CANADA, 1851, 12p Black on Laid Paper (3; SG 4).
Large margins all around, tied by well-struck target cancel on double-rate bluish folded cover to New York City, red "Montreal L.C. Jy 21 1852" circluar datestamp, matching "Canada" in framed arc cross-border handstamp, red "Paid" handstamp, half of one backflap missing and sealed tear from bottom into address panel, with part of letter contents including a request for investment advice
EXTREMELY FINE AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT COVERS OF BRITISH NORTH AMERICA. VERY FEW 12-PENCE STAMPS ARE KNOWN ON COVER, AND THIS IS THE FINEST OF THE TWO OR THREE TIED EXAMPLES.
The 1851 12-pence stamp was issued for prepayment of the basic letter rate to Newfoundland, Bermuda and the West Indies, but its value - stated in pence rather than "one shilling" to avoid confusion - also corresponded to the double 6p rate to the United States and certain other countries. However, its use was very limited, and most of the printing was destroyed, with only approximately 1,500 stamps sold.
In his Encyclopedia of Rare and Famous Stamps, L. N. Williams estimates that five covers have survived. The two best known covers are this tied usage from Montreal and the untied usage from Hamilton (see Boggs, p. 137).
Ex Worthington, Dale-Lichtenstein, Nickle. With 1995 B.P.A. certificate
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