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Sale 885 — The Dr. Robert LeBow Collection, Part 1: Foreign Countries

Sale Date — Tuesday, 9 November, 2004

Category — Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
2003
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2003, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1390, European Monastic Letter, 1390, European Monastic Letter1390, European Monastic Letter. Written and addressed in beautiful monastic calligraphy, inscribed below address by six different monks who carried the letter, sealed tear at left, still Very Fine, an unusual 14th Century monastic courier letter (typically they were in the form of rolled parchment), ex Faulstich

E. 200-300
1,150
2004
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2004, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1408, Post Horse Embossed Seal of Ferrara-Venice Route, Bergamascan Couriers, 1408, Post Horse Embossed Seal of Ferrara-Venice Route, Bergamascan Couriers1408, Post Horse Embossed Seal of Ferrara-Venice Route, Bergamascan Couriers. Folded letter dated Jan. 11, 1408, from Ferrara with wafer seal of Niccolo d'Este, Ruler of Venice, albino embossed seal of Post Horse at lower right (shaded in pencil for display), small hole in address portion of letter not affecting seal, otherwise Very Fine, scarce

E. 300-400
800
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2005
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2005, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1450, "Subito" Letter, 1450, "Subito" Letter1450, "Subito" Letter. Ms. "per posta subito die nocturno" (express post by day and night) endorsement on 1450 folded letter, three tiny holes where sealed, Very Fine

E. 200-300
800
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2006
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2006, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems15th Century Courier Mail, 15th Century Courier Mail15th Century Courier Mail. Nine different examples, incl. five Venetian courier letters with Guild marks, three letters in Greek to Venice, Mantova (Mantua) and Damascus, and 1459 letter from Venice to Bari with elaborate wax and wafer seal of the Coat of Arms of a Borgia nephew of Pope Calixtus III (endorsed "sine mora", meaning without delay), Very Fine and desirable group

E. 750-1,000
1,350
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2007
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2007, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1459, Embossed Seal of Milanese Courier, 1459, Embossed Seal of Milanese Courier1459, Embossed Seal of Milanese Courier. Oct. 17, 1459 folded letter from Milan with "Cursores Mediolanum" (Milan Courier) embossed seal and ms. guild mark, seal shaded in pencil for display, Very Fine, this seal was applied to the folded letter by the Milanese courier responsible for its delivery, it is considered to be the world's first postmark

E. 300-400
2,500
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2008
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2008, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1455-63, Embossed Seals of Milanese and Bergamascan Couriers, 1455-63, Embossed Seals of Milanese and Bergamascan Couriers1455-63, Embossed Seals of Milanese and Bergamascan Couriers. Two folded letters, first dated 1455 from Mantova (Mantua) to Venice with manuscript guild mark and guild symbol on wafer seal, clear embossed seal of Mantova branch of the Milanese Couriers, second dated 1463 from Parma to Reggio with clear embossed seal of Parma office of Parma-Bologna Route of Bergamascan Couriers, former has slight wear and small tear, otherwise Very Fine, scarce courier seals

E. 400-500
600
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2009
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2009, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1464, "Cito" Letter from the Doge of Venice to Ancona, 1464, "Cito" Letter from the Doge of Venice to Ancona1464, "Cito" Letter from the Doge of Venice to Ancona. Letter written in handsome calligraphy on thick parchment from the Doge (Ruler) of Venice to (translated) "Noble and wise Bertas Contazeno, our citizen in the area of Ancona ['in partibus anconitanis']", dated Nov. 14, 1464, requesting Contazeno to buy wheat as quickly as possible and have it sent to Venice, with four Stirrups and four "Citos", indicating four changes of horses and "haste", faint staining possibly due to disinfection with vinegar, Very Fine

E. 400-500
1,050
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2010
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2010, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1468 and 1596 Letters with "Tongue" Seals, 1468 and 1596 Letters with "Tongue" Seals1468 and 1596 Letters with "Tongue" Seals. Two different examples, 1468 letter to Viterbo with seal of the Farnese family on a complete "tongue", 1596 letter from Cardinal Odoard Farnese in Rome to Guilio Toccalo in care of the Duke of Parma with wax seal on "tongue", Very Fine pair

