Sale 1119 — The Steven Walske Collection of US-France Transatlantic Mail

Sale Date — Wednesday, 16 March, 2016

Category — Bank Note Issues

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
606
c
Sale 1119, Lot 606, Bank Note IssuesUlysses S. Grant. Autograph Free Frank "U.S. Grant," as President, 3c Red, F. Grill and 6c Carmine (94, 148), both tied by cork cancels, "Washington D.C. Feb. 9" (1873) circular datestamp on Executive Mansion corner card cover with "Secretary" crossed out to Paris, France, red "New York Feb. 12" circular datestamp, blue Brest arrival datestamp (Mar. 1) and "10" decimes due for double-weight by French Packet, stamps with small flaws and mucilage below, small cover edge tears

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXTRAORDINARY COVER TO FRANCE FRANKED BY PRESIDENT ULYSSES S. GRANT DURING THE LAST MONTH OF HIS FRANKING PRIVILEGE.

The odd mixed-issue franking and use of mucilage to affix the stamps probably reflect the sender's effort to locate enough postage -- new or old -- (which he did not quite succeed in doing) for the 10c rate to France. The short payment of 1c was made irrelevant by the free frank. Grant's franking signature is applied here during the final month of executive franking privilege. The Official stamps were approved on Mar. 3, 1873.

Ex Joyce, Dr. Robertson and Ainsworth

E. 5,000-7,500
11,000
607°
c
Sale 1119, Lot 607, Bank Note Issues10c Brown (150). Tied by cork cancel with matching "Newark N.J. Aug. 22" (1870) circular datestamp, red "New York Aug. 24" exchange office datestamp on small cover to Chazelle-sur-Lyon, France, with 60c French postage fully prepaid by France, 1863, 20c Blue and 40c Pale Orange on Yellowish (33, 35), both tied by "1769" in diamond of dots cancel, carried on North American Steamship Co. Guiding Star, departing New York Aug. 25 and arriving Le Havre Sep. 9 with extremely rare strike of red "Etats-Unis Le Havre 9 Sept. '70" arrival datestamp, red boxed "PD", partly struck Chazelle arrival backstamp

VERY FINE. A SPECTACULAR MIXED FRANKING OF UNITED STATES AND FRENCH STAMPS APPLIED IN THE UNITED STATES TO FULLY PREPAY THE 10-CENT U.S. STEAMSHIP RATE AND THE 60-CENTIMES FRENCH INTERNAL RATE AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF THE U.S.-FRANCE POSTAL TREATY. THIS IS ALSO THE UNIQUE MIXED FRANKING USAGE SENT BY AMERICAN PACKET.

After the expiration of the 1857 U.S.-French postal treaty on Dec. 31, 1869, correspondents between the two countries were faced with great difficulty (and increased costs) if they wished to fully prepay mail between the two countries. With the exception of the unannounced "Phantom Rate" from New York (see lot 596 for an explanation), it was no longer possible to prepay both U.S. and French postage on a letter to France solely with U.S. stamps. Letters from the U.S. could be sent to France by several different methods, but in each case French postage was separate and would be due when the letter was received.

French postal regulations did allow letters from the U.S. that were carried by French Packet Direct to be prepaid for French sea and inland postage with 60 centimes in French stamps for a single weight. The U.S. 10c postage was also required. Such mixed frankings sent by French Packet Direct are extremely rare, with fewer than ten recorded. This letter, however, was not sent by French Packet; rather, it was carried by American Packet. When the letter reached New York the Ligne H steamer had already departed and it would be two more weeks for the next sailing. Instead of waiting, the New York postmaster sent the cover on a special sailing (one of only two that were contracted) by American Packet on the North American Steamship Co. Guiding Star. When the cover reached Le Havre, it was accepted as though it had been carried on a French Packet and struck with the rare "Etats-Unis Le Havre" arrival datestamp. The French stamps, which had been left alone by the American postmasters, were also cancelled on arrival.

Illustrated in North Atlantic Mail Sailings on p. 306 and in Chronicle 138 on p. 137

E. 20,000-30,000
35,000
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608°
c
Sale 1119, Lot 608, Bank Note Issues10c Brown (150). Natural s.e. at left, used with pair of France, 1871, 25c Blue on Bluish (58), all neatly tied by five-point star of diamonds cancels, Paris Dec. 14, 1874 double-circle datestamp on small cover to Wilmington Del., red boxed "P.P." handstamp, carried on CGT Ligne H steamer Washington from Le Havre on Dec. 21, arriving New York Jan. 8, 1872, New York receiving datestamp with "10" cents due ties 10c and top 25c stamps

EXTREMELY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL MIXED FRANKING OF UNITED STATES AND FRENCH STAMPS, ATTEMPTING TO FULLY PREPAY THE FRENCH PACKET DIRECT RATE AND U.S. INCOMING SHIP RATE ON AN 1871 COVER FROM PARIS TO WILMINGTON, DELAWARE. FEWER THAN FIVE MIXED FRANKINGS FROM THIS PERIOD ARE KNOWN.

After the expiration of the 1857 U.S.-French treaty, prepayment of full postage between the two countries required, in nearly all cases, stamps of both nations. Prepayments for French-owned packets were set at 5 decimes per 10 grams, effective July 1, 1871. U.S. postage was 10 cents per the July 1864 Act. This cover was correctly prepaid for both postage rates, but apparently because the U.S. stamp was already cancelled when it arrived in New York, the postmaster disregarded the prepayment and struck the "10" cents due datestamp.

