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Sale 824 — 2000 Rarities of the World

Sale Date — Saturday, 13 May, 2000

Category — Postmasters Provisionals (Brattleboro Vt.)

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
10
 
Sale Number 824, Lot Number 10, Postmasters Provisionals (Brattleboro Vt.)Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1), Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1)Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1). Position 5 from the upper right corner of the sheet of ten, large margins all around, guideline at left and bottom right, trace of adjoining stamp also shows at bottom, a marvelous deep impression with every line of engraving printed in perfect clarity, tied at lower right by vivid red "Paid" straightline on small piece of cover

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. ONE OF THE THREE FINEST EXAMPLES OF THE BRATTLEBORO POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL STAMP, OF WHICH A TOTAL OF 32 ARE KNOWN OFF COVER, INCLUDING FIVE SOUND COPIES.

Of the 32 off-cover Brattleboro stamps recorded by Philip T. Wall, five are sound. Only three of the five have four full margins (the framelines are touched on two others). These three sound four-margin stamps are as follows: 1) Position 5, tied by red "Paid" on piece, the example offered here; 2) Position 1, red "Paid", offered as part of the Lapham-Colson-Wall reconstruction, Christie's Oct. 12, 1989 sale, lot 628; and 3) Position 9, light red manuscript control mark, offered as part of the Lapham-Colson-Wall reconstruction, Christie's Oct. 12, 1989 sale, lot 628. In addition to the off-cover stamps recorded by Wall, there are six sound stamps still on covers.

With 2000 P.F. certificate. The Scott Catalogue value does not reflect a transaction involving any of the sound stamps.

9,000
32,500
11
 
Sale Number 824, Lot Number 11, Postmasters Provisionals (Brattleboro Vt.)Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1), Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1)Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1). Position 8, bottom sheet margin with full imprint "Engd. by Thos. Chubbuck, Bratto.", large even margins all around, guideline at right, light red pen mark at upper left -- found on all ten stamps from the original Chubbuck sheet -- faint and almost imperceptible vertical crease at right where the sheet of ten was folded

EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. THE FAMOUS AND UNIQUE BRATTLEBORO PROVISIONAL STAMP WITH COMPLETE IMPRINT -- FROM THE ORIGINAL CHUBBUCK SHEET AND THE KEYSTONE OF THE LAPHAM-COLSON-WALL RECONSTRUCTION -- NOW OFFERED INDIVIDUALLY FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1922. THIS IS THE ONLY UNITED STATES POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ISSUE WITH AN IMPRINT.

Of the 52 Brattleboro provisional stamps recorded by Wall (32 off cover and 20 stamps on 19 covers), only five are from Position 8, below which the imprint is engraved. Two of the five are off cover, and three are on covers, including one cut in at bottom and not showing any part of the imprint. Of the five Position 8 stamps, only the example offered here has a complete imprint; three others show portions of the letters.

This stamp comes from the sheet retained by the printer, Thomas Chubbuck, who sold three stamps to collectors before selling the remaining block of seven to L. H. Bragg in September 1870. Bragg, in turn, sold the block to John W. Scott. The stamps from the Chubbuck block were eventually cut apart and sold to different collectors. In the 1920's Raymond W. Lapham, with the professional help of Warren H. Colson, reconstructed the Brattleboro plate positions, including some stamps from the Chubbuck sheet. The unique imprint stamp was reported by Fred J. Melville in the September 1922 Stamp Lover (p. 64); its owner was identified as Henry C. Gibson, who presumably sold it to Lapham through Colson (see "The Plating of the Brattleboros", Calvet M. Hahn, Collectors Club Philatelist, Mar.-Apr. 1988). Since then, it was has always been part of the Lapham-Colson reconstruction, which changed owners in various sales. It last appeared at auction in the Christie's October 1989 sale of the Weill Brothers' stock and was sold as part of the reconstruction. In this Rarities sale, collectors now have the opportunity to acquire what is widely regarded as the most outstanding single Brattleboro provisional stamp in existence.

Ex Lapham, Colson, Gibson and Weill. Scott value for an ordinary used single is $9,000.00.

