VERY FINE. ONE OF 12-14 RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE NORTHERN LIBERTIES NEWS ROOMS MARKING, WHICH WAS APPLIED TO MAIL HANDLED BY THE SUB POST OFFICE OPERATED BY ANDREW McMAKIN.
Prior to 1854, the Northern Liberties area (north of Vine Street) was outside Philadelphia's city limits. Carriers were used to transport mail between outlying areas and the main post office in Philadelphia. The term Sub Post Office refers to a location where letters could be deposited for delivery to the main post office. The Northern Liberties News Rooms, which advertised its services as early as 1833, established a Sub Post Office in 1835. The proprietor at this time was Andrew McMakin. A news item appearing in the October 10, 1835, edition of the Philadelphia Saturday Courier states: "The enterprising, attentive and indefatigable proprietor of that popular establishment, the Northern Liberties Free Admission News Room, has found the business of his Sub Post Office so much on the increase, as to induce him to prepare a new and appropriate stamp, which we perceive is now imprinted upon all letters deposited at his office." (from research by Elliott Perry and J. William Middendorf). Later advertisements link the Sub Post Office in Northern Liberties with the main Philadelphia post office, which reinforces its status as an authorized drop point for mail.
Debate among postal historians (Perry, Hahn et al) has focused on when the distinctive marking (Type I or II) was applied to letters. Some have argued that it is a press-printed impression applied to lettersheets prior to use and is, therefore, a carrier stamp. In support of the press-printed argument is the consistent orientation of the marking at the left side and at the same degree relative to the paper upon which it is impressed; it would be impossible to apply a hand-held striking device so consistently. Arguing against this press-printed theory are those who cite the effects of folds on the markings and impressions thru the paper, physical evidence that proves the marking was applied after the lettersheet had been folded. Our opinion is that the markings were applied after the letter was folded and given to the Sub Post Office, but that a mechanical device -- similar to a corporate seal -- was used to make the impression. Each letter, when inserted into the device along the guides, would receive the impression in the same relative position and orientation, not unlike a three-hole paper-punch device commonly used today.
In summary, historical evidence supports the status of the Northern Liberties News Rooms Sub Post Office as an official carrier drop point for mail to the main Philadelphia post office. However, physical evidence refutes the claim that these lettersheets were sold to patrons as stamped stationery to indicate prepayment of the carrier fee; the marking is better classified as an elaborate and mechanically-applied indication of letter handling.
Calvet M. Hahn recorded between 12 and 14 examples of Type I (some duplication of items is possible).
Ex Dr. LeBow. With 2007 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. AN OUTSTANDING ON-COVER EXAMPLE OF THE RARE HONOUR'S CITY POST STAMP ON BLUISH PELURE PAPER.
The "Honour's/City Post/2 Cents" typeset stamps were the first of the small rectangular issues after the oval first issue. They are found on yellow and bluish pelure paper. Both are extremely rare. The Lyons census (The Penny Post, October 2007) lists ten 4LB5 covers.
Ex Caspary, Middendorf and Geisler. With 2008 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE TIED EXAMPLE OF THE SCARCE KINGMAN'S CARRIER STAMP USED ON COVER WITH THE 3-CENT 1857 ISSUE.
Eliab J. Kingman was Dr. John H. Honour's brother-in-law and served as the first assistant in Honour's Penny Post from its inception in 1849. It is reported that sometime in 1851, Kingman received his own appointment as a government carrier and divided the city's routes with Dr. Honour. According to the Faber account (Pat Paragraphs, 1981 Reprint, pp. 247-248), Kingman retired in March 1858 and was replaced by Joseph G. Martin, a relative to the Honour family through marriage. The Scott listings for the two Kingman's stamps are out of chronological sequence. The four-line type, 4LB15, preceded the three-line type, 4LB14, by at least three or four years. The format of 4LB14 matches the stamps printed for Martin, Steinmeyer and Beckman in 1858, 1859 and 1860, and it is probable that the same setting was used with the names changed as required. Kingman is reported to have retired in March 1858; based on dated examples, the 4LB14 stamp was probably issued in mid-1856 and not used after March 1858. Genuine covers are found in this time period.
