3¢ Rose (65), tied by duplex target cancel and “Phila. Pa. Jun. 15, 1864” circular datestamp, used with Great Central Fair, Philadelphia, 10¢ Blue (WV11), cancelled by “Great Central Fair. June 15, 1864” circular datestamp--strongly impressed, leaving indentation through interior of envelope, effectively tying stamp--two additional strikes on red illustrated Great Central Fair cover, battlefield scene with fallen soldier and return address imprint at side, to A. B. Hall, M.D., at 89 Salem Street in Boston, “P.O. Phila. A Jun. 15 4th” circular datestamp on back
* George Walcott, Robert Laurence sale 1/14/1935, lot 3090
* Possibly Robert S. Emerson
* Elliott Perry (collection sold privately to Kantors)
* Alvin R. and Marjorie Kantor, Siegel Auction Galleries, 5/5/1995, Sale 766A, lot 1263, to William H. Gross
CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES
* Alvin R. and Marjorie Kantor, Sanitary Fairs: A Philatelic and Historical
* Study of Civil War Benevolences, fig. 112, p. 127
* ANPHILEX 1971 (Kantor)
* Very Fine cover; cover slightly reduced at right and 3¢ has trimmed perfs at right, ink spot matching address (thus contemporary) Pencil “Walcott Sale 1935, 40.00, L3090” (appears to be Emerson’s source code)
VIEW PDF OF HISTORY AND COMMENTARY at https://siegelauctions.com/2018/1188/61.pdf
EXTREMELY FINE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED USE OF THE 10-CENT PHILADELPHIA SANITARY FAIR STAMP WITH THE 2-CENT BLACK JACK ISSUE. ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ITEMS OF THE BLACK JACK AND SANITARY FAIR ISSUES, AND AN OUTSTANDING CIVIL WAR ERA COVER.
On June 13, 1861, President Lincoln signed a document giving the Sanitary Commission semi-official status. Its purpose was to support sick and wounded soldiers. However, funds were not provided to carry on the work, so Sanitary Commission fairs were organized as fundraisers and to enlist volunteers.
The Great Central Fair, held in Philadelphia from June 7 to 28, 1864, was the largest and best-organized of all the fairs. To raise funds, President Lincoln signed 48 copies of a special authorized edition of the Emancipation Proclamation; 26 are known to survive -- Siegel sold one of the last in private hands in 2012 for $2,127,500. The Philadelphia fair was the only one attended by Lincoln, whose passionate speech caused such an outpouring of emotions among spectators that officials decided it would be dangerous for him to attend another.
Eight of the Sanitary Fairs issued stamps, but those produced for the Philadelphia fair exceed all others in their complexity and beauty. They were printed by Butler and Carpenter of Philadelphia (Carpenter was a member of the Post Office Committee of the fair). It depicts an eagle at center, similar to the James A. Clark Match stamp (Scott RO62). 34 stars were added to the background, for each of the states in the Union prior to the onset of the Civil War. These are also the only perforated Sanitary Fair stamps.
Three denominations were printed -- 10c, 20c and 30c -- and the stamps were valid for use within the fair. Additional postage stamps were required for delivery within or beyond Philadelphia. The stamps were sold by young ladies at the fair's post office booth, who would write a poem or note to the addressee -- the length depended on the denomination purchased. Four thousand such enclosures were prepared in advance.
Only six covers are known franked with the 10c Philadelphia Great Central Fair stamp, Scott WV11. Of these, only three have additional regular postage stamps. One bears a 3c Rose (65) and was also cancelled at the Philadelphia fair. Another also bears a 3c stamp, with both stamps cancelled at a fair held in New York. The third is offered here. Apart from these three, only one other combination cover is known for the other two denominations of the Great Central Fair stamps, which is offered in the following lot.
The Scott Catalogue value of $22,500.00 is based on the 2011 Doyle's auction, where this cover made its first appearance as a new discovery.
EXTREMELY FINE. THE FINEST OF THE THREE KNOWN COVERS BEARING A COMPLETE SET OF THE GREAT CENTRAL FAIR ISSUE.
Covers posted at the fair were (with rare exception) delivered to other fair visitors by the ladies in attendance. Although addressed to England, this cover was actually picked up by Mrs. Gilead Smith on the fair grounds and never entered the U.S. postal system. The accompanying 1993 P.F. certificate notes this fact.
This cover was not listed by the Kantors in their authoritative work on the Sanitary Fairs. Only two other sets on cover are recorded - a complete cover with one of three stamps tied, and a set on the backflaps (without front).