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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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Category — Postmasters' Provisionals

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 1, Postmasters' ProvisionalsOne of twelve recorded examples of the 5¢ Baltimore postmaster's provisional with the "James M, One of twelve recorded examples of the 5¢ Baltimore postmaster's provisional with the "James MOne of twelve recorded examples of the 5¢ Baltimore postmaster's provisional with the "James M. Buchanan" handstamp struck in black

Baltimore, Maryland, 5¢ Blue on Gray Entire, Black Signature Handstamp (3XU1 variety), clear strike of the "5" in oval and "PAID" provisional markings with brownish black "James M. Buchanan" signature handstamp, neat strike of "Baltimore Md. Feb. 27" (1846) circular datestamp on gray envelope to Mrs. G. Rogers Jr. in Washington D.C., blue manuscript check mark, pencil "Feb. 26, 1846" docketing at right, small ink smear

Very Fine and immaculate condition.

The envelopes with the signature handstamp in black and other markings in blue were evidently the earliest of Postmaster James M. Buchanan's provisional issues. This is an early use of the provisional in any form, and of the Blue/Black handstamp combinations, there is one later use, on March 1, before the two-color strikes were superseded by single-color strikes. Twelve examples of the 5¢ Blue/Black combination envelope are recorded in the USPCS census.

Ex Marcus Meyer (Scott Stamp & Coin Co., Sale 121, 3/15/1893), Weill Brothers sale and Dr. Charles E. Test ("Concord" collection). USPCS census no. 20038. Unlisted in the Hayes census.

E. 3,000-4,000
Future Sale
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 2, Postmasters' Provisionals, An outstanding 5¢ Baltimore postmaster's provisional entire with boldly struck markings

Baltimore, Maryland, 5¢ Blue on Manila entire (3XU1), superb bold strikes of provisional markings, clear "Baltimore Md. Jul. 28" (1846) circular datestamp on manila envelope addressed to Miss Susan Julia Mayer in Reading, Pennsylvania, faint wax seal mark at center, Extremely Fine example of the 5¢ Baltimore entire, ex Weill Brothers sale and Dr. Charles E. Test ("Concord" collection), USPCS census no. 20054, unlisted in Hayes census, with 1994 P.F. certificate

E. 1,500-2,000
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 3, Postmasters' Provisionals, One of nine recorded examples of the Baltimore 5¢ postmaster's provisional handstamps in red

Baltimore, Maryland, 5¢ Red on Manila entire (3XU2), typical lightly inked strike of signature handstamp in red, but with bolder-than-usual "PAID" and "5" handstamps along with bold blue "Baltimore Md. May 7" (1846) circular datestamp with matching "PAID" and "5" in oval handstamps on manila envelope addressed to Miss Susan Julia Mayer in Reading, Pennsylvania, tiny sealed tear at top, Very Fine, the unpublished census by Don Shearer (1996) lists nine 5¢ envelopes struck in red ink, dated from March to May 1846, the USPCS census lists only seven 3XU2 entires, ex Worthington (pencil source note on back "11/9/03 Scott S&C Co"), Caspary, Lilly, Weill Brothers sale and Dr. Charles E. Test ("Concord" collection), USPCS census no. 20075, Hayes census no. 15, with 1994 P.F. certificate

E. 1,500-2,000
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 4, Postmasters' Provisionals, One of four recorded examples of the Baltimore 10¢ Red postmaster's provisional entire-- an outstanding United States postmaster provisional rarity

Baltimore, Maryland, 10¢ Red on Manila entire (3XU4), clear strikes of provisional markings, blue "Baltimore Md. Sep. 17" (1846) circular datestamp on manila envelope addressed to Thomas Cooper in Cedar Bluff, Alabama, "Ansd--15 Oct '46" receipt docketing at right

Very Fine; some slight soiling and minor wrinkles. One of only four recorded examples of the Baltimore 10¢ postmaster's provisional entire struck in red. This is the second we have offered in the past 25 years.

Ex Weill Brothers sale and Dr. Charles E. Test ("Concord" collection). USPCS census no. 20086--the census lists five, but one is struck in blue (Scott 3XU3) and should not be included in the 3XU4 census. Unlisted in Hayes census. Signed by Stanley B. Ashbrook (Dec. 19, 1955). With 1994 P.F. certificate.

