VERY FINE. ONE OF THREE RECORDED ONE-CENT 1857 ISSUE COVERS WITH THE CUMBERLAND, MAINE PRECANCELLATION. ONE OF THE GREATEST RARITIES OF PRECANCEL COLLECTING AND OF CLASSIC UNITED STATES PHILATELY.
The three recorded 1c 1857 Cumberland covers are:
1) October 15 precancel on yellow cover to Paradise, Monroe County, Penn. (Siegel Sale 875, lot 924, realized $23,000 hammer)
2) October 22 precancel on yellow cover to Batavia, Branch County, Mich. (Siegel Sale 895, lot 925, realized $26,000 hammer)
3) October 15 precancel on yellow cover to Upper Dublin, Montgomey County, Penn. (Siegel Sale 875, lot 98, realized $22,000 hammer), the cover offered here
The first two covers in the census are currently in the William Gross collection.
VERY FINE. A COLORFUL AND SCARCE 30-CENT 1860 ISSUE COVER TO SPAIN, CARRIED BY THE VANDERBILT, WHICH WAS BUILT BY CORNELIUS VANDERBILT FOR TRANSATLANTIC PACKET SERVICE AND LATER SERVED AS A UNITED STATES NAVAL SHIP DURING THE CIVIL WAR.
Built for direct competition with the British Cunard Line, the passenger mail steamship Vanderbilt was named for steamship and railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt. Flying the flag of the Vanderbilt European Line, she sailed until the Civil War. The Vanderbilt was then chartered to the government as a transport, but when the Confederacy unveiled the C.S.S. Virginia, Vanderbilt offered the services of his ship -- which had 50 feet of iron plating forward -- as a ram to destroy the ironclad. Armed with two 200-pounder, twelve 9-inch, and one 12-pounder guns, she arrived at Hampton Roads after the duel between Virginia and Monitor. She then sailed in a yearlong search for the Confederate raider Alabama, during which time she captured several blockade-runners.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM STAMP AND VERY RARE USE TO CHINA. MAGNIFICENT QUALITY AND A MOST UNUSUAL COVER WITH THE 30-CENT 1860 STAMP TIED BY THE RED FOREIGN EXCHANGE OFFICE DATESTAMP.
Illustrated in Brookman Vol. I (p. 260). Ex Grunin and Zoellner. Signed Ashbrook
A COLORFUL AND RARE FRANKING INTENDED TO PAY THE DOUBLE RATE TO HONG KONG BY BRITISH MAIL VIA MARSEILLES.
This cover from the Augustine Heard correspondence has stamps totaling 92c postage, which includes a pair of 1c stamps that overpays the double 45c rate. The only explanation is that that the letter was originally franked with the stamps at the top, then additional stamps were added to uprate the prepayment. The New York foreign-mail exchange clerk rated the letter as a single weight class and applied the 40c credit to England.