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Sale 925 — The Edgar Kuphal Collection of U.S. Carriers and Locals

Sale Date — Wednesday, 15 November, 2006

Category — 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony Express

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
1054
c
Sale Number 925, Lot Number 1054, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressPony Express, The Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company, St. Joseph, Mo. Mar. 14 (1861), Pony Express, The Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company, St. Joseph, Mo. Mar. 14 (1861)Pony Express, The Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company, St. Joseph, Mo. Mar. 14 (1861). Large oval within circle datestamp boldly struck in deep green on 10c Green Nesbitt entire to Flint Peabody & Co. in San Francisco, sender's ms. notation "Per Pony Express, restored piece at upper left and cleaned

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A BEAUTIFUL STRIKE OF THE ST. JOSEPH "PONY EXPRESS" OVAL AND CIRCLE DATESTAMP IN GREEN.

This cover was carried on the Pony Express trip that left St. Joseph on March 14 and arrived in San Francisco on March 28, 1861. During the Second Rate Period ($2.50 per quarter-ounce), the large oval-and-circle marking was introduced at the St. Joseph office. It is known as a transit marking on the backs of eastbound covers and on the fronts of westbound covers (nine in green on westbound covers reported in The Pony Express, Frajola-Kramer-Walske).

Pony Express Census No. W35.

E. 7,500-10,000
9,000
1055
c
Sale Number 925, Lot Number 1055, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressWells, 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 to ample at bottom except just touching frameline at bottom right, tied by well-struck "Pony Express San Francisco May 25" (1861) Running Pony oval datestamp on 10c Green Star Die entire to W. S. Allen in St. Louis Mo., bold strike of green "St. Joseph Mo. Jun. 6" circular datestamp, sender's notation "Pony", minute edge tear at top

VERY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLE OF THE $2.00 PONY EXPRESS STAMP TIED BY THE BLUE SAN FRANCISCO RUNNING PONY OVAL.

This Pony Express cover was carried on the trip departing San Francisco on May 25 and arriving at St. Joseph on June 6, 1861.

Pony Express Census No. E84. Ex Baughman. With 1965 P.F. certificate

E. 15,000-20,000
16,500
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1056
ngbl
Sale Number 925, Lot Number 1056, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressWells, 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). Block of four, unused (no gum), large to huge margins, Extremely Fine

750
600
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1057
ngbl
Sale Number 925, Lot Number 1057, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $2.00 Green (143L4), Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $2.00 Green (143L4)Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $2.00 Green (143L4). Block of six, unused (no gum), large margins to clear at upper right, Very Fine-Extremely Fine, with 1977 P.F. certificate, Scott Retail as block of four and two singles

1,700
1,600
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1058
c
Sale Number 925, Lot Number 1058, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressWells, 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). Position L16 with break in "1", large margins at top, other sides slightly into framelines, bright color, tied by sharp strike of blue "Pony Express San Francisco Aug. 31" (1861) Running Pony oval datestamp on 10c Green, Star Die Entire (U32) with red Wells, Fargo & Co. printed frank, sender's endorsement "Per Pony", clearly struck "St. Joseph Mo. Jul. 25" circular datestamp cancels entire, trivial opening tear at upper right corner

A FRESH COVER WITH CLEARLY STRUCK MARKINGS AND A FINE EXAMPLE OF THE $1.00 RED STAMP ISSUED BY WELLS, FARGO & COMPANY FOR THE OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACT PERIOD BEGINNING IN JULY 1861. THIS IS A VERY EARLY USE OF THE STAMP.

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 fee 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 and was carried on the fourth eastbound Pony Express trip after the new rates and stamps were introduced. 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.

Pony Express Census No. E112. Ex Knapp.

E. 10,000-15,000
0
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1059
Pbl
Sale Number 925, Lot Number 1059, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Blue, Garter, Plate Proof on Card (143L6P), Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Blue, Garter, Plate Proof on Card (143L6P)Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Blue, Garter, Plate Proof on Card (143L6P). Block of four with part of manuscript "Sample", vertical crease at right, otherwise Very Fine, there are three recorded blocks of the $1.00 Garter plate proof which originally formed a large multiple with the word "Sample" written across it (see Wells, Fargo & Company 1861 Pony Express Issues, p. 16)

E. 1,500-2,000
2,400
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1060
ng
Sale Number 925, Lot Number 1060, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Blue, Garter (143L6), Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Blue, Garter (143L6)Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Blue, Garter (143L6). Unused, (no gum), large margins, Extremely Fine and very scarce

750
800
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1061
c
Sale Number 925, Lot Number 1061, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Blue, Garter (143L6), Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Blue, Garter (143L6)Wells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Blue, Garter (143L6). Huge margins all around, tied by "Pony Express, The Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company, St. Joseph, Mo. Aug. 29" large oval within circle datestamp, used with 10c Green, Ty. V (35), tied by "New-York Aug. 24, 1861" circular datestamp and grid on 10c Green Nesbitt entire with Wells, Fargo & Co. red printed frank and "Agent of Pony Express, St. Joseph, Mo." routing, addressed to Alex Forbes at San Francisco; opening faults along the top edge have been skillfully restored, including a small sealed tear in 10c, but the $1.00 stamp is sound and unaffected; at one time part of the address was crossed out, but has been expertly restored

FINE APPEARANCE. THE EARLIEST OF THE FOUR RECORDED COVERS BEARING THE PONY EXPRESS ONE-DOLLAR GARTER STAMP AND THE ONLY EXAMPLE USED WITH THE 1857 ISSUE.

According to 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 (one newly recorded example from Philadelphia has recently been added to the record). There are four recorded covers with the $1.00 Garter stamp (a detailed list is provided below).

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 ordinary 10c entires on more than one kind of white paper. Nesbitt also printed the Garter stamps in sheets of 20 (5 wide by 4 high) with his imprint below Position 18, the center stamp in the bottom row. Information regarding the Type II frank and Garter stamp can be found in Wells, Fargo & Company 1861 Pony Express Issues.

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 government contract rates.

This August 24, 1861, usage from New York City comes just as the old stamp issues were being demonetized and the new 1861 Issue was released, due to the Civil War. This double-rate 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 August 29, 1861, westbound Pony trip to California. At Placerville, it was carried by Wells, Fargo & Co. to San Francisco.

There are four recorded covers with the $1.00 Garter stamp, listed here by St. Joseph date (all sent from East to West in 1861): 1) St. Joseph Aug. 29, the cover offered here, ex H. J. Crocker; 2) St. Joseph Oct. 24, ex Caspary, Haas, Kapiloff; 3) St. Joseph Oct. 27, ex Wm. H. Crocker, Knapp, Moody; and 4) Undated (c. October 16th) with strip of four $1.00 and four 10c 1861 for two-ounce quadruple rate, Kramer collection, the only recorded multiple Garter franking.

Pony Express Census No. W52. Illustrated in Nathan's The Pony Express (p. 51) and Frajola-Kramer-Walske The Pony Express (p. 63). Ex Henry J. Crocker.

E. 150,000-200,000
160,000
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