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Sale 1126 — The William H. Gross Collection: Hawaii

Sale Date — Sunday, 29 May, 2016

Category — 1857 5 Cents on 13c Provisional Surcharge (Scott 7)

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
23
og
Sale Number 1126, Lot Number 23, 1857 5 Cents on 13c Provisional Surcharge (Scott 7)1857, 5c on 13c Dark Red (7), 1857, 5c on 13c Dark Red (7)1857, 5c on 13c Dark Red (7). Type I (Clark) numeral, large part original gum, clear to ample margins, radiant color

VERY FINE. A RARE SOUND ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE 1857 5-CENT ON 13-CENT PROVISIONAL SURCHARGE.

The 5c provisional surcharge was necessary due to a shortage of 5c stamps just after the transition from Postmaster Whitney to Jackson. Most were made by Jackson's clerk, Alvah Clark, around the start of 1857. New supplies of the 5c stamp (Scott No. 8) were received at the end of June 1857.

Ex J. C. Chapin, Mandel and Pietsch. Signed Diena. With 1979 Hawaiian Philatelic Society certificate and 1953 letter of authenticity from Billig & Rich

7,000
5,000
24
c
Sale Number 1126, Lot Number 24, 1857 5 Cents on 13c Provisional Surcharge (Scott 7)1857, 5c on 13c Dark Red (7), 1857, 5c on 13c Dark Red (7)1857, 5c on 13c Dark Red (7). Type I (Clark) numeral, five singles, all have large margins except one just touched at bottom, they do not come from contiguous plate positions and one is a slightly different numeral style -- no multiples of this issue are known, and the stamps were evidently cut apart for sale at the post office -- uncancelled, red “Honolulu * U.S. Postage Paid * Jan. 21” (1857) circular datestamp at upper right (folded over slightly), used with United States 1851 12c Black (17) and three 1855 10c Green, including Type II (14, single) and Type III (15, pair and single), mostly full to large margins, pair just touced, one 10c stamp creased before use, tied by “San Francisco Cal. 20 Feb.” (1857) circular datestamp on large-size buff cover addressed to Thomas Knowles & Company, New Bedford, Massachusetts, manuscript “52” applied at Honolulu post office (the “5” appears to be in the same hand as “5” surcharge on stamps), uneven edge at right has been folded in, few trivial waterstains at top

VERY FINE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED COVER WITH MORE THAN ONE OF THE RARE 1857 “5” CENTS ON 13-CENT PROVISIONAL SURCHARGE, AND IT IS THE EARLIEST RECORDED USE OF THE ISSUE. PICTURED ON THE COVER OF VOLUME II OF GREGORY’S OPUS ON HAWAIIAN POSTAL HISTORY AND WIDELY REGARDED AS THE MOST OUTSTANDING UNITED STATES AND HAWAIIAN MIXED-FRANKING COVER OUTSIDE OF THE MISSIONARY ISSUE.

The 5c provisional surcharge was necessary due to a shortage of 5c stamps just after the transition from Postmaster Whitney to Jackson. Most were made by Jackson’s clerk, Alvah Clark, around the start of 1857. New supplies of the 5c stamp (Scott No. 8) were received at the end of June 1857.

The Gregory census lists 18 covers with the 5c on 13c surcharge. This is the earliest recorded cover and the only multiple-rate franking. There are no pairs or larger multiples of the 5c provisional surcharge, and the stamps on this cover are further evidence that the postal clerks cut the stamps apart before they were sold. On this cover the Hawaiian stamps pay the quintuple 5c per half-ounce rate for a letter weighing between 2 and 21/2 ounces. The same multiple of the United States 10c per half-ounce rate was paid by the 1851-55 Issue stamps, and the additional 2c paid the ship captain’s fee.

This cover was carried by the American bark Fanny Major, which cleared Honolulu on January 21, 1857, and arrived in San Francisco on February 6. At San Francisco the U.S. stamps were cancelled by the February 20 datestamp. From there it was carried to Panama on the Pacific Mail Steamship Company’s John L. Stephens, which departed on February 20 and arrived at Panama City on March 5. It crossed the isthmus and was carried from Aspinwall to New York by the U.S. Mail Steamship Company’s George Law, which departed on March 6 and arrived on March 16 after a stop at Havana. The George Law was renamed Central America later in 1857, the year that she sank in a hurricane, claiming hundreds of lives and tons of gold.

Thomas Knowles & Company, the addressee, was a New Bedford-based firm with extensive interests in the whaling industry. This large envelope probably held documents related to one of the firm’s whaling voyages in the North Pacific.

In the 1957 Caspary sale held by H. R. Harmer, this cover was featured in a two-page spread, a level of treatment reserved for only the most important items. The $8,500 realization was one-third the price achieved by the Dawson cover (with a 2c Missionary) in the same auction. It next appeared at auction in our 1967 sale of the Lilly collection (U.S. Possessions, Sale 317), where it realized $15,500. In May 1979 the Siegel firm advertised the direct purchase of two United States covers for more than one-third of a million dollars, establishing a new world record. The two covers were illustrated in an advertisement in Chronicle 102: one was the 5c 1847 and Canada 3p Beaver strip, and the other was this Hawaiian mixed-franking cover. They were purchased from Philip G. Rust and sold to Ryohei Ishikawa, becoming two pillars of his Grand Prix U.S. 1847-1869 exhibit. When Ishikawa’s collection was offered at Christie’s in 1993, the cover sold for $210,000 hammer (plus premium) to Guido Craveri, who in turn sold it to Tito Giamporcaro. Mr. Gross acquired it in the 1999 Spink sale of the “Tito” collection for $300,000 hammer plus premium.