E. 20,000-30,000
23,000
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12
 
Sale Number 824, Lot Number 12, Postmasters Provisionals (Brattleboro Vt.)Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1), Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1)Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1). Position 6, large top and bottom margins, full at right and mostly clear of left frameline, beautiful impression on fresh paper, minute spot of frameline scraped at lower left corner and touched up with pencil point -- positively trivial and mentioned only for total accuracy -- red "Paid" straightline cancel, second strike on large piece with matching "Brattleboro Vt. May 12" (1847) circular datestamp

EXTREMELY FINE PIECE. AN OUTSTANDING BRATTLEBORO POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL STAMP POSTMARKED ON THE LATEST DATE OF ANY RECORDED EXAMPLE. ONLY A FEW EXIST IN THIS CHOICE QUALITY.

Ex Caspary, Jessup and Middendorf. With 1985 P.F. certificate.

9,000
10,000
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13
 
Sale Number 824, Lot Number 13, Postmasters Provisionals (Brattleboro Vt.)Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1), Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1)Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1). Position 8, bottom sheet margin with part of imprint "Engd. by Thos. Chubbuck, Bratto.", large margins except where just into frameline at upper right corner, red "Paid" cancel, two faint vertical creases that are invisible on face of stamp

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF FIVE RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE BRATTLEBORO PROVISIONAL STAMP WITH IMPRINT -- THE ONLY UNITED STATES POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ISSUE WITH AN IMPRINT.

As detailed in lot 11, only five of the 52 Brattleboro provisional stamps recorded by Wall (32 off cover and 20 stamps on 19 covers) are from Position 8, below which the imprint is engraved. Two of the five are off cover, and three are on covers (one of which is cut in at bottom).

Although faintly creased, this stamp is among the choicest Brattleboro provisionals. Only five off-cover Brattleboro stamps are sound, and many of the others are cut in or have serious faults. This is among the top tier of condition, and it has the added feature of an imprint.

With 1984 P.F. certificate.

9,000
8,500
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14
c
Sale Number 824, Lot Number 14, Postmasters Provisionals (Brattleboro Vt.)Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1), Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1)Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1). Position 9 above 10, each has three large margins, clear at bottom, each cancelled by red "Paid" straightline, the stamp at top applied first and tied to lettersheet, the stamp below applied immediately after and struck hard with "Paid" -- the impression ties thru paper, and offset from the "Paid" above is on the back of the stamp -- matching strikes of "Paid" and "Brattleboro Vt. Sep. 17" circular datestamp on 1847 blue folded letter to James H. Wells at Hartford Conn., file fold clear of stamps and markings

EXTREMELY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED COVER WITH TWO OF THE BRATTLEBORO POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL STAMPS. THIS IS REGARDED WITHOUT EXCEPTION AS THE MOST IMPORTANT BRATTLEBORO COVER EXTANT, AND IT RANKS AMONG THE MOST OUTSTANDING COVERS IN UNITED STATES PHILATELY.

This letter to James H. Wells states "I received the inclosed letter yesterday...", which substantiates the double 5c rate for weight exceeding a half ounce. It was discovered in 1936 along with two other folded letters to Wells in Hartford, each with a single Brattleboro stamp.

The unpublished Brattleboro census by Philip T. Wall lists a total of 52 stamps, including 20 stamps on 19 covers. There is no recorded multiple of any size, and this is the only multiple franking.

Illustrated in Lidman's Treasury of Stamps (p. 59) and Life magazine, "World's Rarest Stamps" (May 3, 1954). Ex Caspary, Weill and DuPuy.

With 1989 P.F. certificate. Scott value for this cover is $90,000.00.

E. 100,000-150,000
100,000
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15
c
Sale Number 824, Lot Number 15, Postmasters Provisionals (Brattleboro Vt.)Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1), Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1)Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1). Position 9, large margins to just clear of frameline, small scrapes at lower left and upper right, tiny manuscript "FNP" initials below printed initials of postmaster, tied by red "Paid" straightline with matching "Brattleboro Vt. 28 Aug." (1846) circular datestamp on folded letter datelined "Brattleboro Aug. 27, 1846" to Matthew Hale at Chelsea, Vermont, file fold at center, lettersheet to the right of fold is slightly toned

VERY FINE. THE EARLIEST RECORDED USE OF THE BRATTLEBORO POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL AND PROBABLY CLOSE TO THE FIRST DAY OF ISSUE. AN IMPORTANT ARTIFACT OF THIS FASCINATING ERA OF AMERICAN PHILATELY.

