A VERY FINE CLARK & HALL PENNY POST STAMP GENUINELY USED ON COVER. ONLY FIVE EXAMPLES OF THIS STAMP ARE RECORDED, EACH USED ON COVER. ONE OF THE GREATEST RARITIES OF AMERICAN LOCAL POSTS.
William J. Clark and Charles F. Hall advertised the opening of their "City Express and Penny Post" in the Feb. 13, 1851, edition of The Missouri Republican. Clark and Hall timed their opening to capture a share of the lucrative Valentine market. The first announcement noted that stamps were available for one cent each.
The five covers with 49L1 are recorded as follows (all 1851 dates): 1) uncancelled, red Feb. 27 datestamp, to Emily Smith, Long Island N.Y., the cover offered here, ex Ferrary, Lilly, Hall (Siegel Sale 830, lot 592, realized $17,500 hammer); 2) uncancelled, red Apr. 23 datestamp, to Emily Smith (as above), ex Boker; 3) uncancelled, red May 29 datestamp, to Emily Smith (as above), ex Boker, Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 980, realized $15,000 hammer); 4) uncancelled, red Jul. 20 datestamp, to Emily Smith (as above), ex Boker; and 5) cancelled by three ms. X's on Valentine cover to Eliza Pettus, local street address, Feb. 14, 1851 enclosure, discovered in 1924 by Morris Pettus (last sold Siegel Sale 878, lot 564, realized $10,000 hammer). No stamps off cover are known.
This cover was discovered by the family of T. H. Sanford and sold to C. H. Mekeel in September 1904. A copy of the original affidavit (in our files) accompanies the lot. In 1966 at a presentation before the Royal Philatelic Society of London, John R. Boker Jr. referred to this cover (ex Ferrary), stating that it had been "institutionalized" and "lost to collectors." He was evidently unaware that Lilly owned the cover. The Halls acquired it in the 1967 Lilly sale held by this firm.
Ex Ferrary, Lilly and Hall.
EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF SIX OR SEVEN RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE CLARKE'S CIRCULAR EXPRESS STAMP -- THE ONLY DARK PURPLISH SHADE OF BLUE AND THE ONLY ONE ON WOVE PAPER.
Elliott Perry located the city directory listings for Marion M. Clarke, whose name first appears in 1866-67 as an "express" at 436 Broadway, then as "advertising" in the following year (see Pat Paragraphs, reprint, p. 404). The short-lived express entry, combined with the great rarity of the stamps (one of which is dated Apr. 15, 1867), led Perry to surmise that the local post operation lasted approximately one year.
Clarke used ribbon-marker devices to make his stamps and cancel them. It is believed that all of the stamps were impressed on envelopes or circulars, which would make the example here a cut square from another entire.
Ex Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 981, realized $5,250 hammer). With 1999 P.F. certificate stating "genuine stamp" but declining opinion as to usage on this cover.
EXTREMELY FINE. ONLY TWO OF THE CLARKE'S CIRCULAR EXPRESS STAMPS ARE RECORDED IN BLACK. ONE OF THE GREATEST RARITIES OF AMERICAN LOCAL POSTS.
There are six or seven recorded examples of Clarke's Circular Express 50LU1, 50LU1a and 50LU2 stamps. Only two are 50LU2, the Black on diagonally laid paper. The other copy was offered in the Caspary sale and has an Apr. 15, 1867 datestamp (it also has faint age stains).
Ex Boker, Richardson and Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 984, realized $5,250 hammer). With 1999 P.F. certificate.
"Phila. Feb. 12th 1900. Personally appeared before me a Magistrate of the City of Philadelphia Mr. Franklin B. Kohlhund who being sworn according to law doth depose and say that the Clinton Penny Post stamp was removed by him from a used cover -- said cover being addressed to Mrs. Blackburn of Phila." [signed and notarized]
FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF TWO RECORDED GENUINE EXAMPLES OF CLINTON'S PENNY POST STAMP, BOTH OFF COVER.
Nothing definite is known about Clinton's Penny Post of Philadelphia, and the two recorded genuine stamps are the only proof of its existence. In 1894 the Clinton stamp was delisted from the Scott Catalogue when it was believed that this issue was one of a group of bogus posts, but it was restored in 1965 after Elliott Perry conveyed his opinion to Eugene Costales that there were at least two genuine Clinton stamps (and many counterfeits). Perry was not successful in locating among city directories the Clinton responsible for the post. There was a John Clinton listed in the 1841-42 directory as a "letter carrier", but this would be too early for the stamps. He is listed in 1851-52 as an "agent". Memos from Perry also indicate that no relevant Clinton was found in the directories for 1843-47, 1851, 1854 or 1856-59. Stylistically, the Clinton stamp is identical to Priest's Despatch stamps, which are found on covers dated between 1851 and 1855.
Ex Chapman and Hall (Siegel Sale 830, lot 593, realized $20,000 hammer).