Hawaii, 1851, 2¢ Blue (1), Type II--the right position in the setting of two--unused, full deep impression on bright fresh paper, large margins with framelines complete all around and just touched at lower left, a few spots of blue printer’s ink on back, completely sound
* Gaston Leroux (reported to have been owned by Leroux in the 19th century and sold to Ferrary)
* Philipp von Ferrary (also Philip Ferrari de La Renotière), Hotel Drouot, Paris, supervised by M. G. Gilbert, Sale 1, 6/23/1921, lot 56, to Burrus
* Maurice Burrus, H. R. Harmer sale, 5/27/1963, lot 160, to Weills for Phillips
* Benjamin D. Phillips (collection sold privately to Weills, 1968)
* Alfred J. Ostheimer III (bought privately from Weills and sold privately through Weills to Twigg-Smith, circa 1970)
* Thurston-Twigg Smith (collection owned by Honolulu Advertiser newspaper and Persis Corporation family holding company) Honolulu Advertiser (Persis), Siegel Auction Galleries, 11/7-11/1995, Sale 769, lot 11, to Walter J. Mader (bidding for Greg Manning)
* Ivy & Mader PACIFIC ‘97 auction, 6/2/1997, lot 1063, to William H. Gross
CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES
* Siegel census no. 1-II-UNC-1
* Meyer-Harris census no. 8
* Brewster census no. l-II-Unused-l
* L. N. Williams, Encyclopaedia of Rare and Famous Stamps, Vol. I, pp. 137-139
* ANPHILEX 1971 Invited Exhibits (Honolulu Advertiser)
* World Stamp Show 2016 Court of Honor (Gross)
* The Philatelic Foundation (1995)
* Extremely Fine--perfection
VIEW PDF OF HISTORY AND COMMENTARY at https://siegelauctions.com/2018/1188/106.pdf
THE ONLY KNOWN COVER BEARING THE HAWAIIAN 2-CENT MISSIONARY AND THE ONLY INTACT COVER WITH TWO DIFFERENT DENOMINATIONS OF HAWAIIAN MISSIONARY STAMPS. THE RAREST AND MOST FAMOUS OF ALL HAWAIIAN AND UNITED STATES COVERS, AND UNIVERSALLY RANKED AMONG THE WORLD’S MOST IMPORTANT PHILATELIC ITEMS.
Exhibited among “The Aristocrats of Philately” at Anphilex 1971 (New York City), Interphil 1976 (Philadelphia) and Anphilex 1996 (New York City). Shown by invitation in the Courts of Honor of 15 international philatelic exhibitions (last displayed at Washington 2006) and illustrated in the exhibition catalogues for London 1980 and World Stamp Expo 1989. Displayed in the “Gems of Hawaii: The Persis Collection” exhibit at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in celebration of the museum’s first anniversary. Pictured on the United States Postal Service 2002 souvenir sheet designed by Richard Sheaff (Scott 3694).
Illustrated in Rare Stamps, L. N. and M. Williams; Encyclopedia of Rare and Famous Stamps, L. N. Williams; described and illustrated in Meyer-Harris Hawaii, Its Stamps and Postal History, and Gregory Hawaii Foreign Mails to 1870 (Figure 15-28 and pictured on the front cover of Volume I); featured in Life magazine’s “The World's Greatest Stamps” (May 3, 1954) and on the cover of Esquire magazine (October 1956).
Ex George H. Worthington (pencil “3/11/05 New Eng. S. Co. ISSS SS”), Alfred F. Lichtenstein, Alfred H. Caspary, Benjamin D. Phillips, Alfred J. Ostheimer III, Honolulu Advertiser (Thurston Twigg-Smith/Persis Corporation) and Guido Craveri/Tito Giamporcaro.
Siegel Census No. 1-II-COV-15. Gregory Census No. 2c-1 and 5c-2. With 1995 Philatelic Foundation certificate stating “it is genuine.”
