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Sale 1005 — The New Amsterdam Collection of City Despatch Post

Sale Date — Wednesday, 2 March, 2011

Category — 1847 Cummings & Wrights Post Office City Despatch

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
260
 
Sale Number 1005, Lot Number 260, 1847 Cummings & Wrights Post Office City Despatch(Cummings and Wright) Post Office City Despatch, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Green Glazed, Manuscript "Cummings & Wright" Overprint (40L2 var), (Cummings and Wright) Post Office City Despatch, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Green Glazed, Manuscript "Cummings & Wright" Overprint (40L2 var)(Cummings and Wright) Post Office City Despatch, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Green Glazed, Manuscript "Cummings & Wright" Overprint (40L2 var). Mostly huge margins, ample at top, cancelled by part of red New York integral-rate circular datestamp, bold manuscript overprint, slightly thinned, horizontal crease at top

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF TWO RECORDED EXAMPLES OF MEAD'S 2-CENT STAMP WITH THE CUMMINGS & WRIGHT OVERPRINT -- THE ONLY ONE WITH THE NAMES FULLY SPELLED OUT. AN UNLISTED AND SIGNIFICANT ISSUE IN THE SEQUENCE OF OWNERSHIP OF THE CITY DESPATCH POST.

Abraham B. Mead took over the former U.S. City Despatch Post in November 1846 and had stamps printed from the altered plate ("Three" changed to "Two" cents) by Rawdon, Wright & Hatch on Dec. 5-6, 1846. About one year later (probably October-November 1847), Charles Cole acquired the post, and, by January 27, 1848, he issued stamps printed from the Mead plate with "CC" initials engraved or etched into each subject.

The existence of Mead stamps with the Cummings & Wright overprint was for many years the only available evidence suggesting that ownership of the City Despatch Post Office might have changed hands prior to the sale to Cole. Thomas C. Mazza, in his "Cummings' City Post Redux" Collectors Club Philatelist article (Sep.-Oct. 1995), revealed a new and documentary form of evidence: a receipt dated May 15, 1847, from the "P.O. City Despatch" signed "Cummings & Wright, Proprietors". Through the 1847-48 city directory, it has been established that Cummings was Alfred H. Cummings and Wright was Robert Wright, and that the two operated the Post Office City Despatch from 42-1/2 Nassau Street. Covers are known that bear Cummings' City Post stamps in combination with the "P.O. City Despatch Post" and "Free" markings used by Mead, dated as early as March 25, 1847. The overprinted stamps, the Cummings/P.O. City Despatch covers, together with the Mazza receipt discovery, are solid evidence that Cummings and Wright were the successors to Abraham Mead, probably beginning in March 1847 and ending by November 1847.

The Scott Catalogue lists overprinted stamps such as Blood's "D.O.B. & Co." on Philadelphia Despatch Post (15L4), "Bouton" on Franklin City Despatch Post (16L1a) and "Swarts" on Bouton (136L13). The Cummings & Wright overprints should be listed in the Scott Catalogue. The two recorded examples are the off-cover stamp offered here and a cover with the "C&W" manuscript overprint on a Mead 40L2 stamp.

Signed Sloane. Ex Patton and Golden (Sale 817, lot 999, realized $4,000 hammer). With 2000 P.F. certificate

E. 3,000-4,000
2,500
261
c
Sale Number 1005, Lot Number 261, 1847 Cummings & Wrights Post Office City Despatch(Cummings and Wright) Post Office City Despatch, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Green Glazed (40L2), (Cummings and Wright) Post Office City Despatch, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Green Glazed (40L2)(Cummings and Wright) Post Office City Despatch, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Green Glazed (40L2). Position 26, huge margins all around, brilliant color, tied by vivid red "Free" in frame, second strike and matching "P.O. City Despatch Post Mar. 25, 4 O'Clock" circular datestamp on 1847 folded prices-current list from Glasgow, Scotland, to local New York City address, Extremely Fine, this March 25, 1847, use of the Mead 40L2 stamp falls into the Cummings and Wright period, this is one of the finest 40L2 covers in existence and shows the use of the Post Office City Despatch to deliver transatlantic mail that was brought into New York City outside the regular mails to save money, ex Hall, with 2001 P.F. certificate

