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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 — 1847 Issue Used to and from Central America

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
118°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 118, 1847 Issue Used to and from Central America, The largest 10¢ 1847 Issue franking on cover, paying the triple 30¢ Panama rate on a cover from Peru to Mexico--a spectacular 1847 Issue cover

DESCRIPTION

10¢ Black (2), two horizontal strips of three, originally a block of six, Positions 85-87R and 95-97R, used with three singles, Positions 71R, 81R and 91R, originally a vertical strip of three, clear to huge margins on all stamps except for single at upper right which was damaged in handling (a stamp with a similar cancel has been hinged over the part stamp to enhance the cover's appearance), each with light strike of red grid cancel, matching red "PANAMA" straightline handstamp applied before the stamps were affixed on folded cover originating in Lima, Peru, and sent to Barron, Forbes & Co. in San Blas, Mexico, and on to Tepic, receipt docketing gives Lima origin and July 13, 1850, mailing date: "1850, Santiago [?], Lima 13 Julio, R 30 Octobre, C. 8 Nove"

PROVENANCE

Described in Ashbrook Scrap Book 17, p. 19 (P.F. website), with copy of 1948 letter from Jerome L. Cohen, a Tucson dealer

Col. James T. DeVoss, Sotheby Parke Bernet sale, 10/25/1978, Sale 25, lot 2166, to Ishikawa

Ryohei Ishikawa, Christie's Robson Lowe sale, 9/28-29/1993, lot 79, to Craveri

Guido Craveri, Bennett sale, 3/23/2002, lot 19, to William H. Gross

CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES

USPCS census no. 10216 https://www.uspcs.org/resource-center/censuses/1847-cover-census/

Stanley B. Ashbrook, Special Service, #11, p. 71, photo 38

Hugh J. and J. David Baker, Bakers' U.S. Classics, p. 152

Col. James T. DeVoss, "A Remarkable Cover: Largest Multiple Use of The 10-Cent 1847 Stamp Known on Cover," Chronicle 91 -- Via Panama, p. 148

Gordon Eubanks, Jr., "Covers with Three or More 1847 Stamps," Chronicle 254, fig. 2

Richard B. Graham, "Postal History and Stamps: A Colorful Combination, 1847-1861," American Philatelist, November 1978

Creighton C. Hart, "1847 Covers from Panama," Chronicle 58

Jonathan W. Rose, Classic United States Imperforate Stamps, p. 22

PHILYMPIA 1970 London International Stamp Exhibition (DeVoss), illustrated in the exhibition catalogue (p. 90)

INTERPHIL 1976 (DeVoss)

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1999)

CONDITION NOTES

Fine appearance; stamp at upper right hinged over remnant of original stamp, some ink erosion in address and horizontal file fold with some slight splitting

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

Nine 10¢ 1847s Used Entirely Outside the United States

This astonishing cover has nine 10¢ 1847 stamps, all cut from one of the 25 sheets supplied to the U.S. mail agent in Panama, shortly after the stamps arrived. The two strips of three along the top originally formed a block of six.

The 90¢ postage paid the triple 30¢ per half-ounce rate from Panama to points along the West Coast. The cover originated in Lima, Peru, and was stamped by the U.S. mail agent and consul in Panama, Amos B. Corwine, before it was carried on a Pacific Mail Steamship Co. steamer on the coastal route to San Francisco. Among the stops made on this route was the Mexican port city of San Blas.

Official records of 1847 stamp distribution indicate that 25 sheets of the 10¢ (2,500 stamps) were sent on June 22, 1850, to Corwine in Panama, and received on July 16. Another 25 sheets were sent on January 17, 1851, and received March 21. The stamps on this cover come from the first supply and were used soon after they arrived. A red "PANAMA" handstamp was applied by Corwine before he affixed the stamps. A digital mirror image of the reverse side is shown.

The USPCS 1847 census lists ten covers originating in Panama. This is one of three addressed to a destination outside of the United States, including one to Mazatlan (lot 119 in this sale) and two to San Blas/Tepic. This cover is the only multiple 30¢ rate stamped cover. More significantly, it is the largest 10¢ 1847 franking on any extant cover.

Barron Forbes & Co., the recipient, was founded in the 1820s and became one of the region's leading trade, banking and mercantile enterprises. According to historian Howard Gulick, "during the period from 1846 to 1853 the company controlled the port of San Blas by corrupting the customs employees to such an extent that it was practically impossible for anybody but the company to import goods profitably."

E. 75,000-100,000
Future Sale
119°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 119, 1847 Issue Used to and from Central America, A stunning strip of three of the 10¢ 1847 Issue with interpane sheet margin used on a cover from Panama to Mexico, entirely outside the United States--the finest of the ten recorded 1847 covers originating in Panama and one of three sent to Mexico

10¢ Black (2), Positions 51-53R, horizontal strip of three, large margins to clear including left interpane sheet margin, tied by red grid cancels, matching "PANAMA" straightline handstamp on gray-lined folded cover to Mazatlan, Mexico, addressed to "Messr. Jecker Torre & Co.", docketing indicates sent by William Perry in Panama on November 11, 1850, and received in Mazatlan, Mexico, on January 9, 1851

Extremely Fine. An extremely rare use of the 10¢ 1847 Issue, paying the 30¢ rate from Panama--an absolutely pristine cover and undeniably the finest quality example of this rare 1847 Issue use.