For an introduction to the Hawaiian Missionaries: http://siegelauctions.com/2013/1045/Missionaries.pdf
For additional description and information about the correspondence and voyage: http://siegelauctions.com/2013/1045/Dawson.pdf
A VERY FINE APPEARING EXAMPLE OF THE LEGENDARY HAWAIIAN 1851 2-CENT MISSIONARY, ONE OF PHILATELY'S RAREST STAMPS. ONLY FIFTEEN EXAMPLES OF THIS WORLD-RENOWNED RARITY ARE RECORDED, OF WHICH TEN ARE AVAILABLE OUTSIDE MUSEUMS.
The first postage stamps of the Hawaiian Islands are known to collectors as the "Missionaries" because of their use on mail sent by early missionary settlers on the islands in the 19th century. The Missionaries were authorized by the Honolulu postmaster, Henry M. Whitney, a prominent merchant and printer. They were printed in 1851 at the offices of Honolulu's newspaper, The Polynesian, using printer's type currently on hand.
Stamps were printed from a "plate" consisting of two subjects. The left stamp was Type I and the right stamp was Type II. The two types can be distinguished by the position of the letters in the top label: in Type I the letter "P" of "Postage" is slightly indented; in Type II it is directly beneath the letter "H" of "Hawaiian".
The Missionaries consist of three denominations: 2c, 5c and two styles of 13c. The 2c is the rarest. It was used primarily on newspapers and other printed matter which was often destroyed. Its other function was to prepay the 2c ship fee on mail to the United States -- the only recorded 2c cover demonstrates this ship fee usage.
Fifteen 2c Missionary stamps are recorded, including the unique unused stamp and the unique cover. They can be seen at http://www.siegelauctions.com/dynamic/census/HI1/HI1.pdf . Of the thirteen used copies, five are in museums, leaving eight used off-cover stamps available to collectors (including one on piece). None of the eight available used copies is entirely sound.
Census No. 1-II-CAN-10. Ex N. C. Nash, New England Stamp Co. (1896), C. H. Colket, J. M. Paul (1910), P. Parrish, D. L. Pickman (1913), Warren H. Colson, Admiral Harris and Isleham. Illustrated in the Meyer-Harris book on p. 96. With 1995 P.F. certificate.
APART FROM THE UNIQUE COVER, THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED USAGE OF THE HAWAIIAN 2-CENT MISSIONARY ON A PIECE OF MAIL AND THE ONLY RECORDED 2-CENT WITH THE RED FANCY CANCEL. IT IS ALSO THE ONLY RECORDED 13-CENT "HAWAIIAN POSTAGE" STAMP USED IN COMBINATION WITH ANOTHER MISSIONARY
Assuming the stamps on this piece represent the entire Hawaiian franking, the only logical rate that 15c could prepay is the triple 5c Hawaiian postage. Another triple-rate Missionary usage is the strip of three 13c "Hawaiian Postage" Missionary on a partially charred cover from the Dawson correspondence (Honolulu Advertiser sale, lot 29).
The stamps on both the piece and the Dawson cover are cancelled by the amorphous red blob that appears on some of the known Missionary stamps. This cancel, unique to the Hawaiian post office, has previously been identified as the Honolulu "Sunburst", but its true nature was unrecognized. Specialists now believe it was made with the cut end of sugar cane or a sponge.
There is an interesting relationship between the Missionary piece offered here and the Dawson cover in the Honolulu Advertiser sale (lot 29). This piece bears the San Francisco datestamp of March 15 -- although no year-date is present, it is almost certainly 1852. The charred Dawson cover has part of a faint red San Francisco datestamp at lower left and a clearly struck Honolulu February 20 datestamp, which is an 1852 year-date. The two pieces of mail were probably postmarked in Honolulu on the same day or very close to one another. The Honolulu February 20 date ties in with three 1852 sailing departure dates: the Maid of Julpha (cleared Feb. 24, arrived Mar. 22), the Eagle (cleared Feb. 25, arrived Mar. 26), and the Noble (cleared Feb. 25, arrived Mar. 16) [Gregory]. Apart from these two dated pieces, there are eleven off-cover Missionaries with the sponge or "sugar cane" cancel, all 13c "Hawaiian Postage" stamps (see Honolulu Advertiser catalogue, Appendix I), indicating that its use pre-dated the 13c "H.I. & U.S. Postage" issue of April 1852 and that it was not used on 5c rate covers at all.
