VERY FINE. A COLORFUL AND RARE FRANKING FOR THE 37-CENT RATE TO RUSSIA VIA PRUSSIAN CLOSED MAIL. A PHENOMENAL COVER FROM THE JOSIAH PIERCE CORRESPONDENCE.
This cover must have been sent prior to May 1863 when the rate via Prussian Closed Mail was lowered from 37c to 35c. The June date and use of the 1861 Issue point to 1862.
In 1855 the addressee, Josiah Pierce, was appointed by President Franklin Pierce to be secretary of the legation of the United States at St. Petersburg, Russia. He resigned his position in 1858 to become part of a syndicate of businessmen (under the name Winans, Harrison & Winans) who were building and equipping railroads in Russia, particularly between Moscow and St. Petersburg. Sometime after 1866 Pierce re-established his residence in London, where he was the legal representative of this firm. In recognition of his services to Russia, Pierce was made a knight of the order of St. Anne by Alexander II in October 1865 (source: Google Books, Bowdoin College obituaries).
Ex Gibson and Vogel
VERY FINE. A COLORFUL AND RARE THREE-COLOR 1861 ISSUE FRANKING, INCLUDING THE SCARCE 24-CENT STEEL BLUE, PAYING THE 39-CENT RATE TO AUSTRALIA BY BRITISH MAIL VIA MARSEILLES.
Ex Vogel. With 1971 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB USED EXAMPLE OF THE 24-CENT 1861 STEEL BLUE, GRADED XF-SUPERB 95 BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED AND IT IS SHARED BY ONLY ONE OTHER.
The Steel Blue is the most distinctive of all the 24c shades. Unlike some of the others, it is rarely mistaken or misidentified, and as such has always been a favorite of collectors. It is extremely rare in this superb used condition.
With 2014 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $9,000.00). This is the highest grade awarded and only one other shares it (ex Kirke).
VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE COVER TO GUATEMALA WITH THE 24-CENT 1861 STEEL BLUE SHADE.
This cover comes from the Crosby correspondence. Using Power Search, we located only one other cover to Guatemala with the 24c Steel Blue (from our 1983 Rarities sale).
Ex Haas and Rose. With 1998 P.F. certificate