E. 200-300
1,700
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2011
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2011, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1484, Italian Merchant's Letter from Aleppo to Tripoli, 1484, Italian Merchant's Letter from Aleppo to Tripoli1484, Italian Merchant's Letter from Aleppo to Tripoli. 1484 folded letter with intact seal, lengthy contents, Very Fine

E. 200-300
350
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2012
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2012, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1484, Letter With Guild Mark, 1484, Letter With Guild Mark1484, Letter With Guild Mark. Folded letter with ms. guild mark preceding date at bottom of cover, a bit soiled, otherwise Very Fine

E. 100-150
160
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2013
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2013, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1485, Disinfected Letter from Aleppo (Syria) to Venice, 1485, Disinfected Letter from Aleppo (Syria) to Venice1485, Disinfected Letter from Aleppo (Syria) to Venice. Folded letter with string and wafer seal embossed with three intertwined anchors (merchant mark of an Aleppo export firm), vinegar disinfection stains, Very Fine

E. 200-300
350
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2014
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2014, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1490, Italian Merchant's Letter from Dalmatia (Yugoslavia) to Venice, 1490, Italian Merchant's Letter from Dalmatia (Yugoslavia) to Venice1490, Italian Merchant's Letter from Dalmatia (Yugoslavia) to Venice. Folded letter dated 1490 from Lesina (now Hvar Island) to Venice, intact wafer seal with embossed cameo and a portion of original cord, Very Fine

E. 200-300
625
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2015
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2015, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1491, "Cito" Letter from Florence to Reggio, 1491, "Cito" Letter from Florence to Reggio1491, "Cito" Letter from Florence to Reggio. Folded letter dated June 5, 1491, with sender's wax and wafer seal, endorsed (translated) "For the Love of Christ, Haste, Haste" (Cito, Cito), Very Fine

E. 300-400
550
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2016
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2016, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1494, Italian Merchant's Mail from Lebanon, 1494, Italian Merchant's Mail from Lebanon1494, Italian Merchant's Mail from Lebanon. 1494 folded letter from El Beyrouth to Damas, clean and Very Fine

E. 200-300
425
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2017
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2017, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1505, "Subito" Letter to Brixelli, 1505, "Subito" Letter to Brixelli1505, "Subito" Letter to Brixelli. Small folded letter dated 1505 with ms. "Subito", Very Fine

E. 100-150
300
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2018
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2018, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1514, "Cito" Letter, 1514, "Cito" Letter1514, "Cito" Letter. Folded letter with "Cito, Cito" endorsement and a tongue seal still attached by wax, Very Fine

E. 100-150
300
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2019
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2019, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1515, Letter from Lyons to Florence re Couriers, 1515, Letter from Lyons to Florence re Couriers1515, Letter from Lyons to Florence re Couriers. Feb. 24, 1515 letter from the Medici correspondence, written in two hands: the first writer relates that Glado the courier had arrived that morning with Raffaello de Medici's letter of the 18th and a large packet from Antwerp dated the 16th; for 25 (ducats?) the courier had promised to render service; that in Paris, the King had detained all couriers, so letters were scarce, but Antonio Chondi had been able to obtain a passport thru contacts; the second writer assured Raffaelo that he had been working on the statements and the letters would go safely; part of original cord is under the wafer seal, Very Fine, interesting content regarding courier service, ex Christie's Robson Lowe sale 6/27/1985 (lot 1006)

E. 400-500
425
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2020
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2020, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1515, "Cito" Letter to the Council of Ten, 1515, "Cito" Letter to the Council of Ten1515, "Cito" Letter to the Council of Ten. 1515 folded letter addressed to the "Council of 10" at Venice, ms. "Citto, Citto" and "C" denoting great haste for delivery, Very Fine

