Sale 1072 — The New Helvetia Collection of Western Expresses

Sale Date — Tuesday, 24 June, 2014

Category — British Columbia and Vancouver Island Mails

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
65
c
Sale 1072, Lot 65, British Columbia and Vancouver Island MailsWells, Fargo & Co. to Hudson Bay Company Territories, October 1858. 3c Dull Red, Ty. III (26), scissors-trimmed perfs, tied by blue "Wells, Fargo & Cos. Express S. Frco. 18 Oct." (1858) large double-circle datestamp on Wells, Fargo & Co. franked cover addressed to "Robert H. Chandler, Fort Yale, Frazer River, Hudson Bay Company Territories"

VERY FINE. AN IMPORTANT COVER, BEING THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF MAIL TO THIS GOLD-MINING REGION DURING THE BRIEF PERIOD AFTER THE HUDSON BAY COMPANY STOPPED HANDLING MAIL IN AUGUST 1858 AND PRIOR TO THE FORMATION OF THE COLONY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA IN NOVEMBER 1858.

The Fraser River gold rush began in 1858 when prospectors from California started arriving in the mining region between Fort Hope and Fort Yale. In response to the discovery of gold and influx of prospectors, the Colony of British Columbia was formed on November 19, 1858. The Hudson Bay Company had been handling mail as a courtesy, but they stopped in August 1858 due to the overwhelming demand. This cover was carried by Wells, Fargo & Co., which operated an express between San Francisco and Victoria via Portland, carrying both mail and shipments of gold. This remarkable cover was carried by Wells, Fargo & Co. to Robert Chandler, purser of the steamboat Enterprise, which operated on the Fraser River. It is the only such express cover reported.

E. 5,000-7,500
8,000
66
c
Sale 1072, Lot 66, British Columbia and Vancouver Island Mails10c Green, Ty. V (35). Positions 52/62L2, vertical pair, deep shade, trivial gum toning around perfs, tied by "San Francisco Cal. Jan. 23, 1860" circular datestamp on 10c Yellow Green on Buff Nesbitt entire (U18a) with Wells, Fargo & Co. red printed frank and blue "VICTORIA/PAID/V.I." Vancouver Island Post Office frank, addressed to Southsea, England, red "19" credit handstamp applied in New York, Portsmouth Mar. 5 receiving backstamp, faint wax seal stain at center

VERY FINE. AN OUTSTANDING WELLS, FARGO & COMPANY EXPRESS USE FROM VANCOUVER ISLAND TO ENGLAND VIA SAN FRANCISCO AND NEW YORK.

Mail from the isolated colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia was almost always routed through the United States, and a significant number of letters were carried by Wells, Fargo & Co. express between Victoria and San Francisco. The red printed frank represents the 25c fee paid to Wells, Fargo & Co. The blue "VICTORIA/PAID/V.I." was applied by the Vancouver Island post office to Wells Fargo entires exclusively, and it indicates that the required 2-1/2p Colonial postage had been paid. The 10c Nesbitt embossed stamp and two 10c 1857 stamps overpay by 1c the 29c rate from the West Coast to England.

This cover was probably carried overland from San Francisco on the Butterfield Route, which departed on January 23, 1860. It reached England during the first few days of March.

Ex Chase, Dale-Lichtenstein and Walske

E. 5,000-7,500
9,500
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67
c
Sale 1072, Lot 67, British Columbia and Vancouver Island MailsWells, Fargo & Co. Victoria Jan. 2 (1864). Blue oval datestamp struck off edge but "Victoria" and date still visible on 3c Pink on Buff entire (U35) with Wells, Fargo & Co. printed frank and blue "Post Office, Victoria V.I." crown oval handstamp indicating 2-1/2p postage paid, carried by Wells Fargo agent entirely outside the mails to San Francisco on PMSS steamer Pacific, pencil Jan. 12, 1864 receipt docketing, Very Fine, exceptionally clear strike of Victoria oval, ex Wilkinson and Walske

E. 400-500
700
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68
c
Sale 1072, Lot 68, British Columbia and Vancouver Island MailsVictoria Post Office. Partly clear oval and "Paid" double-line oval handstamp on blue cover to London, England, via San Francisco and New York, red crayon "58" at lower right indicating double 29c rate paid at Victoria post office, red "San Francisco Cal. Paid Apr. 13, 1860" circular datestamp, red "19" credit handstamp applied at New York where it was treated as a single-rate letter, red London Paid receiving datestamp (May 21), receipt docketing indicates April 7 origin date, small piece of backflap missing, Very Fine, extremely scarce transatlantic use from Vancouver Island, ex Kutz (illustrated in his book Gold Fever) and Walske

