Moody's Penny Dispatch, Chicago, Illinois, (1¢) Black on Red Glazed, "Henny" instead of "Penny" Error (110L1b), Type III with "Henny" spelling error, Position 8 according to our plating analysis, large margins to barely in at bottom, tied by blue "Moody's Despatch 6PM, Sep. 18, 1856" circular datestamp, used with 3¢ Dull Red, Type II (11A), margins to slightly in, tied by "Chicago Ill. Sep. 18, 1856" circular datestamp on bright yellow cover to Voluntown, Connecticut, with machinist's blue corner card in shield-shaped frame, with original letter enclosure
Extremely Fine stamp and cover.
Ex Paul C. Rohloff, Edgar Kuphal and Joseph Hackmey. With 2006 P.F. certificate.
HISTORY AND COMMENTARY
The Two Greatest Moody's Local Post Covers
The two covers offered here are each unique examples of the rare Moody's Penny Dispatch stamp of Chicago. One is the only recorded combination with 1¢ 1851 stamps, and the other is the discovery copy of the "Henny Dispatch" error, which went unrecognized for decades until 1994--it remains the only known example of this typographic error.
What little is known about Moody's Penny Dispatch comes from original research by Dr. Clarence Hennan and Henry E. Abt, with additional information provided by Elliott Perry. Abt's series on Chicago locals was published in The American Philatelist (June 1957-January 1958), and the discovery of the "Henny Dispatch" error with a plating analysis was published by Scott R. Trepel in Chronicle 164 (November 1994). City directories point to Robert J. Moody as the proprietor. Gager's directory for 1856-57 lists Moody at 30 Dearborn, at the corner of Lake Street. Dated examples establish a brief period of operation from September through December 1856 and possibly into January 1857.
Our records contain seven covers with the Moody's Penny Dispatch stamp, including five with the local stamp tied by a postmark. One of the five tied examples is the unique 1¢ 1851 combination cover offered in lot 368, and another is the cover with the unique "Henny" error offered in lot 369. These two are unquestionably the most outstanding Moody's Penny Dispatch covers, and they rank close to the top of the list of important Carrier and Local Post covers in general.
The 1¢ 1851 cover has been well-known since the 1957 sale of the Alfred H. Caspary collection by H. R. Harmer (lot 903). It was acquired in the Caspary sale by John R. Boker, Jr., and was among the covers sold privately when his collection of Postmasters' Provisionals, Carriers and Locals was dispersed in the 1970s. It was later acquired by Herb Ashendorf, whose collection formed the basis of Siegel Sale 773 (3/26/1996). The "Henny Dispatch" error was offered as a normal stamp on cover in the 1966 Rarities of the World sale (Sale 296, lot 157) and sold to Paul C. Rohloff. When the Rohloff collection was sold by Richard C. Frajola in 1994 (Sale 56), this cover was lot 339 and once again described as the normal stamp. Only upon close examination of the stamp was the "Henny" typographic error recognized and documented for the first time.
The two covers appeared together on the front cover of the Ashendorf sale (Sale 773) and were acquired as a pair by Edgar Kuphal for his international Large Gold collection of Carriers and Locals. At the 2006 Siegel sale of the Kuphal collection (Sale 925), the pair sold as separate lots to Joseph Hackmey. The Hackmey collection was sold privately to William H. Gross in 2010.
EXTREMELY FINE. THIS IS THE DISCOVERY COPY AND ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE MOODY'S "HENNY" DISPATCH ERROR. A MAGNIFICENT COVER, COMBINING A MAJOR PHILATELIC ERROR AND COLORFUL USAGE WITH THE 1851 ISSUE.
The "Henny" Dispatch cover was offered in our 1966 Rarities of the World sale, where it was acquired by the late Paul C. Rohloff and used to illustrate the Moody's section in the Karlen Chicago book (p. 118). In 1994 the "Henny" spelling error was discovered by us while closely examining the typeset design during an effort to reconstruct the original forme. The existence of the error was announced in an article published in The Chronicle (November 1994), and the stamp was listed for the first time in the 1996 Scott U.S. Specialized Catalogue as 110L1b.
Typeset stamps are by nature more prone to variation. Typesetters composing a sheet of stamps were sometimes forced to sacrifice uniformity to complete the setting. Fonts or border pieces were interchanged. Even individual characters were used incorrectly, if misread by the typesetter or deliberately substituted for used-up type. Stamps such as the Honour's "Conours" and "Bents", Davis's "Pennq" Post, Glen Haven Daily Mail "Gien", Hoyts "Lettcr" and the Moody's "Henny" Dispatch offered here are the prominent examples of typographical errors among the carrier and local issues. Nine different examples of typesetting errors were recently described by Larry Lyons in an article in The Penny Post (April 2005).
Observing the body of carrier and local material from past auctions and surveys, one finds very few examples of rare carrier and local post stamps (fewer than 20 known) used on covers in combination with United States stamps (generally for to-the-mails usage). The famous Beckman's City Post/3c 1851 and East River P.O./3c 1851 combination covers (both ex Caspary) immediately come to mind, followed by perhaps a dozen others. Only 19 examples of the Moody's stamp are recorded, including seven on covers (as listed in lot 1635). The "Henny Dispatch" stamp on the cover offered here remains a unique example of this error.