The history of this unique piece can be traced back to Henry J. Duveen, whose collection was sold privately through Charles J. Phillips from 1922 to 1926. After the Duveen dispersal the piece found its way into Alfred H. Caspary's collection. Caspary, though careful in his selection of philatelic material, was less fastidious in his curatorship and is reputed to have kept his material in a rather haphazard fashion. Several contemporary accounts confirm that Caspary carelessly placed a beverage glass on the 2c Missionary piece. As the moisture condensed, the thin pelure paper of the Missionaries curled and tore. Caspary, horrified by the consequences, gave the piece back to Warren H. Colson, the dealer from whom he acquired it, and never spoke of the matter again. Colson had the stamps expertly restored and sold the piece to Philipp Kosack. When the Kosack Missionaries were sold, an unidentified English collector purchased the piece, and, after his holding was dispersed, the piece became part of the Admiral Frederic R. Harris collection.
Ex Duveen, Caspary, Kosack, English Collection, Harris and Honolulu Advertiser. Colson mark at lower right. Census No. 1-II-PCE-14 and 3-I-PCE-133. Other census references: Meyer-Harris 14; Brewster 1-II-On Piece-1 and 3-I-On Piece-2. With 1995 P.F. certificate. Scott value for both stamps off cover with minor repairs and the usual black Hawaiian cancel is $278,000.00
EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF THE FINEST-APPEARING EXAMPLES OF THE 1851 2-CENT MISSIONARY. ONLY FIFTEEN EXAMPLES OF THIS WORLD-RENOWNED RARITY ARE RECORDED, OF WHICH TEN ARE AVAILABLE OUTSIDE MUSEUMS
The fifteen examples of the 2c Missionary in our census (see catalogue for Honolulu Advertiser sale, Siegel Sale 769, Appendix I) include five stamps now held by museums and only two sound copies, one of which is unused. Both sound stamps were offered in the Honolulu Advertiser sale, and the used copy was acquired by the National Postal Museum. The stamp offered here has the widest margins of any recorded 2c Missionary and is essentially intact, without any paper restoration or painting in of the design. The light cancel and large margins all around make it one of the most beautiful 2c Missionary stamps extant and certainly one of the finest used copies available to collectors, all of which have faults or repairs to a degree.
This 2c Missionary was in an old leather notebook brought to Ezra Cole in New York City, circa 1935. His account of the discovery states: "This stamp was found by a lawyer friend of my father's in Brooklyn. It was in a small old red leather notebook. There were several other inexpensive stamps with it and this 2c Missionary was actually in two pieces...I took the notebook and the stamp up to my friend, Percy Doane, in the Tribune Building and inquired as to the genuineness of the stamp for I had never seen one. He told me that it was genuine and valuable and it could be sold even in its present condition. At some time later on, I sold it to Burger Brothers for $4,500. They, in turn, sold it to A. H. Caspary. I never did learn how much Caspary paid for it." In the Caspary sale, the stamp realized $5,250. It was subsequently acquired by Alfred J. Ostheimer III, whose collection helped form the basis of the Honolulu Advertiser collection.
Census No. 1-II-CAN-9. Ex Caspary, Ostheimer and Honolulu Advertiser. With 1995 P.F. certificate. Scott value is for a repaired example.
A FINE-APPEARING EXAMPLE OF THE LEGENDARY HAWAIIAN 1851 2-CENT MISSIONARY, ONE OF PHILATELY'S RAREST STAMPS. THIS 2-CENT MISSIONARY IS THE ONLY ONE OF THE FIFTEEN KNOWN EXAMPLES BEARING THE RARE CROSSED-BARS CANCEL.
