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Sale 1106 — 2015 Rarities of the World

Sale Date — Thursday, 25 June, 2015

Category — Western Mails: Mining

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
3047
 
Sale Number 1106, Lot Number 3047, Western Mails: MiningJohn A. Sutter, John A. SutterJohn A. Sutter. Gold rush pioneer, autograph document stating "The bearer of this is authorized to receive my letters and newspapers from the Post and Express Offices. Hock Farm March 1th 1862" and signed "J. A. Sutter", with paper label at bottom "This order was given to William B. Latham a Pioneer of 1849, by General John A. Sutter", with rubber backstamp of William C. Latham, who presumably received this as part of his family's papers, Very Fine, a scarce item, despite Sutter's involvement with the gold rush he had trouble with his personal finances and was in financial straits for most of his life

E. 1,500-2,000
1,900
3048
c
Sale Number 1106, Lot Number 3048, Western Mails: Mining5c Orange Brown, Ty. II (30), 5c Orange Brown, Ty. II (30)5c Orange Brown, Ty. II (30). Used with two 1c and 3c 1857 Issue stamps, stamps with most of perfs trimmed off by sender, cancelled by penstrokes, "Oregon House June 11" manuscript postmark on cover to Mt. Carmel Ill. with "Prospecting Miners" illustrated blue cameo corner card, no imprint but probably produced by Eaves of New York City, bold "DUE 10" handstamp also ties 3c and 5c, slightly reduced at right, some edge faults and some restoration, a rare and colorful use which was short paid due to weight, ex Knapp and Wiltsee

E. 2,000-3,000
1,300
Back to Top
3049
c
Sale Number 1106, Lot Number 3049, Western Mails: MiningSacramento City Cal. Jul. 15, Sacramento City Cal. Jul. 15Sacramento City Cal. Jul. 15. Neat strike of circular datestamp with "10" rate handstamp on buff cover to Fort Madison Iowa with "Prospecting Miners" illustrated blue cameo corner card, no imprint but probably produced by Eaves of New York City, some wear including sealed tear at left not affecting design, Fine, a very rare design, ex Dr. H. K. Thompson (Paige auction of Dec. 6, 1957) and our 1980 auction Sale 556

E. 1,000-1,500
750
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3050
c
Sale Number 1106, Lot Number 3050, Western Mails: Mining3c Dull Red, Ty. I (11), 3c Dull Red, Ty. I (11)3c Dull Red, Ty. I (11). Huge margins to just in at top right including part of adjoining stamp at left, tied by "San Francisco Cal. 26 May" circular datestamp on buff cover to Nevada Cal. with "Long Tom" illustrated miner's design depicting miners working a sluice box, barely reduced at right, Very Fine, an attractive and scarce design, according to Kutz in Gold Fever: "The early miners formed syndicates and worked as a group using 'Long Toms' to extract the gold. In essence it was an elongated sluice box with riffles or sacking in the bottom to catch the gold. A continuous current of water washed the gravel through the Long Tom, leaving the contained gold behind." Only a half-dozen examples of this design are reported by Kutz (with and without Noisy Carrier imprint), ex Knapp, Jessup, Haas, Kutz and Jarrett

E. 2,000-3,000
1,500
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3051
c
Sale Number 1106, Lot Number 3051, Western Mails: Mining1c Blue, Ty. IV, 3c Dull Red, Ty. II (9, 11A), 1c Blue, Ty. IV, 3c Dull Red, Ty. II (9, 11A)1c Blue, Ty. IV, 3c Dull Red, Ty. II (9, 11A). Horizontal strip of 3c, large margins to just in, cancelled by "Santa Clara Cal. Oct. 19" manuscript postmark on buff cover to Plushville Ind. with Noisy Carrier's illustrated miner's corner card depicting miner panning for gold, his exclamation “I have got most enough” is crossed out, with "Noisy Carrier’s, No. 77 Long Wharf, San Francisco" imprint, woodcut has “Anthony & Baker” imprint, missing part of top flap, some edgewear

VERY FINE. A PHENOMENAL USE OF THE RARE "I HAVE GOT MOST ENOUGH" ILLUSTRATED MINER'S COVER PUBLISHED BY NOISY CARRIER'S.

The sender's crossing out the "I have got most enough" is a poignant statement on the mentality of most gold miners. We have offered only one other example of this design (with a single 10c, Scott 16) since keeping computerized records.

E. 4,000-5,000
3,250
Back to Top
3052
c
Sale Number 1106, Lot Number 3052, Western Mails: Mining"Moons Ranch Cal. Feb. 8th 1855", "Moons Ranch Cal. Feb. 8th 1855""Moons Ranch Cal. Feb. 8th 1855". Manuscript postmark with matching "Paid 6" on cover to Springfield Ill. with "Rocking the Cradle" illustrated miner's design depicting miners working with "Long Toms", Hutchings imprint at left, "Anthony & Baker SC" engraver's imprint at bottom of design, blue manuscript docketing, slightly reduced at right, some edgewear, Very Fine and rare design which, according to Kutz, was first used by miners from Georgia, ex Knapp

