2¢ Black (73), two vertical pairs and single, used with vertical strip of four of 3¢ Rose (65), tied by cogwheel cancels and by "San Francisco Cal. Nov. 29, 1864" double-circle datestamp on cover to Boston, clear strike of red "Honolulu U.S. Postage Paid Nov. 9" circular datestamp, carried on the bark Yankee from Honolulu on November 10, 1864, arriving San Francisco November 28, 1864, then via overland mail to Boston
Very Fine appearance; right edge and right 2¢ stamp expertly restored, sealed cover tear.
A rare and exceptional multiple 2¢ Black Jack use from Hawaii, prepaid 22¢ based on the Honolulu postmaster's misinterpretation of the July 1, 1864, U.S. blanket steamship rate. A wonderful classic cover of U.S. and Hawaiian postal history.
During the period from August 13 through December 3, 1864, U.S.-Hawaiian postal rates were misinterpreted by the postmasters in both San Francisco and Honolulu (Postmaster General Kalakaua). Their misinterpretation was based on an erroneous reading of the July 1, 1864, U.S. postal law that provided for a blanket 10¢ steamship rate on incoming or outgoing foreign mail. However, the law did not apply to mail exchanged between countries which already had a postal treaty, as the U.S. and Hawaii did (1850 treaty). As a result, letters sent from Hawaii during this period were prepaid according to the following erroneous schedule: U.S. postage at 10¢ per -1/2 oz (blanket steamship rate); Hawaiian postage at 5¢ per -1/2 oz.; and a ship fee of 2¢ per letter, regardless of weight.
The cover offered here is an example of the 22¢ rate for letters between a half-ounce and one ounce (double rate), where the ship fee was charged at a flat 2¢ rate and the Hawaiian 10¢ postage was paid in cash. The correct rate for the U.S. postage would have been 10¢ based on the still effective 1850 treaty. The Gregory book records only four covers mailed to the U.S. during this period--this cover is number 2 in the census.
Illustrated in the Meyer-Harris and Allen books, as well as Gregory, Hawaiian Foreign Mail to 1870 (p. II-185). Ex Charles Wilson, Harry F. Allen (and Maryette B. Lane), Dr. Joseph F. Rorke and Blake M. Myers.
2¢ Black (73), tied by "Philadelphia Pa. Apr. 18, 1864" double-circle datestamp on unsealed Great Central Fair for the Sanitary Commission cover to Salem, New Jersey, with illustrated battlefield scene in red depicting fallen soldier and "From Office of the Committee on Labor, Income and Revenues, 118 So. Seventh St. Phila" imprint, Extremely Fine and beautiful example of this Sanitary Fair design in red, bearing the 2¢ Black Jack, ex Kantor and illustrated in their book (fig. 134)
2¢ Black (73), tied by "Philada. Pa. Post Office Mar. 11 1st '64" double-circle datestamp on Great Central Fair for the Sanitary Commission cover to Philadelphia street address, with illustrated battlefield scene in black depicting fallen soldier, slightly reduced at right, Very Fine example of this Sanitary Fair design in black, bearing a matching 2¢ Black Jack, ex Kantor and illustrated in their book (fig. 132)
Small Bee, Moon and Stars, Waterbury, Connecticut, the Small Bee fancy cancel (Rohloff A-14) on 2¢ Black, F. Grill (93), small thin spot, the Moon and Star (Rohloff S-10) on 2¢ Black (73), Very Fine strikes, Waterbury fancy cancels are extremely rare on Black Jack stamps, first with 1998 P.F. certificate, second with 1993 P.F. certificate
2¢ Black (73), tied by 5-point Star fancy cancel on "T. H. Dinsmore, Skowhegan, Me." overall illustrated advertising cover depicting an eagle over shield and flags and a piano, to Rome, Maine, mentions the sale of revenue stamps among several other services, stamp with tiny perf tear at top right and light corner crease, still Extremely Fine, a beautiful Black Jack illustrated cover and probably the finest example of this design among the few we have encountered, ex Steinway, Allen and Metzger, illustrated in Lane Black Jack book (fig. 39)
2¢ Black (73), lightly cancelled by grid and affixed as intended over the window of unsealed Leeds & Franklin lattice window patent envelope, lattice work completely intact and unbroken, albino "Pat. June 19, 1860" below window, cover is addressed to Wells River, Vermont with "The Claremont Manufacturing Company, Book and Paper Manufacturers N.H." corner card, original enclosure a two-page circular advertising diary sales for 1865, fresh and Extremely Fine, an absolutely superb example of this rare patented envelope and especially desirable with the 2¢ Black Jack, the placement of the stamp nicely demonstrates the sender's understanding of the purpose of the envelope, which was to have the stamp and cancel or postmark become affixed to the enclosed letter when the letter was removed, but in this case the stamp did not stick through to the enclosure so it remains undisturbed on the lattice window, with 1994 P.F. certificate
