ONE OF FOUR RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THIS LOCAL POST STAMP AND THE ONLY STAMP KNOWN UNUSED. RARER THAN THE UNITED STATES ALEXANDRIA PROVISIONAL, THE BERMUDA PEROT PROVISIONAL, THE HAWAIIAN TWO-CENT MISSIONARY AND THE MAURITIUS POST OFFICE STAMPS.
Between the July 1845 commencement of William B. Stait's Eagle City Despatch Post and sometime before October 1, 1846, the post's advertised address was 85 Chestnut Street, which appears in the handstamped markings used during the first fifteen months. Beginning no later than October 1, 1846, the address changed to 80 Chestnut Street, where the allied Adams' office was located. The title was also changed to "Eagle City Post" at this point and was further shortened to "Eagle Post" (the title on this stamp) as early as March 1849. Beginning July 1850, the name change to Stait's Despatch is reflected in markings on covers. In September 1848 Stait expanded to a second office at 48 South 3rd Street (source: Gordon Stimmell, The Penny Post, Apr. 1991).
The 61L1 stamp is listed in Scott as the first Eagle City Post adhesive, but Scott's 1847 issue date is probably incorrect. The cogwheel stamp (61L2) is recorded used as early as October 1, 1846. Logically, the handstamped adhesive with the new 80 Chestnut Street address would have been issued before the printed stamps -- the presence of Stait's initials on two of the stamps indicates a sort of provisional issue. The shortened title ("Eagle Post") and absence of any reference to Adams' Express in the 61L1 stamp are more typical of the early 1849 period, but the abbreviated wording probably owes itself to space limitations in the marking. Curiously, both the handstamped adhesive and the printed stamp (61L2) show the misspelling "Chesnut".
Only four examples of 61L1 are recorded: 1) cut-square stamp initialled "WS", uncancelled, used on folded cover (reported 1847) to Emily S. Townsend, 101 Arch St., ex Caspary, Boker; 2) cut-square stamp, initialled "WS", on piece, ex Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 1031, realized $8,000 hammer); 3) irregular margins, unused (no initials), the stamp offered here, Siegel Sale 797, lot 1899, realized $12,500 hammer; and 4) cut to shape (no initials), affixed to cover with Norristown Pa. datestamp, addressed to local street address, ex Needham, Gibson, Middendorf. The lower right portion of the stamp shows very faint small printed letters -- an "N" appears most clearly just below the "T" of "Street". There is also a small loop of manuscript in the same area.
With 1997 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. A SPECTACULAR ASSEMBLY OF EXTREMELY RARE MULTIPLES, INCLUDING A STRIP OF FIVE AND TETE-BECHE STRIP OF THREE.
Although "reconstructed" as a block of twelve, these are disconnected multiples that may or may not reflect relative positions in the sheet.
Ex Hunter, Hollowbush, Boker and Golden.