E. 1,000-1,500
1,000
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69
c
Sale 1072, Lot 69, British Columbia and Vancouver Island MailsPost Office Victoria, V.I. Burry strike of crown oval handstamp indicating 2-12p postage paid on small cover to Ingersoll, Canada, via San Francisco, bold "San Francisco Cal. Jan. 28, 1862" double-circle datestamp and "15" due rate handstamp, blue "U. States" arc in frame handstamp applied at Detroit exchange office, receiving backstamp, Fine, ex Dale-Lichtenstein and Walske

E. 500-750
600
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70
c
Sale 1072, Lot 70, British Columbia and Vancouver Island Mails3c Rose (65). Socked-on-the-nose cogwheel cancel, matching duplex "San Francisco Cal. Jan. 28, 1864" double-circle datestamp on cover to Virden Ill. originating in mining camp in British Columbia with British Columbia & Vancouver Island, 1860, 2-1/2p Dull Rose (2) tied by "Paid" oval handstamp, struck again to the left, pencil note indicates letter was dated Dec. 6, 1863 (no longer present), red crayon "10" representing U.S. postage paid at origin but overpaid since the rate was lowered to 3c in July 1863 (U.S. 3c stamp applied by GPO in British Columbia correctly prepays rate), "General Post Office, British Columbia, 20 Jan. 1864" double-circle datestamp on back, certificate notes 2-12p has small toned spot and small vertical crease at bottom, as well as light cover soiling

VERY FINE. AN ATTRACTIVE AND EXTREMELY RARE UNITED STATES AND BRITISH COLUMBIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND MIXED FRANKING.

Ex Wilkinson and Walske. With 2004 P.F. certificate

E. 1,500-2,000
850
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71
c
Sale 1072, Lot 71, British Columbia and Vancouver Island Mails12c Black (69). Well-centered, used with 3c Rose (65), identical cogwheel cancels (3c tied), "San Francisco Cal. Jan. 12, 1864" double-circle datestamp on cover from Vancouver Island to Dunnville, Canada, with "Post Office, Victoria, Vancouver Island, Paid" oval handstamp, carried to San Francisco on PMSS Pacific (arr. Jan. 12), then by PMSS Orizaba to Panama, receiving backstamps, slightly reduced at right, lightly soiled, still Very Fine, ex Dale-Lichtenstein and Walske

E. 750-1,000
1,000
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72
c
Sale 1072, Lot 72, British Columbia and Vancouver Island Mails3c Rose (65). Horizontal strip of five, deep rich color, tied by cogwheel cancels, "San Francisco Cal. Mar. 10, 1863" double-circle datestamp on lavender cover from British Columbia to Bowmanville, Canada West, with British Columbia & Vancouver Island, 1860, 2-1/2p Dull Rose (2), wing margin at right, cancelled by Westminster "1" in barred oval handstamp (tied by cogwheel), "Paid" in oval handstamp, red crayon "15" indicating 15c U.S. postage prepaid at origin, "General Post Office, British Columbia, Mar. 4, 1863" and Bowmanville Apr. 6 datestamps on back, 3c stamps small tears at top and one affected from placement at edge of cover, 2-1/2p stamp nicked at bottom and small faults

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE MIXED FRANKING OF UNITED STATES AND BRITISH COLUMBIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND STAMPS ON A COVER ORIGINATING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA AND SENT TO CANADA VIA SAN FRANCISCO, PANAMA AND NEW YORK.

The 2-1/2p stamp paid the British Colonial postage, and the red crayon "15" indicated that U.S. postage was fully paid. The 3c 1861 stamps were affixed in Victoria, and the cover was carried to San Francisco on the PMSS Pacific. After cancelling the U.S. stamps, the San Francisco post office bagged the cover for transport to New York via Panama. It reached its final destination in Canada on April 6.

Ex Wellburn, Mitchell, Wilkinson and Walske.

