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Sale 893 — The Dr. Alfred S. Martin Collection, Part 1

Sale Date — Wednesday, 30 March, 2005

Category — Western Expresses

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
207
c
Sale Number 893, Lot Number 207, Western Expresses3c Dull Red, Ty. II (26), 3c Dull Red, Ty. II (26)3c Dull Red, Ty. II (26). Left straddle-pane margin, tied by two bold strikes of "Philadelphia Pa. Jul. 18, 1860" octagonal datestamp, lightly struck "Hinckley & Co.'s Express, Denver City, Aug. 1, 1860" datestamp on cover to "Golden City J.T." (Jefferson Territory), Very Fine, scarce Hinckley & Co.'s Express usage into Jefferson Territory, an illegal territorial government which existed briefly from Sep. 1859 until the creation of Colorado Territory in Feb. 1861 (for historical information on Golden City, go to http://www.mines.edu/Beyond_csm/region_info/golden/history.html), ex Grunin

E. 1,000-1,500
1,050
208
c
Sale Number 893, Lot Number 208, Western Expresses10c Green on Buff entire (U18), 10c Green on Buff entire (U18)10c Green on Buff entire (U18). Original Freeman & Co. green frank overprinted with two Wells, Fargo & Co. red franks, blue "Wells, Fargo & Cos. Express S.Frco 21 Jun." double-circle datestamp, overstruck by "New-York N.Y. Jul. 10" circular datestamp, to local street address, small mended edge faults at left, otherwise Very Fine, scarce overprinted frank used by Wells, Fargo & Co. after their acquisition of Freeman & Co., ex Barkhausen

E. 500-750
850
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209
c
Sale Number 893, Lot Number 209, Western ExpressesWells, Fargo & Co. Victoria Aug. 10, Wells, Fargo & Co. Victoria Aug. 10Wells, Fargo & Co. Victoria Aug. 10. (1868) blue oval datestamp on 10c Green entire (U33) to San Francisco with Wells, Fargo & Co. printed frank and Vancouver Island 5c Rose, tied by blue oval "35" grid, also tied by large but neat ms. docketing, fresh and Very Fine

E. 1,000-1,500
750
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210
c
Sale Number 893, Lot Number 210, Western Expresses3c Green (147), 3c Green (147)3c Green (147). Bright shade, used with British Columbia 1869 5c on 3p Bright Red (9), 5c tied by blue "For Great Britain/and Ireland" two-line handstamp applied by Wells, Fargo & Co., both stamps tied by smudged San Francisco circular datestamp on Wells, Fargo & Co. franked 3c Green entire to Lewes, England, from the Burne correspondence, ms. notation "Posted at Victoria, Vancouver's Island 21 Oct/70", blue "Wells, Fargo & Co. Express Victoria V.I." oval handstamp on back, red Chicago transit and Lewes receiving backstamps, intact red wax seal, top left edge has expertly repaired opening tears not affecting stamps and the entire is lightly cleaned, Very Fine appearance and superior condition to most of the mixed-franking express usages from this period, the stamps of both countries were required for British Columbia postage and U.S. postage to England, ex Albert

E. 2,000-3,000
1,500
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211
c
Sale Number 893, Lot Number 211, Western Expresses3c Green (184), 3c Green (184)3c Green (184). Tied by cork grid with duplex "San Francisco Cal. Jun. 3 4 AM" datestamp struck off edge at left and fully at right on cover to New York City, used with Canada 1872 3c Dull Red (37), tied by blue "Wells, Fargo & Co. Victoria May 30" oval datestamp, Wells, Fargo & Co. printed frank, "Victoria, Vancouver Island" imprint, ship chandler's backstamp, 1881 N.Y.P.O. receiving backstamp, Canadian stamp originally cancelled with lower left corner folded up (now folded back, crease and tiny tear), Very Fine, an extremely attractive and scarce mixed-franking express usage from Victoria, the postage of both countries was required, ex Kaplan and Albert

E. 1,500-2,000
1,050
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212
c
Sale Number 893, Lot Number 212, Western Expresses6c Dull Pink (159), 6c Dull Pink (159)6c Dull Pink (159). Two, pastel shade, tied by quartered cork cancels with duplex "San Francisco Cal. Apr. 30 8 AM" datestamp on Wells, Fargo & Co. franked 3c Green entire to Copenhagen, Denmark, red New York transit, receiving backstamp, fresh and Very Fine, probably a triple 5c GPU rate, a scarce and attractive use of the Wells, Fargo & Co. franked entire (although the absence of express markings indicates it was probably not sent by express)

E. 750-1,000
750
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213
c
Sale Number 893, Lot Number 213, Western Expresses2c Red Brown (210), 2c Red Brown (210)2c Red Brown (210). Vertical strip of three, small sealed tear at top, tied by segmented cork and "Portland Oreg. Feb. 22 7PM" circular datestamp on 3c Green entire with Wells, Fargo & Co. printed frank, to Malmo, Sweden, 1884 receiving backstamp, Very Fine, probably entered mails directly at Portland and not carried by express, ex Albert

