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312,518 Selected Lots, Page 1 of 31,252

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FILTER: All Sale Dates thru 2020/01/01
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Date
Lot#/
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Cat./Est. Value
Realized
United States
U.S. Postal History
Subject
Colonial
2019-12-17
United States Postal History and Confederate States
c
Sale Number 1215, Lot Number 2001, Early Boston Postal History: 1651-1754(Boston to Barbados, Apr. 15, 1651), (Boston to Barbados, Apr. 15, 1651)(Boston to Barbados, Apr. 15, 1651). Folded letter written and addressed in Secretary's hand (a common form of writing in the 17th century), datelined "Boston Aprill 15th 1651", written by Samuel Maverick and addressed to his son, Nathaniel Maverick, at Barbados, writer's note at bottom "Mr. F[erncase?] I pray be carefull of this letter, if you stay two morrow, I shall bring you some other papers, yours Sam Mavericke", letter discusses business and trade relating to white sugar and cotton, also refers to Capt. Briggs and his second payment, sender's manuscript "P" at top ("Par"), manuscript notation at upper right of address panel appears to read "No. II", manuscript "No. 2" on top flap refers to the number in the correspondence, docketed on one flap "two from Sam. Maverick to his son Nathaniel April 15th 1651, acknowledged in our court duty and recorded June 25, 1653", some overall soiling, accompanied by six additional items either undated or from 1649 and 1652 including two from Samuel to Nathaniel, as well as 1660 summary of court documents in Barbados, including one undated with docketing "Mr. Maverick letter of instructions to his sonne to sell Noddles Island", the 1649-docketed two-page letter contains details of contract between Samuel Maverick and Capt. Briggs

VERY FINE. AS FAR AS WE CAN DETERMINE AFTER CONSULTING EXPERTS IN COLONIAL MAIL -- AND PERTAINING ONLY TO MATERIAL OUTSIDE OF ARCHIVES -- THIS IS THE EARLIEST LETTER DATELINED AT BOSTON AND THE EARLIEST LETTER TO BARBADOS. THE ACCOMPANYING CORRESPONDENCE IS RELATED TO CLAIMS OF OWNERSHIP OF NODDLE'S ISLAND IN EAST BOSTON.

The writer, Samuel Maverick, came to America in 1624 and settled Winnisimet. In 1628 he married Amias, the widow of David Thompson, and inherited all of their land, which included Noddle's (Nottell's) Island -- the land has since been filled in and is the location of Logan Airport. By 1629 Maverick was firmly established on Noddle's Island (with a fortified mansion and artillery), a year before John Winthrop's fleet entered Massachusetts Bay and established Boston. In 1633 he received a formal grant from the Puritans to settle Noddle's Island in exchange for a yearly payment. A staunch Royalist, he also held patents for land in Maine. In 1635 he went to Virginia and remained there for about a year, where he took delivery of a 40-ton vessel made in Barbados. In 1640 he received a grant of 600 acres in Boston and 400 acres in Braintree. Maverick Square in Boston is named for him. His son Nathaniel was born in 1630 in Massachusetts. After 1656 Nathaniel settled in Barbados full time, where he was a planter and merchant at St. Lucy's.

According to the book A Colonial History of East Boston, in 1648 a petition to King Charles was drawn up by Samuel Maverick and others requesting several liberties they did not then enjoy, including baptizing children. The petition was discovered by the Massachusetts government, and the petitioners were imprisoned. A fine of £150 sterling was imposed on Maverick, who resolved not to pay. In anticipation of a seizure of Noddle's Island to satisfy the fine, Samuel deeded the island to his eldest son Nathaniel, but he kept the paperwork hidden. Nathaniel somehow got knowledge of the deed and "By a craft Wile contrary to his Father's knowledge gott the deed into his custody." On July 26, 1650, Samuel, his wife and Nathaniel sold Noddle's Island to Capt. George Briggs of Barbados. The following day Capt. Briggs conveyed the island to Nathaniel Maverick, and immediately after (that same day) Nathaniel transferred it to Colonel John Burch in Barbados. At this point differences arose, and Samuel claimed possession of the island on the grounds that certain conditions of sale had been broken. Lawsuits were filed in several courts, and in 1653 the sale of the island was completed after the transfer of £700 of sugar delivered to a store house in Barbados. The correspondence offered here is from court papers relating to the fulfillment of the contract. Included is an inventory of 16 items, signed by Edward Winslow in the 1660's, as are five of the items on the list.

