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Sale 1211 — The William H. Gross Collection: United States Postal History

Sale Date — Tuesday-Wednesday, 29-30 October, 2019

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*A buyer’s premium of 18% of the winning bid will be added as part of the total purchase price on all lots in this sale. Buyers are responsible for applicable sales tax, customs duty and any other prescribed charges. By placing a bid you agree to the terms and conditions of sale.

Category — 1851 Issue First Day Covers

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
164°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 164, 1851 Issue First Day Covers, 1¢ Blue on a July 1, 1851, printed circular

1¢ Blue, Type II (7), Plate 1 Early, large margins at bottom and right, just in at top and left, faults including sealed tears, tied by red grid cancel on blue printed circular for wholesale druggist datelined "New York, July 1st, 1851", addressed to Newburgh, New York, manuscript "Circular" and "paid" at upper left, docketing below stamp includes the July 1, 1851 date, Very Fine appearance--only two 1¢ 1851 covers postmarked July 1 are recorded (one with Scott 5A and the other with Scott 7); six July 1 circulars with the 1¢ 1851 are recorded, but printed circulars were frequently mailed after their publication date, so they are not considered true First Day of Issue uses; the Scott U.S. Specialized lists the July 1 circular in the First Day Cover section and prices it at $4,000.00--ex Fisher and noted in Neinken, The United States One Cent Stamp of 1851 to 1861 (p. 78).

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The New 1851 Issue

Three new stamps--1¢, 3¢ and 12¢ denominations-- were necessary after postage rates were revised by Congress during the Fillmore administration. Effective July 1, 1851, the basic rates became 1¢ for newspapers and circulars (with a distance escalation until 1852), 1¢ for drop letters and carrier fees, 3¢ for domestic letters sent up to 3,000 miles, and 6¢ for letters sent over 3,000 miles. Prepayment by stamps or stamped envelopes was not made compulsory until 1855, but for the first time there were higher rates for letters sent unpaid--5¢ instead of 3¢, and 10¢ instead of 6¢. The combination of convenience and the financial incentive to prepay postage led to a rapid increase in stamp use and popularity.

Under Postmaster General Nathan K. Hall, the contract to print the 1851 Issue was awarded to the Philadelphia firm of Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear & Co. (Casilear retired in October 1854, but his name was included in plate imprints as late as 1857). To start, only the 1¢, 3¢ and 12¢ (and the General Issue Carrier stamps) were produced. A 10¢ stamp was added in 1855 to meet the new transcontinental rate, and a 5¢ stamp was added in 1856 for use on transatlantic mail. The firm's original six-year contract was extended to 1861, during which time stamps were perforated and three new denominations were issued (24¢, 30¢ and 90¢), for a total of eight different stamps under Toppan Carpenter's contract.

All three 1851 Issue stamps were supplied to certain post offices on or before July 1, 1851, the first day of the new rates. The census of 1851 First Day Covers published by Wilson Hulme in 2001 (The 1851 Issue of United States Stamps: A Sesquicentennial Retrospective, USPCS) tallied 45 covers from 23 cities in 11 states (one in the count was postmarked by the Louisville & Cincinnati Mail Line route agent). Only two of the 45 covers have 1¢ stamps--the Scott 5A cover from Boston (sold in the Gross U.S. Treasures sale) and a cover with a strip of Scott 7 from New York City (ex Jefferys and Grunin). The other 43 have 3¢ stamps, and currently there are no 12¢ July 1 covers known.

The 1¢ on a July 1, 1851, printed circular is a suitable alternative to the supremely rare postmarked First Day covers.

E. 2,000-3,000
Future Sale
165°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 165, 1851 Issue First Day Covers, One of the finest 3¢ 1851 First Day of Issue covers

3¢ Orange Brown, Type II (10A), Position 60L1E, large margins to clear including significant portion of adjoining stamp at top, vivid color, tied by black grid cancel with matching "PAID" handstamp at center, red "Boston 3cts. 1 Jul." First Day integral-rate circular datestamp on blue folded letter to Wheeling, Virginia, part of contents missing but does read "I send hereon the first stamp issue under the new law", pristine condition, Very Fine, one of the finest First Day covers with the 3¢ 1851 Issue, only 43 are recorded in Wilson Hulme's census, and only four are known used from Boston (one is seriously defective), ex Ashbrook, Richey, Krug, G. B. Smith, Ishikawa and Hackmey, illustrated in Ashbrook, The United States One Cent Stamp of 1851-1857 (Vol. 1, p. 121)

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The New 1851 Issue

Three new stamps--1¢, 3¢ and 12¢ denominations-- were necessary after postage rates were revised by Congress during the Fillmore administration. Effective July 1, 1851, the basic rates became 1¢ for newspapers and circulars (with a distance escalation until 1852), 1¢ for drop letters and carrier fees, 3¢ for domestic letters sent up to 3,000 miles, and 6¢ for letters sent over 3,000 miles. Prepayment by stamps or stamped envelopes was not made compulsory until 1855, but for the first time there were higher rates for letters sent unpaid--5¢ instead of 3¢, and 10¢ instead of 6¢. The combination of convenience and the financial incentive to prepay postage led to a rapid increase in stamp use and popularity.