Fifteen 2c Missionary stamps are recorded, including the unique unused stamp and the unique cover. Of the thirteen used copies, five are in museums, leaving eight used off-cover stamps available to collectors (including one on piece). None of the eight available used copies is entirely sound. This example, with its relatively minor repairs, is one of the finer-appearing examples of this rare stamp. It is the only 2c Missionary with the Crossed Bars cancel, which is also known on three 5c and two 13c (Scott 3) Missionaries.
This 2c Missionary is first recorded as having been owned by dealer William P. Brown, who sold it to Count Philippe de la Renotiere von Ferrary in 1872 for $25. At the fourth Ferrary sale in 1922 the stamp was purchased by Arthur Hind for the equivalent of $8,750. Hind also acquired the unique British Guiana 1c Magenta stamp at the Ferrary sales. After passing to Admiral Harris and Maurice Burrus, this stamp was acquired by Thurston Twigg-Smith, who sold it privately to Christian Aall, then bought it back when the Aall collection was sold by the Siegel firm in 1998 (Sale 805).
Census No. 2-I-CAN-6. Ex Brown, Ferrary, Hind, Wilson, Adm. Harris, Burrus, Middendorf, Ostheimer, Twigg-Smith (previous) and Aall. With 1998 P.F. certificate. Scott value is for a repaired example.
A VERY FINE APPEARING EXAMPLE OF THE WORLD-RENOWNED HAWAIIAN 1851 2-CENT MISSIONARY, ONE OF PHILATELY'S RAREST AND MOST COVETED STAMPS. ONLY TEN OF THE FIFTEEN RECORDED EXAMPLES ARE IN PRIVATE HANDS.
A total of fifteen 2c Missionary stamps are recorded in the census published in our firm's Honolulu Advertiser sale catalogue, including the unique unused stamp (which is sound) and the unique cover. Of the thirteen used 2c Missionary stamps, five are in museums, leaving seven used copies and one on piece available to collectors. Of the eight used 2c stamps available to collectors, none are sound, all having faults or repairs. This example was originally discovered with its top left corner torn off, but the original piece was found and mended without any paper or ink additions. It is one of the finer-appearing examples of this major rarity, especially in terms of the cancellation, which does not obscure the numeral or denomination.
This 2c Missionary is number 1 in the Meyer-Harris census (Brewster I-Used-4), and its history is discussed in detail in L. &. N. Williams Stamps of Fame on page 97. When the stamp was originally acquired by John Klemann, proprietor of New England Stamp Company, the upper left corner was missing. Klemann sold it to the prominent Hawaiian collector, Henry J. Crocker, who later purchased a group of early Hawaiian material containing a small corner of a Missionary. The fragment matched the 2c Missionary preceisely and was repaired while owned by Crocker. Henry J. Crocker's Hawaiian collection was acquired by Frank C. Atherton, who donated some of his vast Hawaiian holding to the Honolulu Academy of the Arts in 1937. After the Academy deaccessioned this material, the stamp passed to Thurston Twigg-Smith and the Honolulu Advertiser, who in turn sold it to Ryohei Ishikawa. At the Ishikawa sale in 1980, it was then acquired by an anonymous Hawaii collector, known as "Collector C", whose Missionaries were offered at auction by a French dealer in 1994.
Census No. 1-I-CAN-7. Ex John Klemann, Henry J. Crocker, Honolulu Academy of the Arts, Honolulu Advertiser (sold privately), Ishikawa and "Collector C". With 1994 P.F. certificate.
A FINE-APPEARING EXAMPLE OF THE WORLD-RENOWNED 2-CENT MISSIONARY, ONE OF PHILATELY'S RAREST STAMPS. OF THE FIFTEEN KNOWN EXAMPLES, ONLY THIS 2-CENT MISSIONARY SHOWS THE RARE CROSSED-BARS CANCEL.