E. 500-750
525
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214
c
Sale Number 893, Lot Number 214, Western ExpressesWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $2.00 Red (143L1), Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $2.00 Red (143L1)Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $2.00 Red (143L1). Large margins all around, bright shade, small light corner crease at bottom left, few spots of excess gum, tied by perfectly clear strike of blue "Pony Express Sacramento May 26" (1861) oval datestamp, struck again at lower left on 10c Green on Buff entire (U16) to New York City street address, printed return address of Thos. S. Fiske & Co., Sacramento, cancelled in transit by green "St. Joseph Mo. Jun. 6" circular datestamp, light pencil receipt docketing "Recd June 10th 1861", light vertical fold clear of stamp

EXTREMELY FINE. ONLY 36 $2.00 RED PONY EXPRESS COVERS ARE LISTED IN THE LATEST CENSUS, OF WHICH THREE ORIGINATED IN SACRAMENTO. MAGNIFICENT QUALITY AND CERTAINLY ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PONY EXPRESS COVERS KNOWN.

The Third Rate Period ($2.00 per half ounce) was introduced in the East on April 1, 1861, but did not begin in the West until April 15, due to communication delays. It was a relatively brief period, ending with the start of the government contract mail period on July 1, 1861, and introduction of the new $1.00 per half-ounce rate. This cover was carried on the Pony trip departing San Francisco on May 25, 1861. It was posted from the Sacramento office on the following day, and was delivered at St. Joseph on June 6. Another cover is listed in the census with identical markings (Census No. E85).

Ex West, Haas and Edwards. With 1991 P.F. certificate

E. 30,000-40,000
60,000
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215
c
Sale Number 893, Lot Number 215, Western ExpressesWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Red (143L3), Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Red (143L3)Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Red (143L3). Ample margin at top, mostly clear at bottom, slightly in at sides, tied by blue "Pony Express San Francisco Jul. (2)0" Running Pony oval datestamp (missing "2" of "20" as always) on 10c Green Star Die entire (U33) to New York City street address, with red Wells, Fargo & Co. frank, bold "St. Joseph Mo. 1 Aug" (1861) circular datestamp, receipt docketing, neatly sealed along left edge where opened

VERY FINE. AN UNUSUALLY FRESH AND CLEAN EASTBOUND PONY EXPRESS USAGE DURING THE OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACT PERIOD.

Commencing July 1, 1861, the Pony Express was authorized by Congress to carry mail at the rate of $1.00 per half ounce. An additional 25c was charged by Wells, Fargo & Co. to carry mail from San Francisco to the western terminus at Placerville, which is represented by the printed frank on this entire. The contract also stipulated the mandatory U.S. postage charge of 10c per half ounce. This cover beautifully combines all three postage elements. Although the Scott Catalogue lists the July 1861 issue Pony Express stamps (143L3-143L6) with other private post issues, we wish to emphasize that these stamps were issued under the terms of a government mail contract; therefore, they have semi-official status.

E. 10,000-15,000
10,500
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216
c
Sale Number 893, Lot Number 216, Western ExpressesWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, ($1.00) Red Type II East-to-West Frank, 10c Green on Thin Hard White Entire (unlisted in Scott), Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, ($1.00) Red Type II East-to-West Frank, 10c Green on Thin Hard White Entire (unlisted in Scott)Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, ($1.00) Red Type II East-to-West Frank, 10c Green on Thin Hard White Entire (unlisted in Scott). Clearly struck "Philadelphia Pa. Aug. 26, 1861" octagonal datestamp and dotted cork cancel, printed address to the "Agent of Pony Express, St. Joseph, Mo." and handwritten address to San Jose Cal.

EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF 20 RECORDED TYPE II EAST-TO-WEST PONY EXPRESS FRANKED ENTIRES RECORDED IN THE MOST RECENT CENSUS OF COVERS AND THE ONLY RECORDED PONY EXPRESS COVER ORIGINATING IN PHILADELPHIA.

According to the new publication, The Pony Express--A Postal History, there are only 20 examples of the Type II $1.00 East-to-West frank, including a few that have stamps added or have been extensively repaired. This is the only Pony Express cover that originated from Philadelphia during any time period, and of course it is the only example of the Type II frank used from Philadelphia (almost all originated in New York City).

The $1.00 franked entire and $1.00 "Garter" adhesive were needed by Wells, Fargo & Co.'s eastern offices when the Pony Express entered its official U.S. government mail contract period on July 1, 1861. The 1861 10c "Pumpkin" entire with the Type II printed frank was ordered from George F. Nesbitt & Co. (New York) by the Overland Mail Company after they obtained approval for the design and imprint from the Postmaster General's office (a June 21, 1861, letter and essay submitted for approval are recorded). Nesbitt was specifically asked to produce envelopes on a thinner, tougher paper than that used for regular stamped envelopes, presumably to reduce weight for the Pony riders. Comparing the Type II franked entires with others, it does appear to be a thinner, less opaque paper, although the Scott Catalogue does not list the 10c entires on more than one kind of white paper.