In consultations with Colonial mail and Boston Postal History experts, we found no recorded examples in private hands of a Boston dateline written prior to the 1680's (a letter datelined "Boston" in 1673 and addressed to London, offered in Siegel Sale 1146, was ultimately determined to originate in Boston, England). Theodore Proud's book on Barbados records the earliest outbound mail from Barbados as 1657 and the earliest inbound mail as a 1663 letter from the King of England.

By November 5, 1639, the post office for the collection of mail was established in Boston by order of the General Court of Massachusetts. On November 4, 1646, Richard Fairbanks was designated postmaster. No examples of markings from the Fairbanks post office have been discovered, so we cannot determine if the marking at upper right was applied by Fairbanks or anyone else connected to the fledgling colonial postal system. It appears to read "No. II", which is the letter number annotated on the back.

With P.F. certificate no. 199229, which states "It is a genuine usage from Boston Massachusetts". See A Colonial History of Boston by Victor F. Casaburi for a thorough description of the events discussed above.

E. 20,000-30,000
21,000
United States
U.S. Postal History
Subject
Colonial
2019-12-17
United States Postal History and Confederate States
c
Sale Number 1215, Lot Number 2002, Early Boston Postal History: 1651-1754(Boston to Portsmouth N.H., Nov, (Boston to Portsmouth N.H., Nov(Boston to Portsmouth N.H., Nov. 3, 1685), "for post at Straw-berry bank Pistataqua." Manuscript address referring to the west bank of the harbor of modern-day Portsmouth N.H., on small folded letter datelined "Boston Nov. 3d 1685" from Jonathan Campbell, future postmaster of Boston, minor overall soiling

VERY FINE. THIS 1685 LETTER FROM BOSTON TO PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE, IS BELIEVED TO BE THE EARLIEST DOMESTIC BOSTON LETTER OUTSIDE OF PERMANENT ARCHIVES.

Apart from the 1651 letter offered in the previous lot, this 1685 letter is the earliest from Boston that we have offered at auction (a letter datelined "Boston" in 1673 and addressed to London, offered in Siegel Sale 1146, was ultimately determined to originate in Boston, England). According to Mark Schwartz's research, this is also the earliest domestic Boston letter in private hands. From 1673 to 1687 John Hayword was postmaster of Boston, and was responsible for both domestic and overseas letters. However, it is not possible to determine if this letter was carried by Hayword's post.

E. 3,000-4,000
9,500
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United States
U.S. Postal History
Subject
Colonial
2019-12-17
United States Postal History and Confederate States
c
Sale Number 1215, Lot Number 2003, Early Boston Postal History: 1651-1754(Boston to Rotterdam, Holland, Feb. 5, 1687), (Boston to Rotterdam, Holland, Feb. 5, 1687)(Boston to Rotterdam, Holland, Feb. 5, 1687). Folded letter datelined "Boston in New Engld Febr 5 1686" from merchant Richard Wharton to Andrew Russell, another prominent merchant in Rotterdam, letter states that Mr. Ives in London will handle his account, postscript added by Ives in London dated Mar. 28, 1687, red crayon "XI" 11 stuivers due (8 for London to Amsterdam, 3 to Rotterdam), slightly soiled file fold, still Very Fine, scarce and early Colonial transatlantic letter, ex Arnell (where misdated 1686 -- by custom, year dates in the first three months frequently referred to the previous year) and Dr. Robertson

E. 1,500-2,000
1,400
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United States
U.S. Postal History
Subject
Colonial
2019-12-17
United States Postal History and Confederate States
c
Sale Number 1215, Lot Number 2004, Early Boston Postal History: 1651-1754(Boston to Rotterdam, Holland, Feb. 11, 1693), (Boston to Rotterdam, Holland, Feb. 11, 1693)(Boston to Rotterdam, Holland, Feb. 11, 1693). Folded letter datelined "Boston Feby. 11th, 1692/3" from merchant John Borland to Andrew Russell, another prominent merchant in Rotterdam, "These" in address indicates hope of safe delivery, carried privately without postal markings, Very Fine, a sister letter from this correspondence mailed in 1790 went through the London Post Office, where it was handstamped with a Bishop's mark -- reported to be the earliest postal marking of any kind on mail from the Colonies, ex Dr. Robertson

