Sale 973 — 2009 Rarities of the World

Sale Date — Saturday, 13 June, 2009

Category — Local Posts

Cat./Est. Value
Sale 973, Lot 292, Local PostsMason's New Orleans City Express, New Orleans La., 2c Black on Yellow (102L2). Huge left sheet margin, large at right and bottom, slightly in along top frameline, cancelled by red "Mason's Express 23 Royal St." in small circle handstamp, red "New Orleans La. Jul. 4 10" integral-rate circular datestamp on blue Jul. 3, 1850 folded letter to Montgomery Ala., file fold with small erosion spots in address


This is the earliest recorded cover during the period from July 1850 through August 1851, when Mason's operated prior to the formation of the New Orleans carrier department. As observed by Dr. Hubert C. Skinner (Texas Philatelist, Feb. 1969), two different city-delivery rates have been found on Mason's covers. This July 1850 usage is a 2c rate, while the Feb. 6, 1851, cover has a 1c stamp (see description of lot 291). There is no rate change evidenced by the four recorded Mason's 2c stamped covers delivered to or from the post office from July 1850 through August 1851. One local cover (number 4 below) is dated Apr. 21 (1851), but it has a 2c stamp; we have not read the letter, addressed to the Archbishop of New Orleans, but perhaps it originated outside New Orleans. Based on the Feb. 1851 1c cover, it seems that Mason reduced the local rate from 2c to 1c between Dec. 27, 1850, and Feb. 6, 1851, which may explain the need for a re-rated 102L1 stamp.

Our records contain seven 102L2 stamps, including the following six on covers, listed chronologically: 1) Jul. 4 (1850 contents) New Orleans datestamp (10c rate), stamp with wide left sheet margin and cancelled (not tied) by Mason's small circle (no datestamp) on folded letter to Chas. T. Pollard, Montgomery Ala., ex Ackerman, Caspary, the cover offered in this lot; 2) Dec. 26, 1850 folded letter locally addressed to J. R. Hyde, stamp tied by red grid, Dec. 27 company datestamp, ex Worthington, Caspary, Middendorf; 3) Mar. 25 (1851 contents) New Orleans datestamp (10c rate), stamp tied by red grid, Mar. 25 company datestamp on back of folded letter to Dr. Banks, New York City, ex Ferrary, Hollowbush, offered in this sale as lot 293; 4) Apr. 21 (1851?) company datestamp, stamp cancelled by red grid on folded letter to Rev. Anthony Blane, Archbishop of New Orleans, P.F. records; 5) Jul. 4 (1851 contents) New Orleans datestamp (new 5c rate), stamp tied by Mason's small circle (no datestamp) on folded letter to Eleanor Fratherly, Sodus Pt. N.Y., ex Boker; and 6) Aug. 9 (1851 contents) New Orleans datestamp, "Way 6" and "Adv. 1" handstamps on Aug. 7 folded letter from Mobile to Carl Marten, New Orleans, stamp has trace of red ink but not cancelled, ex Golden. In addition to the six stamps on covers, we record one off-cover stamp on piece with the Mason's small circle (lot 294 in this sale).

The manner in which the Mason small circle is struck on this stamp leads us to believe it might have been applied as a precancel when Mason carried letters to the post office for mailing to another city. This cover is accompanied by a handwritten original "rough-up" copy of the Mason's ad in the New Orleans City Directory for 1851 and a copy of the printed ad. The cover and these collateral items would make a perfect exhibit display.

Ex Ackerman and Caspary. From the Estate of Dr. Hubert C. Skinner. With 2009 P.F. certificate

E. 5,000-7,500