Ex Caspary, Lilly, Rust, Ishikawa and Giamporcaro (through Craveri). Illustrated on the cover of Gregory Volume II (and on page II-52). “W.H.C.” (Warren H. Colson) and “R. H. Weill Co.” backstamps

E. 250,000-350,000
220,000
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25
c
Sale Number 1126, Lot Number 25, 1857 5 Cents on 13c Provisional Surcharge (Scott 7)1857, 5c on 13c Dark Red (7), 1857, 5c on 13c Dark Red (7)1857, 5c on 13c Dark Red (7). Type I (Clark) numeral, huge left sheet margin with large margins at top and right and just slightly in at bottom, rich color, faint bend at bottom left, uncancelled, used with United States 1855 10c Green, Ty. II (14), large to huge margins, also uncancelled, red “Honolulu * U.S. Postage Paid * Mar. 11” (1857) circular datestamp on small neatly folded four-page letter from Maria Whitney Pogue in Lahainaluna to Fidelia Fiske in Persia, datelined “Lahainaluna, Maui, Feb. 26th/57” and addressed to “Oroomiah, Persia” (Urmi, in modern-day Iran), “Care of [space] Gordon Esq., 33 Pemberton Sq., Boston, Mass. U.S.A.”, prepaid to Boston, small “2” (cents) in red pencil indicating payment of ship captain’s fee, red “PAID” straightline handstamp applied at San Francisco with large magenta pen “2” (cents) which ties the 5c provisional stamp, sent outside the mails to Persia, receipt docketing “Mrs. Pogue Ans. Mr 23 & Apr 3/58”, the stamps and folded letter are in immaculate condition

VERY FINE. A SPECTACULAR UNITED STATES AND HAWAIIAN MIXED-FRANKING COVER ADDRESSED TO FIDELIA FISKE, WHO WAS ONE OF THE FIRST MISSIONARIES TO WORK AMONG THE NESTORIANS IN PERSIA. THIS IS THE ONLY 1857 5-CENT PROVISIONAL SURCHARGE COVER ADDRESSED BEYOND THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES.

The 5c provisional surcharge was necessary due to a shortage of 5c stamps just after the transition from Postmaster Whitney to Jackson. Most were made by Jackson’s clerk, Alvah Clark, around the start of 1857. New supplies of the 5c stamp (Scott No. 8) were received at the end of June 1857. The Gregory census lists 18 covers with the 5c on 13c surcharge. This is the only cover to Persia and, in fact, the only one to a destination beyond the United States. Two other 5c provisional covers are recorded with the same date in Honolulu (March 11, 1857), and they traveled in the mails from Hawaii to the U.S. East Coast on the same vessels.

This letter was part of a group discovered in May 1938 in a sea chest in the basement of a library in Shelburne, Massachusetts, which was sold to Spencer Anderson.

Ex Honolulu Advertiser. With 1938 A.P.S. certificate signed by Klemann, Bartels and Barrett. Weill backstamps. Illustrated in Gregory book (page II-53)

E. 100,000-150,000
120,000
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26
c
Sale Number 1126, Lot Number 26, 1857 5 Cents on 13c Provisional Surcharge (Scott 7)1857, 5c on 13c Dark Red (7), 1857, 5c on 13c Dark Red (7)1857, 5c on 13c Dark Red (7). Type I (Clark) numeral, huge margins all around including part of top sheet margin, deep rich color, used with United States 1851 12c Black (17), large right sheet margin and large margins on other sides except just touched at bottom right, red “Honolulu * U.S. Postage Paid * June 27” (1857) circular datestamp, both stamps left Honolulu uncancelled and were tied by the “San Francisco Cal. Jul. 20, 1857” circular datestamp on fresh cover from Hilo missionary Rev. Titus Coan to his son, Titus Munson Coan, at Yale College in New Haven, redirected to Plymouth, Connecticut, clearly struck “New Haven Con. Sep. 4, 1857” circular datestamp and “Forwarded/3” handstamp for postage due

AN EXTREMELY FINE MIXED-FRANKING COVER IN EVERY RESPECT AND AN ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING EXAMPLE OF THE RARE HAWAIIAN 1857 5-CENT PROVISIONAL SURCHARGE STAMP.

The 5c provisional surcharge was necessary due to a shortage of 5c stamps just after the transition from Postmaster Whitney to Jackson. Most were made by Jackson’s clerk, Alvah Clark, around the start of 1857. New supplies of the 5c stamp (Scott No. 8) were received at the end of June 1857.

The Gregory census lists 18 covers with the 5c on 13c surcharge.. Five of the eighteen 5c provisional covers recorded by Gregory (Volume III, Appendix II-F) were carried on this trip of the Vaquero, which stopped at Honolulu on its way from Australia and carried two bags of mail when it cleared Honolulu on June 27, 1857. She returned to safe harbor with a broken mast and left again on June 29 with additional mail, arriving in San Francisco on July 16 (Gregory, page II-54-55). The mail from the Vaquero, including this cover, was carried on the Pacific Mail Steamship Company’s John L. Stephens, departing San Francisco on July 20 and arriving at Panama City on August 3. It was then carried by the famous steamship Central America, departing from Aspinwall on August 3 and arriving at New York on August 12. Later in 1857, the Central America sank in a hurricane, claiming hundreds of lives and tons of gold.

Ex Atherton, Honolulu Academy of Arts and Honolulu Advertiser. Illustrated in Gregory book (page II-56). With 1995 P.F. certificate

E. 50,000-75,000
62,500
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