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

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

Category — 1847 Issue—Florida and Territorial Usage

Cat./Est. Value
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 71, 1847 Issue—Florida and Territorial Usage, Matching 5¢ and 10¢ 1847 covers from Apalachicola, Florida, to New York City

5¢ Brown, 10¢ Black (1, 2), pair of 5¢ and single of 10¢, tied by light red grid cancels, matching "Apalachicola F.T. Feb. 26" and "May 22" circular datestamps on separate buff envelopes to New York City, Fickett correspondence, the 5¢ pair with large margins to full, small scissors-cut between stamps in margin, 10¢ with large margins all around

Very Fine; both covers with wax seal stains at center as do all from this correspondence, slight edgewear.

Scarce matched pair of 5¢ and 10¢ 1847 Issue covers from Apalachicola, Florida, both paying the over-300 miles rate. Apalachicola received only 700 5¢ and 900 10¢ stamps during the life of the 1847 Issue. Covers are scarce, with fewer than 30 listed in the USPCS census. Florida became a state in 1845, but the postmaster continued to use the datestamp with "F.T." Florida Territory designation.

Ex Dr. Carroll Chase (with his notes on the back of the 10¢ cover) and John R. Boker, Jr.

E. 3,000-4,000
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 72, 1847 Issue—Florida and Territorial Usage, The only recorded cover from Minnesota Territory with the 1847 First General Issue-- an outstanding rarity of the issue and of the classic period in general

10¢ Black (2), three large margins, just clear at bottom where there is a minute margin tear at left, manuscript "X" cancel and tied by "Saint Paul Min. Ter. Feb 12" (1851) circular datestamp, struck in an oily greenish blue ink on buff envelope addressed to Jenks & Ogden in Philadelphia

Very Fine--this is the unique use of an 1847 Issue stamp on a cover from Minnesota Territory.

Post Office records show that on February 4, 1851 the postmaster at St. Paul (J. W. Bass) received and signed for 200 5¢ and 1,200 10¢ stamps of the 1847 issue. Eight days later J. Ridgway Jenks, who was a partner in a pharmacy business and the brother of Governor Alexander Ramsey's wife, posted this cover. It is the only known 1847 Issue cover from Minnesota Territory.

Ex Floyd E. Risvold. This cover's discovery was reported by Susan M. McDonald (Chronicle 153, February 1992). Illustrated in The United States 1847 Issue: A Cover Census (p. 283). With 1991 P.F. certificate stating the datestamp is dark blue.

E. 10,000-15,000
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 73, 1847 Issue—Florida and Territorial Usage, The finest recorded 10¢ 1847 Issue cover from Indian Territory

10¢ Black (2), large to gigantic margins showing parts of four adjoining stamps, manuscript "X" as always for this post office, clear "Doakes Ville Ark. May 30" (1850) circular datestamp on envelope to Mrs. Clinton W. Lear, care of Martin G. Kennedy at "'Box No. 7'" in the New Orleans post office

Very Fine. This is the finest of only seven recorded 10¢ 1847 covers from Indian Territory (there are also 5¢ 1847 covers from Indian Territory).

Doaksville (spelled with an "e" in the postmark) was located in the Choctaw Nation, but for administrative purposes the post office was attached to the Arkansas postal department. Supplies of the 1847 Issue, consisting of 100 5¢ and 100 10¢ stamps arrived on March 27, 1850. A second shipment of 200 5¢ and another 100 10¢ arrived May 15, 1850, and it is believed that all of the known 10¢ 1847 covers are from the second shipment.

All of the 10¢ covers are from the Lear correspondence. Lt. Clinton W. Lear was stationed at nearby Fort Towson, and he was writing to his wife in New Orleans. The six covers for which we have images are dated May 30, June 13, 20, 24, 30 and July 1. The seventh is an October 4 cover listed in the USPCS census but without description or image. The only one with the original contents, June 24, establishes the year of mailing as 1850. Each has a single 10¢ cancelled with a manuscript "X," and though none is tied in the traditional sense, the somewhat corrosive cancelling ink has bled through and is clearly visible on the inside of the envelope. This cover is unquestionably the best preserved of this group, which usually show paper wear and ink deterioration to varying degrees, including a couple quite severe. The Lear group was the subject of an article by Creighton C. Hart in Chronicle 72. At that time (1971), only four Lear covers were known, in addition to a 5¢ from Doaksville and one from Eagletown (both Pitchlynn correspondence).

Ex Harvey Mirsky.

E. 7,500-10,000
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 74, 1847 Issue—Florida and Territorial Usage, The only recorded example of the Little Miami Railroad "Sunburst" fancy cancellation on an 1847 Issue cover

5¢ Brown Orange (1d), horizontal pair, large margins to just in at left, brilliant shade from late printing, slight gum staining and small inclusion in left stamp, cancelled by two clear strikes of red Sunburst fancy cancel with matching "Little Miami R.R. Jun. 10" route agent's circular datestamp on envelope to Newtown, Pennsylvania, couple light gum residue spots on cover

Very Fine. This is the only recorded example of the Little Miami Railroad "Sunburst" fancy cancellation on the 1847 issue and is offered to the market for only the second time since its discovery in the early 2000s.

According to the Alexander book, two Little Miami Railroad route agents received 1,000 5¢ and 200 10¢ 1847 stamps. The Brown Orange shade of the pair on this cover indicates 1851 usage. There are six other Little Miami Railroad covers with 1847 stamps listed in the USPCS census, including four 5¢ covers (mailed between 1849 and 1850), the famous strip of five and single 10¢ on a legal-size cover (6/1/1851, ex Wyer) and a single 10¢ (3/16/18??). None of these has the Sunburst fancy cancel. According to Remele, the Little Miami Railroad was chartered in 1836 and completed between Cincinnati and Xenia in 1845. It was eventually incorporated into the Philadelphia railroad system.

