VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A COLORFUL AND SCARCE FRANKING PAYING DOUBLE THE 34-CENT RATE TO PERU. A BEAUTIFUL COVER FROM THE DAVIS CORRESPONDENCE.
The story of the "Portchester Find" was first told by Elliott Coutler in the 1982 Register and summarized by Michael Laurence in his book on the 10c 1869 Issue. Probably the most plausible explanation is that two workmen found the cache of covers in a building that was about to be demolished, and they split them equally. This theory is supported by the fact that the covers made their way to market in two batches.
The single rate to Peru was 34c up to March 1870, when the rate was lowered to 22c. The franking on the cover here pays double the 34c rate in effect at the time of sending. The letter travelled from New York to Aspinwall in Panama, then overland to the west coast of Panama and down to Lima by British Mails by way of Callao.