VERY FINE. ONE OF THE FEW REMAINING INTACT SHEETS OF THE ADAMS & CO. CALIFORNIA EXPRESS STAMP -- INITIALLED BY L. REED, A PARTNER IN THE ADAMS FIRM. A TRULY REMARKABLE EXHIBITION ITEM.
The California branch of the Eastern express company founded by Alvin Adams was established late in 1849, following the discovery of gold that led to the great Gold Rush. Under the direction of Daniel H. Haskell, the Adams firm prospered as an express company and banking house in California. In 1855, in the midst of a national banking crisis, the firm was dissolved, and its express business was taken over by Freeman & Co. Isaiah C. Woods, whose name appears in the minute copyright inscriptions along the sides of the design, left for Australia after the Adams California branch folded. Haskell's portrait appears on the different Adams stamps, which were used to prepay express charges on letters carried by Adams & Co. Their rarity suggests that they were not issued until soon before the firm collapsed (the copyright is dated 1853).
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. FEWER THAN A HALF-DOZEN EXAMPLES OF THIS SURPRINTED FRANK ARE REPORTED TO EXIST ON ANY OF THE NESBITT ENTIRES.
If contemporary, the Adams & Company stamped envelopes -- 25c and 50c values on 3c and 6c Nesbitt entires or cut-outs used as adhesives -- must come from the period from 1854 to the collapse of the firm in March 1855. Their rarity could be attributed to the sudden failure of the Adams firm. However, at least one student of the subject has recently argued that these stamped envelopes and cut-outs were created in the 1890's by the notorious forger Wuesthoff. The controversy has not been resolved.
With 2002 P.S.E. certificate. Scott Retail $15,000.00 for No. 1LU4 is shown in the used column.
EXTREMELY FINE. A SUPERB EXAMPLE OF THE PHILADELPHIA DESPATCH POST STRIDING MESSENGER STAMP USED ON COVER. ISSUED IN 1843, THIS IS THE WORLD'S FIRST PICTORIAL STAMP.
Ex Emerson, Hollowbush, Schwartz and Gordon N. John. With 2007 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. A BEAUTIFUL AND RARE USE OF THE 1843 PHILADELPHIA DESPATCH POST "STRIDING MESSENGER" ISSUE -- THE WORLD'S FIRST PICTORIAL STAMP. ESPECIALLY DESIRABLE TIED BY THE RED CIRCULAR DATESTAMP.
Signed "Genuine Robson Lowe". With 2007 .P.F. certificate
THIS IS THE LARGEST SURVIVING MULTIPLE OF THE BROADWAY POST OFFICE STAMP. AN OUTSTANDING EXHIBITION ITEM.
The largest recorded block -- the ex-Jarrett block of 32 -- was divided into eight blocks of four (confirmed by photo). The largest surviving multiple is this block of 25, which was found in a desk during the early 1900's and reported in 1955 by Marie F. Craig, who received the block from her uncle.
Ex Hall. Scott Retail $11,250.00 as blocks of four, pairs and a single
"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).
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. Scott Retail $14,000.00
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. ONLY SIX PRIEST'S 121L6 COVERS ARE RECORDED IN ROTH CENSUS.
The Roth census (Penny Post, January 1994) lists six 121L6 covers, including four in combination with the 3c 1851. With 2007 P.F. certificate
FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF SEVEN RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE RICKETTS & HALL STAMP, OF WHICH ONLY FOUR HAVE THE NAME AND ADDRESS AROUND THE PERIMETER STILL INTACT. ONE OF THE MOST SOUGHT-AFTER OF AMERICAN LOCAL-POST STAMPS.
Denwood N. Kelly provided an excellent overview of what little is known about Ricketts & Hall in his Collectors Club Philatelist series on Baltimore (Vol. 50, No. 6). Stephen Gronowski updated the census of known examples in The Penny Post (Apr. 1994) and Steven M. Roth included the three recorded covers in his February 1997 Baltimore survey (Chronicle 173). A review of our own records (including the Costales and Sloane notes and P.F. files) produced no additional examples or information, and the following information is drawn from the sources noted.
The stamps and advertisements from The Sun (Feb. 10-11, 1857) give the address of Ricketts & Hall as 4 Rechabite Hall, the location of Cook's Dispatch three years earlier (considered by Kelly to be purely coincidental). Several candidates for the proprietors are found in city directories, but nothing is known that directly links any of them to the post. Kelly speculated that John Ricketts, a printer, and Robert Hall, a tailor, were the best choices, given their proximity to 4 Rechabite Hall. The post started in February 1857 (the year appears on the stamp) and probably did not exist more than a few months. The three recorded 127L1 stamps with the surrounding name and address cut away have led to speculation that the post was sold to a new owner, who removed his predecessor's imprint; this is not an unreasonable theory, but no evidence beyond the stamps has been found to support it. If this occurred, it would have to pre-date the May 15, 1857 cover listed below as number 7, which bears a stamp with the outer circle and label cut away.
The Gronowski census is current with seven recorded examples: 1) cut to shape, pencil cancel, ex Caspary, Middendorf, Gronowski collection; 2) cut to shape, pencil cancel, the stamp offered here, ex Ferrary (?--as reported by Sloane), Needham, Hollowbush, Richardson and Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 1459, realized $8,000 hammer); 3) outer circle with name and address cut away, uncancelled, ex Burrus; 4) outer circle with name and address cut away, tied by Baltimore blue datestamp (date?) on piece with 3c 1851, 1991 Park Cities net price sale; 5) cut to shape, uncancelled, used on back of Justice of the Peace corner card cover to George C. Whiting, Comm. of Pensions, Washington D.C., 3c 1851 tied by Baltimore Feb. 17, 1857 datestamp on front of cover, ex Lilly, Boker; 6) the only cut square stamp, pencil cancel, used on cover to Master Hammie Kiplinger, local address, Valentine enclosure, illustrated in Kelly article, whereabouts unknown; and 7) outer circle with name and address cut away, uncancelled, used on front only, 3c Red Nesbitt embossed stamp, Baltimore May 15, 1857 datestamp, to George N. Forney, Hanover Pa., discovered in 1909, ex Hollowbush, Lowe. Therefore, there are only four 127L1's with the outer label intact, including two covers and two off-cover stamps (cut to shape except for one stamp on cover).
Illustrated in Kelly CCP series (Vol. 50, No. 6, p. 358). Sloane notes this stamp as possibly coming from the Ferrary and Needham collections. Ex Hollowbush, Richardson and Golden. With 1999 P.F. certificate. Scott Retail $9,000.00