Lot Details

3070 – ERIVAN X

Tuesday, April 30, 2024 10:00 a.m. ET, New York
LOT# : 101

Western Expresses

Wells, Fargo & Co, Pony Express, $1.00 red, mostly good to large margins all around, close but clear at right, bright shade, tied to red Wells, Fargo & Co. printed frank 10c green Nesbitt entire (U15) by blue "Pony Express San Francisco / Sep 7" oval, cover further affixed with two 3c dull red Type II and two 10c green Type V, the 3c adhesives tied by blue Running Pony, they and the balance further postmarked by red New York Foreign Mail Office grid cancellations, to Pietro Martinelli in Maggia, Ticino, Switzerland, reverse with red "New-York Br. Pkt. / Sep 25" c.d.s., front with various accountancy markings, violet "12" manuscript credit mark, boxed red "Aachen 8 10 / Franco" and manuscript "f2" and "6", backstamped Basel (9 Oct), Lucerne (10 Oct) and Locarno, accompanying certificate notes the removal of some staining, else a very fine and dramatic entire, one of only six Pony Express covers recorded to foreign destinations, this being the unique example to Switzerland; with 2003 Philatelic Foundation certificate. FKW Census E155.
Dale-Lichtenstein, H.R. Harmer,   May 13, 2004.
Thurston Twigg-Smith, R.A Siegel Auction Galleries, December, 2009
Covers of the Pony Express are among the most renowned in philately.  The striking appearance of these postal artifacts cannot help but conjure romantic images of America’s westward expansion. The example offered here is, in our view, among the most attractive Pony Express covers extant, the exceptional 36c franking overpaying by 1c the Prussian Closed Mail rate. The exhaustive Frajola – Kramer – Walske Census records six covers to destinations outside of the United States, with one example recorded to each of England, France, Germany, Prince Edward Island, Scotland, and Switzerland.  This is furthermore the only Pony Express cover with this particular franking.

This cover would have been transported on the eastbound Pony Express that departed San Francisco on Saturday, September 7; the only such cover recorded in the FKW Census. It was carried from New York via British Packet, then onwards through Aachen and conveyed  via Prussian Closed Mail, traveling south from Basel to its eventual recipient, Pietro Martinelli in Maggia. At this time Australia and the United States, particularly California, became popular destinations for Swiss immigrants from the Maggia Valley. A period of economic hardship in the region combined with the promise of riches that could be had from gold rushes in both countries encouraged many to leave the Ticino area to seek their fortune abroad. Our research uncovered several further covers from various origins in California and Victoria, Australia - also a centre of gold mining - to different addressees in the Ticino area, including an 1862 Wells Fargo advertising cover als to Maggia, attesting to the allure of the gold rush to those who left the region to seek a better life. 
A cover of exceptional beauty, and an iconic rarity.

Scott 143L3
Starting Price: $200,000
Hammer Price: $750,000