Fifteen 2c Missionary stamps are recorded, including the unique unused stamp and the unique cover. Of the thirteen used stamps, four are in museums, leaving eight used copies and one on piece available to collectors. Of the nine stamps available to collectors, only one is sound. This example, with its relatively minor repairs, is one of the finer-appearing examples of this rare stamp.
This 2c Missionary is first recorded as having been owned by dealer William P. Brown, who sold it to Count Philippe de la Renotiere von Ferrary in 1872 for $25. At the fourth Ferrary sale in 1922 the stamp was purchased by Arthur Hind for the equivalent of $8,750. Hind also acquired the unique British Guiana 1c Magenta stamp at the Ferrary sales.
Census No. 2-I-CAN-6. Ex Brown, Ferrary, Hind, Wilson, Adm. Harris, Burrus, Middendorf, Ostheimer and Twigg-Smith. Last offered at auction in the Burrus sale of Hawaii on May 27, 1963. With 1998 P.F. certificate. Scott value for repaired example is $200,000.00
A VERY FINE EXAMPLE OF THIS WORLD-RENOWNED RARITY, OF WHICH ONLY NINE REMAIN IN PRIVATE HANDS. THE ONLY 2-CENT MISSIONARY CANCELLED SOLELY BY THE SAN FRANCISCO DATESTAMP, INDICATING USE OF THE STAMP TO PREPAY THE SHIP CAPTAIN'S FEE IN HAWAII.
This stamp is listed as 1-II-CAN-5 in our census of the Missionaries (Honolulu Advertiser Collection, Siegel sale 769, Part 1, Appendix I, p. 243). Very few Missionaries are known with the San Francisco datestamp, which in most cases was inadvertently applied as a second cancel. Only two recorded 2c Missionaries are cancelled by the San Francisco datestamp; the other stamp (1-II-CAN-11) was cancelled in Honolulu by the Large Grid of Squares and then was inadvertently cancelled again in San Francisco. This stamp left Hawaii uncancelled and was clearly struck with the datestamp in San Francisco. Such an anomaly deserves close scrutiny and consideration of the circumstances surrounding its original use.
The circular datestamp on this 2c Missionary is a specific type, distinguishable from other similar devices by the upper-case state abbreviation CAL. with the period dropped slightly below the horizontal bar of L. From dated covers this device seems to have been used from mid-year 1853 through the end of 1854. Two similar types - one without the period and another with the period aligned with the L of CAL - were also in use between 1852 and 1856.
The date slug is only partially struck on the stamp, but enough shows to determine that the day and month are 16/APR. This date fits with an April 16, 1854, use of the device. A cover with this exact type of marking, dated April 16, 1854, is shown in Figure A. It is a paste-over use of the U.S. 3c 1851 Rose Red (worn impression) and Hawaii 1853 13c Kamehameha III stamp (ex Ishikawa and Piller). In this case the pencil-cancelled Kamehameha III stamp prepaid the full rate from Hawaii to the U.S. East Coast (5c Hawaiian postage, 6c U.S. postage and 2c ship captain's fee), and the pair of 3c stamps was affixed over it at Honolulu and cancelled in San Francisco. The Honolulu "U.S. Postage Paid" datestamp of March 27 and San Francisco April 16 datestamp correspond to the March 31 sailing of the Restless and the regular mid-month departure date of eastbound mails via Panama.
