivered by Boyd's City Express Post completely outside the mails (Scott $400 for a stamp tied on cover, $70 for used)

    Provenance: John R. Boker, Jr. (Private Transaction)

    A 2007 census by Larry Lyons and published in the Penny Post (Vol. 15, No.2) lists this cover and is one of only six covers with this stamp showing a conjunctive use with Boyd's. Brooklyn and New York were separate cities so that letters between the two required proper US postage plus applicable drop and/or carrier fees. Private local posts found a niche by carrying letter mail on the ferries travelling between Manhattan and Brooklyn. While the stamp is not tied on this cover, it does have the proper Brooklyn City Express Post cancellation and shows the proper conjunctive usage.

    Start Price : 100.00 USD
    Current Opening : 160.00 USD
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    Lot# : 40 Local and Private Posts

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    Brooklyn City Express Post, Brooklyn NY, 28L5, 1855-64 2c Black on dark blue, four margined single showing the dividing lines on all four sides, cancelled and just tied by black blob cancellation on dark buff 1857 cover addressed to Virginia and additionally franked with 1857 3c Dull red (Scott 26) tied by "Brooklyn N.Y. Nov 1" town marking, "Nov 4 1857" docketing, Very Fine and attractive (Scott $500 for a stamp on cover tied by handstamp)

    While this cover is not listed in the 2007 Lyons census it does fall within the known dates of usage of this stamp (1851-58). Lyons notes that the normal cancellation is a black ring, but there are examples in his census of stamps with a black "bloblike" cancel (suggested to perhaps be an under-inked or worn out device).

    Start Price : 100.00 USD
    Current Opening : 100.00 USD
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    Lot# : 41 Local and Private Posts

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    (Grieg’s) City Despatch Post, New York, 40L1, 1842 3c Black on grayish, very large margined single showing the layout lines between stamps on all four sides, tied by red "City Despatch Post N.Y. 9 May 1 O'Clock" handstamp and bearing a matching strike of the boxed "Free" marking on locally used folded outer address sheet, choice Very Fine (Scott $2,500 for stamp tied by company handstamp)

    Provenance: Judge Robert Emerson (Daniel F. Kelleher Sale 402, 1939)

    When Greig's City Despatch Post issued their adhesive postage stamp in February of 1842, they became only the second entity in the world to issue a stamp for the prepayment of postage. To put this into perspective, it would be over a year before Zurich issued the 4- and 6-rappen and Brazil issued its famous "Bull's Eyes." The City Despatch Post only operated between February 1 and August 15, 1842, at which point it was purchased by the US government and operated as a carrier service.

    Start Price : 500.00 USD
    Current Opening : 500.00 USD
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    Lot# : 42 Local and Private Posts

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    Cole’s Post Office, City Despatch New York, NY, 40L8, 1847-52 2c Black on yellowish buff, four margined single with indistinguishable light black cancel, positioned at lower left of c.1852 folded outer address sheet addressed to "South Port Ct.," red "New-York Paid 3 cts May 17" postmark at top right and large penciled "3" at center, the tail of which ties the stamp, Very Fine and rare; the Siegel census notes that there are only 4 covers recorded with this stamp accepted as genuine, this is thought to be the latest usage (Scott $15,000 a stamp not tied on cover, with certificate), 2019 Philatelic Foundation certificate

    Provenance: John R. Boker, Jr. (Private Transaction)

    In a 2011 article, Larry Lyons (Penny Post, Vol. 19, No. 1) notes that "the City Despatch Post plate entered its third and final state of existence with the post's takeover by Charles Cole" sometime around late 1847. The design of the stamp was therefore modified to include Cole's initials "CC" on either side of Washington's head. The stamp offered here, on Yellowish buff paper, shows a very worn plate, and the known dates of use for this issue (between about September 1851 and May 1852) indiciate that this was probably the last stamp of this prolific and significant local post. For more information on this particular issue, as well as the other stamps issued by the various iterations of the City Despatch Post, we recommend Scott Trepel's The City Despatch Post 1842-1852 Issues: A Study of America's First and Most Versatile Stamp-Producing Plate (2003).

    Start Price : 2,500.00 USD
    Current Opening : 2,500.00 USD
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    Lot# : 43 Local and Private Posts

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    Cummings City Post, New York City, 55L5, 1844 2c Black on olive, single with margins clear to touching, used on locally addressed decorative gold on light gray cover front, lightly struck red oval "Cummings Express Post" vertically placed at the center of the front, stamp margins to touching, the front with a small piece out at the lower left and many hinge remainders on the back side; Fine and scarce (Scott $750 for used single, while no value is noted for a stamp on cover).

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

    A 2001 article by Calvet M. Hahn notes a combined total of 6 covers extant for the green and olive stamps on cover. All stamps are either manuscript cancelled or without cancel and none are tied on cover. There is debate as to whether the two paper colors warrant separate listings. Henry Needham, although notoriously wrong about many things, wrote in 1915 that "the pale olive is probably the same as the green glazed, the color and glazing having been changed or worn from exposure," and Hahn subsequently supported this opinion. The so-called "Cupid" design, one of the most whimisical and attractive of all local post stamps, is thought to have been the first stamp issued by Cummings City Post, and only very rarely appears on the philatelic market.