E. 500-750
450
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United States
U.S. Postal History
Subject
Colonial
2019-12-17
United States Postal History and Confederate States
c
Sale Number 1215, Lot Number 2005, Early Boston Postal History: 1651-1754(Boston to Bristol R.I, (Boston to Bristol R.I(Boston to Bristol R.I., June 9, 1707) "frank/J:C". Bold free frank of Boston Postmaster John Campbell on folded letter datelined "Boston June 9th, 1707" and addressed "to the Honble Nathaniel Byfield in Bristoll", letter was turned by Byfield with the dateline "Bristol June 13th 1707" and returned to Campbell, some edgewear and erosion on back panel, waterstaining which does not affect front panel of letter

THE EARLIEST RECORDED AMERICAN FREE FRANK AND THE EARLIEST RECORDED BOSTON POSTAL MARKING OUTSIDE OF PERMANENT ARCHIVES. AN IMPORTANT RARITY OF AMERICAN COLONIAL MAILS.

John Campbell was postmaster of Boston from 1702 to 1718. This letter concerned the ownership of a stolen silver tankard, which was described in the Boston News-Letter of Oct. 30-Nov. 6, 1706, published by Campbell. This letter enclosed a second letter (which no longer accompanies) from the lawyer representing the original owner of the tankard, describing certain markings thereon. In this letter Campbell is requesting the opinion of Admiralty Court Judge Nathaniel Byfield on whether or not evidence of ownership was sufficient. Byfield wrote his favorable opinion on the inside of the letter and returned it to Campbell.

Prior to the enactment of the Queen Anne Act of 1710 (effective June 1, 1711), most mail was carried by courier or by favor. The relatively few letters that actually went by post normally were prepaid and bear no postal markings. The free frank marking on this cover is an official Boston postal marking and is the earliest recorded example in private hands.

Ex Siskin.

E. 10,000-15,000
32,500
Back to Top
United States
U.S. Postal History
Subject
Colonial
2019-12-17
United States Postal History and Confederate States
 
Sale Number 1215, Lot Number 2006, Early Boston Postal History: 1651-1754Act of Queen Anne, 1711, Act of Queen Anne, 1711Act of Queen Anne, 1711. Autograph letter signed by Boston Postmaster Joseph Dudley, datelined "Boston 7 Sept. 1711", announcing the Act of Parliament for the Establishment of the Post Office, Very Fine, the Act of Queen Anne was effective as of June 1, 1711 and established direct British government responsibility for all colonial post offices, rates in shillings and pence were established based on distance traveled, but they were expressed in pennyweights (dwt) and grains (gn) of coined silver (1sh sterling = 3dwt; 1dwt = 24 gn), the postal laws established by the Act remained in effect in North America until 1765

E. 1,000-1,500
700
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Autographs and Ephemera
-
-
Free Franks
2019-12-17
United States Postal History and Confederate States
c
Sale Number 1215, Lot Number 2007, Early Boston Postal History: 1651-1754(Boston to Portsmouth N.H., June 11, 1711) Joseph Dudley, (Boston to Portsmouth N.H., June 11, 1711) Joseph Dudley(Boston to Portsmouth N.H., June 11, 1711) Joseph Dudley. Free frank "On Her Matys. Service/ Dudley" as Governor of Massachusetts and President of the New England Confederation on autograph letter signed, datelined "Boston 11 June 1711" and addressed to Secretary Storey at Piscataqua N.H. (modern-day Portsmouth), content discusses a Congress of Governors to take place in Connecticut, repair at top left

THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF ONE OF THE EARLIEST AMERICAN FREE FRANKS AND AN IMPORTANT LETTER FROM JOSEPH DUDLEY -- WHO WAS A MAJOR HISTORICAL FIGURE IN COLONIAL AMERICA.

Joseph Dudley, son of Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor Thomas Dudley, had a long and illustrious career in colonial Massachusetts. His assignments included service as a member of the Massachusetts General Court (1673-76), fighting the Narragansett Indians during King Philip's War (1675), member of the Upper House in the Massachusetts Bay legislature (1676-83, 1684), commander of the United Colonies of New England (1677-81), member of the Governor's Council, President of the Council (1684) and governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay (1702-1715).

