Sale 1191 — United States and CSA Postal History
Sale Date — Thursday, 25 October, 2018
Category — Virginia City Pony Express
VERY FINE. A CHOICE VIRGINIA CITY PONY EXPRESS COVER FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO GOLD HILL, NEVADA TERRITORY, WITH THE 25-CENT BLUE HORSE & RIDER ISSUE.
Ex Walske. With 2007 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE EXAMPLE OF THE WELLS, FARGO & COMPANY 25-CENT BLUE VIRGINIA CITY PONY EXPRESS STAMP ON A COVER FROM THE CELEBRATED CRITTENDEN CORRESPONDENCE.
This cover and letter were sent to Clara C. Crittenden by her son Howard, from Aurora in April 1863. Clara's husband, Alexander Parker Crittenden, was a prominent West Coast attorney, who also resided in Virginia City. The move to Nevada became necessary after California passed a law prohibiting the practice of law by anyone who would not take the loyalty oath. “Parker” Crittenden was a pro-Southerner who chose to relocate to Virginia City, rather than swear allegiance to the Federal government. His wife stayed in San Francisco for some time, and the two corresponded frequently while he was away. A few years later he was shot dead by his mistress in front of his wife and son.
Illustrated in Gamett's Nevada Express: Wells, Fargo & Co. and Other Letter Expresses 1857-1895 on p. 38. Ex Reinhart, Gamett and Walske. With 2007 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED VIRGINIA CITY PONY EXPRESS COVER THAT WAS CARRIED TO THE EAST COAST, EITHER BY OVERLAND MAIL OR, IN THIS CASE, BY STEAMER VIA PANAMA. AN IMPORTANT POSTAL HISTORY RARITY.
This cover originated in Austin, Nevada Territory, and was datestamped by the Wells, Fargo & Company office on January 30, 1865 (the “0” of date is readable). It traveled west on the Virginia City Pony Express route to San Francisco, a 24-hour express trip, which probably arrived on January 31 or February 1. The San Francisco office applied the large double-circle datestamp with a February 3 date, which is the day the PMSS steamer Golden Age sailed for Panama, carrying $1,222,311.85 in "treasure." This cover was handled by Wells, Fargo & Co. without ever entering the government mail stream. It is the only recorded Virginia City Pony Express cover that was carried to the East Coast.
Ex Dale-Lichtenstein and Walske. With 2006 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL WELLS, FARGO & CO. FRANKED ADVERTISING COVER WITH THE 25-CENT RED VIRGINIA CITY PONY EXPRESS ISSUE.
Although the Crittenden correspondence added at least 18 25c Red Virginia City Pony Express covers to the available supply, none had any form of advertisement. This handsome lithographed cover from San Francisco to Carson City is an exceptional and scarce use of the Horse & Rider issue. Wells Fargo sold franked overall advertising envelopes for an extra penny, or 11c each.
Ex Walske. With 1997 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE. A SUPERB EXAMPLE OF THE VIRGINIA CITY PONY EXPRESS 25-CENT RED ON COVER FROM THE FAMOUS CRITTENDEN CORRESPONDENCE. THE RED PONY STAMP IS MUCH SCARCER ON COVER THAN THE BLUE.
This cover was sent to Clara C. Crittenden by her husband, Alexander Parker Crittenden, a prominent West Coast attorney, while he was residing in Virginia City. The move to Nevada became necessary after California passed a law prohibiting the practice of law by anyone who would not take the loyalty oath. “Parker” Crittenden was a pro-Southerner who chose to relocate to Virginia City, rather than swear allegiance to the Federal government. His wife stayed in San Francisco for some time, and the two corresponded frequently while he was away. A few years later he was shot dead by his mistress in front of his wife and son.
Ex Dr. Martin and Walske. With 1990 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. ONLY FIVE EXAMPLES OF THIS RARE WELLS FARGO & CO. VIRGINIA CITY PONY EXPRESS 10-CENT HORSE & RIDER FRANKED ENVELOPE ARE RECORDED.
The 10c Horse & Rider stamp design was printed directly on envelopes with the Wells Fargo & Co. standard printed frank and U.S. 3c embossed stamp (Scott U34). Only five printed in Red and two printed in Blue are recorded, as follows:
10c Red (143LU1):
1) San Francisco, Apr. 12 (1863), unaddressed paste-up, ex Kramer (R. G. Kaufmann, Sep. 15, 1990, lot 1131), Gamett census no. 2;
2) San Francisco, Apr. 16 (1863) to Virginia City N.T., paste-up, ex Dale-Lichtenstein and Twigg-Smith (Siegel Sale 979, lot 61), unlisted in Gamett census;
3) San Francisco, Apr. 21 (1863) unaddressed paste-up, unlisted in Gamett census, the cover offered here;
4) San Francisco, Apr. 25 (1863) to San Jose, unaddressed paste-up, Gamett census no. 1;
5) San Francisco, date unknown, unaddressed paste-up, Frajola sale, Jan. 25, 1991, ex Kuphal (Siegel Sale 925, lot 1068), Gamett census no. 3.
10c Blue (143LU2):
1) San Francisco, Mar. 29 (1863), Gould & Curry lithographed ad, front only, ex Kramer (R. G. Kaufmann, Sep. 15, 1990, lot 1132), Gamett census no. 2;
2) San Francisco, Apr. 3 (1863), Gould & Curry lithographed ad, front only, ex Dale-Lichtenstein (HRH, Sep. 25, 1997, lot 257), Golden (Siegel Sale 817, Nov. 1999, lot 1584), Gamett census no. 1.
The pattern of use--all paste-ups in March and April 1863--indicates that the envelopes were used exclusively on oversize mail within a brief time span. The 10c denomination corresponds to the first rate period, which was in effect from August 1862 until sometime shortly after January 1863, when the rate was increased to 25c. It is possible that Wells Fargo & Co. sold the 10c envelopes for 25c, or that a few slipped through after the rate change. Envelopes were printed with the 25c Horse & Rider in Red, but none of these has been found in used condition.
Ex Irwin Vogel and Walske
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE EXAMPLE OF THE A. J. OLIVER & CO. BANNOCK AND SALT LAKE EXPRESS HANDSTAMP.
This express company was founded by partners A. J. Oliver, E. A. Conover and Ed House in 1862. The tri-weekly stage and mail service operated between Salt Lake City, Bannack City and Virginia City. In 1864 the base of operations was changed to Virginia City and in 1867 the business was sold to Holladay's Overland Mail and Express Co. (source: Thomas, The Western Express Companies).
Ex Risvold and Walske