Ex Meyersburg and Geisler. With 1999 and 2008 P.F. certificates.
EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF TWO TIED EXAMPLES AMONG THE TWELVE RECORDED COVERS BEARING THE RARE BLUE EAGLE STAMP OF AMERICAN LETTER MAIL COMPANY.
This use of the rare Blue Eagle stamp probably occurred soon before the independent mail firms were effectively abolished by the government. On July 1, 1845, the postage rate for distances under 300 miles was reduced to 5c per half-ounce. By the same Act of Congress, Federal law prohibited the carrying of letters by private companies between cities where the Post Office Department offered inter-city mail service. American Letter Mail Company, which had aroused popular support for cheaper domestic postage, was a catalyst for the 1845 legislation. However, it could no longer sustain its fight with the government over mail routes and closed on June 30, 1845.
The Large Eagle stamp in Blue is recorded on covers dated from August 1844 through June 1845, with about half of the reported covers addressed to Hopkins & Weston in New York. The Blue and Black color scheme for the American Letter Mail Co. Large Eagle stamps, which lack a denomination (unlike their predecessor issue, the Small Eagle), may have been modeled upon Great Britain's 1840 Penny Black and Two-Pence Blue. The Blue stamp was used for the single rate, but its original purpose might have been to pay a double rate.
Ex Perry, Schwartz and "Gordon N. John". With 2004 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF THE FINEST TIED EXAMPLES OF THE RARE BLOOD'S FIRST STRIDING MESSENGER ISSUE WITH MANUSCRIPT CONTROL MARK.
The Striding Messenger stamp, issued in 1843 by the Philadelphia Despatch Post and adopted by D. O. Blood & Co., is the first pictorial stamp in the world. It depicts a gargantuan letter carrier -- the "City Despatch Post" bag slung over his shoulder -- stepping over the Merchant's Exchange Building, which housed Philadelphia's post office. The image conveys the private posts' superior speed and reliability.
Illustrated in Chronicle (No. 220, p. 318). Ex German Sale, Brown, Hurd, Hall and Jarrett
EXTREMELY FINE. A CHOICE EXAMPLE OF THE BROWNE & CO. 2-CENT STAMP ON COVER. VERY SCARCE AND MOST DESIRABLE WITH THE STAMP TIED BY THE COMPANY'S RED HANDSTAMP.
The 1c stamp, 29L1, was designed with the "Brown & Co." spelling error. The correct spelling, Browne (with an "e"), appears on the 2c stamp and the markings used by the post.
Ex Caspary and Judd. With 1997 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. FEWER THAN SIX BROWNE'S EASTON DESPATCH STAMPS ARE RECORDED IN USED CONDITION, AND THIS IS THE ONLY EXAMPLE RECORDED WITH A HANDSTAMP CANCEL.
The engraved stamp with a portrait of Washington, 30L3, was the subject of a study by Larry Lyons (The Penny Post, April 2006). In his article he reconstructs the original plate layout and documents at least 37 examples, only four of which are cancelled. This is the only example recorded with a handstamp cancel.
Ex Caspary. With 1959 and 2001 P.F. certificates. Scott Retail for used ($1,000.00) is irrelevant as it is based on sales of pen-cancelled copies
EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. ARGUABLY THE FINEST USED EXAMPLE OF THE EXTREMELY RARE CITY DISPATCH POST STAMP IN EXISTENCE.
Of the 15 to 20 examples of the City Dispatch 2c Red known to us, this is one of perhaps two or three four-margin stamps in essentially sound condition. It is cancelled by the distinctive blue pen squiggle, which is the legitimate cancellation on this issue (also known in pencil).
Ex Hall. With 2004 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. AN OUTSTANDING AND RARE USE OF THE CUMMINGS' CITY POST "LETTER & HEART" STAMP.
Ex Ferrary, Middendorf and Kuphal. With 1991 and 2011 P.F. certificates
VERY FINE. ONE OF FOURTEEN RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THIS RARITY -- ONLY SIX ARE CANCELLED BY THE RED COMPANY HANDSTAMP.
Ex Hall. With 2001 P.F. certificate