Sale 1072 — The New Helvetia Collection of Western Expresses

Sale Date — Tuesday, 24 June, 2014

Category — Western Expresses: Thompson & Co. thru Wine & Co.

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
22
c
Sale 1072, Lot 22, Western Expresses: Thompson & Co. thru Wine & Co.Thompson & Co.'s and Wells, Fargo & Co.'s California Routes. Printed frank (Haller FT4) on 3c Red on Buff Nesbitt entire (U10) to David McKay in San Francisco, partly clear "Thompson & Cos. Express Healdsburg" oval handstamp (in Wells, Fargo & Co. style), blue "Wells, Fargo & Co. Express Petaluma" oval handstamp, backflap removed, small ink stain at bottom edge

VERY FINE. ONE OF THREE EXAMPLES OF THE THOMPSON & COMPANY FRANK KNOWN TO US.

This express was established by James H. Thompson in July 1857 and operated very briefly between Petaluma and Healdsburg via Santa Rosa, Bodega and Geysers Springs. As the frank clearly states, Thompson & Co. operated in close conjunction with Wells, Fargo & Company. Three franked entires are known, all addressed to David McKay in San Francisco with slightly different markings. This cover and another were in the Dale-Lichtenstein sales (Parts 1 and 2); the other has Thompson Santa Rosa and Wells Fargo Petaluma ovals (in comparable condition). The third cover has only the Thompson Healdsburg oval.

Ex Dale-Lichtenstein and Risvold.

E. 2,000-3,000
4,000
23
c
Sale 1072, Lot 23, Western Expresses: Thompson & Co. thru Wine & Co.Todd & Co. Express. Clear strike of fancy shield handstamp and "From San Francisco" straightline on cover to Carson's Creek, sender's directive "By Todd & Co's Express", Very Fine, this early Todd & Co. marking is very scarce, ex Haas

E. 500-750
400
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24
c
Sale 1072, Lot 24, Western Expresses: Thompson & Co. thru Wine & Co.Todd & Bryan's Express. Clear strike of shield handstamp with manuscript "2" (probably $2 express fee) on blue 1850 folded letter to San Francisco, faint strike of "East Thomaston Me. Feb. 1" circular datestamp, manuscript "40" rate, minor toning and slight wear along folds, Very Fine, sent by railroad to New York, carried to Chagres on USMSC Ohio (dep. Feb. 13, arr. Mar. 9), then by PMSS Tennessee from Panama to San Francisco (dep. Mar. 23, arr. Apr. 14), Todd & Bryan's Express carried the letter to the Southern Mines, this rare "Todd & Bryan" shield marking comes from the partnership between Alexander H. Todd and Benjamin Bryan, which existed for months only, from late 1849 until July 1850, ex Vogel and Walske

E. 1,000-1,500
1,500
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25
c
Sale 1072, Lot 25, Western Expresses: Thompson & Co. thru Wine & Co.Forwarded by Todd's Express, San Francisco. Clear strikes of blue oval and "NOT PAID" double-line frame handstamps on buff cover to Tuttletown Cal. "near Sonora", couple insignificant edge spots, Very Fine, this express was operated by C. A. Todd (no relation to the other expressman named Alexander Todd), who bought out Reynolds, Todd & Co. in April 1853 and ran it under his own name until he sold out to Wells, Fargo & Co. five months later in September 1853, Todd's Express carried mail by steamer between San Francisco and Stockton, and ran daily stages from Stockton to the mines along the Moquelumne and Stanislaus Rivers, this cover was carried by Todd from San Francisco to Stockton, then farther west to Sonora and Tuttletown, illustrated in Coburn Letters of Gold, ex Haas and Edwards

E. 500-750
550
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26
c
Sale 1072, Lot 26, Western Expresses: Thompson & Co. thru Wine & Co.Wells, Fargo & Cos. Express Benicia. Full strike of double-line oval handstamp and bold "FREE" in double-line oval handstamp on small cover neatly addressed to T. Evershed in San Francisco with free frank "Hubert, Assembly" by California State Assemblyman Henry Hubert, directed "Per Wells, Fargo & Cos. Express" and "At the Surveyor General's office on Kearney Street near Washington", small piece of backflap missing, still Very Fine, scarce example of mail carried free by Wells, Fargo & Co. as a courtesy to a local politician

E. 500-750
900
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27
c
Sale 1072, Lot 27, Western Expresses: Thompson & Co. thru Wine & Co.Wells, Fargo & Cos. Express Sacramento. Blue double-line oval handstamp on blue Sep. 15, 1852 folded letter to San Francisco, light file fold, Very Fine, ex Clifford and Kramer

E. 300-400
550
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28
c
Sale 1072, Lot 28, Western Expresses: Thompson & Co. thru Wine & Co.3c Dull Red, Ty. II (11A). Ample margins to slightly in, small scissors-cut in bottom right margin, "W.F. & CO." Wells, Fargo & Co. blue precancel, red "Wells, Fargo & Co. Express Sacramento" oval handstamp on circa 1854 buff cover to editor of California Farmer in San Francisco, couple stain spots at right, small piece of backflap missing, otherwise Fine, very rare example of the 3c 1851 used on a Wells, Fargo & Co. cover to comply with the January 1854 U.S. Post Office Dept. order requiring postage to be paid on all mail, the conversion to postal stationery entires occurred shortly thereafter, but precancelled stamps were used briefly in 1854 (ten examples reported), ex Vogel and Walske, with 1981 P.F. certificate

