FINE. ONE OF TWO RECORDED COVERS WITH THE SCARCE CORNWELL'S STAMP TIED. ONLY THIS COVER SHOWS THE OVAL MARKING WITH "CORNWALL'S" (SPELLING ERROR) DELETED, USED UNDER BENTLEY'S OWNERSHIP.
Daniel H. Cornwell established his Madison Square Post Office at 945 Broadway as early as May 1856 (May 28 use of Cornwell's oval is recorded), but sold out to Henry H. Bentley in August of the same year (as advertised). Covers showing Cornwell's markings or stamps are extremely rare, and the presence of Swarts markings on several of them indicates an arrangement between the two posts. The stamps come on white (52L2) or bluish paper (52L1), and it appears that this paper is bluish, but to be consistent with the Scott Catalogue, we list it as the white 52L2. This example is unusual not only for the tied stamp (two such tied examples are recorded), but the oval handstamp shows removal of Cornwell's name (mis-spelled "Cornwall's" in the device). The other tied usage, ex Caspary and Boker, has the name in the oval.
Ex Abt and Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 991, realized $9,000 hammer)
VERY FINE. THE CUMMINGS' "LETTER & HEART" STAMP ON ROSE PAPER IS FAR RARER THAN THE GREEN OR YELLOW -- PROBABLY NO MORE THAN FOUR OR FIVE GENUINE COVERS EXIST.
Alfred H. Cummings operated Cummings' City Post as early as December 1845 (earliest reported cover) through 1847. Alfred H. Cummings and Robert Wright joined to take over the City Despatch Post Office from Abraham Mead by March 1847. The distinctive stamps picturing Cupid (55L4-55L5) and a letter sealed by a heart (55L1-55L3) tie the post's activities to the Valentine season. All are very scarce, but the Rose 55L1 is the rarest of the Cummings "Letter & Heart" series -- Caspary had only one; Middendorf the same. The Rose covers we have located have November 1846 dates. At a later date, the "Cummings" name was erased from the plate, as evidenced by the one recorded 55L8 stamp (ex Ferrary, Caspary and Boker).
Ex Chapman, Hollowbush and Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 1004, realized $5,250 hammer). With 1999 P.F. certificate.
A VERY FINE VALENTINE USAGE OF THE CUMMINGS' "LETTER & HEART" STAMP.
The design of this stamp -- a folded letter sealed with a heart -- and Cummings' Cupid stamp (Scott 55L4-55L5) clearly identify his post with the delivery of Valentine letters. This example is one of the finest recorded Valentine usages of the Cummings Letter & Heart stamp.
VERY FINE. AN OUTSTANDING AND VERY RARE USAGE OF THE CUMMINGS' CITY POST "LETTER & HEART" STAMP.
Ex Ferrary and Middendorf. With 1991 P.F. Certificate
EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. ONLY FIVE EXAMPLES OF THE CUMMINGS' CITY POST OVAL STAMP ARE RECORDED.
Our records contain five examples of 55L7: 1) unused, slight crease and thin spots, the stamp offered here, ex Richardson, Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 1013, realized $7,500); 2) unused, crease, thins, ex Boker, Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 1014, realized $7,500); 3) repaired, affixed to a cover, ex Middendorf; 4) unused, right sheet margin, horizontal crease, ex Burrus and Hall (Siegel Sale 830, lot 600, realized $2,500); and 5) faint pre-use crease, used on Nov. 1846 folded notice to Rev. D. Terry with locomotive handstamp struck twice, ex Chapman, Caspary, Lilly, Richardson, Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 1012).
Ex Richardson and Golden. With 1963 P.F. certificate.