In 1692, the first attempt to create an American post was established under the Neale Patent. It was understood at that time that public letters were to be sent and received without charge. Under the Queen Anne Act, effective June 1, 1711, military officials could also send correspondence free of charge.

Ex Kantor and Dr. Robertson

E. 3,000-4,000
2,200
Back to Top
United States
U.S. Postal History
Subject
Colonial
2019-12-17
United States Postal History and Confederate States
c
Sale Number 1215, Lot Number 2008, Early Boston Postal History: 1651-1754(London, England, to Boston, Aug, (London, England, to Boston, Aug(London, England, to Boston, Aug. 6, 1723) "1N9" Massachusetts Old Tenor. Manuscript "BSh 1N9" rate (Boston Ship) on incoming folded letter written in two hands and with two datelines, first "London 6 August 1723" and second Aug. 16, addressed to Boston, Captain Wm. Dove endorsement at bottom, some minor edge soiling and internal splits, still nice condition and a rare early colonial ship letter rated in Massachusetts Old Tenor currency, Old Tenor was used beginning in 1690 to express postal rates on mail sent within New England because of the scarcity of British shillings and pence, it was initially valued at a 25% discount to British currency but continued to lose value through 1754, an inflation factor was applied to the British rate to arrive at the Old Tenor paper money rate, in the 1723-31 period when this letter was sent the inflation factor was 2.3x, the "1N9" local currency rate represents a 9p ship letter (two-times 4p rate plus 1p ship fee) sent less than 60 miles (9p x 2.3 inflation factor = 21p or 1sh9p), only seven covers are known with this Colonial inflation rate

E. 2,000-3,000
1,600
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United States
U.S. Postal History
Subject
Colonial
2019-12-17
United States Postal History and Confederate States
c
Sale Number 1215, Lot Number 2009, Early Boston Postal History: 1651-1754(London, England, to Portsmouth N.H, (London, England, to Portsmouth N.H(London, England, to Portsmouth N.H. via Boston, June 20, 1726) "3/3" Massachusetts Old Tenor. Clear "BSh 3/3" rate (Boston Ship) on lengthy incoming folded letter and invoice datelined "London June the 20th, 1726" and addressed to Piscataqua N.H. (modern-day Portsmouth), some soiling and mended erosion below address, Fine and rare early colonial ship letter rated in Massachusetts Old Tenor currency, Old Tenor was used beginning in 1690 to express postal rates on mail sent within New England because of the scarcity of British shillings and pence, it was initially valued at a 25% discount to British currency but continued to lose value through 1754, an inflation factor was applied to the British rate to arrive at the Old Tenor paper money rate, in the 1723-31 period when this letter was sent the inflation factor was 2.3x, the "3/3" local currency rate represents a 17p ship letter (four-times 4p rate plus 1p ship fee) sent up to 60 miles (17p x 2.3 inflation factor = 39p, or 3sh3p), only seven covers are known with this Colonial inflation rate

E. 2,000-3,000
1,300
Back to Top
United States
U.S. Postal History
Subject
Colonial
2019-12-17
United States Postal History and Confederate States
c
Sale Number 1215, Lot Number 2010, Early Boston Postal History: 1651-1754(Boston to Newport R.I., Jan, (Boston to Newport R.I., Jan(Boston to Newport R.I., Jan. 29, 1743) "Post Pd H Vennor". Manuscript prepaid postmark applied by the assistant deputy postmaster (4p British is not stated) on January 29, 1743 datelined folded letter from Boston to Newport, R.I., Very Fine, as discussed in the previous lots, the use of Massachusetts Old Tenor currency beginning in 1690 was due to the scarcity of British shillings and pence, it was initially valued at a 25% discount to British currency but continued to lose value through 1754, during the period this letter was sent (1735-48), British postage was converted using an inflation factor of 3.5, which in this case equates to 1sh2p in local currency (4p British x 3.5 = 14p, or 1sh2p)

E. 500-750
0
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FILTER: All Sale Dates thru 2020/01/01

312,518 Selected Lots , Page 1 of 31,252


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