E. 4,000-5,000
3,250
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73
c
Sale 1072, Lot 73, British Columbia and Vancouver Island Mails10c Yellow Green (68). Deep rich color, tied by cogwheel cancel, partly clear "San Francisco Cal. Mar. 4" (1867) double-circle datestamp on cover from Williams Creek to Aylmer, Canada, with provisionally re-issued strip of three of British Columbia & Vancouver Island, 1860, 2-1/2p Dull Rose (2), scissors-trimmed perfs, cancelled by two strikes of Williams Creek "10" barred oval, Williams Creek "PAID" handstamp and red manuscript "10" indicating U.S. postage paid, blue "General Post Office, British Columbia, 25 Feb. 1867" double-circle datestamp on back, Aylmer Apr. 5 receiving backstamp

VERY FINE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE MIXED FRANKING AND USE OF THE BRITISH COLUMBIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND 2-1/2 PENCE 1860 ISSUE AFTER IT WAS RE-ISSUED PROVISIONALLY IN SEPTEMBER 1866 AT 6-1/4 CENTS PER STAMP DURING A SHORTAGE OF 1865 ISSUE STAMPS.

The British Columbia & Vancouver Island 2-1/2p stamps issued in 1860 were sold by some British Columbia post offices for 3p per stamp in July 1864 and for 6-1/4c per stamp in September 1866, during periods when the current issues were unavailable. This cover from Williams Creek in the Cariboo mining region was prepaid with the strip of three 2-1/2p (18-3/4c Cariboo rate) and 10c cash for U.S. postage. At Westminster the U.S. 10c 1861 stamp was affixed, and it was cancelled in San Francisco on March 4.

Ex Wilkinson and Walske.

E. 4,000-5,000
4,250
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74
c
Sale 1072, Lot 74, British Columbia and Vancouver Island Mails10c Yellow Green (68). Cancelled by pen strokes, used on cover from Vancouver Island with British Columbia & Vancouver Island, 1867, 2c on 3p Brown (8), horizontal pair, tied by one of two strikes of "Victoria B.C. Jan. 25, 1869" circular datestamp, addressed to Pomfret Vt., all stamps applied at origin, carried by steamer Eliza to Port Townsend, Washington Territory, overland via Sacramento and central overland to Vermont, Mar. 15 receipt docketing, with original letter enclosure dated at Victoria Jan. 23, stamps have faults including some margin defects, cover soiled and worn around edges, small tear at bottom

A FINE APPEARING AND EXTREMELY RARE MIXED FRANKING WITH THE UNITED STATES 1861 ISSUE AND "TWO CENTS" SURCHARGED BRITISH COLUMBIA 1867 ISSUE.

The two 2c British Columbia stamps underpay by 1c the 5c rate, but apparently the deficiency was ignored, paid in cash or possibly the stamps were sold for 5c. The 10c 1861 stamp fully prepaid U.S. postage. Walske reported this as the only known U.S. mixed franking with the "Two Cents" stamps issued for the newspaper rate in British Columbia. However, there is at least one other cover known (a single used with three 2c 1869 stamps).

Ex Wilkinson and Walske. With 2001 Vincent Graves Greene certificate

E. 1,500-2,000
4,250
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75
c
Sale 1072, Lot 75, British Columbia and Vancouver Island MailsBRITISH COLUMBIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND, 1865, 5c Rose, 10c Blue (5, 6). Two pairs of 5c, used with single 10c, tied by perfectly clear strike of blue "Post Office, Victoria, Vancouver Island, Paid" oval handstamp on small cover to Peterborough, England, "Victoria B.C. Oct. 22, 1868" circular datestamp on back, red London Paid (Dec. 13) datestamp and Peterborough Dec. 14 receiving backstamp, right stamp in lower 5c pair has vertical pre-use crease

VERY FINE. AN OUTSTANDING AND RARE VANCOUVER ISLAND FRANKING FOR THE 30-CENT RATE TO ENGLAND.

This was prepaid under the rates established in April 1867 and carried between Victoria and San Francisco by the California, Oregon & Mexico Steam Ship Company under contract.

Ex Wilkinson and Walske

E. 3,000-4,000
5,000
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76
c
Sale 1072, Lot 76, British Columbia and Vancouver Island MailsGREAT BRITAIN, 1856-58, 1p Rose Red, 2p Deep Blue, 1sh Green (20, 28, 29a). Three-color combination tied by "London - W, MR 5 60" duplex datestamp and oval grid on blue cover to Victoria, Vancouver Island, sent to British Consul in San Francisco who arranged for transport to Victoria, prepaid for 1sh 2-1/2p rate to California (equivalent to 29c), backflap removed, Fine, scarce use, ex Walske

E. 400-500
350
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