Sale 817 — The David Golden Collection of U.S. Carriers and Locals

Sale Date — Monday, 15 November, 1999

Category — Mearis City Despatch Post (Baltimore MD) (Part I)

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
1332
c
Sale 817, Lot 1332, Mearis City Despatch Post (Baltimore MD) (Part I)Mearis' City Despatch Post, Baltimore Md., 1c Black on Gray (103L1). Kelly Type C, Position 10 in our plating analysis (large "Post" and "M. W. Mearis" in large block letters), large margins to just in at right, faint diagonal crease at upper right, Mearis' ms. "MWM" initials and cancelled by diagonal line, tied by blue "Baltimore Md. Feb. 18" circular datestamp with matching "5" in oval on Quaker-dated Feb. 17, 1846 folded letter to Edward Stabler, Postmaster of Sandy Spring Md., letter concerns a rifle, the Mearis stamp pays the appropriate "to the mails" rate

EXTREMELY FINE. THE ONLY TIED EXAMPLE AMONG THE THREE RECORDED COVERS WITH THE MEARIS' CITY DESPATCH POST STAMPS. ONLY ONE OTHER ONE-CENT COVER IS KNOWN (ALSO 103L1). AN OUTSTANDING LOCAL-POST RARITY.

The 1c Type C (our Position 10) stamp, Scott 103L1, is easily distinguished from other 1c listings (103L2, 103L4, 103L6) by the large, bold block letters used to spell the owner's name, "M. W. Mearis", in the fourth line of type. A fragment is recorded with similar composition, but there is a slight difference in spacing between lines that indicates it came from another position, which we identify as a 2c Type K, Position 9, in our plating analysis (no complete example of this 2c type is known). Only one other 1c cover is recorded: an uncancelled stamp, also Type C (103L1), described as faulty and used on a folded letter to Philadelphia with Baltimore Mar. 22 (1846) circular datestamp and "5" in oval, ex Needham, Hollowbush and Lilly. The third recorded cover with an intact Mearis stamp is offered in lot 1333; it is an uncancelled 2c (Type G, Position 1, according to our plating analysis). The other two stamped Mearis covers have only fragments remaining (offered in lots 1337 and 1338).

Illustrated in Kelly's CCP series (Vol. 50, No. 3, p. 151). Ex Chapman, Caspary and Middendorf.

E. 15,000-20,000
20,000
1333
c
Sale 817, Lot 1333, Mearis City Despatch Post (Baltimore MD) (Part I)Mearis' City Despatch Post, Baltimore Md., 2c Black on Gray (103L3). Kelly Type G, Position 1 in our plating analysis (small "Post", sans-serif "City Despatch", similar to Type F except slightly different letter spacing), large margins except just clear at bottom right ornament, light wrinkles and puckering caused by red wax wafter used to affix stamp to folded cover, handsomely addressed to Miss Elizabeth Garrett and marked "Paid" by sender, with two enclosures: a beautiful embossed Valentine envelope with addressee's name in same distinctive handwriting, along with original Valentine enclosure, a handwritten love poem on lace-bordered stationery

EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF THREE RECORDED COVERS BEARING INTACT EXAMPLES OF THE MEARIS' CITY DESPATCH POST STAMPS. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED 2-CENT COVER AND THE ONLY MEARIS VALENTINE USAGE. AN ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING COMBINATION OF QUALITY AND RARITY.

A letter given to Mearis for delivery within the city was charged 2c. This is the only recorded example of the city-delivery rate, in this case paid by a single 2c stamp, Type G, which we have assigned to Position 1 in our plating analysis. It is identical to Type F (Position 3), with the same type fonts used for each of the four lines, and the diamond ornaments in each corner. The differences between Types F and G are more apparent when one is overlayed on the other.

This beautiful Valentine cover was donated by the Garrett family to the Princeton University Library and was deaccessioned through our firm in 1981. We wish to make one observation, which may be pure coincidence, but the stamp on this Valentine was left uncancelled, just as the Davis's Penny Post stamp on the Valentine offered in lot 1020 was left uncancelled, in contrast with other known examples. In both cases, it is possible that a cancellation was considered an impolite and aesthetic detraction from the beauty of the Valentine.

Illustrated in Kelly's CCP series (Vol. 50, No. 3, p. 150). Ex Princeton University Library.

E. 15,000-20,000
15,000
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1334
og
Sale 817, Lot 1334, Mearis City Despatch Post (Baltimore MD) (Part I)Mearis' City Despatch Post, Baltimore Md., 1c-2c Black on Gray, Se-Tenant (103L3a). Kelly Types F-A, Positions 2-3 in our plating analysis, horizontal pair, original gum, each stamp initialled "MWM", large margins to just touched at left ornaments, few minute pinholes

EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF THREE RECORDED SE-TENANT PAIRS -- TWO OF WHICH ARE AVAILABLE TO COLLECTORS -- THIS BEING THE UNIQUE EXAMPLE OF 103L3a WITH "POST" IN SMALLER OUTLINE LETTERS.