Fancy "killer" cancels are extremely rare in the 1847-51 period. The term "killer" to describe the cancel was actually used by New York Postmaster Robert H. Morris. Although fancy rate markings from the pre-stamp era were used to cancel 1847 stamps, fancy cancels created for the specific purpose of "killing" stamps did not become popular until the 1850s. Fancy "killer" cancels on 1847s, such as the St. Johnsbury Scarab, Trenton Star and Binghamton Herringbone, have been known to collectors and highly prized for years. This Little Miami Railroad Sunburst, to the best of our knowledge, had not been recorded before the emergence of this cover from an estate in the early 2000s.

From our 2006 Rarities sale. With 2006 P.F. certificate.

E. 10,000-15,000
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 75, 1847 Issue—Florida and Territorial Usage, 1847 5¢ Brown Orange pair with Wilmington & Raleigh Railroad blue fancy "Pinwheel" cancel

5¢ Brown Orange (1d), horizontal pair, left stamp Dot in "S" variety, large margins to just into framelines in a couple places, brilliant color and detailed impression, two clear strikes of blue "Pinwheel" fancy cancel, with matching "Wilmington & Raleigh Railroad Oct. 14" (1850) route agent's circular datestamp on blue folded cover to Philadelphia, docketing inside, some scattered bleached spots are inconsequential and do not affect the stamps, fresh and Very Fine, an extraordinarily beautiful railroad cover with a pair in the brilliant Brown Orange shade cancelled by two perfect strikes of the Pinwheel fancy cancel, ex Krug, Hart and Boker, illustrated in the Chronicle 84, signed Ashbrook, with 1973 P.F. certificate

E. 3,000-4,000
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 76, 1847 Issue—Florida and Territorial UsageChoice pair of 10¢ 1847s on a pristine "U.S, Choice pair of 10¢ 1847s on a pristine "U.SChoice pair of 10¢ 1847s on a pristine "U.S. Express Mail" cover from Boston to Philadelphia

10¢ Black (2), Positions 53-54R, full to large margins, tied by red grid cancels with matching "U.S. Express Mail Boston Mass. Sep. 5" route agent's circular datestamp on blue folded cover to Philadelphia, Ludlow Beebee & Co. correspondence, two tape stains on back, fresh and Extremely Fine pair and cover paying double 10¢ over-300 miles rate for weight, easily one of the finest examples from this correspondence, ex Wunderlich, Weill Stock and Boker

E. 2,000-3,000
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 77, 1847 Issue—Florida and Territorial Usage, 5¢ 1847 tied by green Richmond & Petersburg Railroad circular datestamp--described by Ward as "Possibly the finest 1847 5¢ railroad cover"

5¢ Red Brown (1), large to huge margins, fresh color and detailed impression, perfectly tied by greenish blue "Richmond & Ptrsbg. R.R. Jul. 3" (1850) route agent's circular datestamp on folded letter addressed to Petersburg, Virginia, Extremely Fine, a superb 5¢ 1847 railroad cover, on the back of which Philip H. Ward wrote "Possibly the finest 1847 5¢ Railroad cover," the USPCS census lists only two 1847 covers with this route agent's datestamp, this is quite obviously the finer of the two, ex Ackerman, Rust and Boker, signed Ashbrook

E. 2,000-3,000
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 78, 1847 Issue—Florida and Territorial Usage, 5¢ 1847 tied by a bold strike of Housatonic Railroad route agent's red circular datestamp

5¢ Red Brown (1), large margins to clear at bottom, tied by bold strike of red "Housatonic Railroad 5" in circle route agent's circular handstamp on small envelope to Durham Centre, Connecticut, Extremely Fine strike of this railroad route agent's handstamp, which is rare on 1847 Issue covers, the USPCS census illustrates only a few others with the route agent's handstamp tying the 1847 stamp, ex Dick, Rust and Boker, with 2013 P.F. certificate

E. 2,000-3,000
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 79, 1847 Issue—Florida and Territorial Usage, 5¢ 1847 on illustrated railroad lettersheet with Norwich & Worcester Railroad red datestamp

5¢ Red Brown (1), Dot in "S" variety, large margins to barely touching frameline at left, tied by red grid cancel with matching "5" handstamp and "Norwich & Worcester R.R. Apr. 30" (1849) route agent's circular datestamp on folded letter to New York City, printed letterhead from the railroad illustrates a steam engine pulling a freight car, Extremely Fine, superb strike of this route agent's circular datestamp, which is known in both blue and red, ex Dick and Boker

E. 750-1,000
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 80, 1847 Issue—Florida and Territorial Usage, Sheet-margin 5¢ 1847 on cover with Norwich & Worcester Railroad blue datestamp and 4-bar grid

5¢ Red Brown (1), large margins including left sheet margin, clear at top left, pre-printing paper fold, affixed over manuscript "Paid 5" and cancelled by bold blue 4-bar grid with matching perfect strike of "Norwich & Worcester R.R. Nov. 16" (1849) route agent's circular datestamp on folded letter to Suffield, Connecticut, Very Fine stamp and Extremely Fine strike of this railroad circular datestamp, ex Matthies and Boker, with 1990 P.S.E. certificate (as Pale Brown) and unsigned accompanying letter (presumably from expert committee) explaining why the stamp belongs on the cover

E. 1,000-1,500
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