E. 750-1,000
750
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262
c
Sale Number 1005, Lot Number 262, 1847 Cummings & Wrights Post Office City Despatch(Cummings and Wright) Post Office City Despatch, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Green Glazed (40L2), (Cummings and Wright) Post Office City Despatch, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Green Glazed (40L2)(Cummings and Wright) Post Office City Despatch, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Green Glazed (40L2). Position 21, huge margins all around, brilliant color, cancelled by red "Free" in frame (impression ties thru paper), second strike and matching "P.O. City Despatch Post Mar. 12, 4 O'Clock" circular datestamp on 1847 buff cover to local New York City address, couple vertical folds clear of stamp, Extremely Fine, this March 12, 1847, cover is the earliest with the double strike of "Free", which is indicative of the change in ownership from Mead to Cummings & Wright

E. 400-500
475
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263
 
Sale Number 1005, Lot Number 263, 1847 Cummings & Wrights Post Office City Despatch(Cummings and Wright) Post Office City Despatch, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Green Glazed (40L2), (Cummings and Wright) Post Office City Despatch, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Green Glazed (40L2)(Cummings and Wright) Post Office City Despatch, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Green Glazed (40L2). Full to large margins, manuscript "C&P" initials similar to the "C&W" initials indicating ownership of the City Despatch Post by Cummings and Wright after Mead's departure, a few other ink spots, small faults, otherwise Fine, this stamp only recently came to light after having been hidden in an album since the 1930's

E. 300-400
325
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264
c
Sale Number 1005, Lot Number 264, 1847 Cummings & Wrights Post Office City DespatchCummings' City Post, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Yellow Glazed (55L3), Cummings' City Post, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Yellow Glazed (55L3)Cummings' City Post, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Yellow Glazed (55L3). Large margins to just in, cancelled by "Free" in frame, second strike to right of stamp, used on folded letter to local street address, red "P.O. City Despatch Post Mar. 25, 4 O'Clock" circular datestamp, stamp with surface rubs

VERY FINE. ONE OF TWO RECORDED COVERS SHOWING USE OF THE CUMMINGS' CITY POST STAMP IN CONJUNCTION WITH POST OFFICE CITY DESPATCH MARKINGS, WHICH OCCURRED AFTER CUMMINGS AND WRIGHT TOOK OVER THE CITY DESPATCH FROM ABRAHAM MEAD.

Abraham B. Mead operated the "Post Office City Despatch" only briefly after buying it from the New York carrier department on November 30, 1846. A "P.O. City Despatch" receipt dated May 15, 1847, is signed by "Cummings & Wright, Proprietors", so we know for certain that Alfred H. Cummings and Robert Wright bought out Mead by that date. The cover offered here, with the Cummings' City Post stamp used with Post Office City Despatch markings dated in March 1847, is evidence that Cummings and Wright took over by then.

Ex Geisler. With 2009 P.F. certificate

E. 1,500-2,000
1,200
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265
c
Sale Number 1005, Lot Number 265, 1847 Cummings & Wrights Post Office City Despatch(Cummings and Wright) Post Office City Despatch, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Pink Glazed (40L3), (Cummings and Wright) Post Office City Despatch, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Pink Glazed (40L3)(Cummings and Wright) Post Office City Despatch, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Pink Glazed (40L3). Position 36, phenomenally huge margins including right sheet margin, cancelled by light strike of black "Free" in frame, used on undated folded cover (with letter written on inside) to Baltimore street address, red "New-York 5 Cts. 13 Dec." (1847) integral-rate circular datestamp, worn at edges, someone tried to cut out upper left corner of cover where the stamp is affixed, but this has been rejoined with paper tape on the inside -- as foolish as this attempt to remove the stamp was, it helps to authenticate the usage (see lot 298 for another cover from this correspondence)

EXTREMELY FINE STAMP -- WITHOUT QUESTION THE FINEST OF THE TWELVE RECORDED EXAMPLES OF 40L3 -- AND ONE OF FOUR RECORDED COVERS. THIS IS THE LATEST RECORDED USE OF THE POST OFFICE CITY DESPATCH 2-CENT BEFORE COLE BEGAN ISSUING HIS OWN STAMPS AT THE BEGINNING OF 1848.

