EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. A CHOICE EXAMPLE OF THE RARE BENTLEY'S 10L2 STAMP WITH "PAID" CANCEL. ONLY SIX OF THE SEVEN RECORDED STAMPS ARE AVAILABLE TO COLLECTORS.
FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF THREE CONFIRMED COVERS BEARING THE EXTREMELY RARE BERFORD & COMPANY 6-CENT GREEN.
Richard G. Berford and Loring L. Lombard operated the Berford & Co. letter-carrying business beginning in 1851. Berford & Co.'s Express primarily served the West Coast of North, Central and South America, but also advertised rates to Hawaii, Hong Kong, China and other places. Although their letter and package express business was fairly large, the adhesive stamps for letter mail are rare. During the course of their operation, there were several bitter clashes with the government over their mail route. The company is reported to have been sold in June 1854.
We record the following seven 6c (11L2) stamps, on or off cover: 1) cancelled by colorless impression of handstamp on cover marked "Jamaica", same correspondence as the cover offered here, ex Caspary, Boker; 2) uncancelled off cover, ex Souren; 3) tied by smudge on Sep. 29, 1851 folded letter from Jamaica to N.Y., the cover offered here, ex Worthington; 4) uncancelled on cover to the Mayor of Albany, Siegel Jun. 20, 1944 sale (the status of this cover is uncertain); 5) cut to shape on Aug. 1852 cover to Paita, ex Chapman, Mason, Horner, Golden, D.K. Collection; 6) cut to shape on same Aug. 1852 cover to Paita as No. 5; and 7) creased, uncancelled, on piece (or possibly on cover), Sloane records.
A 10c rate to the British West Indies was listed in the "Table of Postage" in Berford's June 17, 1851, New York Herald advertisement announcing the "New Postage Law". The same ad listed 6c prepaid rates to certain California towns and a 3c prepaid rate to Chagres or Panama. Evidently the cover offered here and a similar cover from the same correspondence (ex Caspary) were prepaid 6c from Kingston, Jamaica. In the advertisement, the stamps (3c, 10c and 25c) are described and various rates are given, effective July 1, 1851. Obviously, Berford's was acting in response to the U.S. government postage reforms of the same date.
According to http://www.pt5dome.com/ships.htm, the S.S. Ohio was a "wooden side-wheeled steamer, built by Bishop and Simonson, New York, for the United States Mail Steamship Company. She was launched in 1848 and entered service from New York to Chagres via Charleston, Savannah, Havana, and New Orleans on September 20, 1849. She was withdrawn from service along with the SS Georgia in 1854, and laid up in New York until 1859. She was broken up in 1860." According to Wierenga's U.S. Incoming Steamship Mail 1847-1875, the Ohio departed Kingston, Jamaica, on September 29, 1851, and arrived at New York on October 6. The U.S. Mail Steamship Company steamers stopped at Kingston for coaling, and this letter describes problems in coaling the Ohio on this particular stop.
Ex Worthington and Hyzen. With copy of 1983 P.F. certificate.
VERY FINE EXAMPLE OF THE BERFORD & CO. 10-CENT STAMP, OF WHICH ONLY A FEW ARE AVAILABLE AS SINGLE STAMPS.
Our records contain a total of seventeen 10c Berford & Co. stamps (11L3), but half of these are represented by one normal pair and three tete-beche pairs (11L3a). There are actually just eight 11L3/11L3a items, including five covers and three off-cover stamps.
With 1994 P.F. certificate declining opinion as to whether the stamp originates on this cover.
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A DESIRABLE EXAMPLE OF THIS CALIFORNIA "EMERGENCY" POST.
This inter-city service was established during the railroad union strike in 1894 by the Fresno agent for Victor bicycles, Arthur C. Banta. Service commenced on July 6 and was discontinued on July 18 when the strike ended. This cover was returned from Oakland to Fresno on July 17 (arriving July 18), before the strike ended. A very unusual usage -- only 380 letters were carried during the brief period of operation.
With 1989 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE. A RARE EXAMPLE OF THE 5-CENT STAMP ISSUED BY BLIZZARD MAIL, WHICH CARRIED MAILS FROM NEW JERSEY TO THE NEW YORK POST OFFICE DURING THE BLIZZARD OF 1888.
This is the only example of this rarity we have offered. Ex Schwartz (Siegel Sale 825, lot 1588, for $7,500 hammer). Scott value inexplicably ignores this past realization.