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Sale 824 — 2000 Rarities of the World

Sale Date — Saturday, 13 May, 2000

Category — Wells, Fargo & Co.

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
427
c
Sale Number 824, Lot Number 427, Wells, Fargo & Co.Pony Express, St. Joseph, Nov. 22 (1860), Pony Express, St. Joseph, Nov. 22 (1860)Pony Express, St. Joseph, Nov. 22 (1860). Bold black strike of Running Pony oval handstamp on westbound cover addressed to "J. E. Bromley Esq., Agt. South Pass", ms. "Free W H Russell" and "Pony", bold strike of "The Central Overland California & Pike's Peak Express Company, Nov. 22, St. Joseph, Mo." on back, cover reduced at right and some staining

VERY FINE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE ST. JOSEPH "RUNNING PONY" COVER FREE FRANKED BY THE MOST COLORFUL OF THE FOUNDERS OF THE PONY EXPRESS.

The Pony Express began its inaugural trip on April 3, 1860, under the ownership of the Central Overland and Pike's Peak Express Company. The three founders were William H. Russell, Alexander Majors and William B. Waddell. The Pony Express was absorbed by Wells, Fargo & Co. in April 1861 after failing to secure a government contract at the beginning of the Civil War due to a variety of circumstances, including Russell's often reckless behavior (see following lot).

E. 15,000-20,000
0
428
 
Sale Number 824, Lot Number 428, Wells, Fargo & Co.Pony Express, Pony ExpressPony Express. Letter datelined "Washington D.C March 3rd 1861", written entirely in W. H. Russell's hand and signed by him, with important contents: "the Poney Must Go. Spair neither Horses Money or Human Beings. Have the trail open at South Pass & through the Wasatch Mountains if we succeed it means a dailey mail across the Continent Jim it must go. Yours Respectfully, W. H. Russell", some staining spots and two folds

AN IMPORTANT HISTORICAL LETTER WRITTEN BY WILLIAM H. RUSSELL, A FOUNDER OF THE PONY EXPRESS, ONE MONTH BEFORE OWNERSHIP OF THE PONY EXPRESS PASSED INTO THE HANDS OF WELLS, FARGO AND COMPANY.

The Pony Express was absorbed by Wells, Fargo & Co. in April of 1861 (Russell was forced to resign on April 26, 1861). The letter offered here, written from Washington D.C. on March 3, 1861, clearly illustrates Russell's desperation in his attempts to secure a government contract. By 1861, the Central Overland and Pike's Peak Express Company, which ran the Pony Express, was hemorrhaging money. Early in 1861, Russell was implicated in a financial scandal that doomed him (see Coburn's Letters of Gold, pp. 257-258). As part of the settlement, Russell agreed to return bonds that had been advanced against services never performed. The due date for his return of the bonds was March 4, 1861, the date Lincoln assumed his presidency and the day after this letter was written.

The cover offered in the previous lot is addressed to the same recipient; however, the letter was written months after the cover was carried.

E. 3,000-4,000
5,000
Back to Top
429
ngbl
Sale Number 824, Lot Number 429, Wells, Fargo & Co.Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $2.00 Green (143L4), Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $2.00 Green (143L4)Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $2.00 Green (143L4). Block of six, unused (no gum), large margins to clear at upper right, Very Fine-Extremely Fine, with 1977 P.F. certificate

1,600
1,500
Back to Top
430
Pbl
Sale Number 824, Lot Number 430, Wells, Fargo & Co.Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Blue, Garter, Plate Proof on Card (143L6P), Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Blue, Garter, Plate Proof on Card (143L6P)Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Blue, Garter, Plate Proof on Card (143L6P). Block of four with part of manuscript "Sample" applied to original proof sheet, vertical crease at right, otherwise Very Fine, the adjoining block was sold in our November 1999 Golden sale for $2,100 hammer

