5¢ Blackish Brown (1a var), large margins to ample at top, glorious deep color and early impression, curious inking flaw below "E" of "Office," neat blue grid cancel with matching bold "Cumberland Md. Aug. 17" (1847) circular datestamp on blue folded letter to Baltimore, Maryland, stamp with light pre-use crease at bottom not mentioned on either accompanying certificate, Very Fine appearance, ex Stollnitz and Saadi, with 1981 and 1996 P.F. certificates
5¢ Dark Brown (1a), intense Dark Brown shade identified by Wade Saadi as matching the "Fuscous" family in Ridgway's Color Nomenclature, full to ample margins, tied by bold red grid cancels with matching "Boston 5cts. 14 Sep." (1852) integral-rate circular datestamp on greenish folded letter to Hartford, Connecticut, Geo. H. Gray & Co. adhesive seal on flap, stamp with pre-use diagonal folds, Very Fine and rare shade, ex Saadi, with 1994 P.F. certificate confirming the Ridgway "Fuscous"
5¢ Red Brown (1), large margins all around, tied by neat red grid cancel with matching bold "Chicago Ill. 20 Sep." (1850) circular datestamp with serifed capital letters on folded cover to Oregon, Illinois, docketing on back confirms year, Extremely Fine Gem stamp with a bright red cancel on a fresh cover, wonderful quality, ex Emerson, Newbury, Grunin, Wunderlich, Garrett and Boker, illustrated in Bakers' U.S. Classics (p. 159)
5¢ Dark Brown (1a), large to ample margins all around, tied by blue negative "5" Numeral in 5-Point Star rate handstamp with small negative stars in points, matching "PAID" straightline handstamp and "Huntsville Al. Mar. 25" (1850) circular datestamp, all markings clearly struck on blue folded letter to Demopolis, Alabama, sender's notation "Paid" at top center indicates stamp was affixed, receipt docketing on back, stamp with additional lightened pen cancel
Extremely Fine--a spectacular 5¢ 1847 cover with one of the few fancy rate handstamps used during the 1847 period. This is one of only three recorded 1847 Issue covers with the Huntsville, Alabama, "5" Cent Star handstamp and the only one of the three with the stamp tied by the fancy cancel.
For much of the 19th century, postmasters used various markings on letters to indicate whether the sender had prepaid postage or the recipient owed money for postage. The "Paid" versus "Due" mindset continued for decades after the introduction of federal postage stamps in 1847, and even persisted after prepayment of domestic postage was made compulsory in 1855. The "Paid" originally instructed the receiving post office to deliver the letter free of postage charges, but evolved to mean "cancelled" when used on stamped letters. After the 1847 stamps were issued, the vast majority of mail was still sent without stamps, and much of the stampless mail was sent collect. Therefore, postmasters used markings on all letters to indicate whether or not postage had been prepaid, regardless of the method of prepayment--a coin handed to the post office clerk, postage charged to a box account, or paid with one of the new adhesive stamps. Many small post offices used pen and ink, because the low volume of mail and postage revenue did not justify the cost of purchasing metal or wood handstamps, which was the postmaster's responsibility. Most post offices used a standard circular town datestamp and "Paid" handstamp. Boston and other post offices actually included the word "Paid" in the circular grid used to cancel the stamp.
Huntsville, Alabama, is one of the places where the more elaborate "fancy" rate markings were used on letters, both with and without stamps. From 1845 through 1853, there were three postmasters: Daniel B. Turner (1845-1847), William Nunnally (1847-1849), and Joseph J. Pitman (1849-1853). Nearly 100 examples of the "5" Star handstamp are recorded on letters, dated from September 1845 through 1853, a long period of use. Although this marking's use overlaps the 1847 Issue period, only three covers with the "5" Star have 1847 stamps. The three are listed in the USPCS 1847 census as no. 7 (August 23, 1848), no. 8 (March 25, 1850, the cover offered here) and no. 9 (October 9, 1850).
Ex Rep. Ernest R. Ackerman, Duane B. Garrett, Ryohei Ishikawa, Guido Craveri and Joseph Hackmey. With 1993 P.F. certificate.
5¢ Dark Brown (1a), intense color and impression from the First Printing, large to ample margins all around, tied by beautifully clear strike of blue Herringbone fancy cancel, light strike of red "Binghamton N.Y. Dec. 28" (1847) circular datestamp on blue folded letter to state comptroller at Albany, New York, file fold creases the stamp which also has a tiny margin tear at lower right, Extremely Fine strike of the famous Binghamton Herringbone cancel and the finer of only two recorded examples in blue, ex Matthies, Grunin, Ishikawa and Hackmey, illustrated in Chronicle (Vol. 29, No. 3, p. 157)
5¢ Dark Brown (1a), with left sheet margin, other sides large margins, tied by perfectly struck blue "TROY & NEW YORK/STEAM BOAT" framed handstamp, matching bold "2 cts." in double-line circle handstamp on blue folded cover to Albany, New York, lightly cleaned, Extremely Fine Gem stamp on a beautiful cover, the framed marking was used on letters received at Troy from non-contract steamboats carrying mail on the Hudson River, the 2¢ marking indicates the amount charged by the Troy postmaster, but as recently explained by Daniel J. Ryterband (Chronicle 263), there was no official justification for assessing this fee, ex Matthies, Haas, Garrett, Dr. Kapiloff and Boker, with 1969 P.F. certificate
5¢ Dark Brown (1a), block of five, the fifth adjoining stamp was partly cut away (a complete similarly pen-cancelled stamp affixed underneath for cosmetic purposes), enormous left sheet margin and top margin showing parts of adjoining stamps, slightly in at right and bottom, dark rich color, tied by manuscript "X" cancels and affixed to flap of folded letter to Warrington, England, from the Stubbs correspondence, blue "Philada. Pa. Feb. 19" (1849) circular datestamp struck on front and back, matching "PAID" in oval handstamp, sender's ship-name endorsement "per Steam Ship Hermann", "America/Liverpool/MR 6 1849" arrival backstamp and red "1/-" shilling handstamp, blue Warrington receiving datestamps front and back (March 7)
A Fine cover and truly remarkable franking used to pay the 24¢ rate on a letter carried on the first transatlantic sailing to arrive in England under the new postal treaty between the United States and Great Britain. This is one of only three 5¢ 1847 blocks known on cover (one is a front only), and it is the only one of the three carried in the transatlantic mails.
