Sale 862 — The D.K. Collection of U.S. Carriers & Locals

Sale Date — Saturday, 31 May, 2003

Category — Berford & Co.

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
56
c
Sale 862, Lot 56, Berford & Co.Berford & Co.'s Express, New York N.Y., 10c Violet, Horizontal Tete-Beche Pair (11L3a). Two pairs originally forming a block of four -- please refer to inset photo for relative positions -- large margins almost all around, just touching a few points of ovals, tied by one of six identical strikes of "B & Co./PAID" two-line handstamp in red on cover addressed "To Lieut. Rush, U.S. Ship 'St. Lawrence' Valparaiso", receipt docketing on back "270 Recd April 28th." and signed "W H Vincent", an 1852 usage based on the other Berford & Co. cover from the Rush correspondence, the pair along the right edge has been removed and replaced (see history of the cover below), corner of cover nicked at lower left, the pair at top center has a light pre-use creased, the pair at right has a light bend from a fold in the cover

VERY FINE. ONLY TWO COVERS BEARING THE BERFORD'S 10-CENT TETE-BECHE VARIETY ARE RECORDED, BOTH ADDRESSED TO LIEUTENANT RUSH AT VALPARAISO. THIS IS THE ONLY COVER WITH TWO TETE-BECHE PAIRS. ONE OF THE MOST SPECTACULAR OF ALL COVERS CARRIED BY A PRIVATE MAIL FIRM, COMBINING PHILATELIC RARITY AND POSTAL HISTORY SIGNIFICANCE INTO ONE EXTRAORDINARY USAGE.

Richard G. Berford and Loring L. Lombard operated the Berford & Co. letter-carrying business beginning in 1851. Berford & Co.'s Express primarily served the West Coast of North, Central and South America, but also advertised rates to Hawaii, Hong Kong and China. Although their letter and package express business was fairly large, the adhesive stamps for letter mail are rare. During the course of their operation, there were several bitter clashes with the government over their mail route. The company is reported to have been sold in June 1854.

Our records contain a total of seventeen 10c Berford & Co. stamps (11L3), but about half of these are represented by one normal pair and three tete-beche pairs (11L3a). There are actually just eight 11L3/11L3a items, including five covers and three off-cover stamps. These are as follows: 1) uncancelled on piece (or possibly a cover), Sloane records; 2) uncancelled off cover, faint stains, ex Middendorf; 3) uncancelled on cover to Gloucester Mass. with Loring Bros. Valparaiso forwarding oval, PFC declined opinion as to usage, Siegel Sep. 27-28, 1994 (Sale 761, lot 114); 4) uncancelled on cover from Bangor Me. to Chagres, described as 1853 usage in Sloane records, not verified; 5) four cut-to-shape singles on Jul.-Aug. 1852 cover to Paita, ex Golden (realized $15,000), offered in lot 59; 6) one normal pair and one tete-beche pair on cover to Valparaiso, ex Golden (realized $50,000) and offered in lot 57; 7) two tete-beche pairs on cover to Valparaiso, ex Mason, Hall (realized $52,500), the cover offered here; and 8) single with original gum, 1961 R.P.S. certificate, ex Hall.

Four covers are recorded with Berford & Co. stamps paying the 40c rate, each addressed to the West Coast of South America, apparently originating in New York. This 40c prepaid rate was listed in the "Table of Postage" in Berford's June 17, 1851, New York Herald advertisement announcing the "New Postage Law". In the advertisement, the stamps (3c, 10c and 25c) are described and various rates are given, effective July 1, 1851. Obviously, Berford's was acting in response to the U.S. government postage reforms of the same date.

This cover to Lieutenant Rush on board the U.S.S. St. Lawrence at Valparaiso, Chile, is the companion to the March 21, 1852, cover offered in the following lot. The cover offered here was part of the Senator Ackerman collection. Notes by Elliott Perry indicate that Senator Ackerman acquired the cover in Europe with just the one pair at top center intact and the right edge of the cover folded over. Years later, the pair at right surfaced and was reunited with the cover. The pairs join together to form a tete-beche block, creating a most unusual configuration.

Ex Mason, Ackerman and Hall. With 2001 P.F. certificate. Scott Retail $57,500.00.

E. 50,000-75,000
70,000
57
c
Sale 862, Lot 57, Berford & Co.Berford & Co.'s Express, New York N.Y., 10c Violet, Horizontal Tete-Beche Pair (11L3a). Large margins, used with 10c vertical pair, also large margins, uncancelled, the vertical pair tied by two letters of address "For Lieut. Madison Rush, U.S. Ship 'St. Lawrence' Valparaiso", receipt docketing on back "Recd. at Valparaiso, March 21st, 1852", the stamps and cover are in pristine condition

EXTREMELY FINE. ONLY TWO COVERS BEARING THE BERFORD'S 10-CENT TETE-BECHE VARIETY ARE RECORDED, BOTH ADDRESSED TO LIEUTENANT RUSH AT VALPARAISO. A PHENOMENAL COMBINATION OF PHILATELIC RARITY AND EXTRAORDINARY TRANSCONTINENTAL USAGE.

As detailed in the previous lot description, only eight 11L3/11L3a items are known, including five covers, for a total of seventeen 10c stamps. This cover to Lieutenant Rush on board the U.S.S. St. Lawrence at Valparaiso, Chile, is the companion to the cover offered in the preceding lot.

Ex Worthington, Caspary, Lilly and Golden. With 1999 P.F. certificate. Scott Retail $55,000.00.