E. 5,000-7,500
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 5, Postmasters' Provisionals, One of two recorded uses of the New York provisional from Albany available to collectors

New York, N.Y., 5¢ Black, "ACM" Initials (9X1), Positions 4-5, horizontal pair, left stamp double transfer, large and even margins, tied by blue penstroke cancels (applied at New York City), red "Albany N.Y. Nov. 11" (1845) circular datestamp with matching "10" handstamp on folded letter to New York City, treated as unpaid by the postmaster in Albany (who never received a supply of stamps), the red "PAID" arc handstamp was applied by the postmaster in New York indicating acceptance of the stamps as prepayment, Very Fine, covers with the New York postmaster's provisional originating at other post offices are rare--only three are recorded from Albany, including one in the Peltz collection at the Albany Institute of History and Art--ex Emerson, Klep, Krug, Grunin and Weill Brothers sale, USPCS census no. 20387, illustrated in the 1936 American Philatelist Macguffin article, signed by Ashbrook, with 1989 P.F. certificate

E. 4,000-5,000
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 6, Postmasters' Provisionals, The only recorded use of the New York provisional from Jersey City

New York, N.Y., 5¢ Black, "A.C.M." Initials (9X1b), large margins to full including part of adjoining stamp at top, uncancelled but tied by vertical file fold on blue folded letter datelined "New York 17 Sept. 1845" to Norwich, Connecticut, deep red "Jersey City N.J. Sep. 17" circular datestamp, blue manuscript "5" rate, neat strike of red "PAID" arc handstamp applied in New York, Very Fine appearance, this is the only recorded use from Jersey City and one of only two sent from New Jersey--according to the USPCS website, Percy Doane, a prominent New York dealer of that era, is quoted as having jokingly remarked that the sender took the ferry to New Jersey, and, finding that he had forgotten to mail the letter, did so immediately--the USPCS census lists a Valentine used from Elizabeth N.J. to Rahway, but it is almost severed in half and lacks any New York markings--ex Weill Brothers sale and Arch, USPCS census no. 20354, illustrated in Chronicle Feb. 1979 and Piller, The New York Postmaster's Provisional (p. 80), with 1974 P.F. certificate

E. 2,000-3,000
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 7, Postmasters' Provisionals, A fantastic combination of the New York postmaster's provisional and United States City Despatch Post carrier stamp--two forerunners to the 1847 United States General Issue

New York, N.Y., 5¢ Black, "RHM" Initials (9X1d), Position 5, large margins, tiny scissors-cut at right, tied by brown manuscript cancel (bleed also ties through stamp) on folded letter datelined "Netherwood 20 Augt. 1845" to Sun Mutual Insurance Co. in New York City, sent by James Lenox, "New Hamburgh N.Y. Aug. 20" manuscript postmark with matching "5" due marking, red "PAID" arc applied in New York indicates acceptance of the stamp as payment, used with United States City Despatch Post, 3¢ Black on Blue Glazed Paper (6LB5), large margins, tied at lower right corner by slight ink smear from first letter of address, neat August 21 receipt docketing

Very Fine; small ink erosion at top right backed with document tape.

A remarkable cover bearing both the New York postmaster's provisional and a United States City Despatch Post stamp--from the well-known James Lenox correspondence.

The sender, James Lenox, inherited over a million dollars and 30 acres of land in Manhattan when his father died in 1839. He retired that same year, and focused on his passions: book collecting and philanthropy. He purchased a Gutenberg bible in 1847, which was the first to be brought to the United States. He was also a founder of Presbyterian Hospital. In 1870 his collection of rare manuscripts became the Lenox Library at the site of what is now the Frick Collection--the library was consolidated with the Astor Library and the Tilden Trust to become The New York Public Library.

In this usage, it appears that Lenox intended to have the government carrier deliver his letter from the main post office to the Wall Street address. From the time of their discovery until the early 1970s, there were two Lenox letters with this combination of postage: the August 20 letter in this sale and the September 2 letter with the carrier stamp affixed below the provisional. The Philatelic Foundation certified this August 20 cover as genuine, but declined to give an opinion of the September 2 cover. In a shocking example of vandalism precipitated by flawed certification, the carrier stamp was removed to obtain a favorable certificate, thereby destroying a significant postal history artifact. Only one other provisional/carrier combination is recorded: a front only, outbound to Europe with 9X1 and 6LB5.

Ex Henry and Raymond Lapham, Frederick R. Chaffee, Charles A. Shierson, Weill Brothers and Dr. Charles E. Test ("Concord" collection). USPCS census no. 20315. Illustrated in an article on the Dr. Kapiloff collection (The Penny Post, Vol. 3, No. 2 April 1993, p. 20). With 1974 P.F. certificate.