In the Kelly CCP series and other articles on Baltimore locals, as well as past auction catalogues, the se-tenant pairs offered in this sale (this and the following lot) have always been described as the only two known. Although they are the only two pairs available to collectors, there is an overlooked pair in the Tapling collection at the British Library. In fact, the Tapling pair is a vital key to reconstructing the Mearis' City Despatch Post plate, because it fits between the two pairs offered here. As the digital reconstruction on page 301 shows, the three pairs were originally joined together in a block of six.

According to information conveyed by George Sloane to Denwood Kelly, the two ex-Caspary pairs (lots 1334 and 1335 in this sale) were found by Caspary in the "junk box" of a Parisian dealer and acquired for a nominal price. The block had to have been divided sometime prior to or between 1881 and 1891, the period in which Thomas K. Tapling was active in building his worldwide collection (he died in 1891, according to Dr. Stanley M. Bierman's The World's Greatest Stamp Collectors). The block was probably sent to Europe and divided there, with one pair going to Tapling. Why Tapling's contemporary, Ferrary, never picked up the two remaining pairs, we cannot guess. Nor is it clear how one pair from the block could be placed with Tapling, while the other two wound up in a dealer's miscellany.

Illustrated in Kelly's CCP series (Vol. 50, No. 3, p. 150). Ex Caspary and Boker.

E. 20,000-30,000
0
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1335
og
Sale 817, Lot 1335, Mearis City Despatch Post (Baltimore MD) (Part I)Mearis' City Despatch Post, Baltimore Md., 1c-2c Black on Gray, Se-Tenant (103L5a). Kelly Types H-B, Positions 7-8 in our plating analysis, horizontal pair, original gum, each stamp initialled "MWM", large margins to just touched at lower right ornament, very minor gum toning

EXTREMELY FINE. ONLY TWO SE-TENANT PAIRS OF MEARIS' CITY DESPATCH POST STAMPS ARE AVAILABLE TO COLLECTORS. THE OTHER RECORDED EXAMPLE OF 103L5a -- THE LARGE "POST" VARIETY -- IS CONTAINED IN THE BRITISH LIBRARY'S TAPLING COLLECTION.

As noted in the description of lot 1334, the two se-tenant pairs offered in this sale and the Tapling pair at the British Library originally formed a block of six, which we believe came from Positions 3-4/5-6/7-8 in the setting of ten. When the pair offered here was in the Caspary collection, it had a fragment of the adjoining stamp below at lower left, which showed part of the "City Despatch" label (the margin was later trimmed to improve the appearance). The fragment showed a serifed typeface used for "City Despatch" and floral corner ornaments, which rule out any of the other 2c types -- we call it Type K (no complete examples are recorded; a fragment is offered in lot 1337). Although it is possible that the rejoined block of six starts at Position 1 (comprising 1-2/3-4/5-6), the shape and width of the top margin (see lot 1334) indicate that another pair was originally in Positions 1 and 2 in the sheet; if lot 1334 was a top-margin pair, one would expect to find a much larger top margin. We admit this is conjectural, but our plating analysis is based on this premise.

Illustrated in Kelly's CCP series (Vol. 50, No. 3, p. 150). Ex Caspary and Boker.

E. 20,000-30,000
0
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1336
 
Sale 817, Lot 1336, Mearis City Despatch Post (Baltimore MD) (Part I)Mearis' City Despatch Post, Baltimore Md., 1c Black on Gray (103L6). Kelly Type E, Position 2 in our plating analysis, large margins all around, initialled "MWM" and boldly cancelled by ms. "X", tied by blue "Baltimore Md. Feb. 6" circular datestamp on piece of blue cover

EXTREMELY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE MEARIS' CITY DESPATCH POST STAMP WITH THIS DISTINCTIVE TYPE ARRANGEMENT -- THIS STAMP IS THE SINGULAR BASIS FOR THE SCOTT 103L6 LISTING.

This 1c type is readily identified by the upper and lower case "City Despatch", the ornate "Post" font, and the sans-serif type used for "M. W. Mearis", none of which is found on any of the other positions in the plate. Assuming that the two bottom stamps in our plate reconstruction have the same large block type for "M. W. Mearis", the only available position for this 1c type is Position 2.

Illustrated in Kelly's CCP series (Vol. 50, No. 3, p. 152). Ex Caspary, Boker and Richardson.

E. 10,000-15,000
10,000
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