E. 50,000-75,000
62,500
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58
c
Sale 862, Lot 58, Berford & Co.Berford & Co.'s Express, New York N.Y., 3c Black, 6c Green, 25c Red (11L1, 11L2, 11L4). 3c and 25c together with two 6c, each cut to oval shape, both 6c stamps affixed over top edge and creased, used to pay 40c rate on cover addressed to "Capt. Walter Taber, Ship Louisiana, Paita", with sender's notation "By Express" at lower left, faint pencil docketing on front "Dated August 3, 1852, Received August 30, 1852", the cover originated in New York City (Aug. 3) and was sent by Berford's to Panama where red "FORWARDED BY WM. NELSON & CO. PANAMA" forwarding agent's handstamp was applied on backflap, carried to Paita, on arrival the ms. "Aug. 28, 1852" markings were applied twice to front (one tying a 6c stamp), note on back in same hand reads "If not in Tambez [Tumbes, Peru] Dr. Oakford will please return this pr first opprty & oblige. Yours truly, A Bathurst [spelling?] Paita, Aug. 28, 1852, I mean if Cap. Taber has been in and sailed", based on Aug. 30 receipt notation in pencil on front, the letter reached Captain Taber in Tumbes, flaps opened and top refolded to flatten both 6c stamps

AN OVERWHELMING COVER THAT COMBINES NUMEROUS ELEMENTS OF RARITY, INCLUDING THREE DIFFERENT BERFORD STAMPS -- THE 3-CENT (FOUR KNOWN), 6-CENT (SEVEN KNOWN) AND 25-CENT (TWO KNOWN) -- ALL IN A MULTICOLORED FRANKING FOR THE 40-CENT EXPRESS RATE TO THE WEST COAST OF SOUTH AMERICA. THIS IS THE ONLY KNOWN COVER WITH THE 25-CENT BERFORD'S STAMP.

Our records of Berford & Co. stamps contain four 3c (11L1) stamps, seven 6c (11L2) stamps, nine single 10c (11L3) stamps, one normal 10c pair and three tete-beche 10c pairs (details provided in lot 56), and only two 25c (11L4) stamps: one uncancelled off cover, ex Caspary, Lilly and Hall (realized $15,500), and the stamp on this cover.

Details for the four 3c (11L1) stamps are as follows: 1) cut rectangular, cancelled, thin spots, ex Caspary, Lilly, Boker, Richardson, Golden (realized $6,250); 2) cut rectangular (in at left), uncancelled, ex Souren, Middendorf; 3) cut rectangular, apparently uncancelled on cover to Vermont with Mormon Island Cal. oval, ex Boker; and 4) cut oval, used on the cover to Paita offered here, ex Chapman, Mason, Horner, Golden (realized $50,000).

Details for the seven 6c (11L2) stamps are as follows: 1) cancelled by colorless impression of handstamp on cover marked "Jamaica", ex Caspary, Boker; 2) uncancelled off cover, ex Souren; 3) tied by smudge on Sep. 29, 1851 folded letter from Jamaica to N.Y., ex Worthington; 4) uncancelled on cover to the Mayor of Albany, Siegel Jun. 20, 1944 sale (the status of this cover is uncertain); 5) cut to shape on Aug. 1852 cover to Paita, ex Chapman, Mason, Horner, Golden, offered here; 6) cut to shape on same Aug. 1852 cover to Paita as No. 5; and 7) creased, uncancelled, on piece (or possibly on cover), Sloane records.

Four covers are recorded with Berford & Co. stamps paying the 40c rate, each addressed to the West Coast of South America, apparently originating in New York. This 40c prepaid rate was listed in the "Table of Postage" in Berford's June 17, 1851, New York Herald advertisement announcing the "New Postage Law". In the advertisement, the stamps (3c, 10c and 25c) are described and various rates are given, effective July 1, 1851. Obviously, Berford's was acting in response to the U.S. government postage reforms of the same date.

The Louisiana noted in the address is probably the 1,056-ton screw-vessel registered in 1850 at New York City.

Ex Chapman, Mason, Horner and Golden. With 1983 and 1999 P.F. certificates. Scott Retail $55,000.00.

E. 50,000-75,000
67,500
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59
c
Sale 862, Lot 59, Berford & Co.Berford & Co.'s Express, New York N.Y., 10c Violet (11L3). Four, each cut to oval shape, lightly cancelled by red smears, two affixed over top edge (creased) of cover to "Capt. Walter Taber, Ship Louisiana, Paita", light pencil docketing "Dated July 6, 1852, Recd. Augt. 20, 1852", originated in New York City (Jul. 6) and sent via Panama (a label has been peeled off the back, probably applied by Berford or the forwarding agent), on arrival the ms. "Paita July 28, 1852" markings were applied (one tying two stamps) and in the same hand a note to Captain Taber is written on back (some missing words where label was removed): "I was in hopes of having some more letters...are all...come this...not forget the hard bread if you come this way to anchor", top flap refolded to flatten stamps

ANOTHER REMARKABLE COVER FROM THE TABER CORRESPONDENCE, BEARING FOUR OF THE SEVENTEEN KNOWN EXAMPLES OF BERFORD'S 10-CENT STAMP FOR THE 40-CENT EXPRESS RATE TO THE WEST COAST OF SOUTH AMERICA. ONLY FIVE COVERS RECORDED WITH THE 10-CENT STAMP.

Our records contain a total of seventeen 10c Berford & Co. stamps (11L3), but half of these are represented by one normal pair and three tete-beche pairs (11L3a). There are actually just eight 11L3/11L3a items, including five covers and three off-cover stamps. These are listed in the description of lot 56.

Ex Chapman, Horner and Golden. With 1983 and 1999 P.F. certificates. Scott Retail $16,500.00.

E. 15,000-20,000
11,000
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