THE LARGEST TETE-BECHE MULTIPLE OF THE 5-CENT "HAWAIIAN POSTAGE" NUMERAL
Ex Ferrary, Tows. Unlisted in Scott as a block, value for two tete-beche pairs
AN EXTREMELY FINE MULTIPLE, WHICH IS THE ONLY RECORDED COMPLETE PANE OF THE 5-CENT "HAWAIIAN POSTAGE" NUMERAL
Ex Ferrary, Adm. Harris, Ostheimer. Scott Retail for two blocks and pair
THE UNIQUE BLACK 5-CENT NUMERAL IN EXTREMELY FINE CONDITION
This stamp is printed on thin yellowish white wove paper, which is similar in color and texture to Scott 20, but slightly thinner. The color of the printed design is superficially black; however, when held to intense light the ink shows a hybrid mixture of blue and black, which suggests that the printer was experimenting with ink and paper colors when this stamp was printed. Whether it is a proof (no Numeral proofs are known) or an issued stamp (no other examples are known, unused or used), we cannot say.
Ex Crocker, Atherton. Listed but unpriced in Scott
AN EXTREMELY FINE AND UNIQUE UNITED STATES-HAWAIIAN MIXED-FRANKING COVER, BEING THE ONLY RECORDED USE OF THE NUMERAL ISSUE ON A COVER DESTINED BEYOND THE BORDERS OF THE UNITED STATES
This cover left Honolulu on October 7, 1865, aboard the D. C. Murray, arriving in San Francisco on October 27. The sender, whose style of manuscript indicates someone of European origin, was very specific in detailing the route intended for this letter. At upper is a three-line instruction, "per D. C. Murray to Sanfrancisco/"Steamerline to NewYork/"German Steamerline from New York." The three U.S. 10c stamps prepaid the 28c rate for Prussian Closed Mail and the 2c ship captain's fee. Because the sender marked the letter "Paid" ("Franco") at lower left, we can assume that the U.S. postage was affixed in Hawaii.
Our records show no other example of a Numeral stamp used on cover to a destination outside of Hawaii or the United States. Although such usage was perfectly acceptable, as demonstrated by this cover, there must have been circumstances that resulted in the extreme rarity of surviving examples. We can think of two. The 1c and 2c Numerals were used almost exclusively on inter-island mail, and the 5c Numeral was not issued until late 1864 or early 1865 when a shortage of 5c stamps necessitated their provisional usage. Until this point it would be very unlikely that any 1c or 2c Numeral stamp would find its way on a cover sent to or through the United States, and, by 1864-65, when the 5c Numeral was printed, the Numerals were very popular with stamp collectors in Europe. Any cover reaching Europe that happened to display a 5c Numeral would be prone to assault from a philatelist looking to procure an exotic Hawaiian Numeral for his stamp album. Thus, we have in this cover a rare survivor of circumstance.
Illustrated in Letters of Gold, Jesse L. Coburn (p. 135). Ex Krug, Haas. Ashbrook signed note on back, describing this as "Quite a Rare Cover...This cover is a GEM And GENUINE." With 1954 R.P.S. certificate
ONE OF TWO PAIRS OF THE 5-CENT "HAWAIIAN POSTAGE" NUMERAL KNOWN ON COVER
Accompanied by an earlier letter from the same writer with interesting comments on life on the islands. Illustrated in Meyer-Harris (p. 174) in unrestored condition, showing that the cleaning was minimal.