Under Postmaster General Nathan K. Hall, the contract to print the 1851 Issue was awarded to the Philadelphia firm of Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear & Co. (Casilear retired in October 1854, but his name was included in plate imprints as late as 1857). To start, only the 1¢, 3¢ and 12¢ (and the General Issue Carrier stamps) were produced. A 10¢ stamp was added in 1855 to meet the new transcontinental rate, and a 5¢ stamp was added in 1856 for use on transatlantic mail. The firm's original six-year contract was extended to 1861, during which time stamps were perforated and three new denominations were issued (24¢, 30¢ and 90¢), for a total of eight different stamps under Toppan Carpenter's contract.

All three 1851 Issue stamps were supplied to certain post offices on or before July 1, 1851, the first day of the new rates. The census of 1851 First Day Covers published by Wilson Hulme in 2001 (The 1851 Issue of United States Stamps: A Sesquicentennial Retrospective, USPCS) tallied 45 covers from 23 cities in 11 states (one in the count was postmarked by the Louisville & Cincinnati Mail Line route agent). Only two of the 45 covers have 1¢ stamps--the Scott 5A cover from Boston (sold in the Gross U.S. Treasures sale) and a cover with a strip of Scott 7 from New York City (ex Jefferys and Grunin). The other 43 have 3¢ stamps, and currently there are no 12¢ July 1 covers known.

The two 3¢ First Day covers offered in this sale are among the finest extant.

E. 5,000-7,500
Future Sale
Back to Top
166°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 166, 1851 Issue First Day Covers, The only 1851 First Day cover from Chillicothe, Ohio

3¢ Orange Brown, Type I (10), Position 51R1E, three large margins, clear to touched at right, radiant color, tied by blue 7-bar grid cancel, matching "Chillicothe, Ohio 1 Jul." (1851) First Day circular datestamp on buff cover to Columbus, Ohio, stamp also "tied" by unusual pinhole grid (probably from an affixing wafer), Very Fine, the only recorded First Day cover of the 1851 Issue from Chillicothe, Ohio, accompanied by note from Dr. Chase stating in his opinion this is an 1851 use due to the use of the Plate 1 Early stamp, ex Schenck, Rubel, H. J. Baker and Fisher

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The New 1851 Issue

Three new stamps--1¢, 3¢ and 12¢ denominations-- were necessary after postage rates were revised by Congress during the Fillmore administration. Effective July 1, 1851, the basic rates became 1¢ for newspapers and circulars (with a distance escalation until 1852), 1¢ for drop letters and carrier fees, 3¢ for domestic letters sent up to 3,000 miles, and 6¢ for letters sent over 3,000 miles. Prepayment by stamps or stamped envelopes was not made compulsory until 1855, but for the first time there were higher rates for letters sent unpaid--5¢ instead of 3¢, and 10¢ instead of 6¢. The combination of convenience and the financial incentive to prepay postage led to a rapid increase in stamp use and popularity.

Under Postmaster General Nathan K. Hall, the contract to print the 1851 Issue was awarded to the Philadelphia firm of Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear & Co. (Casilear retired in October 1854, but his name was included in plate imprints as late as 1857). To start, only the 1¢, 3¢ and 12¢ (and the General Issue Carrier stamps) were produced. A 10¢ stamp was added in 1855 to meet the new transcontinental rate, and a 5¢ stamp was added in 1856 for use on transatlantic mail. The firm's original six-year contract was extended to 1861, during which time stamps were perforated and three new denominations were issued (24¢, 30¢ and 90¢), for a total of eight different stamps under Toppan Carpenter's contract.

All three 1851 Issue stamps were supplied to certain post offices on or before July 1, 1851, the first day of the new rates. The census of 1851 First Day Covers published by Wilson Hulme in 2001 (The 1851 Issue of United States Stamps: A Sesquicentennial Retrospective, USPCS) tallied 45 covers from 23 cities in 11 states (one in the count was postmarked by the Louisville & Cincinnati Mail Line route agent). Only two of the 45 covers have 1¢ stamps--the Scott 5A cover from Boston (sold in the Gross U.S. Treasures sale) and a cover with a strip of Scott 7 from New York City (ex Jefferys and Grunin). The other 43 have 3¢ stamps, and currently there are no 12¢ July 1 covers known.

The two 3¢ First Day covers offered in this sale are among the finest extant.

E. 5,000-7,500
Future Sale
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