To illustrate how the original cover bearing this 2c Missionary might have looked, we used computer imaging to create a hypothetical cover modeled on the Figure A cover (see Figure B). Although its appearance is contrived, our hypothetical cover is based on what we know about U.S.-Hawaiian mails and the franking methods in Hawaii in 1854. Surviving covers tell us that by 1854, with increasing regularity, the Honolulu post office affixed U.S. stamps (6c postage) over Hawaiian stamps when the 13c rate had been prepaid by the sender. For this 2c Missionary to have been cancelled exclusively by the San Francisco datestamp, it must have left Hawaii uncancelled and uncovered by any U.S. stamps, an indication that the rate was prepaid by the sender with a combination of U.S. and Hawaiian stamps. Although the 5c Kamehameha III issue was available in 1854, the Missionaries were still in use, and we have used the 5c on our hypothetical cover. Paste-over frankings normally occured with 13c Hawaiian stamps; therefore, it is likely that a combination of the 2c, 5c and two 3c U.S. stamps was affixed by the sender and left uncancelled in Honolulu. It is known that the San Francisco postmaster instructed Honolulu not to cancel U.S. stamps - if received cancelled, the San Francisco post office would disregard prepayment. In practice, Honolulu probably avoided cancelling Hawaiian stamps when they were closely arranged with U.S. postage. In San Francisco the clerks handling the mail would not be obliged to cancel Hawaiian stamps, but obviously did so on occasion.
Ex William P. Brown, Ferrary (7th Sale), Hind, Atherton, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu Advertiser and Ishikawa. Offered in this sale on behalf of a private collector, who acquired the stamp through private treaty.
Census No. 1-II-CAN-5. Other census references: Meyer-Harris 2; Brewster 1-II-Used-2.
THE ONLY KNOWN COVER BEARING THE HAWAIIAN 2-CENT MISSIONARY. THE RAREST AND MOST FAMOUS OF ALL HAWAIIAN AND UNITED STATES COVERS AND UNIVERSALLY RANKED AMONG THE WORLD'S MOST IMPORTANT PHILATELIC ITEMS
On this cover the Missionary stamps prepay the 5c Hawaiian postage and 2c ship captain's fee, and the pair of United States 3c stamps prepays the 6c trans-continental rate in effect at this time.
The 2c Missionary cover does not bear a year-dated marking, but can be reliably dated to 1852. The sender, William Dawson, sailed from San Francisco to the Hawaiian Islands on the schooner Samuel Roberts, which departed on March 10, 1851. His first letter from Hawaii (see Part 2, lot 2073) was written from Lahaina on April 19, 1851, in which he remarks, "I have cast my anchor on this Island & settled down in peace after having been tossed on the timultuous Waves of Life for Thousands of Miles & have come to the end of my journey. Thus, his correspondence with family and friends back home begins in April 1851. Another Missionary cover from the Dawson find is dated February 20, 1852 (see lot 29).
Further evidence of 1852 usage is provided by the United States stamps and the San Francisco postmark. The 3c pair comes from Plate 2 Late, which is known used as early as January 1852, and the Brownish Carmine shade and impression are typical of the 1852 printings and in stark contrast to the Rose Red shades circulating in 1854. The San Francisco circular datestamp, having a wide font and the letters "Cal." in upper and lower case, came into use in 1849 and is found on covers through early 1853, but no later.
The final factor in determining the year-date is the sailing schedule. The Mary A. Jones sailed from Honolulu on October 5, 1852, the day after the postmark was applied, and arrived in San Francisco on October 26, a voyage of 21 days. An interesting comparison can be made between the 2c Missionary cover and two other Missionary covers carried on the same voyage (see lot 5 and Census No. 2-I-COV-70, Appendix I). In the case of the 2c mixed-franking cover - a very early use of U.S. stamps from Hawaii - the San Francisco post office felt compelled to cancel the United States stamps immediately after unpacking the mail, and they used the "Cal." device dated October 27. In the case of the other two covers, which had no U.S. stamps (one fully prepaid by a 13c Missionary, the other with U.S. postage due), there was no such compulsion. Those two letters were held for the regular processing of mail bound for the East Coast via Panama on November 1 and were postmarked with the "CAL" style of San Francisco datestamp.
