5¢ Brown, Type II, 10¢ Green, Type V (30A, 35), two of each, affixed at left of cover and partly covering red and blue Waving Flag Patriotic design, tied by "San Francisco Cal. Sep. 2, 1861" circular datestamps and addressed to Bremen, Germany, red "N. York Am. Pkt. Sep. 28 7 Paid" 7¢ credit datestamp, slightly reduced at top and missing backflap, fresh and Very Fine, rare use of a Patriotic cover from the West Coast to a foreign destination, ex Matthies and "Sevenoaks"
10¢ Green, Type V (35), used with 3¢ Dull Red, Type III (26) and 5¢ Brown, Type II, (30A), vertical pair of 3¢, singles of 5¢ and 10¢, tied by large "Paid" grid cancels, "Boston Am. Pkt. May 24" (1861) circular datestamp on back of blue folded letter to Calcutta, India, addressed to Caleb Ladd at the Ice House, manuscript directives "Via Marseilles" and "pr Steamer fr N York", red London transit backstamp (June 8), manuscript "1/" one-shilling debit, "Calcutta Steamer Letter" backstamp with "8" annas due, 5¢ single pulled perf at right, missing one leaf of letter but front and back are complete, Very Fine, a beautiful three-color 1857 Issue franking to the Ice House in Calcutta, India, paying the 21¢ British Open Mail via Marseilles rate via American Packet, ex Newbury
5¢ Brown, Type II (30A), horizontal strip of three, well-centered, rich color and proof-like impression, trivial toned specks, tied over several perfs at lower left by blue "Louisville Ky. Aug. 13, 1861" duplex datestamp and grid cancel (datestamp struck again at lower right), used with 3¢ Dull Red, Type III (26) and 12¢ Black, Plate 3 (36B), 12¢ interpane margin at right, tied at upper right by "Adams Express Co. Louisville, Ky. Aug. 12, 1861" circular datestamp on blue folded letter in French to Paris, France, datelined "New Orleans, August 7, 1861" and addressed to "Monsieur G. d'Arnaud de Vitrolles", pencil "40" express rate (25¢ express fee plus 15¢ postage to France) --carried to France on the Havre Line Fulton, departing from New York on August 17, 1861, and arriving at Havre August 29--red "New York Paid 3 Aug. 17" 3¢ credit datestamp, ultramarine Havre arrival datestamp (August 29), red "PD" in frame handstamp, Paris receiving backstamp
Jamet (Paris) sale, 12/28/1955
Louis Grunin, Christie's Robson Lowe sale, Part Two, 10/7/1987, lot 136, to Dr. Martin
Dr. Alfred S. Martin, Siegel Auction Galleries, Sale 893, lot 51, to Schwartz
Barry K. Schwartz, Siegel Auction Galleries, Sale 981, lot 4123, to William H. Gross
CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES
Stanley B. Ashbrook, Special Service, #67, p. 544, photo 270
Lester G. Brookman, United States Postage Stamps of the 19th Century, Vol. I, p. 248, fig. 389
National Postal Museum, 1957 Perforation Centennial, p. 90, fig. 6
Steven C. Walske and Scott R. Trepel, Special Mail Routes of the American Civil War, census no. N-AD-65
Signed by Stanley B. Ashbrook
The Philatelic Foundation (1991)
HISTORY AND COMMENTARY
Southern "Contraband' on an Adams Express Cover
This cover is remarkable in three respects: first, it is a rare Adams Express Company cover carried across the lines of war; second, it is addressed to another country; and, third, it shows how stamps from the South were considered to be contraband and were not accepted as federal postage.
The dateline inside tells us that the letter was written on August 7, 1861, in New Orleans. By then, Louisiana was a Confederate state. The steamers that carried mail to Europe departed from Boston or New York, so the writer had to send the letter north. That was a challenge, because the mail routes had been shut down by federal authorities since late May and early June. Express companies were the only ones transporting mail across the lines, for a price.
The letter was carried by Adams Express to Louisville, arriving August 13, about ten days before stamps currently in circulation were demonetized. The exchange period in Louisville began August 22 for three days; after August 24, no stamps other than the new 1861s would be accepted. Although the 3¢ and 12¢ 1857 Issue stamps were still valid when this reached Louisville, the fact that they originated on a letter from a Confederate state rendered them invalid, and the Adams office had to affix the strip of 5¢ stamps at lower left to prepay the 15¢ treaty rate to France.
At the New York foreign-mail office, the clerk bagged the letter for the Havre Line Fulton sailing on August 17 and applied a 3¢ credit to France. Later in 1861 both of the Havre Line's ships, the Fulton and Arago, were commissioned as transport ships during the war and were not returned to mail service until late in 1865.
A history of the Arnaud de Vitrolles family may be found at http://gillesdubois.blogspot.com/2007/05/arnaud-de-vitrolles.html . A cover from the same correspondence with the same August 7 dateline was sold in the Gross U.S. Treasures sale (Sale 1188, lot 62). It was carried by Adams Express, but reached Louisville on August 21 and was stamped with the new 30¢ 1861 Issue. At New York it was put on a Cunard steamer. The two covers were sold to Mr. Gross in the Siegel sale of the Barry K. Schwartz collection (Sale 981, lots 4123 and 4124). They tell a remarkable story of Civil War postal history.
