VERY FINE APPEARING COVER AND A SUPERB STRIKE OF THE NEW YORK CITY UNION SOLDIER'S HEAD FANCY CANCELLATION ON A HIGH-DENOMINATION 1861 ISSUE PAYING THE TREATY RATE TO ENGLAND.
The creation and use of this fancy cancel in the Spring of 1866 coincided with the return of soldiers from the Civil War. It is known on at least one domestic cover, but apparently the cancelling device migrated to the foreign-mail exchange office, where it was used to cancel stamps on mail to foreign countries. This explains why it is found on high values of the 1861-66 Issue, including the 10c, 12c, 15c, 24c, 30c and 90c denomination stamps off cover. Covers with this cancel are very rare, probably because European stamp collectors removed the high-value stamps from covers. We recently offered one to Italy in the Raymond Vogel collection (Sale 995, lot 2206, realized $32,500 hammer) and a 15c cover to Germany in the Artemis collection (Sale 1012, lot 32, realized $15,000 hammer).
With 1990 P.F. certificate. Ex Herzog, Wunderlich and Dr. Skinner.