This August 27, 1846, letter is written from William R. Hale to his brother, Thomas, and he adds a postscript to the top of the sheet "I pay this just to shew you the stamp. It's against my principles you know." From this statement we may infer that the Brattleboro stamp was relatively new -- a novelty item -- and upon return from a visit to his family, the writer decided to prepay postage ("against my principles you know").

The tiny "FNP" initials on the stamp have been described as a possible control measure, which assumes they were applied by the postmaster, Dr. Frederick N. Palmer (see "The Plating of the Brattleboro", Calvet M. Hahn, Collectors Club Philatelist, Jan.-Feb. 1988). Because this is the earliest recorded date, it is possible that the first sheets sold were initialled by the postmaster, in common with the New York City postmaster.

After this August 28 postmark date, the next Brattleboro cover recorded in Philip T. Wall's unpublished census is September 3, 1846 (found on more than one cover). Unless a new cover is discovered, it is highly unlikely that the August 28 earliest usage date will be revised.

Ex C. F. Bishop and "Troy" collection. Scott value for a cover is $32,500.00.

E. 40,000-50,000
35,000
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16
c
Sale Number 824, Lot Number 16, Postmasters Provisionals (Brattleboro Vt.)Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1), Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1)Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1). Position 3, side margins ample to large, framelines at top and bottom barely shaved, tied by "Brattleboro Vt. Apr. 28" circular datestamp and red "Paid" straightline cancel with second strike of "Paid" on 1846 folded letter in German to Bernard Rolker at Boston Mass., couple creases in cover clear of stain, neatly pressed, faint toning

VERY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE BRATTLEBORO POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL TIED BY THE CIRCULAR DATESTAMP. ONE OF THE MOST DESIRABLE BRATTLEBORO COVERS EXTANT.

Of the 19 covers recorded by Philip T. Wall in his unpublished census, only this cover has the stamp tied by the town circular datestamp. This cover was found by Maj. Frederick Childs prior to 1892. It was used as the basis of a facsimile that accompanied a reprinted article on the Brattleboros dated December 4, 1892. It was sold in the Siegel 1969 Rarities sale for $8,750 and acquired by Muriel B. Hayes. The cover was part of the Marc Haas collection and sold by this firm again in April 1980 for $15,500. Creighton C. Hart was the next collector to own the cover, and he sold it by private treaty. This is its first auction appearance in 20 years.

Ex Childs, Hayes, Haas and Hart. With photocopy of 1969 P.F. certificate. Scott value for a cover is $32,500.00.

E. 40,000-50,000
0
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17
c
Sale Number 824, Lot Number 17, Postmasters Provisionals (Brattleboro Vt.)Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1), Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1)Brattleboro Vt., 5c Black on Buff (5X1). Position 8, three huge margins showing guidelines at sides and traces of "Engd. by Thos. Chubbuck, Bratto." imprint at bottom, slightly into frameline at top left, beautiful deep shade and impression, tied by red "Paid" straightline with matching "Brattleboro Vt. Sep. 6" circular datestamp on 1846 folded letter to Lewis Woodruff at New York City, file fold

VERY FINE. ONE OF THREE RECORDED COVERS WITH A BRATTLEBORO PROVISIONAL STAMP SHOWING ANY TRACE OF THE IMPRINT. UNUSUALLY CHOICE CONDITION AND A MOST ATTRACTIVE COVER.

IMPRINT.

As detailed in lot 11, only five of the 52 Brattleboro provisional stamps recorded by Wall (32 off cover and 20 stamps on 19 covers) are from Position 8, below which the imprint is engraved. Two of the five are off cover, and three are on covers (one of which is cut in at bottom).

Ex Caspary and Hayes. With 1969 P.F. certificate. Scott value for a cover is $32,500.00.

E. 30,000-40,000
32,500
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