The period commencing July 1, 1861, was an important one for the Pony Express. Under new management and connected with Wells, Fargo & Co.'s vast network of offices and routes, the Pony Express was authorized by Congress to carry mail under government contract at the rate of $1.00 per half ounce. Although collectors generally perceive all Pony Express stamps and franked entires to be unofficial non-government forms of postage, effective July 1, 1861, the new stamps and entires are semi-official issues intended to prepay goverment contract rates.

This August 26, 1861, usage from Philadelphia comes just as the old stamp issues were being demonetized and the new 1861 Issue was released, due to the Civil War. This Pony Express cover entered the post office and was treated as regular mail until it reached the Wells, Fargo & Co. agent at St. Joseph, Missouri. From there it made the September 1, 1861, westbound Pony trip to California. At Placerville, it was carried by Wells, Fargo & Co. to San Jose. For no apparent reason, the St. Joseph office did not apply a Pony Express datestamp.

Census No. W53

E. 30,000-40,000
32,500
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217
c
Sale Number 893, Lot Number 217, Western ExpressesWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, 25c Blue (143L8), Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, 25c Blue (143L8)Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, 25c Blue (143L8). Large left margin, others ample to slightly in, tied by blue "Wells, Fargo & Cos. Express. S.Frco. 25 Feb." double-circle datestamp on 3c Pink entire (U35) with printed frank cancelled by second strike, to Clara C. Crittenden in Virginia City N.T.

VERY FINE. AN IMMACULATE COVER CARRIED FROM CALIFORNIA TO NEVADA TERRITORY BY WELLS, FARGO & COMPANY'S VIRGINIA CITY PONY EXPRESS. EASTBOUND COVERS ARE RARER THAN WESTBOUND.

With 1990 P.F. certificate. Scott Retail $4,000.00

E. 4,000-5,000
7,500
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218
c
Sale Number 893, Lot Number 218, Western ExpressesWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9), Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9)Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9). Large margins all around incl. sheet margin at left, bright color, tied by blue "Wells, Fargo & Co. Virginia Cty. N.T. Feb. 9" oval datestamp on 3c Pink entire (U35) with printed frank, to Clara C. Crittenden in San Francisco, tiny nicks at top

EXTREMELY FINE. A SUPERB EXAMPLE OF THE VIRGINIA CITY PONY EXPRESS 25-CENT RED ON COVER FROM THE FAMOUS CRITTENDEN CORRESPONDENCE. THE RED PONY STAMP IS MUCH SCARCER ON COVER THAN THE BLUE.

With 1990 P.F. certificate. Scott Retail $9,000.00.

E. 7,500-10,000
8,500
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219
c
Sale Number 893, Lot Number 219, Western ExpressesWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9), Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9)Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9). Two, one with large to clear margins, other mostly clear to large margins except just barely into right frameline, used with 3c Rose (65) on 3c Pink entire with Wells, Fargo & Co. printed frank, addressed to Clara C. Crittenden in San Francisco, the upper left Pony Express stamp and U.S. postage are tied by light strikes of "Wells, Fargo & Co. Virginia Cty. N.T. Feb. 21" blue oval datestamp, the second Pony Express stamp at lower left is in a slightly different shade and tied by "Wells, Fargo & Co. Sac. Messenger Feb. 22" Sacramento Messenger's blue oval datestamp, opened at top, a few wrinkles and edge nicks

VERY FINE. AN EXTRAORDINARY AND POSSIBLY UNIQUE VIRGINIA CITY PONY EXPRESS USAGE. THE DOUBLE-RATE FRANKING WITH AN ADDITIONAL UNITED STATES ADHESIVE STAMP IS RARE IN ITSELF, BUT THE SECOND PONY EXPRESS STAMP WAS ALMOST CERTAINLY SUPPLIED AND CANCELLED EN ROUTE BY THE WELLS, FARGO & COMPANY SACRAMENTO SPECIAL MESSENGER.

This cover originates from the famous Crittenden correspondence, but it came to light after the initial public offering of the major portion of covers. The presence of 25c Red Pony Express stamps in two slightly different shades, one of which is cancelled at Virginia City while the other was cancelled en route with the Sacramento Messenger oval, indicates that the letter was franked with double-rate U.S. postage at Virginia City, but the second Pony Express stamp was supplied by the Wells, Fargo & Co. messenger who brought the mail from Sacramento to San Francisco. Other covers are known with supplemental postage tied by the special Sacramento Messenger oval or "Collect" markings indicating that postage was due from the addressee.

Covers with the 25c red stamp are very scarce, and only a few are known with additional U.S. stamps. This double-rate franking is extremely rare, and, from a postal history perspective, quite fascinating.

With 1990 P.F. certificate

E. 10,000-15,000
28,000
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