For our first installment, we are looking at the Frederick R. Mayer Collection of Nova Scotia (Sale 2944), held May 12, 2004.

 

The introduction to the catalogue reads:
Among the hierarchy of United States philately, Mr. Frederick R. Mayer is probably the best-known "low profile" collector. Esoteric and scholarly in his philatelic passions, tenacious in his pursuits, through his four decades of collection, he has amassed perhaps four "best ever" Collections. His United States 1856 Five Cents Imperforate, best known in the United States, is considered without equal and may, in fact, be the preeminent single stamp collection ever formed. He has been accused (humorously) of collecting the TWO best Costa Rica Collections ever. The Macao is without peer and no other than the Macao Postal Museum has made numerous advances. Let us also not forget his New Caledonia, Madagascar, Antigua and Panama Transits. 

The Frederick R. Mayer Collection of Nova Scotia is replete with rarities, but don't take our word for it—have a look at just a few of them below:

LOT 648: The Unique One Penny Bisect on Intact Cover

6p yellow-green, in combination with 1p red-brown, DIAGONAL HALF WITH UNSEVERED SINGLE, all with good to large margins, very fine, tied by oval grid cancels and much of Dorchester AP 29 1857 split ring datestamp of origin on blue folded letter (missing one flap) to London bearing red PAID JU 4 circular datestamp, reddish PAID 6 with manuscript "Stg" (sterling) and "paid 7 1/2"

HAMMER PRICE: $35,000

 

LOT 669: The Magnificent Double Shilling to India

1sh cold violet, Pair, in Combination with 6p yellow green, both pair and single large margins, rich fresh colors, SUPERB, tied by near oval grid cancels on mourning envelope to Madras, India bearing portion of red PAID transit and matching manuscript "1/10" SYDNEY MY21 1853 split ring datestamp of origin, Halifax transit and red framed G.P.O. markings on reverse
 

HAMMER PRICE $145,000

 

LOT 712: The Famous and Unique Quadrisect Three Pence Intraprovincial

1sh purple, THE UNIQUE "QUARTERED" COPY, fashioned to show value tablets, SUPERB, tied by oval grid cancel on blue folded letter to Halifax bearing BADDECK C.B. FE 5 1858 split ring datestamp of origin and manuscript "paid" beneath frank, indistinct marking on reverse

HAMMER PRICE $100,000

NEW YORK – On January 26, a philatelic auction gallery in New York will be offering the sixth installment of 10 featuring the “Erivan” Collection of United and Confederate States Postal History. This particular installment is distinguished by its inclusion of a Pony Express envelope addressed to Abraham Lincoln.
The cover is postmarked August 18, 1860, 4 months before Lincoln was elected president. According to the auction house, H.R. Harmer Fine Stamp Auctions, it is the only Pony Express addressed to a U.S. president, and one of only 250 surviving Pony Express covers. It was last purchased by prolific German collector, Erivan Haub. When sold in 1991, its value was said to be $150,000. However, some industry experts believe the cover might sell for significantly more at the auction.
H.R. Harmer CEO, Charles Epting said, “There are only 250 Pony Express covers in existence. For one of those envelopes to be mailed to one of the most important Americans of the 19th century in one the most pivotal times of his life, after his nomination and before his election, is extraordinary. The improbability is considerable and the fact that it has survived this whole time is amazing.”
The election of 1860 was one of the most highly contentious processes in American history. After the highly controversial Republican National Convention in May, Lincoln returned to his home in Springfield Illinois and became quite reclusive, giving very few speeches and writing almost no letters. It is nearly impossible to imagine the future president’s mindset at this time, with both the Republican Party and the United States on the brink of war.
The envelope, which is Pony Express-stamped from San Francisco, does not bear a return address, so it is not possible to determine with any certainty who sent Lincoln the letter. However, a possible candidate is then-future Supreme Court Justice Stephen J. Field, who wrote in his memoir in 1880: “I could have recounted…the communications had with President Lincoln by relays of riders over the plains.” If the envelope carried a letter from Justice Field, it may have provided Lincoln with news regarding secessionist sentiments in California during the summer of 1860.
Few people realize that the Pony Express was only in operation for a little over 18 months (April 3, 1860-October 31, 1861) and that it was incredibly expensive to send a letter via the service. The letter sent to Lincoln would have cost at least $5, which adjusting for inflation, is $150 in current US dollars. The most up-to-date census includes approximately 250 envelopes that were carried via Pony Express. After more than a century and a half, it is unlikely that many more examples will come to light in the future, a press release from H.R. Harmer states.
“The cover has been well known to experts since it was first sold at auction in the 1940s, and its authenticity has never been questioned. It is pictured in all of the major reference works on the subject, most notably The Pony Express: A Postal History by Richard C. Frajola, George J Kramer and Steven C. Walske. Prior to the auction, H.R. Harmer consulted several of the hobby’s leading collectors and dealers, all of whom showed no hesitation in pronouncing the letter genuine in every regard,” a spokesperson for the auction company told Auction Central News.
Erivan Haub, a German business mogul and philanthropist with a love for the American West, spent decades curating a collection of US Postal History that documents the 19th century and beyond. Haub preserved some of the most precious artifacts from America’s past and this January, the Lincoln Pony Express will be returning home for another chance to make history.
 
