10c 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" variety, mostly full to large margins except at bottom center where just barely into framelines, tied by multiple strikes of red "5" in circle cancel, matching "PHILADA. RAILROAD"
straightline handstamp applied at New York City post office on cover from Benjamin Rush in Philadelphia to his father, Richard Rush, the American minister to France, addressed to Paris with Benjamin's instructions "Via New York, British Mail Steamer of the 27th Septem. 'Europa'",
carried on the R.M.S. Europa,
which departed from Cunard's docks at Jersey City on Wednesday, September 27, 1848, and arrived in Liverpool, England, on October 9, red “10 OC 10 48”(October 10, 1848) receiving datestamp and matching "COLONIES/&C. ART. 13"
Anglo-French accountancy handstamp applied at London post office, 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"
receiving 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.",
small nicks in corners at top right and bottom left have been mended with paper and archival tape, the strip appears sound, but there is a horizontal crease across all stamps and a diagonal crease in the right stamp, which were present before the strip was affixed by the sender, they do not noticeably affect the appearance
VERY FINE. A STRIP OF SIX IS THE LARGEST MULTIPLE OF THE 10-CENT 1847 ISSUE KNOWN ON COVER. ONLY TWO COVERS ARE RECORDED, THIS BEING SIGNIFICANTLY MORE IMPORTANT AS AN 1848 RETALIATORY RATE USAGE. IN THE 1944 GIBSON SALE CATALOGUE, PHILIP H. WARD JR. DESCRIBED THIS REMARKABLE ARTIFACT OF POSTAL HISTORY AS "THE MOST IMPORTANT COVER KNOWN TO AMERICAN PHILATELY."
Ex Seybold, Gibson, Rust and Kapiloff.
With Philatelic Foundation certificate.
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