E. 200-300
450
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2021
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2021, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1516, "Cito" Letter from Vicenza to the Council of Ten, 1516, "Cito" Letter from Vicenza to the Council of Ten1516, "Cito" Letter from Vicenza to the Council of Ten. Nov. 1, 1516 letter with three "Citos" and one "Citissimo" endorsement meaning "haste" and "very fast", intact "tongue" seal, Very Fine

E. 300-400
750
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2022
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2022, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1542, "Cito" Letter from Verona to The Council of Ten, 1542, "Cito" Letter from Verona to The Council of Ten1542, "Cito" Letter from Verona to The Council of Ten. Folded letter datelined Verona Aug. 6, 1542, to a member of The Council of Ten with three "Citos", two Stirrups and Gallows marks applied by sender, indicating "haste", two changes of horses, and death to anyone who interfered with courier, Extremely Fine condition, a beautifully preserved letter with three different courier marks

E. 400-500
1,300
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2023
 
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2023, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systemsca. 1550, Italian Estafette Waybill, ca. 1550, Italian Estafette Waybillca. 1550, Italian Estafette Waybill. Endorsed "Volando" (fast) with Crosses, Stirrup and Gallows, from Alexandria (Piedmont) to Pavia (Lombardy), departure, transit and arrival times noted, Very Fine

E. 400-500
850
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2024
c
1554-72, The Medici Correspondence. 25 letters from the historic 1985 Christie's Robson Lowe sale of the Medici archive, comprising lots 1166, 1172, 1178, 1191, 1270 and 1279 intact, sent between various members of the Medici family and 16th century Italian merchants, military officers and government officials, noteworthy content throughout, all privately carried, generally excellent condition, a fascinating group of Renaissance-period letters

E. 2,000-3,000
2,600
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2025
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2025, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1554, Letter from Cosimo I (as Duke of Florence) to Giulio de Medici in Fivizzano, 1554, Letter from Cosimo I (as Duke of Florence) to Giulio de Medici in Fivizzano1554, Letter from Cosimo I (as Duke of Florence) to Giulio de Medici in Fivizzano. Mar. 7, 1554 folded letter with seal and complete "Florentine flap", interesting content warning Giulio to beware of counterfeit coins in the marketplace, Very Fine, ex Christie's Robson Lowe 6/27/1985 sale, lot 1087

E. 400-500
675
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2026
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2026, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1555, Letter from Cosimo I (as Duke of Florence) in Poggio to Caesar's Court in Rome, 1555, Letter from Cosimo I (as Duke of Florence) in Poggio to Caesar's Court in Rome1555, Letter from Cosimo I (as Duke of Florence) in Poggio to Caesar's Court in Rome. May 24, 1555 folded letter signed by Cosimo I as "El duca di Fiorenze" to Averardo de Medici "Allas corte cesa." ("at Caesar's Court in Rome"), commending Averardo for his action at the court concerning Sienna and advising him to follow up and remain on the alert, intact "Florentine flap" and seal, Very Fine

E. 400-500
625
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2027
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2027, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1561, Letter from Lelio Torelli at Arezzo to Guilio de Medici, forwarded to Cosimo I, 1561, Letter from Lelio Torelli at Arezzo to Guilio de Medici, forwarded to Cosimo I1561, Letter from Lelio Torelli at Arezzo to Guilio de Medici, forwarded to Cosimo I. Folded letter dated Nov. 11, 1561, regarding provisions for troops, providing 5650 cattle, forwarded by Giulio (Quartermaster) to the Grand Duke, Cosimo I, at Florence, with forwarding notation "Al Ill(ustriss)mo et ex(celentissi)mo (s(enato)re Duca di (Firen)za et (S(ie)na et p(adro)ne mio", sealed with two "tongue" seals (one with Medici seal), Very Fine, a significant historical letter from Cosimo's leading legal adviser, ex Christie's Robson Lowe sale 6/27/1985 (lot 1208)