    Start Price : 300.00 USD
    Current Opening : 300.00 USD
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    Lot# : 44 Local and Private Posts

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    Hale & Co. Boston, 75L5, 1844 (6c) Blue, horizontal pair affixed but not tied on folded letter datelined "Boston 19th July 1844," lightly struck boxed Hale & Co. forwarded handstamps, addressed to New York (City), manuscript "Hale" at lower left, stamps clear to large margins, sealed cover tear passes under the upper right corner of the right stamp of the pair, but the stamp appears to be sound, Very Fine and attractive (Scott $900 for a pair on cover tied by handstamp but it does not price a pair not tied)

    Provenance: Edward S. Knapp (Parke-Bernet Galleries Part One, 1941)

    Start Price : 200.00 USD
    Current Opening : 200.00 USD
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    Lot# : 45 Local and Private Posts

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    Hussey's Post, NY City, 87L1, 1856 (1c) Blue, single tied by "Free" handstamp on 1856 locally addressed folded letter (printed form letter of the Aetna Fire Insurance Co at 56 Wall Street), nice strike of "Notice & Circular Distributing Office, 82 Broadway Upstairs" oval handstamp, stamp full to large margins and, along with cover, affected by some light aging, still Very Fine and rare as there just three recorded covers franked with Hussey's first issue (Scott $2,750), 2019 Philatelic Foundation certificate

    Start Price : 500.00 USD
    Current Opening : 500.00 USD
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    Lot# : 46 Local and Private Posts

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    Mercantile Library Association, NY City, 105L3, 1870-75 5c Blue, horizontal pair (probably from upper left corner) tied by double oval blue "Mercantile Library Association Nov. 18 1875" and "Dec 13 1875" handstamps on addressed card used for delivery of a book to the client, stamps fresh color and clear to large margins, card with edge flaws, Very Fine overall; signed "Geo. B. Sloane" (Scott $1,400 for a pair on "postal card and $1,000 for two used stamps)

    The library delivered books to patrons by horse and wagon for a fee of five cents, until business declined and it stopped service at the end of 1873. It re-opened in December 1874, using messengers for home delivery, but with the fee increased to ten cents. This accounts for the two five cent stamps on this library loan form. For an interesting and in-depth look at this particular local post, we recommend the article by Larry T. Nix, John D. Bowman, and Gordon Stimmell ("Unraveling the Story of the Delivery Stamps of the Mercantile Library of New York") from the December 2007 issue of the American Philatelist.

    Start Price : 200.00 USD
    Current Opening : 200.00 USD
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    Lot# : 47 Local and Private Posts

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    Mercantile Library Association, NY City, 105L6, 1870-75 10c Black on yellow, single tied by double oval "Mercantile Library Association Feb 27 2 1877" handstamp on addressed card used for delivery of a book to the client, additional handstamps dated Mar 5, Mar 26, Apr 16 and May 8, stamp clear margins but with a trivial corner fault lower right from placement, card is in excellent shape (rare thus) with only a couple of tiny corner creases and a light central vertical fold, Very Fine and rare (Scott $750 for used stamp with no value stated for usage on card)

    A new ten cent stamp was issued for the higher delivery fee, possibly in 1877 and perhaps because the supply of five cents stamps was depleted. Only one example used on library form was known to Nix, Bowman, and Stimmell at the time of their 2007 article (it is illustrated in Donald Patton's Private Local Posts of the United States on page 226). In addition to this stamp, the Mercantile Library of New York also produced a pre-printed 10c card (105LU1) to meet the new rate; only two such cards, both mint, are known.

    Start Price : 200.00 USD
    Current Opening : 210.00 USD
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    Lot# : 48 Local and Private Posts

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    Pomeroy’s Letter Express, 117L2, 1844 (5c) Black on yellow surface colored paper, Value incomplete, single bearing red Pomeroy's "Cd." cancel on folded letter datelined "Buffalo 25 July 1844" and addressed to New York (City), the stamp has been cut out and replaced on this folded letter of origin with a small portion of the bottom sliced off, but left adhering to the folded letter, otherwise Very Fine, less than 25 covers known franked with this variety, 1961 British Philatelic Association certificate as "... genuine. It has been cut out and replaced on its original cover" (Scott $4,500 for stamp on cover with a handstamp cancellation and not tied, $1,500 for a used single)

    Start Price : 400.00 USD
    Current Opening : 400.00 USD
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    Lot# : 49 Local and Private Posts

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    Pomeroy’s Letter Express, 117L6, 1844 5c Lake on thin bond paper, top margin single tied by manuscript cancellation on folded letter, datelined July 18, 1844 addressed to Little Falls, New York, stamp ample to wide margins, Very Fine and attractive (Scott $1,500 for a single tied by manuscript cancellation on cover)

    David Snow in his chapter on Pomeroy's in the Independent Mails book notes that he has only recorded 15 examples of this stamp on cover. Of particular interest to the postal historian, this letter notes that postage is now lower and the writer hopes that there will be more correspondence in the future. Based on the content it appears that the letter originated in the New York City area.

