VERY FINE. A REMARKABLE AND RARE EXAMPLE OF A PATENTED SAFETY ENVELOPE, DESIGNED TO PREVENT THE OPENING OF MAIL IN TRANSIT AND PROVIDE A METHOD OF FILING CORRESPONDENCE.
In the Annual of Scientific Discovery for 1857, it is stated: "Mr. R. T. Knight of Philadelphia has recently patented an improvement in envelopes for valuable and important letters, with the double purpose of making the envelope, postmark &c., a part of the letter, and of preventing the clandestine opening of the same. It is, for some purposes, quite a defect in the present envelope that the gum may be moistened and the letter opened without discovery. Wafers may be soaked nearly as easily, and wax is liable to melt in hot climates. In Mr. Knight's invention a little more paper is used, and the flaps being locked together by a species of dovetailing in addition to the gum, a metallic clasp or eyelet is put through the lower portion near the edge, which effectually secures the whole package...the process required is a tearing or cutting around on three sides of the envelope, after which it may be opened like the cover of a book, and the contents unfolded. The letter thus goes on file carrying the envelope with it." Thus, the grommet provided a way of filing correspondence with the envelope.
Accompanied by copy of May 1984 Chronicle article discussing this cover.
VERY FINE EXAMPLE OF A CIRCULAR SENT BY STEAMBOAT FROM NEW ORLEANS TO INDIANAPOLIS ON THE MISSISSIPPI AND OHIO RIVERS VIA EVANSVILLE, INDIANA.
There were two steamers named Reindeer that were destroyed in catastrophic incidents in the early 1850's, each of which involved considerable loss of life. The first operated on the Albany-New York Hudson River route and exploded in September 1852. The second, which carried this cover, was a Mississippi and Ohio River steamer that was destroyed when its boiler exploded on the Ohio River between Cannelton, Indiana, and Hawesville, on March 13, 1854, resulting in 38 deaths.
Ex Newbury and Grunin.
VERY FINE. A RARE AND ATTRACTIVE USE OF THE ONE-CENT 1851 ISSUE FROM PLATE ONE EARLY ON A "WAY" LETTER CARRIED BY MISSISSIPPI RIVER STEAMBOAT INTO NEW ORLEANS.
This letter was carried on the steamer Princess, which was destroyed by fire on October 8, 1854, two miles from Fort Adams, which resulted in fourteen fatalities and the loss of 3,039 bales of cotton, according to The New York Times report (Oct. 18, 1854). The 4c postage on this 1852 letter paid the 3c rate plus 1c way fee.
FRESH AND VERY FINE. THE USE OF FIVE ONE-CENT 1851 STAMPS FOR THE SHORE-TO-SHIP RATE ON TRANSATLANTIC MAIL IS EXTREMELY UNUSUAL. THE STRIP AND COMBINATION OF RED MARKINGS CREATE A COLORFUL AND RARE 1851 ISSUE COVER.
Ex Chambers, H. J. Baker, Grunin and Zoellner. Signed Ashbrook
VERY FINE. A DESIRABLE AND RARE USE OF FIVE 1851 ONE-CENT STAMPS ON A "THREE MONTHS" COVER TO FRANCE.
The 5c shore-to-ship rate was rarely prepaid with the five 1c stamps -- the usual franking is a 3c plus 1c 1851 pair or single 5c 1856 stamp. The 8 decimes (approximately 16c) was collected from the recipient.
Ex Kapiloff. With 1992 P.F. certificate
FINE. A RARE USE TO FRANCE BEARING A STRIP OF FIVE OF THE ONE-CENT TYPE IV 1851 ISSUE.
The 26 decimes (approximately 50c) due was collected from the recipient. With 1977 R.P.S. certificate.
EXTREMELY FINE. A RARE AND BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLE OF A SINGLE ONE-CENT 1851 ISSUE STAMP USED ON THE ILLUSTRATED SAN FRANCISCO NEWSLETTER. THIS IS THE FINEST OF ONLY THREE RECORDED WITH THE ONE-CENT 1851 ISSUE.
The "San Francisco News Letter" was sold by all Wells, Fargo & Co. agents throughout the state of California and was sent on each sailing of the Pacific Mail Steamship to Panama.
Ex Polland, Haas and Vogel
EXTREMELY FINE. AN OUTSTANDING USE OF THE CALIFORNIA PENNY POST COMPANY 7-CENT ENTIRE WITH A ONE-CENT 1851 STAMP PAYING THE LOCAL RATE. ONLY TWO SUCH COVERS ARE KNOWN.