E. 15,000-20,000
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 8, Postmasters' Provisionals, One of four recorded covers to Belgium with the New York postmaster's provisional

New York, N.Y., 5¢ Black, "A.C.M." Initials (9X1b), Position 18, full to large margins, trivial small pre-use wrinkle not noted on certificate, tied by blue penstroke cancels, red "PAID" arc handstamp (no datestamp) on July 31, 1845 folded letter to Anvers, Belgium, from the Vanderlinden correspondence, sender's ship-name directive "Str. Britannia"--carried on that Cunard steamer, departing Boston on August 1, 1845, and arriving at Liverpool August 15--red London (Aug. 16) circular datestamp on back, corresponding British "1/8" manuscript debit marking, Ostend (Aug. 17) red backstamp, red rectangular accountancy handstamp "DEBOURS ETRANGERS/TAXE REDUITE/PORT BELGE", restated 20 decimes in Belgian currency, plus 4 decimes internal rate, large blue "24" decimes in manuscript for total amount due, final marking is a red Anvers receiving datestamp on back (Aug. 18)

Very Fine stamp and cover. An outstanding foreign-mail use of the New York postmaster's provisional.

Ex Henry C. Gibson, Sr., and Louis Grunin. USPCS census no. 20285. Illustrated in Piller, The New York Postmaster's Provisional (p. 107). With 1994 P.F. certificate.

E. 4,000-5,000
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 9, Postmasters' Provisionals, A spectacular cover to France with the 5¢ New York postmaster's provisional

New York, N.Y., 5¢ Black, "ACM" Initials (9X1), Position 19, large margins including part of adjoining stamp at left, tied by large "New-York 5 Paid Jun. 15" (1846) integral-rate circular datestamp on blue folded letter to Lyon, France, duplicate of June 8 letter with second June 15 dateline, sender's ship-name directive "p Str. Hibernia"--carried on that Cunarder, departing from Boston on June 16, 1846, and arriving at Liverpool June 28--red "COLONIES/&c ART. 13" Anglo-French accountancy handstamp, red London (June 29) backstamp, Boulogne (July 1), Paris (July 1) and Lyon (July 2) circular datestamps on front and back, manuscript "25" decimes due marking (10 decimes for Great Britain, 15 decimes French internal postage), Extremely Fine and attractive foreign-mail use of the New York provisional, ex Caspary and Grunin, USPCS census no. 20577, with 1992 P.F. certificate

E. 2,000-3,000
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10°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 10, Postmasters' Provisionals, Magnificent gem-quality cover to France with the 5¢ New York postmaster's provisional

New York, N.Y., 5¢ Black, "AC M" Initials (9X1a), Position 36, showing double frameline at top, large to huge margins, tied by red "New-York 28 Feb. 5cts." (1846) integral-rate circular datestamp on blue folded letter to Lyon, France, sender's ship-name directive "Str. Cambria"--carried on that Cunarder, departing from Boston on March 1, 1846, and arriving at Liverpool March 14--red "COLONIES/&c ART. 13" Anglo-French accountancy handstamp, "Liverpool Ship 28 MR 1846" octagonal datestamp on back, red London (Mar. 29) datestamp on back, brownish Boulogne arrival datestamp, Lyon (April 3) receiving datestamp on back, manuscript "25" decimes due marking (10 decimes for Great Britain, 15 decimes French internal postage), Extremely Fine stamp and cover, a beautiful use of the New York provisional to France, ex Moeldner and Newbury, USPCS census no. 20485

E. 2,000-3,000
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11°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 11, Postmasters' ProvisionalsRare use of the "COLONIES &c ART, Rare use of the "COLONIES &c ARTRare use of the "COLONIES &c ART. 12" handstamp with the 5¢ New York postmaster's provisional

New York, N.Y., 5¢ Black, "ACM" Initials (9X1), full margins to clear, tied by blue penstroke cancels, red "New-York 5 Paid Sep. 15" (1845) integral-rate circular datestamp on folded letter to Lyon, France, sender's ship-name directive "Str. Caledonia"--carried on that Cunarder, departing Boston on September 16, 1845, and arriving at Liverpool on September 28--bold strike of red "COLONIES/&c ART. 12" Anglo-French accountancy handstamp, red London (Sep. 29) backstamp, red Boulogne (Oct. 1) arrival datestamp, Lyon receiving backstamp, manuscript "25" decimes due marking (10 decimes for Great Britain, 15 decimes French internal postage), small cover tear at top center away from stamp, Very Fine and rare use of the New York postmaster's provisional on a cover to France--the Anglo-French Article 12 accountancy marking on this cover was only in use for six months while the New York provisional was current--ex Gallagher, USPCS census no. 20353

