FINE. ONE OF FOUR RECORDED COVERS BEARING THE PINKNEY'S EXPRESS POST STAMP -- THIS IS THE ONLY TIED EXAMPLE.
The only clue to the location of this post is the discovery cover, ex Ferrary, which contains a letter datelined "Fourth Ave., 94 -- opposite 11th St.", which Elliott Perry discusses in detail in Pat Paragraphs (reprint, pp. 473-474). The other recorded covers provide no further clues, except that the dates range from July to November 1851. Perry located a few Pinkney's (or Pinckney's) in the city directories, but found no evidence linking any of them to the post.
Our records contain four covers with 115L1, which may represent all or most of the known examples: 1) Jul. 9, 1851 folded letter to Boston with corner sheet margin single, uncancelled, "New-York 5 Cts. Jul. 10" due datestamp, ex Ferrary, Boker; 2) "New-York 5 Cts. Oct. 5" (1851 docketing) due datestamp, 115L1 cut to shape, tied by pen on cover to Suffield Conn., ex Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 1413, realized $5,250 hammer); 3) Nov. 3, 1851 folded letter to Mary S. Purdy, Sing Sing N.Y., same correspondence as No. 4 listed here, 115L1 cut square, uncancelled, red "New-York Paid 3 Cts. Nov. 4" datestamp, ex Caspary, Lilly, Hall (Siegel Sale 830, lot 736, realized $8,500 hammer); and 4) cut to circular shape, uncancelled, on folded cover to Robert H. Purdy, Sing Sing N.Y., same correspondence as No. 3 listed here, "New-York 5 Cts. Oct. 4" (1851) due datestamp, ex Brown, Hall (Siegel Sale 830, lot 737, realized $3,250 hammer). A fifth cover exists with a remnant of the Pinkney's 115L1 stamp, addressed to Andrew Van Bergan, Tully N.Y., with "New-York 5 Cts. Aug. 28" (1851) due datestamp (appreciation to Stephen Gronowski for this citation). The two covers from the Purdy correspondence have a third mate, the White's Branch Express cover, ex Caspary and Middendorf, which is dated Apr. 30, 1852.
Ex Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 1413, realized $5,250 hammer). With 1999 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF PRICE'S CITY EXPRESS STAMP TIED BY THE NEW YORK CITY DELIVERY DATESTAMP. ONLY ONE OTHER 119L1 IS TIED BY A HANDSTAMP ON COVER.
Two different Price's are listed in the city directories of the period, but the proprietor of Price's City Express is still not known. The oval handstamp used by this post gives the address as 3 Everett House, which was located in Union Square; James E. St. John Price and Philo Price lived more than two miles away from Union Square. Dated covers exist from 1858; undated covers appear to be earlier usages. (Source: Elliott Perry, Pat Paragraphs reprint, pp. 452-453 and Patton book, p. 236).
Price's City Express covers are rare, and we record only two 119L1 covers that have handstamped markings tying the stamp. The other is a to-the-mails usage with a 3c 1857, both stamps tied by a New York Nov. 25 datestamp (ex Schenck). The use of the U.S. Mail City Delivery datestamp on this cover is most unusual; a similar Boyd's cover is described in the Abt CCP series (American Philatelist, Vol. 29, No. 4) and was offered as lot 632 in the Golden sale. It appears that Price took the cover to the post office, and it was held there as a drop letter, rated 1c due.
Ex Caspary, Boker and Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 1434, realized $4,250 hammer). With 1999 P.F. certificate.
VERY FINE APPEARING STAMP AND ATTRACTIVE LOCAL COVER. ONLY SEVEN EXAMPLES OF PRICE'S EIGHTH AVENUE POST OFFICE STAMP ARE KNOWN TO US -- ALL BUT ONE ARE UNCANCELLED ON COVERS.
Although little documentation has been produced, the accepted history of the Eighth Avenue Post Office is that it was operated by James Price in 1854 and sold that year to David Russell. Price may have issued the unique Eighth Avenue Post Office stamp (Scott 63L1), which is reported to have been used in 1852; however, we do not know the basis of the 63L1 year date, because the one recorded example is on a cover without a letter, postmark or other indication of date. The portrait on the 120L1 stamp issued by Price is thought to be his own. Price's successor, David Russell, is listed at 387 Eighth Avenue in 1854 and then at 410 Eighth Avenue until 1857-58. The 1855-56 directory lists his occupation as "express" and in 1856-58 it is given as "subpost." Russell issued a stamp very similar in design to Price's.
We have located seven examples of Price's 120L1 stamp, all uncancelled, six of which are on covers (at least three did not originate). This cover is the only intra-city usage and is the most convincing usage in the group.
Ex Caspary, Lilly and Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 1440, realized $7,500 hammer). With 1999 P.F. certificate