E. 300-400
550
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2028
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2028, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1579-86, Letters from France to London, 1579-86, Letters from France to London1579-86, Letters from France to London. Two from the Corsini correspondence, both to Philippo in London, first is Jul. 10, 1579 from Nicolo Daniel Ervazano in Lyons, marked with crossed lines indicating prepaid postage, second is Apr. 10, 1586 from Adriano della Mandere in Calais (commercial content), Very Fine, ex Christie's Robson Lowe sale 9/4/1984 (lots 70, 103)

E. 300-400
675
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2029
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2029, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1581, "Subito" Letter From Asolo to Venice "At the Inn of St, 1581, "Subito" Letter From Asolo to Venice "At the Inn of St1581, "Subito" Letter From Asolo to Venice "At the Inn of St. Apostollo", 1581 folded letter with ms. three "Subitos" for haste and three ms. lines at seal area indicating three coins paid for postage, a bit worn at bottom of cover, otherwise Very Fine

E. 150-200
300
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2030
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2030, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1581, "Subito" Letter From Avallo to Venice, 1581, "Subito" Letter From Avallo to Venice1581, "Subito" Letter From Avallo to Venice. 1581 folded letter with ms. two "Subitos" (haste), light toning spot, Very Fine

E. 150-200
150
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2031
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2031, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1587, "Subito" Letter from Ascoli (?) to Venice, 1587, "Subito" Letter from Ascoli (?) to Venice1587, "Subito" Letter from Ascoli (?) to Venice. May 5, 1587 letter with three "Subitos" (haste) endorsement, faint stain at bottom (possibly vinegar disinfectant), Very Fine

E. 200-300
160
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2032
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2032, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1593, Antwerp to London via Merchant Stranger's Post, 1593, Antwerp to London via Merchant Stranger's Post1593, Antwerp to London via Merchant Stranger's Post. Folded letter dated Jan. 11, 1593, from Duarte Emanuel Simenes to Philippo Corsini in London, ms. "ppq" and "d 11-1/2" postage due to Merchant Stranger's Post, which operated from 1514 to ca. 1600, by foreign merchants in London to carry letters to and from the City, letter re slow sale of spices, recovery of seized merchandise at Emden, seal and cord intact, Very Fine, ex Christie's Robson Lowe sale 9/4/1984 (ex lot 199)

E. 150-200
500
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2033
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2033, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1595, French Renaissance Letter, 1595, French Renaissance Letter1595, French Renaissance Letter. Small folded letter probably carried by messenger, dated Jan. 2, 1595, and signed Meric Guirard, guantlet and star watermark, Very Fine, ex Faulstich

E. 100-150
75
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2034
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2034, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems17th Century European Letters, 17th Century European Letters17th Century European Letters. Four, incl. 1602 Venetian with "Cross + 4" merchant's mark in wax seal with fine wire; 1637 Cologne and 1677 Frankfurt, both to Livorno via Mantua, crossed lines on each indicating prepayment; and 1669 Paris to Limoges with wax seals and silk string; Very Fine group showing different types of seals and markings

E. 400-500
850
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2035
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2035, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1632, Venetian Parchment Letter from the Doge of Venice to Antonio Longo, Venetian Envoy to Verona, 1632, Venetian Parchment Letter from the Doge of Venice to Antonio Longo, Venetian Envoy to Verona1632, Venetian Parchment Letter from the Doge of Venice to Antonio Longo, Venetian Envoy to Verona. Complete letter on folded parchment with intact cord and Ducal Seal from Francisco Erizzo, the Doge of Venice (1631-46) to the "Noble and Illustrious" Antonio Longo, ordering the arrest of a money forger to be hanged "between the two columns of the Divine Martyrs" (the public location of hangings in Venice), Very Fine, excellent condition and fascinating content