Ex Gibson. With 1995 Robineau certificate

E. 7,500-10,000
9,000
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609
c
Sale 1119, Lot 609, Bank Note Issues10c Brown (150). Used with France, 1862, 40c Orange, 5c Deep Green on Greenish and 5c Green on Pale Blue (27, 23, 24), U.S. stamp affixed slightly underneath 40c French stamp, all stamps tied together by five-point star of dots cancels, Paris Feb. 2, 1872 double-circle datestamp on small cover to Wilmington Del., red London transit of Feb. 3, "2 cents" credit handstamp to U.S., carried on Cunarder Russia, departing Queenstown Feb. 4 and arriving New York Feb. 16, red New York receiving datestamp, stamps with some slightly blunted perfs from placement at edge, left 5c stamp light vertical crease

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A SPECTACULAR FOUR-COLOR MIXED FRANKING OF UNITED STATES AND FRENCH STAMPS, ACCEPTED AS FULL PREPAYMENT OF POSTAGE ON AN 1872 POST-TREATY COVER TO THE U.S. FEWER THAN FIVE ACCEPTED MIXED PREPAYMENTS ARE KNOWN.

After the expiration of the 1857 U.S.-French treaty, prepayment of full postage between the two countries using one nation's stamps became mostly impossible. On April 21, 1871, French law increased prepayments to 12 decimes per 10 grams (effective July 1) for mail via Great Britain. This cover was prepaid with only 50 centimes in French stamps (probably intended for French Packet Direct), along with a 10 cent U.S. stamp for the incoming ship rate. Despite the underpayment it was accepted as fully prepaid for routing via Great Britain and a Cunard steamer.

Ex Gibson. With 1986 Robineau certificate

E. 5,000-7,500
7,500
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610
c
Sale 1119, Lot 610, Bank Note Issues3c Green (147). Used as forwarding postage on cover from Menton, France to Boston with France, 1870, 30c Brown on Yellowish and 40c Orange, Bordeaux Issue (46, 47), affixed slightly overlapping and right stamp just over edge of cover, tied by diamond of dots cancels, Menton Mar. 13, 1871 double-circle datestamp, red "2 Cents" credit handstamp, carried on Cunarder Java, red New York receiving datestamp, 3c Bank Note applied to pay forwarding postage to New York street address, blue Menton Hotel backstamp, Very Fine and desirable three-color combination used after the U.S.-French treaty expired, French postage was set at 70 centimes per 10 grams via British Open Mail, GB credited the U.S. 2c for inland postage

E. 1,000-1,500
1,800
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611
c
Sale 1119, Lot 611, Bank Note Issues2c Red Brown (146). Two, affixed slightly overlapping, tied by New York Foreign Mail cancels and by red "New York Aug. 26" circular datestamp on 1871 blue folded letter to Cognac, France, "GB/40c" Anglo-French accountancy marking, Calais arrival datestamp and "5" decimes due, several transit and receiving backstamps, Very Fine use to France by British Open Mail after the expiration of the 1857 U.S.-French treaty

E. 200-300
110
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612
c
Sale 1119, Lot 612, Bank Note Issues6c Carmine (148). Used with 1c Ultramarine and 3c Green (145, 147), tied by "Exeter N.H. Jun. 20" (1873) circular datestamp, red New York circular datestamp also ties stamps, crayon "6" cents credit on cover to Paris, France, carried on Cunarder Batavia, arriving Queenstown Jul. 1, red London transit datestamp ties stamps, French arrival datestamp, Paris backstamp, Very Fine and colorful use, the fully prepaid rate to France via England was finally published by the U.S. Post Office Dept. on Oct. 28, 1871 -- ending the Phantom Rate period, this cover was prepaid 10c (reduced from 12c on Jul. 1, 1870) with 6c credit to Great Britain for transit and French inland postage

E. 400-500
225
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613
c
Sale 1119, Lot 613, Bank Note Issues10c Brown (150). Used with two 3c Green (147), affixed overlapping and tied by cork cancels with "New Orleans La. Jun. 23" circular datestamp, red "New York Jun. 28" circular datestamp on 1873 blue folded letter to Bordeaux, France, carried on CGT Ligne H steamer Pereire, Brest arrival datestamp (Jul. 8) and "5" decimes due, some slight perf toning, still Very Fine, overpaid by 6c for the U.S. 10c rate

E. 200-300
0
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614
c
Sale 1119, Lot 614, Bank Note Issues10c Brown (150). Used with 6c Carmine (148), tied by thick parallel lines cancel, light strike of red Philadelphia Jul. 1 "Paid All" circular datestamp with crayon "12" credit on 1873 cover to Paris, France, red London transit and "PD" in circle, French arrival datestamp, small edge mend at bottom, still Very Fine cover via England credited for double-weight in France

E. 100-150
100
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615
c
Sale 1119, Lot 615, Bank Note Issues15c Bright Orange (152). Bright color, used with 1c Ultramarine (145), tied by neat strike of New York Foreign Mail Geometric cancel, red New York "12" credit datestamp on 1874 folded letter to Lyon, France, red London transit and "PD" in circle, Calais arrival datestamp, Very Fine and colorful cover via England credited for double-weight in France, carried on Cunarder Cuba, arriving Queenstown Aug. 1

E. 400-500
275
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