Sale 1228 — The William H. Gross Collection: United States 1847 First Issue

Sale Date — Tuesday-Thursday, 27-29 October, 2020

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*A buyer’s premium of 18% of the winning bid was added as part of the total purchase price on all lots in this sale. Buyers were responsible for applicable sales tax, customs duty and any other prescribed charges. By placing a bid, bidders agreed to the terms and conditions in effect at the time of the sale.

Category — Used to and from Great Britain and Europe

Cat./Est. Value
Sale 1228, Lot 552, Used to and from Great Britain and EuropeThe incomparable "Rush" cover, described by Philip H. Ward, Jr. as "the most important cover known to American philately"


10¢ Black (2), Positions 55-60L, horizontal strip of six with inter-pane sheet margin at right, Position 57L (third stamp from left) is the "Harelip" plate variety, mostly full to large margins except at bottom center where just barely into framelines, tied by multiple strikes of red "5" numeral in circle cancel with matching "PHILADA. RAILROAD" straightline handstamp applied at the New York City post office on an envelope to Paris, France, from Benjamin Rush in Philadelphia to his father, Richard Rush, the American minister to France, sender's directive "Via New York, British Mail Steamer of the 27th Septem. 'Europa'", carried on the RMS Europa, departing September 27, 1848, arriving in Liverpool October 9, red "10 OC 10 48"(October 10, 1848) London receiving datestamp and matching "COLONIES/&C. ART. 13" Anglo-French accountancy handstamp, carried by rail to Dover, across the channel to Boulogne, and then by rail to Paris where "ANGL./ 3/ BOULOGNE-S-MER/ 3/ 11 OCT 48" arrival datestamp was applied (also tying strip), manuscript "15" (grams) weight notation at upper left partly on stamp, manuscript "33" (decimes) due marking, additional notations on back possibly applied at Paris post office, docketed upon receipt "B.R. [Benjamin Rush] Sep. 26 and copies inside of same date."


John F. Seybold, J. C. Morgenthau, Sale 29, 3/15-16/1910, lot 42, to Gibson (Seybold's handstamp on back)

Henry C. Gibson, Sr., Philip H. Ward, Jr. sale, 6/14-15/1944, lot 34, to Rust

Philip G. Rust, H. R. Harmer sale, 5/5-6/1971, lot 128, to Dr. Kapiloff

Siegel Auction Galleries, Sale 912, 5/13/2006, lot 501, to Mr. Gross


USPCS census no. 8100

Illustrated in Gordon Eubanks, Jr., "Covers with Three or More 1847 Stamps," Chronicle 254

Scott R. Trepel, "United States Classic Covers" (special color feature for Ameripex 1986), Chronicle 130, May 1986

New York International Philatelic Exhibition 1926 (Gibson)

Collectors Club of New York 2/24/1926 (Gibson; Elliott Perry talk)

ARIPEX 1984 (Dr. Kapiloff, Grand Award)

ISRAPHIL 1985 (Dr. Kapiloff, Grand Prix International)

Collectors Club of New York "Aristocrats of United States Philately" exhibit, December 2000 (Gross)

World Stamp Show 2016 Court of Honor (Gross)


The Philatelic Foundation (1975 and 2006)


Very Fine; small nicks in corners at top right and bottom left mended with paper and archival tape; the strip appears sound, but there are pre-use creases affecting all stamps

Go to for additional information on the Rush Cover

E. 400,000-500,000