The full history of the Retaliatory Rate period is told in our sale catalogue for the famous 1847 Rush cover, available at https://siegelauctions.com/2006/912/912.pdf, and is summarized in the previous lot. The treaty between the United States and Great Britain, ending the Retaliatory Rate period, was signed on December 15, 1848. It was ratified in January 1849, and the treaty terms commenced on February 15, 1849, four days before this cover was mailed. The treaty stipulated a reciprocal 24¢ (or one shilling) rate and specified that packet postage would be retained by or credited to the packet's country of origin. This cover was directed by the sender for carriage on the Ocean Line Hermann, which departed New York on February 20, 1848. However, it was actually carried on the next day's sailing of the Cunarder Niagara from Boston, which arrived at Liverpool on March 6 (matching the Liverpool backstamp)--the first transatlantic steamer to arrive with mail that could be prepaid under the new treaty. The "1/-" shilling handstamp struck on arrival at Liverpool is enigmatic, as the sea postage was completely prepaid, according to the treaty terms. The use of red ink is extremely unusual, and might explain the anomalous rating.
Blocks of the 1847 Issue are exceedingly rare on cover. This transatlantic use of a block was originally discovered in the Peter Stubbs correspondence and is the only such example recorded. The other two recorded blocks are a block of four on a domestic cover from Fredonia to Albany, New York (offered in lot 34) and a block of four on a rebacked cover front from New York to Montreal, Canada.
Ex Stephen D. Bechtel, Sr., Guido Craveri, and from our 1993 Rarities of the World sale.
5¢ Dark Brown (1a), deep rich color and impression from the First Printing, large margins to clear at bottom, tied by bold strike of blue grid cancel with matching "Philadelphia Pa. Jul. 16" (1847) circular datestamp (inverted "16"), used as forwarding postage to Boston on a folded letter originating in Dusseldorf, Germany--letter is datelined at Dusseldorf, June 14, 1847, and written by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, the artist who in 1851 painted the iconic Washington Crossing the Delaware Revolutionary War scene, and who also painted the Columbus in Chains scene used as the basis for the $2.00 Columbian stamp--addressed to the care of Furness, Brindley & Co. in Philadelphia, sent either via Aachen or Cologne and Belgium to London, manuscript "5/8" Prussian loth (weight) at top right, "P." in oval indicating prepayment of postage at Dusseldorf, Prussian "22" (silbergroschen) in red crayon indicating all transit fees to U.S. prepaid, red London "Paid" transit datestamp (June 17, 1847), Liverpool oval datestamp (June 17)--presumably carried on the Cunarder Caledonia, departing Liverpool on June 19, 1847, and arriving at Boston July 4--due markings were applied at the Philadelphia post office with the blue July 16 circular datestamp and "12" in circle handstamp struck for 10¢ over-300 miles rate plus 2¢ ship fee, address crossed out and forwarded back to Boston, in care of Thomas Lamb, with 5¢ stamp applied by Furness, Brindley & Co., manuscript line through "12" in circle and re-rated "10" cents for distance over 300 miles, the 5¢ stamp was insufficient so rated in manuscript "Due 5"
Very Fine; minor splits along folds--a unique use of the 5¢ 1847 Issue as forwarding postage on a folded letter from a famous artist writing from Dusseldorf, Germany, and a scarce first-month use of the 5¢ 1847 Issue.
This cover is fascinating in many aspects. It was mailed from Germany to the United States two weeks before the release of the 1847 Issue. By the time it reached Boston, on Independence Day, the first federal postage stamps were just three days old. The Philadelphia circular datestamp was dated July 16 either in error, as Creighton C. Hart speculated, or for another reason--perhaps the letter was carried on a different vessel, or the markings were applied after a delay or upon forwarding to Boston.
The writer, Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, was born in Germany, but emigrated to the U.S. as a child. His artistic talent manifested itself early in life, and in adulthood he was noted for many significant paintings, including his iconic Washington Crossing the Delaware. Another painting, Columbus in Chains, won him the gold medal at the Brussels Art Exhibition, and was subsequently purchased by the Art Union in New York; it was the basis of the 1893 $2.00 Columbian stamp. In this letter Leutze mentions having painted pictures entitled "Columbus" and "Knox." Leutze quotes a $1,000 price for the picture he is painting for James T. Furness, the addressee, and asks to be paid with a British bank draft. He writes that the picture will be sent via Havre in ten days.
Ex Creighton C. Hart and John R. Boker, Jr. Illustrated and discussed in Chronicle 46 (pp. 6 and 34-36) and in Hargest (p. 10). With 1963 P.F. certificate.