2¢ Black (73), two singles, tied by partly clear strike of Clinton N.Y. circular datestamp and target cancels (struck in the U.S.) on a cover originating in Canada and addressed to Clinton, "Montreal C.E. Au 31 '64" circular datestamp, pencil docketing of the same date at left, slightly smudged manuscript "10" below stamps, faint and unreadable double-circle datestamp on back (September 1), right stamp couple nibbed perfs at upper right, cover barely reduced at left, Very Fine appearing and extremely rare use of U.S. stamps on a cover originating in Canada, with 1974 P.F. certificate
2¢ Black (73), two pairs, used with two singles of 24¢ Gray (78b), one with straight edge, neatly arranged in alternating pattern and tied by circle of wedges cancel, red "N. York Br. Pkt. 14 Paid Oct. 9" (1866) 14¢ double-rate credit datestamp on cover with printed address to Bavaria, Germany, Seligman Bendit & Sohne correspondence with Bendit double-circle datestamp, sender's directive to go on the Cunarder "Cuba"--departing Boston October 10, 1866, and arriving Southampton October 20--sent via Prussian Closed Mail at double the 28¢ rate, two strikes of blue "AACHEN 22/10 FRANCO" (October 22) framed datestamp (one ties stamps), receiving backstamp
Very Fine--a colorful and outstanding Prussian Closed Mail cover with what is believed to be a unique 1861 Issue franking. This cover was one of the highlights of the Russo Black Jack collection.
Ex Anthony Russo and Walter C. Klein. Signed by Stanley B. Ashbrook.
2¢ Black, Atherton Shift, Major Double Transfer of Top Left Corner and "Postage" (73 variety), horizontal strip of three, left stamp clearly showing the dramatic double transfer at top, tied by target cancels and "Warrenton Va. May 13" (1867) circular datestamp on attorney corner card cover to Philadelphia, receipt docketing at left
Very Fine appearance; accompanying certificate notes the Atherton Shift stamp has small corner crease at bottom left, which is utterly negligible--right stamp light crease and small sealed cover tear at top (these issues not noted on certificate).
A spectacular example of the rare Atherton Shift--the most pronounced double transfer of the Black Jack Issue and, in fact, of any classic postage issue printed by the National Bank Note Company. We have encountered only two covers bearing this dramatic variety, and this is by far the finer of the two.
According to the Allen book, the Atherton Shift got its name from Stanley B. Ashbrook, who first discovered it in the summer of 1923 in the collection of H. P. Atherton. Concerning this double transfer, Ashbrook wrote: "Here we have one of the most remarkable double transfers on U. S. stamps that I have ever seen. I have for years classed the One Cent 1851, Type II, 89R2, as the No. 1 among remarkable examples of this variety and in my opinion this 2¢ Black Jack could well rank as No. 2. Perhaps some would even rank it equal to the 1¢..." He stated further that it was his opinion, supported by other authorities whom he had consulted, that the variety must surely have come from an early or first condition of one of the plates, and that later it had been burnished out and a fresh entry made. The fact that every line in the Atherton Shift "is razor sharp" led him to conclude that the plate from which it came was very new.
This cover has been a highlight of important Black Jack collections, including those formed by Anthony Russo and Steven Metzger. When the Metzger collection was sold this was described as the only on-cover example of the Atherton Shift known. We subsequently sold a cover in the Bernard Faust collection with the Atherton Shift (Sale 1181, lot 1105), but the stamp on that cover has been repaired, with the bottom portion of the design replaced. This is by far the finer of the two covers we have encountered.
Ex Judge Robert S. Emerson, Anthony Russo and Steven Metzger. With 2003 P.F. certificate.
10¢ Green, 12¢ Black, F. Grill (96, 97), tied to each other by circle of wedges cancels on 1868 black-bordered mourning cover to Melbourne, Australia, originated in New York but without circular datestamp, red "12" credit handstamp, "Panama SP 17 68" transit datestamp struck twice, oval "6D MORE TO PAY" handstamp, Melbourne receiving backstamp, stamps with some perf toning from gum, 10¢ short perfs at right, Very Fine appearance and rare, correctly prepaid 22¢ for the rate to Australia by American Packet via Panama, then by British Packet to Australasia, with 12¢ credited to Great Britain and 6 pence due in Melbourne for ship-letter postage