Vignettes

Commentaries on Items in the Gross Collection

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018 — Scott R. Trepel

1188 - United States Stamp Treasures from the William H. Gross Collection

Waterbury Cancellations

The Waterbury Circus Elephant

Waterbury Elephant cover
Lot 71

John W. Hill, the whittling postmaster of Waterbury, was often inspired by local events when he created his hand-carved fancy cancellations. In April 1866, Bailey & Co.’s Menagerie and Circus displayed animals in nearby Hartford, including the only “gigantic living Hipopotamus [sic]” in America and the celebrated “comical performing Elephant” on display from Sands, Nathan & Co.. Shown below are newspaper clippings related to the circus, one of which illustrates the elephants performing circus tricks.

This Waterbury Elephant cover in the Gross collection is the only one recorded with a 2¢ Black Jack stamp.

Newspaper clipping with illustration of performing elephants   Hartford Daily Courant clipping about Bailey & Co’s Menagerie and Circus