Sale 862 — The D.K. Collection of U.S. Carriers & Locals
Sale Date — Saturday, 31 May, 2003
Category — Adams
VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE AND SPECTACULAR COVER. PROBABLY NO MORE THAN A HALF-DOZEN EXAMPLES OF THE ADAMS 2-CENT ON BUFF EXIST. THIS IS BELIEVED TO BE THE ONLY BUFF STAMP SURVIVING ON A COVER TO A EUROPEAN COUNTRY.
We have located four or five covers bearing the Adams' City Express Post 2c on Buff stamp. Among our photographs is an image of a damaged cover to Germany, with the Buff stamp tied by a "New-York Jan. 20" circular datestamp, but this stamp was removed from the cover, its margins were trimmed, and it is now an off-cover stamp (ex Hall, lot 407). There is also a cover bearing the 2c on Gray (2L4), addressed to Baden via Le Havre with a New York Oct. 11 (1851) datestamp, from which the stamp has been torn out and replaced. The cover offered here is by far the finer of the two Adams' City Express Post covers to a foreign country -- it is also the only one bearing the Buff stamp.
This cover was carried on the Ocean Line's Washington, departing New York on June 14, 1851, arriving at Bremen on June 29. For an explanation of the rates and markings associated with U.S.-Bremen treaty mail, please refer to an article by James Van Der Linden in the Chronicle (Feb. 1986). We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Richard F. Winter and James Van der Linden in deciphering the old German writing and transit markings on this cover.
Ex Hall. With 2001 P.F. certificate. Scott Retail $10,000.00.
EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF THE FINEST OF THE TWELVE RECORDED COVERS BEARING THE RARE BLUE EAGLE STAMP OF AMERICAN LETTER MAIL COMPANY.
This use of the rare Blue Eagle stamp probably occurred soon before the independent letter expresses were effectively abolished by the government. On July 1, 1845, the postage rate for distances under 300 miles was reduced to 5c per half-ounce. By the same Act of Congress, Federal law prohibited the carrying of letters by private companies between cities where the Post Office Department offered inter-city mail service. American Letter Mail Company, which had aroused popular support for cheaper domestic postage, was a catalyst for the 1845 legislation. However, it could no longer sustain its fight with the government over mail routes and closed on June 30, 1845.
The Large Eagle stamp in Blue is recorded on covers dated from August 1844 through June 1845, with about half of the reported covers addressed to Hopkins & Weston in New York. The Blue and Black color scheme for the American Letter Mail Co. Large Eagle stamps, which lack a denomination (unlike their predecessor issue, the Small Eagle), may have been modeled upon Great Britain's 1840 Penny Black and Two-Pence Blue. The Blue stamp was used for the single rate, but its original purpose might have been to pay a double rate.
Ex Field. Scott Retail $12,500.00.
EXTREMELY FINE. THE ONLY ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE AND BY FAR THE FINEST OF THE THREE RECORDED BENTLEY'S DISPATCH 10L1 STAMPS.
The 10L1 and 10L2 stamps were issued by Henry Bentley, who operated the Madison Square Post Office (formerly Cornwell's), circa 1857-59. It is believed that sometime in 1859, Bentley sold out to Benjamin Lockwood, who had acquired the Broadway Post Office (ca. 1853-54) and Swarts City Dispatch Post (ca. 1856). Lockwood's business declined during this period, and the operation was closed by 1860 (reference: Perry-Hall, The Chatham Square Post Office, A.P.S. handbook).
Both Bentley's stamps are extremely rare. Our records of 10L1 contain three examples: 1) pen-cancelled, ex Kelly, Boker, Golden (realized $8,000); 2) uncancelled, repaired, ex Needham, Boker, Golden (realized $4,750); and 3) original gum, the stamp offered here, discovered in 2001 and sold by private treaty to the current owner.
With 2001 P.F. certificate. Scott Retail values are based on 1999 Golden sale realizations prior to the discovery and sale of this superb original-gum example.
EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. THE ONLY RECORDED MULTIPLE AMONG THE SEVEN RECORDED BENTLEY'S 10L2 STAMPS, OF WHICH SIX ARE AVAILABLE TO COLLECTORS.
Our records contain seven examples of the Bentley's 10L2 stamp: 1) top sheet margin, cancelled "Paid", ex Lowe, Golden (realized $8,500); 2) cancelled "Paid" and pen stroke, slight thin spot, ex Boker, Golden (realized $3,000); 3) four margins, cancelled "Paid" (from S.E. to N.W.), small flaws, ex Schwartz, offered in lot 55; 4) uncancelled (?), Tapling collection, British Library; 5) uncancelled, thin spot, P.F. records; and 6-7) horizontal pair, unused, ex Schwartz, the pair offered here.
This pair shows two impressions from the same typeset position, which is identical to every other known example. It is evident that the Bentley 10L2 sheets were produced from a single-subject form repeated multiple times.
Ex Schwartz. Scott Retail $15,000.00.
EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. A CHOICE EXAMPLE OF THE RARE BENTLEY'S 10L2 STAMP WITH "PAID" CANCEL. ONLY SIX OF THE SEVEN RECORDED STAMPS ARE AVAILABLE TO COLLECTORS.
Ex Schwartz. Scott Retail $8,000.00.