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Sale 853 — U.S. Postal History & Foreign

Sale Date — Thursday, 19 December, 2002

Category — Local Posts and Independent Mails (Adams & Co. thru American Letter Mail

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
2608
bl
Sale Number 853, Lot Number 2608, Local Posts and Independent Mails (Adams & Co. thru American Letter MailAdams & Co.'s Express, Cal., 25c Black, "LR" (L. Reed) Initials in Black (1L2), Adams & Co.'s Express, Cal., 25c Black, "LR" (L. Reed) Initials in Black (1L2)Adams & Co.'s Express, Cal., 25c Black, "LR" (L. Reed) Initials in Black (1L2). Complete sheet of 40, part original gum, large margins to slightly in, several stamps have slight wrinkles (very trivial)

VERY FINE. ONE OF THE FEW REMAINING INTACT SHEETS OF THE ADAMS & CO. CALIFORNIA EXPRESS STAMP -- INITIALLED BY L. REED, A PARTNER IN THE ADAMS FIRM. A TRULY REMARKABLE EXHIBITION ITEM.

The California branch of the Eastern express company founded by Alvin Adams was established late in 1849, following the discovery of gold that led to the great Gold Rush. Under the direction of Daniel H. Haskell, the Adams firm prospered as an express company and banking house in California. In 1855, in the midst of a national banking crisis, the firm was dissolved, and its express business was taken over by Freeman & Co. Isaiah C. Woods, whose name appears in the minute copyright inscriptions along the sides of the design, left for Australia after the Adams California branch folded. Haskell's portrait appears on the different Adams stamps, which were used to prepay express charges on letters carried by Adams & Co. Their rarity suggests that they were not issued until soon before the firm collapsed (the copyright is dated 1853).

E. 2,000-3,000
0
2609
c
Sale Number 853, Lot Number 2609, Local Posts and Independent Mails (Adams & Co. thru American Letter MailAmerican Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1), American Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1)American Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1). Large even margins, cancelled by sharp strike of red "Paid", tied by impression thru paper on undated folded cover to New York City with street address added in pencil, Extremely Fine, exceptionally choice example of the Small Eagle on cover, ex Emerson and Hall

E. 1,000-1,500
950
Back to Top
2610
c
Sale Number 853, Lot Number 2610, Local Posts and Independent Mails (Adams & Co. thru American Letter MailAmerican Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1), American Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1)American Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1). Large margins all around, tied by red oval of stars cancel on Feb. 28, 1844 folded letter from Boston to New York City with street address added in pencil, sender's notation "P.M." (possibly "Private Mail"), Extremely Fine, remarkably choice tied usage, ex Hall

E. 500-750
625
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2611
c
Sale Number 853, Lot Number 2611, Local Posts and Independent Mails (Adams & Co. thru American Letter MailAmerican Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1), American Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1)American Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1). Position 4 with double transfer at top, large margins, tied by red oval of stars cancel on Mar. 29, 1844 folded letter from Boston to New York City, addressed in blue to Front Street with number added by ALMCo. office in pencil, slight wear along file fold, Extremely Fine, a beautiful and very scarce tied Small Eagle usage

E. 750-1,000
600
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2612
c
Sale Number 853, Lot Number 2612, Local Posts and Independent Mails (Adams & Co. thru American Letter MailAmerican Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1), American Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1)American Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1). Large margins, tied by red oval of stars cancel on folded cover to New York City street address, May 17 (1844) docketing, Extremely Fine, a remarkably choice tied example of the Small Eagle stamp

E. 500-750
475
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2613
c
Sale Number 853, Lot Number 2613, Local Posts and Independent Mails (Adams & Co. thru American Letter MailAmerican Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1), American Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1)American Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1). Large to huge margins, tied by ms. "X" cancel, red "Forwarded by American Mail Co. Oct. 14 from No. 101 Chestnut St. Philada." circular datestamp on folded cover to Philadelphia, 1844 docketing, file fold, Very Fine, ex Hall

E. 500-750
400
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2614
c
Sale Number 853, Lot Number 2614, Local Posts and Independent Mails (Adams & Co. thru American Letter MailAmerican Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1), American Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1)American Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1). Gum toned as often for this early printing, large margins, ink wash cancel, used on folded letter to New York City datelined "Boston, Jany. 26th 1844" -- two days after Boston office opened -- Very Fine, only a few American Letter Mail covers from January 1844 are recorded -- service commenced on January 23 (NYC to Philadelphia) and the earliest recorded cover is docketed as originating from Philadelphia on January 25, followed by two January 26 covers (one from Baltimore, ex Golden, and the cover from Boston offered here)