United States Post Office Department records of 1847 stamps distributed to post offices indicate that 25 sheets of 10¢ 1847s (2,500 stamps) were sent on June 22, 1850, to Amos B. Corwine, the official U.S. mail agent in Panama City. Corwine received the stamps on July 16. Another 25 sheets (2,500 stamps) were sent to Corwine on January 17, 1851, and received March 21. No 5¢ 1847s were ever sent to Panama, since the standard rate was 30¢ per half ounce. Corwine served as the American commissioner in Panama until Lincoln removed him from office.

The USPCS 1847 census lists ten covers originating in Panama. This is one of three addressed to a destination outside of the United States; the other two are to San Blas/Tepic, Mexico, including the triple-rate cover offered as lot 118. By virtue of the strip's margins and overall quality of the cover, it is superior in quality to all other known 1847 covers from Panama.

Ex Rep. Ernest R. Ackerman, William O. Sweet and John R. Boker, Jr. Displayed at ANPHILEX in 1996. Signed by Stanley B. Ashbrook.

E. 30,000-40,000
Future Sale
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120°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 120, 1847 Issue Used to and from Central America, 10¢ 1847 pair paying 20¢ rate from the east coast of Panama--one of ten recorded 1847 covers from Panama and the only 20¢ rate among them

10¢ Black (2), horizontal pair, left stamp with short transfer at top plate variety, large margins to full all around, bold black grid cancels, matching "N. York Steamship" dateless circle handstamp on envelope originating in Chagres, Panama, with original letter enclosure datelined "Panama Sept. 14th 1850" from a husband and father to his wife, Mattie B. Stewart, and their five children in Wellsville, Ohio, letter mentions the cost of crossing the isthmus ("it is 2 or 3 times as expensive crossing the isthmus as it was last spring"), reports the cholera epidemic in Panama, describes the wife of a doctor succumbing to the lecherous advances of a Captain Graham of the U.S. Mail Steamship Co. Falcon, and notably "The U.S. Mail agent Mr. Whitney has been a companion & is now a room mate"

Very Fine; tiny margin tear at top of right stamp, cover with small mended opening tear at top and flap repair, and lightly cleaned.

This was part of the mail arriving at New York on the U.S. Mail Steamship Co. Ohio on September 22, 1850. There is offset of two black grids from another cover on back, which confirms use of the stamps on this envelope. It is one of only ten examples of the 1847 Issue originating in Panama, of which this is the only one originating on the east coast of the isthmus. The rate from Panama City on the west coast was 30¢, but the rate from the east coast was only 20¢.

Ex Ernest Wiltsee, Ryohei Ishikawa and Joseph Hackmey.

E. 7,500-10,000
Future Sale
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121°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 121, 1847 Issue Used to and from Central America, One of only three 1847 covers to Mexico originating in the United States--the 10¢ pays the rate by American Packet direct for distances less than 2,500 miles

10¢ Black (2), large margins to just touched at bottom, tied by black grid cancel, red "Boston 10 Cts 31 May" (1851) integral-rate circular datestamp with matching "PAID" handstamp on blue folded letter to Mexico, clear strike of "Vera Cruz Julio 28 51" circular datestamp, business contents

Very Fine--an extremely rare and beautiful 1847 cover to Mexico with the 10¢ stamp paying the rate by American Packet direct for distances less than 2,500 miles.

This is one of only three covers to Mexico that originates from the United States--the other two are from Baltimore, but no information is known on one and the other is only known from a very old photo.

Ex Duane B. Garrett, Dr. Leonard Kapiloff, Guido Craveri and Joseph Hackmey. With 1979 P.F. certificate.

E. 10,000-15,000
Future Sale
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122°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 122, 1847 Issue Used to and from Central America, The only 1847 Issue cover to Cuba with the 5¢ and 10¢ denominations--an outstanding First Federal Issue cover

5¢ Red Brown, 10¢ Black (1, 2), 5¢ large margins to in at top, 10¢ large margins to just in, light crease from vertical file fold, tied by red grid cancels, matching "Charleston S.C. Nov. 14" (1848) circular datestamp on blue folded letter datelined "New York 11 Nov. 1848," sender's ship-name directive "Southerner via Charleston", light strike of red "Empresas N. America 18 Nov. 1848" double-circle datestamp, red "1" internal rate handstamp

Very Fine appearance. This is without question the finest example of the 1847 Issue used to Cuba. Only three are recorded, and this is the only example bearing both the 5¢ and 10¢ stamps.

Starting in July 1847, the rate to Cuba became 12-1/2¢ via American Packet. It was not lowered to 10¢ until July 1851. The 12-1/2¢ rate to Cuba at this time is rarely seen prepaid with the 1847 Issue, because it could only be underpaid or overpaid. The two other examples to Cuba are underpaid, each with a pair of 5¢ stamps. One of the two underpaid examples was sent to Charleston, where it was carried privately outside of the mails. The other was apparently accepted as fully paid and bears the same "Empresas N. America" marking.

A note in the Ashbrook index card files at The Philatelic Foundation quotes Ezra D. Cole, the dealer who bought the cover from its original discoverer: "It was found in Calendonia [sic], New York, a town a little east of Batavia. I got it from the original finder. He was a dealer."

Ex J. Waldo Sampson (bought from Ezra D. Cole), Jack Dick, Ryohei Ishikawa, Guido Craveri and Joseph Hackmey. Illustrated in Ashbrook, Special Service, #46, p. 363, photo 185, and Chronicle 77 (p. 7).

E. 20,000-30,000
Future Sale
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