The California Penny Post Company was established in June 1855 by Henry L. Goodwin (sometimes reported as "J. P." Goodwin). The Penny Post advertised service in several larger California towns and cities, offering to carry letters to and from the local post office, to bring letters to one post office and deliver them to the addressee from the receiving office, and to run an express service between towns after the government mails were closed for the day. A specific rate was charged for each service, and these rates are reflected in the stamps and entires issued by the Penny Post. For a relatively short-lived operation, the Penny Post produced a large variety of stamps and printed envelopes to facilitate prepayment and collect-on-delivery mail.
Almost immediately the Penny Post incurred the wrath of the San Francisco postmaster, and Goodwin became involved in protracted litigation trying to fight the government. Most writers have reported that the Penny Post closed down after twelve to eighteen months, but we have never seen source documentation to establish exactly when service ended. There is one June 1, 1856, Penny Post entire with the name of the post and "Penny Postage Paid 7" crossed out (Siegel Sale 773, lot 219), which might be evidence that the Penny Post closed before that date.
The printed franks are found on plain envelopes and U.S. 3c stamped envelopes. The rates correspond to the company's advertisements, but the application of these rates, patterns of use and certain enigmatic covers have yet to be fully explained. The most comprehensive study of this company's history and census of covers were recently self-published by Richard C. Frajola and can be found at his website: http://www.rfrajola.com/cpp/CP2.htm
This cover is #205 in the Frajola census. It is one of two 7c Frajola Type II entires with a 1c stamp, postmarked on consecutive days, August 11 and 12 (the other is ex Dale-Lichtenstein). Both have the same written notation on back. These two covers were addressed by Goodwin himself (including the notations) and mailed at the 1c city-letter rate.
Ex Emerson, Knapp, Jessup, Pearce, Haas, Grunin and Kapiloff. Illustrated in the Ashbrook 1c book (Vol. 2, p. 309).
VERY FINE. A PHENOMENAL STRIP OF SIX OF THE 1851 ONE-CENT FROM PLATE ONE EARLY WITH THREE TYPE IIIa AND THREE TYPE II STAMPS, PAYING THE 6-CENT TRANSCONTINENTAL RATE FROM CALIFORNIA. THIS 1852 USE IS EARLY AND RARE.
The 6c transcontinental rate was effective from July 1, 1851, to April 1, 1855. This use of the Ic stamp from Plate 1 Early probably dates to 1852. Approximately seven such West Coast Plate 1 Early multiples are known to us, this being among the most attractive.
The Neinken book notes (p. 81) "I have a very incomplete record of early uses of the one cent stamps in California, but I have observed very few uses in 1851. Supplies of the three cents were not received at the San Francisco Post Office until late in September of 1851, and it is doubtful if any one cents were sent out there so early. Covers from California to Eastern states showing the single 6c rate paid by a block of six, or a strip of six Plate IE stamps are scarce items." This cover is illustrated on the same page in the Neinken book, where he notes this as an 1852 use.
Ex Caspary, Chase and Kapiloff. Illustrated in the Neinken book on p. 81.
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE BLOCK OF TEN OF THE 1851 ONE-CENT TYPE II USED TO PAY THE 10-CENT RATE FOR DISTANCES OVER 3,000 MILES. A GREAT RARITY.
Beginning on April I, 1855, prepayment of postage was made compulsory and the rate for mail going over 3,000 miles was increased to 10c per -1/2 ounce. Blocks of the 1c 1851 paying this rate are very rare.
With 1993 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL AND UNUSUAL FRANKING AND ARRANGEMENT OF STAMPS PAYING THE 5-CENT HAWAIIAN POSTAGE PLUS 12-CENT U.S. POSTAGE FOR THE 10-CENT TRANSCONTINENTAL RATE AND 2-CENT SHIP CAPTAIN'S FEE.
Ex Admiral Harris, Krug and Honolulu Advertiser. With 1996 P.F. certificate
A VERY FINE AND EXTRAORDINARY CARRIER USE IN NEW ORLEANS, COMBINING THE DROP-LETTER RATE AND CARRIER FEE, WITH THE FORMER PREPAID BY A SCARCE 1851 ONE-CENT PLATE POSITION.
All positions on Plate 1 Late were recut except Position 4R. Type IV, Scott 9, is the more common recut stamp; Type II from Plate 1 Late is very scarce. On this letter from a prisoner in New Orleans, the 1c stamp prepays the drop-letter postage, while the carrier received 1c from the addressee. This combination is extremely rare.
Illustrated in Ashbrook Vol. 2 (p. 172) and in Chronicle 127 (August 1985, page 171). Ex Haas and Meyersburg.