E. 500-750
4,000
Back to Top
2036
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2036, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1655, Folded Cover to Cardinal Mazarin, 1655, Folded Cover to Cardinal Mazarin1655, Folded Cover to Cardinal Mazarin. Beautiful 1655 cover complete with silks and seals from Louis Prince of Conde, whose father was Henry de Bourbon (appointed Vice-Roy of New France in 1612 with Champlain as governor), Very Fine, Cardinal Mazarin (Italian by birth -- "Mazarini") was essentially the ruler of France after Louis XIII died in 1643, as young Louis XIV was only five years old at the time of his father's passing, Mazarin held that position until his death in 1661

E. 300-400
600
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2037
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2037, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1714, Cephalonia (Ionian Islands) to Venice, 1714, Cephalonia (Ionian Islands) to Venice1714, Cephalonia (Ionian Islands) to Venice. Folded letter dated at Cephalonia, Sep. 9, 1714, to Venice, with clear strike of "Cefa/Lonia" handstamp, Very Fine, scarce, used briefly during the fall of 1714 (illustrated in Postal History Journal, Vol. VII, No. 1)

E. 300-400
0
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2038
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2038, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1716, Public Health Office, Florence, 1716, Public Health Office, Florence1716, Public Health Office, Florence. Folded letter to Livorno with wafer seal picturing head of Cosimo III (de Medici) and inscribed "Officiales Sanitatis Florentia" (Officials of Health of Florence) and "Salus Mundi" (Health of the World), contents re quarantine of ships, Very Fine, exhibitable example of early official mail from one of the major Public Health offices

E. 200-300
400
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2039
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2039, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems18th Century Venetian Republic Letters, 18th Century Venetian Republic Letters18th Century Venetian Republic Letters. Two, incl. 1734 with Lion of St. Mark and "PDLSS" (Posta de la Serenissima) handstamp, and 1785 with Lion of St. Mark and "Padova" handstamp in red, Very Fine

E. 300-400
800
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2040
c
Sale Number 885, Lot Number 2040, Courier Mail and Early Postal Systems1746, Venetian Parchment Letter from Pietro Grimani, Duke of Venice, 1746, Venetian Parchment Letter from Pietro Grimani, Duke of Venice1746, Venetian Parchment Letter from Pietro Grimani, Duke of Venice. Complete letter on parchment with three "Citos" and intact cord and Ducal seal, in perfect condition, Very Fine, a wonderful early Venetian letter

E. 400-500
1,050
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2041
c
REPUBLIC OF VENICE COURIER SYSTEM. 1420-1795, collection of 33 folded letters or covers mounted on exhibition pages (a few on original lot cards), a comprehensive and well-annotated study of the Venetian postal system, begins with 1420 clerical letter from Alexandria to Venice (no postal markings, sealed with cord), continues with 1520 "Cito, Cito, Cito" endorsement, handstamped markings incl. 1732 and 1744 "CCV" (Company of Venetian Couriers), 1794 "Letere Stradali" (Highway Letter), 1795 "Luoghi Stradali" (Place along the Highway), several "CFC/V" (Company of Venetian Couriers) in red and black, disinfected mail incl. 1765 from Zara with "Lettere da Mare" and "S" handstamps, other "Lettere da Mare" examples from Rovigno (Istria) 1765, Zara 1788 ("Sanita Lion" in red), Zante 1788 (also with red Lion), route markings (translated) incl. 1723 "Crema Per Venezia", 1721 "Padova to Venice", 1727 "Vicenza to Venice", 1727 "Brescia to Venice", 1732 PDC "Padova to Venice", several examples of Sea Crab in Wreath oval in black and red, 1734 "PDLSS" Shell (Post of the Serene Authority), 1780 and 1786 "CCV" oval with Grillwork in black and red, 1785 and 1790 "CFC" (Compagnia Fra Corrieri), 1795 red "GeC/C" (Gerolamo Corticelli & Company) and same in black (undated), all in excellent condition, Very Fine strikes and clean letters and covers, acquired by Dr. LeBow in several lots at auction, offered intact to provide collectors with the opportunity to carry on further study with a significant holding of these fascinating historical artifacts

E. 2,000-3,000
5,000
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