E. 1,500-2,000
1,500
Back to Top
431
og
Sale Number 824, Lot Number 431, Wells, Fargo & Co.Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Blue, Garter (143L6), Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Blue, Garter (143L6)Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Blue, Garter (143L6). Original gum, large margins all around showing dividing marks at all four corners, rich color, Extremely Fine and choice, with 1998 P.F. certificate

550
1,100
Back to Top
432
 
Sale Number 824, Lot Number 432, Wells, Fargo & Co.Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Blue, Garter (143L6), Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Blue, Garter (143L6)Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Blue, Garter (143L6). Huge margins including bottom sheet margin with "G. F. Nesbitt & Co. N.Y." imprint, ms. cancel, small faint thin

EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. THE DISCOVERY EXAMPLE OF A NESBITT IMPRINT ON THE FAMOUS PONY EXPRESS "GARTER" STAMP, HERETOFORE BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN PRINTED IN SAN FRANCISCO AND NOW KNOWN TO BE THE PRODUCT OF GEORGE F. NESBITT & CO., THE PROMINENT NREW YORK PRINTER WHO PRODUCED THE NESBITT SERIES OF UNITED STATES POSTAL STATIONERY.

This remarkable stamp recently came to light in England and is offered for the first time. The Wells, Fargo & Co. stamp, known to collectors as the Garter issue, is known used on westbound transcontinental covers carried by the Pony Express. It has always been assumed that the stamp was printed by Britton and Rey, the San Francisco printers who produced the famous Pony Express issues. However, with this discovery of an imprint example, the true identity of the printer is now known. The stamp was created for use on mail originating from the east coast, thus it makes perfect sense that the New York City office of Wells, Fargo & Co. should make arrangements with one of the city's prominent stamp and stationery printers for the production of the Garter issue.

E. 3,000-4,000
3,750
Back to Top
433
c
Sale Number 824, Lot Number 433, Wells, Fargo & Co.Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9), Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9)Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9). Full to large margins all around, rich color, tied by blue "Wells, Fargo & Co. Virginia Cty. N.T. Jul. 12" oval datestamp on 3c Pink entire with printed frank, to Clara B. Crittenden in San Francisco, 1864 letter enclosed, small gum smear

EXTREMELY FINE. A CHOICE STAMP AND BEAUTIFUL VIRGINIA CITY PONY COVER FROM THE FAMOUS CRITTENDEN CORRESPONDENCE.

With 1981 P.F. certificate.

E. 3,000-4,000
3,000
Back to Top
434
ng
Sale Number 824, Lot Number 434, Wells, Fargo & Co.Wells, Fargo & Co. Express, (unstated value) Black, "To Be Dropped in New York Post Office" (143LP1), Wells, Fargo & Co. Express, (unstated value) Black, "To Be Dropped in New York Post Office" (143LP1)Wells, Fargo & Co. Express, (unstated value) Black, "To Be Dropped in New York Post Office" (143LP1). Unused (no gum), large margins, trivial corner crease, still Extremely Fine, very rare -- this stamp was modeled on the "Dropped" stamp issued by Freeman & Co. (acquired by Wells Fargo in late 1859; see lot 408)

E. 1,000-1,500
1,100
Back to Top
435
ogbl
Sale Number 824, Lot Number 435, Wells, Fargo & Co.Wells, Fargo & Co. Express, (unstated value) Blue, Newspaper, Horizontal Pair, Imperforate Vertically (143LP9b), Wells, Fargo & Co. Express, (unstated value) Blue, Newspaper, Horizontal Pair, Imperforate Vertically (143LP9b)Wells, Fargo & Co. Express, (unstated value) Blue, Newspaper, Horizontal Pair, Imperforate Vertically (143LP9b). Block of ten with vertical perfs missing at right (block of six), original gum, small thin and faint toned spot affect right vertical pair, the adjoining error block is Extremely Fine, a remarkable multiple of this scarce variety

E. 1,000-1,500
700
Back to Top
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