A VERY FINE EXAMPLE OF LANGTON'S HUMBOLDT EXPRESS STAMP ON COVER, OF WHICH THERE ARE SIX RECORDED
The Humboldt Express was the last of six successive Western express services operated by Samuel W. Langton, who has been described by historians as the most energetic and persevering of the numerous expressmen of the period. Langton launched the Humboldt Express in February 1860 and oversaw its operation until his accidental death in 1864. Service was provided between the Humboldt mines in Nevada to Carson City, the state capital. For transportation across this difficult route, 25c was charged in addition to the $2.00 per letter fee. To facilitate prepayment of this surcharge, Langton issued the 1860 25c Brown adhesive stamp. The stamp, with its exceptionally detailed depiction of a stagecoach drawn by a four-horse team, is widely regarded as the finest example of a pictorial stamp issued by the numerous local posts operating in the United States between 1842 and the 1870's. The style, lettering, color and lithographic technique used to print Langton's stamp are identical to those of the Wells, Fargo & Co. pony express stamps of the same period, and it is accepted, though unproven, that the issues of both companies were made by the same printer.
This cover is one of six recorded usages with the Langton's stamp, of which one is a damaged front only and two of which are seriously defective. Ex Brown, Moody and Simpson
VERY FINE APPEARANCE AND ONE OF FOUR RECORDED COMPLETE SHEETS OF THE FIRST STAMP USED IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
This sheet has the widest margins of the known examples. In the perimeter one can see the outline of the plate, as well as the pressman's fingerprint in the lower right corner.
ONE OF THE EARLY USAGES OF THE CITY DESPATCH POST STAMP AND A SIGNIFICANT HISTORICAL DOCUMENT SIGNED BY ITS MANAGER, ALEXANDER M. GRIEG
Very few examples of the City Despatch Post printed circular have survived, this being the only one, to our knowledge, that carries a transmittal letter signed by Alexander M. Greig.
THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF GREIG'S STAMP USED BY THE UNITED STATES CITY DESPATCH POST CARRIER AND TIED BY THE CIRCULAR DATESTAMP
Ex Caspary, Hart. Signed Ashbrook and Colson
ONE OF THE FEW COVERS SHOWING USE OF GREIG'S STAMP AS A TRUE PROVISIONAL PRIOR TO THE SEPTEMBER 1ST ISSUE OF THE FIRST U.S. CITY DESPATCH POST STAMPS
Ex Middendorf. With 1991 P.F. certificate
THE FINEST OF THE FOUR RECORDED COVERS TO PHILADELPHIA SHOWING USE OF THE U.S. CITY DESPATCH POST CARRIER STAMP TO PREPAY INTER-CITY POSTAGE
This cover from the Packard correspondence and the three covers from the Morris correspondence (see Caspary Sale 8, lots 378-380) mark the beginning of prepayment of inter-city postage by adhesive stamps in the Western hemisphere. Apart from their philatelic significance as extremely rare multiple frankings of the U.S. City Despatch Post stamp, they are of inestimable historical significance.
Ex Caspary, Pope. With 1985 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE AND THE EARLIEST RECORDED USE OF ADHESIVE STAMPS TO PREPAY INTER-CITY POSTAGE IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
This cover is the earliest of the four recorded examples of the U.S. City Despatch Post stamps used in multiple frankings to prepay the 3c carrier fee and 12-1/2 cents inter-city postage to Philadelphia; the cover offered in the previous lot was mailed five days later. In a subsequent letter from the same correspondent, T. Hollingsworth, he reveals the confusion between the New York City and Philadelphia post offices over prepayment by stating, "If the post office cheats again in respect to this letter please inform me - I have been reimbursed the other" (see Caspary Sale 8, lot 379). Evidently, the Philadelphia post office insisted on collecting postage and disregarded the New York City "Paid" and "12-1/2" rating, as well as the adhesive stamps.
A highly important piece of postal history, marking the origins of prepaid postage in America. Ex Caspary and Middendorf. With 1990 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE AND UNQUESTIONABLY THE FINEST OF ALL COVERS BEARING THE FLOYD'S PENNY POST STAMP
Of the three different colored Floyd's stamps, the Brown is much rarer than the Blue (the Green is known on only two covers). Ex Rohloff. Priced on cover in Scott at $4,250.00 (in italics), but unlisted with the 3c 1857 Issue