E. 1,500-2,000
950
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3053
c
Sale Number 1106, Lot Number 3053, Western Mails: MiningMurphy's Cal. Aug. 28, Murphy's Cal. Aug. 28Murphy's Cal. Aug. 28. Bold strike of circular datestamp with "Paid 6" in oval handstamp on buff cover to Wilmurt N.Y., with "Mining Scene" illustration of miner panning for gold, Hutchings imprint, some wear and soiling, still Very Fine and attractive design

E. 1,000-1,500
750
Back to Top
3054
c
Sale Number 1106, Lot Number 3054, Western Mails: MiningOroville Cal. July 12, 1855, Oroville Cal. July 12, 1855Oroville Cal. July 12, 1855. Manuscript postmark with "15c Paid" on "Miner's Coat of Arms" illustrated cover depicting mining equipment arranged on a pole as a coat of arms with a miner and a bear holding the pole, Barber & Baker of Sacramento imprint at left, to Crowland P.O., Niagara District, Canada West, red "U. States Paid" handstamp with "9" rating, with illustrated engraved lettersheet of "The Miner's Ten Commandments" depicting eleven vignettes including elephant and miner reading a broadside, Hutchings imprint at bottom, several of the designs with imprints including Anthony & Baker, contents datelined "Ophir Sunday July 8th 1855" interesting contents including "I am at work putting a wheel in the River to throw water on the bank 29 feet high to run a sluice-the wheel will be 32 feet in diameter and propelled by the force of the current...I send you on this sheet the miners 10 com. which is very well got up", lettersheet with minor edgewear, cover with some edgewear and soiling

VERY FINE. A REMARKABLE ILLUSTRATED COVER DEPICTING THE MINER'S COAT OF ARMS, WITH AN ORIGINAL ILLUSTRATED ENCLOSURE DEPICTING ELEVEN DESIGNS AND THE MINER'S TEN COMMANDMENTS AND WITH MINING-RELATED CONTENTS. A REMARKABLE ARTIFACT OF THE GOLD RUSH ERA.

Ken Kutz recorded only a dozen examples of the "Miner's Coat of Arms" illustrated cover, and this is the only one we are aware of to a destination outside of the United States. George Holbrook Baker, of Barber & Baker, was an art student in New York when the gold rush broke out. He "dropped his brushes" and went west, trying his hand as a miner before settling on trading and drawing. He was the owner of the short-lived Baker's Express in 1850. He partnered with Edmond Barber from 1854-56, where they had a wood engraving studio in the Union building in Sacramento.

The lettersheet of the Miner's Ten Commandments was the first design produced by James Mason Hutchings. According to an informative article in April 1956 Western Expresses, "Hutchings came to the United States from England in 1848, after viewing sometime in 1844 George Catlin's American Indian exhibition then on tour in the Midlands in England. Hutchings, being deeply religious, deplored the desecration of the Christian Sabbath Day by the miners. He joined the campaign then under way to return Sunday to the day of rest and devotion it enjoyed in the long established communities of the various homelands of the miners. As it would not help to moralize with the miners, he wrote a parodied Fourth Commandment as follows: 'Thou shalt not remember what thy friends do at home on this Sabbath Day lest the remembrance should not compare favorably with what thou doest." He was not pleased with this 'half-told tale' and continued on to compose The Miner's Ten Commandments. This he signed with 'Forty-Nine'." The design proved immensely popular, with Hutchings claiming to have sold more than 90,000 copies in one year (source: Letters of Gold, p. 267).

E. 3,000-4,000
2,700
Back to Top
3055
c
Sale Number 1106, Lot Number 3055, Western Mails: Mining3c Dull Red, Ty. II (11A), 3c Dull Red, Ty. II (11A)3c Dull Red, Ty. II (11A). Horizontal pair, large margins to barely in at top right, bit heavily oxidized, tied by indistinct strike of Nevada Cal. circular datestamp on buff cover to Ellsworth O., manuscript "Due" and "10" handstamp, with four-panel illustrated lettersheet titled "Sundry Amusements in the Mines" depicting four different camp scenes, with Britton & Rey imprint (Baird #268), datelined "Nevada March 22nd 1853", contents asks those at home to write more frequently and discusses the lettersheet "I send you a view of some miners just about as natural as life" and describes each of the panels including "A while ago a man came from his work and found that a bear had been making a meal of his week's supply also carrying off a bucket of sugar several rods and eating the sugar, left the pail washed as clean as his tongue could make it.", typed transcript accompanies, few age spots affect enclosure, cover with some edgewear, Very Fine, perhaps four or five examples of this beautifully illustrated enclosure are known

E. 1,500-2,000
1,000
Back to Top
3056
 
Sale Number 1106, Lot Number 3056, Western Mails: MiningSan Francisco Cal. 15 May, San Francisco Cal. 15 MaySan Francisco Cal. 15 May. Bold strike of circular datestamp with "40" rate handstamp on cover front only to Reynoldsburg O., with gray enclosure with intricately printed "View of Nevada City, from Prospect Hill", published by C. W. Mulford of Nevada, ten numbered building with key at bottom indicating "Nevada Hotel", "Dr. Caldwell's Store, First House in Nevada", papermaker's embossing, reverse with contents including "it is unpleasant living as miners have to live but it is the only way for me...I would rather die in this country than return as poor.", some slight wear, Very Fine, an extremely rare design, Charles W. Mulford became Wells, Fargo agent in Nevada City in 1852

E. 1,500-2,000
1,200
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