E. 1,000-1,500
1,700
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29
c
Sale 1072, Lot 29, Western Expresses: Thompson & Co. thru Wine & Co.Wells, Fargo & Co. Express Steamboat. Blue oval handstamp on buff cover to San Francisco, faint pencil "Paid Kelly", both the handstamp and the pencil marking were applied by the Wells, Fargo & Co. express agent on board a PMSS steamer bound for San Francisco, John J. Kelly is listed in Wells, Fargo & Co. advertisements as their "regular messenger" on PMSS steamers operating between San Francisco and Panama in 1852 and 1853, this marking was previously thought to have been applied to mail carried on steamboats on the American River, it is now correctly identified as a PMSS steamer marking, Very Fine, ex Barkhausen and Clifford

E. 500-750
500
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30
c
Sale 1072, Lot 30, Western Expresses: Thompson & Co. thru Wine & Co.3c Dull Red, Ty. I (11). Ample to large margins at sides, in at top and bottom, tied by clear strike of blue "Wells, Fargo & Co. Express Steamboat" in ornamental frame handstamp on buff cover to Sacramento, 1854 use after U.S. Post Office Dept. issued order requiring that U.S. postage be paid on express mail but before conversion to postal stationery, backflap removed, light scoring lines on cover (one touches stamp), otherwise Very Fine, this Wells, Fargo & Co. handstamp was used on mail carried on steamboats on the Sacramento River, ex Lichtenstein and Baker, with 1993 P.F. certificate

E. 1,000-1,500
2,700
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31
c
Sale 1072, Lot 31, Western Expresses: Thompson & Co. thru Wine & Co.Wells, Fargo & Co. Haller Ty. WF-B frank on 3c Red on Buff Nesbitt entire (U10) to San Francisco, sender's notation "with a package $4" and "Mr. A. C. Manning Please deliver" authorizing Wells, Fargo & Co. to deliver for an additional fee, small stain at upper right, otherwise Very Fine

E. 200-300
110
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32
c
Sale 1072, Lot 32, Western Expresses: Thompson & Co. thru Wine & Co.3c Dull Red, Ty. II (11A). Large margins to clear at bottom, tied by blue "COLLECT" double-line frame handstamp, matching "Wells, Fargo & Cos. Express S. Frco. 26 Mar." double-circle datestamp on 3c Red on Buff Nesbitt entire (U10) to San Jose with Wells, Fargo & Co. printed frank, circa 1857, couple tiny tears at top, otherwise Very Fine, scarce use of 3c 1851 to pay additional postage on double-rate entire, ex Walske

E. 400-500
250
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33
c
Sale 1072, Lot 33, Western Expresses: Thompson & Co. thru Wine & Co.Wells, Fargo & Co. San Jose, Oct. 28 (1869). Blue oval datestamp on 3c Pink on Buff entire (U59) with Wells Fargo & Co. printed frank to street address in Philadelphia, clear strike of "Union Pacific R.R. Nov. 1" route agent's circular datestamp, Phildelphia receiving backstamp, neatly docketed, Very Fine, carried by Wells, Fargo & Co. on Central Pacific R.R. from San Jose to Cheyenne, given to route agent on Union Pacific R.R. for transport east

E. 500-750
350
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34
c
Sale 1072, Lot 34, Western Expresses: Thompson & Co. thru Wine & Co.Wines & Co.'s Express. Fully readable strike of straightline handstamp and clearly struck "Republica de Nicaragua, Admon de Correos de Granada" double-oval handstamp on circa 1856 blue folded cover to Christian Russ, in care of Adolphus Russ, San Francisco, edges slightly age-bleached, reinforced along folds with hinges

A FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE EXAMPLE OF MAIL SENT FROM A MEMBER OF WILLIAM WALKER'S FILIBUSTERING CAMPAIGN IN NICARAGUA AND CARRIED BY G. H. WINES EXPRESS.

G. H. Wines & Co.'s Express, founded in 1855, provided service from San Francisco to Sacramento, where they connected with Rhodes & Whitney's Express to serve the mines. The company also became involved with the Accessory Transit Company's steamship operation (the Vanderbilt Line) to provide coast-to-coast service via Nicaragua. Their agent, J. A. Ruggles, was appointed postmaster of Nicaragua after William Walker became president of Nicaragua in 1856, following his invasion of that country. Walker's private residence was located in the Wines Express office in Granada (El Nicaraguense, May 31, 1856). After Walker's defeat by allied Central American and British forces, the company was disbanded in 1857.

The addressee, Charles Christian Russ, was born in Saxony, Germany, in 1795 and died in San Francisco in June 1857. His son, Adolphus Gustave Russ, was also born in Germany and succeeded his father in business, becoming one of the wealthiest citizens of San Francisco (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cagha/biographies/r/russ-adolphus.txt ). This letter might have been sent by a friend or member of the family, who was accompanying Walker on his expedition to Nicaragua.

Very few examples of the Wines & Co. express markings are known on mail from Nicaragua. This is one of three reported from one of Walker's men, and the only one addressed to San Francisco.

Ex Berthold, Dale-Lichtenstein and Walske

E. 3,000-4,000
3,250
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