NOTE: This item was sold for $280,000 at the Erivan VI sale in January 2022
Article From: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/news/top-news/antiquities-and-cultures/1860-pony-express-envelope-to-lincoln-heads-to-auction-jan-26/

Although best known for their United States operations, Wells Fargo began printing their own franks on Mexico postal stationery in 1885. With 130 major catalogue listings and many more minor varieties, these envelopes provide a wonderful opportunity to the enterprising collector. No doubt inspired by the success of Wells Fargo, both the Hidalgo Express Company and National Express Company were founded in 1892 to provide rapid service along Mexico’s railroads. A fourth company, the Rio Grande, Sierra Madre & Pacific, existed for just a few years at the turn of the 20th century. All of these companies ceased to exist by the time Mexico’s railroads were nationalized in 1909. In our June 2022 auction we will be offering examples from all four of these companies, just a few of which are illustrated here.
 
Founded in 1852, Wells, Fargo & Co. began their expansion into Mexico just seven years later. However it was not until 1885 that Wells Fargo began printing their distinctive green frank on Mexico postal stationery. Among the many interesting items we will be offering in June are special handling labels and mixed-frankings with American postage.
The Hidalgo Express Company was founded in 1892 for the transport of express mail along the Hidalgo & Northeastern Railway. Although the same basic frank design was used for all envelopes, varieties abound for specialists in the issue (such as the envelope shown here with an inverted indicia). Service continued until about the end of the century.
The National Express Company was founded in 1893 by the National Railroad Company of Mexico. The issue lends itself to a number of different handstamped overprints, some of which (like the 15c on 10c frank pictured here) are quite rare. As with the other express companies detailed here, the onset of the 20th Century marked the end of service.
 
The scarcest of the four Mexican express companies, Compania del Rio Grande, Sierra Madre y Pacifico existed from about 1897 to 1905. Only a small handful of covers are recorded with the company’s cornercard handstamped on Mexico postal stationery.
Service ran along what is now known as the Mexico North-Western Railway.

Canada's semi-official airmail stamps provide collectors with a fascinating look at the development of the country's northern mining regions. Between 1924 and 1932, airlines were authorized to print their own postage stamps for the carriage of mail to destinations that were otherwise unreachable. These stamps were generally affixed to the reverse of envelopes, which were still required to carry the normal Canadian postage. In last year's sale of the Bedford Collection of Canada, we offered a number of these elusive and attractive stamps, a few of which are pictured here. Further material from this expansive collection will be featured as part of our forthcoming June 2022 auction.

Laurentide Air Service, 1924 (25c) Dark blue green, Complete booklet
Hammer price: $600
 
Commercial Airways, 1930 10c Black, Imperforate
Hammer price: $130
 
Patricia Airways 1928 (10c) proof without airplane design
Hammer price: $300
 
Patricia Airways 1926 5c Green and red on yellow, Black overprint, Malformed "o" variety
Hammer price: $250
 
Patricia Airways 1926 5c Black and red on blue, Black overprint
Hammer price: $675

In this incredibly special episode, Michael and Charles visit Sotheby's in New York City to examine the British Guiana 1-Cent Black on Magenta and the Inverted Jenny Plate Block, alongside philatelic consultant Robert Scott. They also speak to numismatic consultant David Tripp about the history behind the 1933 Double Eagle coin. These three treasures owned by Stuart Weitzman were auctioned at Sotheby's on Tuesday, June 8th, 2021.