This famous 2c cover, which has been included in every list of the world's most outstanding philatelic items, often as Number One in terms of rarity, quality and usage, has a fascinating provenance that is detailed in Alvin Good's The Life and Adventures of a Philatelist (pages 81-82). According to Good's account, during the summer of 1905 a defunct tannery in Bridgeport, Connecticut (reported in other accounts to have been Newark, New Jersey, or New Bedford, Massachusetts), was being cleaned for conversion to a Morocco factory. Some 35 years earlier the building had been abandoned, and, in feeding old papers and records into the furnace before leaving, the previous occupants had choked out the fire, leaving bundles of half-burned papers in the stove's belly. The workman now given the job of cleaning out the boiler and furnace knew something about stamps and became intrigued by the presence of old stamps on folded letters and envelopes scattered among the charred papers. When he noticed the partially burned envelope with a strip of three 13c Missionaries (see lot 29), he dug deeper and found the folded cover bearing the 2c Missionary. Fortunately for philately, this letter escaped an incendiary fate, showing nothing more than a faint spot at left where the lettersheet was licked by the flames.
The Dawson Missionary covers were sold soon after their discovery to or through New England Stamp Company. The firm featured the 2c cover on their season's greetings card of 1905-06 as "The Rarest Cover Known to Philately." It was acquired by George H. Worthington, the Cleveland chicle magnate and the leading American collector of the time, for a price reported to be $6,000. Alvin Good, the source of the 2c Missionary cover's provenance, was Worthington's philatelic secretary. A pencil note on the back indicates that the cover was purchased by Worthington in March 1905.
The entire Worthington collection was acquired privately in 1917 by Alfred F. Lichtenstein, who retained some portions of the collection and sold others through a series of auctions in 1917-18. Lichtenstein and another major collector of the time, Alfred H. Caspary, are said to have had an informal truce whereby they avoided concentrating on the same philatelic subjects. Therefore, while Lichtenstein formed his own fine, but relatively modest, collection of Hawaii, the 2c cover was released, giving Caspary the opportunity to acquire it for his formidable collection of Hawaiian classics.
When the Caspary collection was sold by H. R. Harmer in October 1957, the 2c Missionary cover was purchased by Raymond H. Weill Co. for $25,000 - a phenomenal price that was 2-1/2 times the realization for the Alexandria "Blue Boy" postmaster's provisional cover in an earlier Caspary sale. The Weills retained the cover in stock briefly, until a collector, Mr. P., acquired it for his stellar United States collection. In 1969 the Weills purchased the Dawson cover along with Mr. P.'s entire holdings for $4.07 million, but it was not long before Alfred J. Ostheimer III made the cover his most significant single acquisition and the cornerstone of his Hawaii collection.
After The Honolulu Advertiser purchased the Ostheimer collection in 1970, the 2c Missionary cover was absent from the market during the quarter-century when important covers climbed in value. Thus, what has been described as "the most valuable and interesting of any early nineteenth century cover" (Alvin Good) and "by far the most important item in Hawaiian philately [and] one of the greatest covers in the world" (Dr. Norman S. Hubbard, "Aristocrats of Philately", Interphil `76 Catalogue, p. 79), will be offered at auction for the first time in 38 years.
Exhibited among "The Aristocrats of Philately" at Anphilex 1971 (New York City) and Interphil 1976 (Philadelphia). Shown by invitation in the Courts of Honor of fourteen international philatelic exhibitions and illustrated in the exhibition catalogues for London 1980 and World Stamp Expo 1989. Displayed in the "Gems of Hawaii: The Persis Collection" exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum in celebration of the museum's first anniversary.
Illustrated in Rare Stamps, L. N. and M. Williams (p. 27); Encyclopedia of Rare and Famous Stamps, L. N. Williams (p. 129); described and illustrated in Hawaii, Its Stamps and Postal History, Meyer-Harris (p. 30 and 113); featured in Life magazine's "The World's Greatest Stamps" (May 3, 1954) and on the cover of Esquire magazine (October 1956).
Ex George H. Worthington, Alfred F. Lichtenstein, Alfred H. Caspary, Mr. P. Collection, Alfred J. Ostheimer III.
Census No. 1-II-COV-15. Other census references: Meyer-Harris 9; Brewster 1-II-On Cover-1; Bash 1-1. With 1995 P.F. certificate