VERY FINE COVER. EIGHTEEN FRANKLIN CARRIER COVERS ARE RECORDED, OF WHICH ELEVEN ARE CANCELLED BY THE PHILADELPHIA RED STAR. THIS IS ONE OF TWO EXAMPLES OF THE MAJOR DOUBLE TRANSFER POSITION KNOWN ON COVER.
This cover shows proper use of the Franklin Carrier stamp in December 1851 to prepay the fee for carrier delivery to the post office for the regular mails. The Meyersburg census of Franklin Carrier covers, which has been revised with corrections, contains 18 confirmed examples. Included among the 18 covers are 3 from New York (each tied by the red circular datestamp, one of which is in the New York Public Library), one cover from New Orleans, and 14 covers from Philadelphia (3 tied by blue circular datestamp, 10 cancelled by red star but not tied, and one tied by red star).
The Scott-listed double transfer is found only on this position, in which the bottom label "Stamp" shows noticeable lines from a previous entry. Very few examples are known, and this is one of two recorded covers with the double transfer. The other cover realized $27,000 hammer in our sale of the Donald B. Johnstone collection (Sale 853, lot 2472). In the Johnstone sale catalogue we erred in describing his cover as the only known example of the double transfer on cover, because we relied on others' notes. We should have gone back to the 1956 Caspary sale description of this cover, which clearly describes this stamp as a double transfer variety.
Ex Worthington (with his "Bullfinches" pricing code on back, "2/05 New Eng. BUCIS" in pencil) and Caspary.