The Post Office City Despatch was operated by former government letter carrier Abraham B. Mead from November 30, 1846, until shortly after the 1847 Valentine season. By March 1847 the post was owned and managed by Cummings & Wright. Sometime in October-November 1847, the post's ownership changed again, and Charles Cole became the proprietor. The 2c on Pink glazed paper (Scott 40L3) was first issued by Cummings & Wright (the earliest documented use is May 15, 1847 -- see Sale 830, lot 567). Examples cancelled in red were probably used during the Cummings & Wright period, while the use of black ink probably signifies the change in ownership to Cole (October-November 1847). The Pink 40L3 stamp is very rare, with approximately twelve known, including four on covers, of which only two are confirmed genuine uses. The four are listed here: 1) May 15, 1847 folded letter, red "P.O. City Despatch Post" datestamp and "Free" in frame, to Dr. Joslin, 7 Amity St., ex Ferrary, Needham, Caspary, Hall; 2) Aug. 31, 1847, New York datestamp on dated folded letter to Philadelphia, black "Free" cancel on stamp (not tied), PFC as genuine stamp but decline opinion as to usage, ex Sheriff (Siegel Sale 665); 3) Nov. 26 (1847) New York datestamp on cover to Newburgh N.Y., "Free" cancel (red or black?), not tied, ex Needham; and 4) Dec. 13 (1847) New York datestamp on folded cover to Baltimore, black "Free" cancel (not tied), cut out and replaced, the cover offered here, ex Ackerman, Hall.

Ex Ackerman and Hall. With 2001 P.F. certificate

E. 3,000-4,000
2,600
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266
 
Sale Number 1005, Lot Number 266, 1847 Cummings & Wrights Post Office City Despatch(Cummings and Wright) Post Office City Despatch, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Pink Glazed (40L3), (Cummings and Wright) Post Office City Despatch, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Pink Glazed (40L3)(Cummings and Wright) Post Office City Despatch, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Pink Glazed (40L3). Large margins, lightly cancelled by black "Free" in frame, two minute pinholes and tiny thin speck, truly negligible flaws considering the rarity of 40L3

EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE STAMP AMONG THE VARIOUS SCOTT-LISTED ISSUES PRODUCED FROM THE ORIGINAL CITY DESPATCH POST PLATE. APPROXIMATELY TWELVE KNOWN, THIS BEING ONE OF THE FINEST KNOWN.

The Post Office City Despatch was operated by former government letter carrier Abraham B. Mead from November 30, 1846, until shortly after the 1847 Valentine season. By March 1847 the post was owned and managed by Cummings & Wright. Sometime in October-November 1847, the post's ownership changed again, and Charles Cole became the proprietor. The 2c on Pink glazed paper (Scott 40L3) was first issued by Cummings & Wright (the earliest documented use is May 15, 1847 -- see Sale 830, lot 567). Examples cancelled in red were probably used during the Cummings & Wright period, while the use of black ink probably signifies the change in ownership to Cole (October-November 1847). The Pink 40L3 stamp is very rare, with approximately twelve known, including four on covers. We have not offered an example since the 2000 Hall sale.

Illustrated on the cover of The City Despatch Post 1842-1852 Issues. Ex Hall. With 2001 P.F. certificate

2,250
2,600
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267
 
Sale Number 1005, Lot Number 267, 1847 Cummings & Wrights Post Office City DespatchCummings' City Post, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Rose Glazed (55L1), Cummings' City Post, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Rose Glazed (55L1)Cummings' City Post, New York N.Y., 2c Black on Rose Glazed (55L1). Enormous margins all around -- possibly a left sheet-margin position -- manuscript "#" cancel, faint trace of red cancel at bottom right, minor abraded spot in top margin, otherwise Extremely Fine, the paper used for this stamp and the Post Office City Despatch 40L3 issued by Cummings & Wright are identical, the distinctive Cummings 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, and Middendorf the same -- ex Hall, with 2001 P.F. certificate not noting faults and showing stamp on cover on which it did not originate

1,000
1,400
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