Sale 862 — The D.K. Collection of U.S. Carriers & Locals
Sale Date — Saturday, 31 May, 2003
Category — Metropolitan Post Office thru Russell
EXTREMELY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL TIED EXAMPLE OF THE RARE "W. H. LAW" METROPOLITAN POST OFFICE STAMP, OF WHICH ONLY SEVEN COVERS ARE RECORDED.
The Metropolitan Post Office (a private post despite the name) is believed to have been established just prior to January 1854 by Lemuel Williams, whose abbreviated name "L. Williams" and 162 Ninth Street address appear on the first octagonal stamp (108L1). Curiously, Williams is never identified with the Metropolitan Post Office nor any mail operation in the city directories. The 1854-55 and 1855-56 directories list William H. Laws as proprietor of the "Post Office" at 13 Bible House, which was located across from Williams' address. The 1856-59 directories list Laws at the same address, but the name "Metropolitan Post Office" is used. In 1859 Laws is listed with the business "Books", which suggests the end of his involvement with the post. A trade directory links Williams and Laws in a partnership at 162 Ninth Street. (Reference: Patton book, p. 228, and Perry correspondence).
Although not year-dated, it is our opinion that this cover could not have been mailed any earlier than 1856, based on the use of the "Metropolitan P.O." and "Paid/W. H. Laws" markings, as well as the worn impression of the 108L3 stamp. We record a total of seven covers with 108L3, including six local usages with identical markings.
Ex Schwartz. Scott Retail $3,000.00.
ONE OF THE APPROXIMATELY TEN TO TWELVE KNOWN COVERS BEARING THE EXTREMELY RARE POMEROY STAMP WITH BLANK VALUE.
This stamp comes from one of the positions on the plate with the value "20 for $1" incomplete ("$1" removed). This state of the plate was used only for printing stamps in Black on Yellow paper. The rarity of First Issue multiples presently makes it impossible to determine if the Value Incomplete positions co-existed with normal "$1" positions on the same plate.
VERY FINE AND CHOICE EXAMPLE OF THE RARE POMEROY'S FIRST ISSUE WITH VALUE INCOMPLETE.
This position shows dark scratchs in the area where the "$1" was cleared.
VERY FINE. ONE OF SIX RECORDED GENUINE COVERS BEARING THE RARE ROCHE'S CITY DISPATCH STAMP -- ONLY THREE COVERS HAVE STAMPS WITH RECTANGULAR MARGINS.
Wilmington city directory and post-office employment records for James L. Roche are provided by Elliott Perry in Pat Paragraphs (reprint, pp. 459-460). This information is also included with a census of 129L1 stamps and covers by Stephen Gronowski in the July 1995 Penny Post. Roche is linked to the Wilmington post office as far back as 1833 by a signed postage receipt. For much of the time between 1845 and 1858 he was a clerk in the post office. He left in 1849 following Zachary Taylor's election, but returned in 1852. During his hiatus from official postal duties, Roche ran a newspaper and periodical room advertised as "one door from the post office" and started the City Dispatch. The six recorded genuine Roche covers are dated from the third-quarter 1849 through the end of 1850. Roche died in 1859.
The Gronowski 1995 census with updated information contains six genuine covers, three of which have rectangular-cut stamps. There are approximately seven off-cover stamps (including two added to covers).
Ex Golden. With 1999 P.F. certificate. Scott Retail $8,250.00.
VERY FINE. THE ONLY TIED EXAMPLE AMONG THE FIVE RECORDED COVERS BEARING RUSSELL'S RED ON BLUISH STAMP. ONE OF THE MOST OUTSTANDING NEW YORK CITY LOCAL POST COVERS EXTANT.
Although little documentation has been produced, the accepted history of the Eighth Avenue Post Office is that it was operated by James Price in 1854 and sold that year to David Russell. Price may have issued the unique Eighth Avenue Post Office stamp (Scott 63L1), which is reported to have been used in 1852. The portrait on the 120L1 stamp issued by Price is thought to be his own. Price's successor, David Russell, is listed at 387 Eighth Avenue in 1854 and then at 410 Eighth Avenue from 1855 until 1857-58. The 1855-56 directory lists his occupation as "express" and in 1856-58 it is given as "subpost." Price issued a stamp very similar in design to Russell's.
Our census of covers bearing Russell's stamps includes five 130L3 Red on Bluish covers as follows: 1) Tied by "New-York 5 Cts. Oct. 9" (ca. 1854) due datestamp on lady's embossed cover to Miss Louise Summer, Middlebury O., ex Worthington, Caspary, Hall (realized $8,000), the cover offered here; 2) Uncancelled on cover to Mess. Mead, Taft & Dewey, 237 Broadway, ex Hollowbush, Boker; 3) Uncancelled on cover with 3c 1851 tied by "New-York Nov. 14" datestamp, 1854 enclosure from writer at 367 W. 24th St., ex Abt, Golden (realized $5,250); 4) Uncancelled on Apr. 15, 1856 folded letter (late usage if correct) to Myron Barrett, Union Theo. Seminary, ex Needham, Boker; and 5) Cut to shape, uncancelled, with 3c 1851 tied by "New-York Nov. 5" (ca. 1854) datestamp on small cover to Miss Susan Magie, Bloomfield N.J., ex Caspary. We also record one off-cover 130L3 stamp (ex Lilly, Boker).
Ex Worthington, Caspary and Hall. With 2001 P.F. certificate. Scott Retail $8,750.00.