E. 1,500-2,000
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12°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 12, Postmasters' ProvisionalsA rare use of the 5¢ New York provisional with small "A.C.M, A rare use of the 5¢ New York provisional with small "A.C.MA rare use of the 5¢ New York provisional with small "A.C.M." initials to England

New York, N.Y., 5¢ Black, "A.C.M." Initials (9X1b), large margins, tied by blue penstroke cancels, red "New-York Paid 5 Jul. 31" (1845) first month of use integral-rate circular datestamp on folded letter to Sheffield, England, sender's ship-name directive "Pr Britannia"--carried on that Cunard steamer, departing from Boston on August 1, 1845, and arriving at Liverpool August 15--"America Liverpool AU 15, 1845" datestamp on back, blue Sheffield receiving backstamp is partly struck, British "1/-" one-shilling due handstamp, part of address rewritten, otherwise Very Fine, early use of the 5¢ New York provisional on a transatlantic cover--the earliest recorded use to any destination is July 15--ex Grunin, unlisted in USPCS census

E. 1,000-1,500
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13°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 13, Postmasters' ProvisionalsA spectacular uncancelled sheet-margin 5¢ St, A spectacular uncancelled sheet-margin 5¢ StA spectacular uncancelled sheet-margin 5¢ St. Louis "Bears" provisional on Greenish paper, used on a folded letter to another Missouri town

St. Louis, Missouri, 5¢ Black on Greenish (11X1), Type II, Position 3, large margins all around including trace of adjoining stamp at top, uncancelled, on bluish gray folded letter to Saint Genevieve, Missouri, red "St. Louis Mo. Jan. 19" (1846) circular datestamp with matching "PAID" handstamp and manuscript "5" rate, sender's "Paid" notation

Extremely Fine Gem stamp and exceedingly rare uncancelled example of the 5¢ St. Louis "Bears" provisional on Greenish paper, used on a cover mailed within Missouri--cover with minor toning specks at edges and small bleached spot, which not not affect the superb stamp.

This is the only recorded use of this stamp to St. Genevieve and one of only ten addressed to another Missouri town. The extraordinary condition and uncancelled state of the stamp should be factored into the valuation, but we hope it does not suffer the fate of other superb uncancelled "Bears" stamps and remains on this cover.

Ex Alfred H. Caspary and Josiah K. Lilly, Jr. Date notation in pencil at lower left is in George B. Sloane's neat handwriting. USPCS census no. 21139. With 2002 P.F. certificate. Scott Retail for 11X1 in unused condition (which means uncancelled) is $50,000.00.

E. 15,000-20,000
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14°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 14, Postmasters' ProvisionalsA rare example of the 20¢ St, A rare example of the 20¢ StA rare example of the 20¢ St. Louis "Bears" provisional stamp on Gray Lilac paper, used on an attractive cover from the famous Charnley & Whelen correspondence

St. Louis, Missouri, 20¢ Black on Gray Lilac (11X6), Type I, Position 1, three margins are large to clear, just in at bottom, cancelled by manuscript pen squiggle and tied by well-struck red "St. Louis Mo. May 12" (1846) circular datestamp, matching "PAID" handstamp and manuscript "20" rate on blue folded letter to the banking firm of Charnley and Whelen in Philadelphia

Very Fine. A beautiful example of the 20¢ St. Louis postmaster's provisional on Gray Lilac paper, used on a cover from the Charnley & Whelen correspondence. Only 18 covers with Scott 11X6 are recorded in the USPCS census.

Charnley & Whelen was a firm of stock and exchange brokers in Philadelphia. In 1912, a well-known paper dealer named Edward Hemingway purchased the firm's old papers and letters. While sorting through the papers, a large cache of St. Louis "Bears" was found, reported to consist of six 5¢, 79 10¢ and 16 20¢. With the exception of a few which were sold at the time of their discovery, Mr. Hemingway held them until his death. They were bequeathed to the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania. The covers were sold by H. R. Harmer on December 13, 1948. The sale consisted of 42 lots of covers, bearing six copies of the 5¢, 51 of the 10¢ and 14 of the 20¢. The cover offered here was lot 34 in that sale.

Ex T. Cullen Davis ("Texas Collector"), Weill Brothers sale and Dr. Charles E. Test ("Concord" collection). USPCS census no. 21182. With 1989 P.F. certificate.

E. 15,000-20,000
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