5¢ Brown, Type II (30A), Positions 41-43/51-53/61-63L2, E/F/C Reliefs, block of nine from left pane of Plate 2 with "(Toppan), Carpenter & Co. BANK NOTE ENGRAVERS. Phila. New York, Boston & Cincinnati" imprint and "No. 2 P." plate number, original gum with hinge marks and remnants, remarkably well-centered, deep rich color in the 1860 Brown shade, sharp impression
Rep. Ernest R. Ackerman (sold privately)
Henry C. Gibson, Sr. (listed in Ward inventory, October 1945, "superb plate block of 9, imprint and plate number 2P")
Henry B. Close, Eugene Costales sale, 6/23-26/1952, lot 129, to Cole
Harmer, Rooke sale, 12/11/1962, lot 143
Siegel Auction Galleries, 6/18/1964, Sale 272, lot 217
Rudolph G. Wunderlich, Siegel Auctions, 1/29/1976, Sale 484, lot 299
Walter C. Klein, Christie's Robson Lowe sale, 9/27/1988, lot 146
John C. Chapin (collection sold privately to Shreves and then to William H. Gross, 2002)
CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES
John C. Chapin, A Census of United States Classic Plate Blocks 1851-1882, census no. 163
The Philatelic Foundation (1988)
Very Fine appearance; small thins, tiny hole in top left stamp
HISTORY AND COMMENTARY
5¢ Jefferson Stamps Printed from the New Plate in 1860
Beginning with the printing in the first quarter of 1860, a new plate of 200 subjects, divided into left and right panes of 100, was used by Toppan Carpenter to print 5¢ stamps. The siderographer followed the same procedure used to make the 1¢ Plates 5 through 10, in which a 6-relief transfer roll was modified by trimming the designs to reduce the stamps' dimensions. For the 5¢, the top and bottom of the design were trimmed from the reliefs, which distinguishes Type II from the earlier Type I. Entries on the plate were made from the transfer roll in vertical columns, ten to a column--when completed there were 10 columns and 10 rows in each half of the plate, separated by a centerline. Row 1 of the 5¢ plate was entered with the A Relief, followed by the B, C, D, E and F Reliefs for rows 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. The progression resumed with the C Relief for row 7, followed by the D, E and F Reliefs for rows 8, 9 and 10.
The 1860 printing was in Brown, and the 1861 printing in Orange Brown. Since there were few Brown sheets on hand in 1861 when the issue was demonetized due to the Civil War, it is much scarcer than the Orange Brown in unused condition. There are three recorded plate blocks:
1) Left margin block of 9, Positions 41-43/51-53/61-63L2, Chapin census no. 163, ex Ackerman, Gibson, Close, Wunderlich, Klein, Chapin, offered in this sale
2) Right margin block of 9, Positions 48-50/58-60/68-70R2, defective, Chapin census no. 162, ex Worthington, Silsby, Curtis (Siegel Sale 1084, lot 3145)
3) Left margin block of 6, Positions 41-42/51-52/61-62L2, Chapin census no. 160 as Scott 30, Siegel Sale 1090, lot 1163 as Scott 30A
5¢ Brown, Type II (30A), Positions 51-55/61-65/71-75/81-85R2, F/C/D/E Reliefs, block of 20 from right pane of Plate 2 with centerline margin at left, original gum, seven stamps Mint N.H. including a block of four (center stamp top row, three middle stamps second row, third and fourth stamps fourth row, center stamp fifth row), others have small hinge remnants, centered to bottom, deep rich color in the 1860 Brown shade, sharp impression
Frelinghuysen collection, Part 2, Siegel Auction Galleries, 3/29/2012, Sale 1021, lot 174, to William H. Gross
Fine overall; light horizontal crease at center partly along perfs affects three or four stamps, few toned spots mostly on back
SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)
$109,500.00 as four blocks and two pairs without any premium for the seven Mint N.H. stamps
HISTORY AND COMMENTARY
The Largest Known Block of the 1860 5¢ Brown Type II
The new 5¢ plate made from the 6-relief transfer roll with trimmed reliefs--the clipped projections at top and bottom distinguish Type II from the earlier Type I design--was used to print stamps in Brown in 1860 and in Orange Brown in 1861. Since there were few Type II Brown sheets on hand in 1861 when the issue was demonetized due to the Civil War, it is much scarcer than the Orange Brown in unused condition, and unused blocks are exceedingly rare.
Prior to the emergence of this block of 20 in 2012, when the long-dormant Frelinghuysen collection came to market through Siegel, the largest multiples of the Type II Brown were the two plate number blocks of nine, one of which is offered in this sale as lot 43.
This remarkable block comes from the right pane. It comprises the first five vertical columns and rows 6 through 9, and shows the dividing line between the left and right panes in the imperforate left margin. All sheets from the plate of 200 subjects were trimmed vertically between the two panes of 100. Obviously, only one side of each sheet could show the intact centerline, as does this block.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM EXAMPLE OF THE 1861 5-CENT TYPE II.
Ex Merlin. With 1999 and 2004 P.F. and 2005 P.S.E. certificates (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $2,800.00). Only three have graded higher -- one each at 95J (we have never offered it), 98 (ex Bowman, realized $14,500) and 100 (ex "Natalee Grace", realized $18,000). This is the first in this grade we have offered since 2012.