E. 500-750
550
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2615
c
Sale Number 853, Lot Number 2615, Local Posts and Independent Mails (Adams & Co. thru American Letter MailAmerican Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1), American Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1)American Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1). Thick Paper (First Printing), Positions 4-5, horizontal pair, left stamp double transfer at top, large margins all around, faint gum toning as often with this early printing, ms. "X" cancels, sender's "Paid" notation beneath pair on Feb. 4, 1844 folded letter from Philadelphia to Boston street address, ms. "2 cts Due" for local delivery charge, some wear and splits along folds (reinforced with hinges), trivial scuff in top margin of pair

VERY FINE. THE EARLIEST OF FIVE RECORDED MULTIPLES OF THE AMERICAN LETTER MAIL SMALL EAGLE STAMP ON COVER (ALL PAIRS). AN OUTSTANDING INDEPENDENT MAIL USAGE.

Our records contain just five Small Eagle pairs on four covers and one front only (offered in lot 2616). These are listed chronologically as follows: 1) Feb. 4, 1844 folded letter to Tileston & Hollingsworth, Phila. to Boston, ms. "X" cancels, 2c delivery charge, the cover offered here; 2) May 28, 1844 folded letter to Tileston & Hollingsworth, Phila. to Boston, ms. "X" cancels, 2c delivery charge, Robson Lowe sale, Oct. 26, 1973; 3) ca. June-August 1844 front only to Jasigi & Goddard, NYC? to Boston, red "Paid" cancels, Boston handstamp, offered in lot 2616; 4) vertical pair, red "Paid" cancels, on Jul. 1, 1844 folded cover to Buck & Peters, Boston to NYC, red NY handstamp, ex Duckworth, Schwartz; and 5) Sep. 14, 1844 docketing on folded cover (unknown origin) to E. Bingham, Detroit, pair used with Letter Express 96L3a bisect, Siegel Sale 784, lot 2200.

E. 2,000-3,000
0
Back to Top
2616
 
Sale Number 853, Lot Number 2616, Local Posts and Independent Mails (Adams & Co. thru American Letter MailAmerican Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1), American Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1)American Letter Mail Co., 5c Black (5L1). Horizontal pair, torn from sheet with mostly large margins except at sides where slightly scraping design, two strikes of vivid red "Paid" cancel (impressions tie thru paper) on cover front only to Boston, matching "Forwarded by/American Mail Company/Office 12 State Street, Boston" three-line handstamp -- this marking was used from June to August 1844 -- fold barely affects pair, Very Fine appearance, only five Small Eagle pairs are recorded on covers, including this front (see lot 2615 for census details)

E. 750-1,000
550
Back to Top
2617
c
Sale Number 853, Lot Number 2617, Local Posts and Independent Mails (Adams & Co. thru American Letter MailAmerican Letter Mail Co., (5c) Black on Gray (5L2), American Letter Mail Co., (5c) Black on Gray (5L2)American Letter Mail Co., (5c) Black on Gray (5L2). Large to huge margins all around, uncancelled but tied by gum toning, used on Sep. 22, 1844 folded letter from Boston to Troy N.Y., small red "PAID." straightline handstamp applied by Wm. Wyman

VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE CONJUNCTIVE USAGE, INVOLVING WYMAN'S AND AMERICAN LETTER MAIL COMPANY FOR TRANSPORTION FROM BOSTON TO TROY.

This cover is comparable to the Wyman-ALMCo.-Pomeroy triple-conjunctive usage from Boston to Buffalo in our Golden sale (lot 452), which was the subject of an article by Richard Schwartz (The Penny Post, Apr. 1995). However, in this case, only two firms were involved, because the American Letter Mail Co. maintained offices in Albany and Troy. The sender gave the letter to Wyman, whose main office was located in Boston and whose principal route was New York-Boston. Because Wyman did not serve Troy, the letter was given to ALMCo. in Boston for transmission to its Troy office via Albany. The stamp prepaid the ALMCo. postage. We can speculate that Wyman, who did nothing but convey the letter to ALMCo. within Boston, probably applied the stamp after collecting 5c from the sender.

E. 2,000-3,000
1,800
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