    Start Price : 300.00 USD
    Current Opening : 300.00 USD
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    Lot# : 50 Local and Private Posts

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    Price’s Eighth Avenue Post Office, NY City, 120L1, 1854 (2c) Red on bluish, single affixed but uncancelled on stampless folded to-the-mails letter without additional postage, addressed to "Newark, New York," black "New-York 5 Cts May 9" due marking at upper right, stamp clear to ample margins except just touching at right, the folded letter with repairs at left and right and cleaned to lighten staining, still Fine and scarce, presumably sent unpaid by the New York Post Office, probably in the mid-1850s (Scott $7,500 for an uncancelled stamp on cover with certificate), 2019 Philatelic Foundation certificate (mentions "extraneous ink mark" on stamp)

    In a 2004 article in the Penny Post (Vol. 12, No. 2) Larry Lyons estimated that there are only six or seven covers with this stamp extant and that at least five of them are to the mails usages franked with 3c imperforate stamps. While this cover does not have the additional franking it does fit the usage noted by Lyons. A review of known covers shows that this local did not receive a company handstamp.

    Start Price : 500.00 USD
    Current Opening : 500.00 USD
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    Lot# : 51 Local and Private Posts

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    Russell 8th Ave. Post Office, NY City, 130L3, 1854-58 (2c) Red on bluish, single affixed, but uncancelled, on mourning cover addressed to "New Milford Ct.," additionally franked with an 1851 3c Dull red (Scott 11) to pay the government postage (tied by New York cds), local stamp with very faint soiling, stamp margins to just cutting, Very Fine; an extremely rare and seldom seen local (Scott $5,750 for an untied stamp on cover used in conjunction with 3c Scott 11 with certificate), 2019 Philatelic Foundation certificate stating genuine stamp varitey with "dash and dot under the 'E' of 'Ave' missing" but declining an opinion regarding whether the stamp originated on cover

    A 2008 census of this stamp on cover by R.A. Siegel records only 5 examples, three of which are «to the mails» usages (this cover not included in that census). There is no mention in Donald S. Patton's Private Local Posts of the United States and very little mention in the Penny Post. According to Larry Lyons (Penny Post Vol. 19, No. 2), "In late 1854 David Russell bought Price's Eighth Avenue Post Office from James Price and issued his own adhesive stamps." The post served the Abingdon Square neighborhood of lower Manhattan, roughly where 8th Avenue meets 12th Street.

    Start Price : 1,000.00 USD
    Current Opening : 1,000.00 USD
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    Lot# : 52 Local and Private Posts

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    Spaulding’s Penny Post, Buffalo, New York, 156L2, 1848-49 2c Carmine, single with ornamental border surrounding text around a central design affixed, but not cancelled, on folded letter sheet used c.September 10, 1849, addressed to "Mrs. James Purdy, Mansfield, Ohio," stamp with large margins all around, the cover shows trivial edge toning and a light file fold at center away from the stamp, some light aging just affects stamp, a Fine and rare cover not seen for generations (Scott does not price this stamp on cover, and it prices the similarly unique unused stamp at $40,000), 2019 Philatelic Foundation states that "some letters in 'Letters to' and 'Spaul(ding's)' strengthened where a stain or marking was removed

    Provenance: John R. Boker, Jr. (Private Transaction)

    The history of Spaulding's Penny Post of Buffalo, New York was long shrouded in mystery. The existence of the post was entirely unknown until 1915, when a Mr. Harry C. Flierl of Buffalo reported the discovery of a stamped envelope to Mekeel's Weekly Stamp News (July 24, 1915). The writer concluded that Enos W. Spaulding must have taken inspiration for the design of his stamp from Gordon's City Express in New York City, as the two designs are nearly identical. The article in Mekeel's also reprinted a contemporaneous newspaper advertisement which helped to confirm the existence of this local post.

    The dating of the cover offered here is based on the postmark, which is thought not to have been placed in use prior to December 1848, combined with the fact that Spaulding sold his firm in October 1849. This is the only recorded example of this stamp used on cover and one of two known examples of the stamp. The second copy is an unused single and was sold in 2017 for $22,000. This cover was discovered sometime around 1952, at which point it was described by Pitt Petri in a 1953 article in the Collectors Club Philatelist (Vol. XXXII, No. 2). As this was the discovery copy (the unused example first appeared at a 1973 Robson Lowe sale), the existence of this stamp was entirely unknown to philatelists for over a century. John R. Boker, Jr. purchased this cover privately, as did Haub, which means that this cover has never been made available at public auction. Its late discovery and limited ownership history make this, in our opinion, one of the most important offerings of a local stamp cover in recent philatelic memory.

    Start Price : 10,000.00 USD
    Current Opening : 10,000.00 USD
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