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Sale 1103 — The Larry Lyons Collection: All Roads Lead to San Francisco

Sale Date — Wednesday, 24 June, 2015

Category — Carnes City, Loomis` Letter Express

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
1540
c
Sale Number 1103, Lot Number 1540, Carnes City, Loomis` Letter ExpressCarnes' City Letter Express (Loomis as Owner), San Francisco, (5c) Rose (35L1), Carnes' City Letter Express (Loomis as Owner), San Francisco, (5c) Rose (35L1)Carnes' City Letter Express (Loomis as Owner), San Francisco, (5c) Rose (35L1). Large margins all around, tied by dotted greenish-blue grid cancel, matching "San Francisco Letter Express" horse-and-rider oval handstamp on ornately-crafted envelope with Eagle and Shield printed on back, "July 4, 1868" in ribbon, addressed to "Society of California Pioneers"

EXTREMELY FINE. ARGUABLY THE FINEST OF THE FEW KNOWN COVERS BEARING CARNES'S CITY LETTER EXPRESS STAMP -- IN THIS INSTANCE, USED UNDER OWNERSHIP OF ITS SUCCESSOR, WILLIAM E. LOOMIS, ON AN INVITATION ENVELOPE DATED JULY 4, 1868. ONE OF THE RAREST AND MOST SPECTACULAR OF ALL AMERICAN LOCAL POST COVERS.

The local-post scene in San Francisco during the 1863-67 period is confusing to reconstruct, due to the similarity of names among competing posts and the changes in ownership, with one selling out to the other. All of this must be reconstructed from dated material and city directories. According to information gleaned by Ernest A. Wiltsee from contemporary sources, the Carnes City Letter Express was started in 1865 by George A. Carnes, a former postal clerk. Very early on, Carnes issued the Grizzly Bear stamps with his name. During the first year, Carnes also acquired the San Francisco Letter Express and changed the post's name to Carnes San Francisco Letter Express. Whether Carnes or William E. Loomis bought out Gahagan & Howe's City Express has been debated, but in late 1866, Carnes and his partner sold out to Loomis. From 1867 on, we find the Carnes stamps and San Francisco Letter Express Horse & Rider marking used by Loomis. Eventually Loomis altered the Grizzly Bear printing plate by removing the Carnes name and printed his own stamps (Scott 98L1, see lot ???).

Illustrated in the Nathan book. Ex Caspary, Haas, Edwards and Golden. With 1999 P.F. certificate

E. 15,000-20,000
26,000
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