AN IMPORTANT COLLECTION OF 1918 AIR POST ISSUE COVERS.
57 covers mounted on annotated exhibit pages, a wonderful range of flights and frankings from the earliest U.S. government airmail routes, the collection starts with four covers carried on the famous May 15-16 First U.S. Government Flight,
each with 24c No. C3 -- the true First Air Post Issue -- including May 15 Washington DC-New York northbound flight by Lieut. Boyle, who flew in the wrong direction and crashed-landed in a field near Waldorf Md., the flight was completed the following day (one cover to NYC with black "May/15/1918/First Trip" duplex, received May 16; other to Kansas via Phila. with same duplex in purple tying a stamp with vignette shifted strongly to left that almost qualifies as a "Fast Plane" variety), before the second attempt more mail was added to the flight (one cover to NYC with black "May/16/1918" Washington duplex, stamp with wide left half-arrow selvage), and finally a May 15 successfully completed flight cover northbound from Phila. to NYC with bold "First Trip" datestamp and May 15 receiving backstamp; the collection continues with the 24c Airmail Rate Period
(May 15-Jul. 13) represented by six 24c No. C3 covers, including Jun. 3 experimental flight Washington DC to Boston via New York (AAMC 103) to Dr. Alexander Graham Bell in Boston (cut-down legal-size cover), two covers flown Jun. 9 Boston to New York First Flight (AAMC 105, Jun. 9 scarce date) with special large circular datestamp (one signed by Lt. Torrey H. Webb), one cover with special "Air Mail/New York to/Columbia Country Club/Washington/June 15, 1918" boxed datestamp and Red Cross label on back (very rare, AAMC 106, value $1,000.00), Jul. 10 flown postcard from Washington DC to Brazil via NYC with additional 2c stamp (flown cards with No. C3 are very scarce), finally a last day of 24c rate
cover with Jul. 13 New York duplex (Jul. 14 was a Sunday without flights, Jul. 15 was the first day of 16c rate), Phila. receiving backstamp and "Over There" cachet; the 16c Airmail Rate Period
(Jul. 15-Dec. 14) comprises 18 covers, including four No. C2 Jul. 15 First Day of Rate
covers carried on different routes (Washington-NYC, Washington-Phila., NYC-Washington and Phila.-Washington), also Jul. 15 Washington-Phila. cover overpaid with 24c No. C3 and "Help Humble the Hun" WWI anti-German label showing biplanes dropping bombs, and another Jul. 15 Phila.-NYC registered cover with No. C3 and 10c Parcel Post (rare franking), balance of 16c Rate Period covers include No. C3 overpaid to Ireland with "Over There" cachet, No. C2 on two covers flown on Sep. 5 "pathfinder" flight from New York to Chicago (AAMC 108b) with New York flight duplex and special oval cachet, another from same flight postmarked at Cleveland (AAMC108d), return flight postmarked Chicago (three AAMC 109) and one postmarked Lock Haven (AAMC 109c), No. C2 on two covers with New York duplex and Newark N.J. datestamp (experimental airfield), No. C3 Roessler "Winged Letters" illustrated cover to Holland with censor label on back, finally Nov. 11, 1918 Armistice Day flight cover prepared by Philip H. Ward Jr.; the 6c Airmail Rate Period
(Special Delivery no longer mandatory) commences with three rare No. C1 Dec. 16 First Day of Rate
covers with Washington DC, New York and Phila. duplexes -- a remarkable complete representation of the three major cities with Scott value of $2,000.00 each -- followed by a Dec. 17 Second Day postcard, three covers with No. C2 paying 6c rate plus 10c Special Delivery fee, six covers from the May 3-10, 1919 Macon Ga.-Montgomery Ala.-Atlanta Ga. flights (AAMC 115a, 115b, 115c, 115f two, 115f/g only recorded combination), three No. C1 flown covers with 1919-dated duplex datestamps (Washington Jan. 16, Phila. Jan. 1 and Jul. 18, one to AEF in France); balance of 12 covers comprising Nos. C1-C3 on registered and flown mail, such as AAMC 121 (only 134 flown, value $200.00), AAMC 131, AEF Postal Express Service (two covers, Nos. C1 and C3, not flown), two "Complete Set" 6c-24c registered covers (not flown but scarce, 24c on one has shifted vignette almost qualifying as "Fast Plane"), registered cover with 24c and 20c Parcel Post (two earliest U.S. stamps to depict a plane), registered cover to Germany with German stamps for Bremen-Berlin airmail, No. C3 on three later first flight covers; condition is overall excellent, some with minor folds or small stamp flaws
A RARE OPPORTUNITY TO ACQUIRE AN OUTSTANDING COLLECTION OF COVERS BEARING THE FIRST UNITED STATES AIR POST ISSUES, INCLUDING EXAMPLES OF THE MAY 15-16 FIRST U.S. GOVERNMENT FLIGHT, SCARCE FIRST DAYS OF THE 16-CENT AND 6-CENT RATES, AND AN ARRAY OF COVERS REFLECTING THE EARLY YEARS OF GOVERNMENT POSTAL AVIATION IN AMERICA.
As we approach the 100th anniversary of U.S. government airmail service, the significance of covers from this early era of aviation increases. This is one of the largest collections of the subject ever offered intact at auction. It will provide the buyer with a foothold in collecting with ample room for expansion.
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