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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 to Continental Europe

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
155°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 155, 1847 Issue to Continental Europe, 5¢ 1847 on a way-mail letter from New Orleans to France via Mobile, Alabama

5¢ Red Brown (1), large margins to just clear at bottom, deep rich color and detailed impression, tied by blue grid cancel with matching "Mobile Ala. Dec. 2" (1849) circular datestamp on folded letter datelined at New Orleans and addressed to Paris, France, sender's directive "p Steamer from N. York to Lpool"--carried on a Mississippi River steamboat from New Orleans to Mobile, then on the Cunarder Canada, departing New York on December 12, 1849, and arriving at Liverpool December 24--red London transit backstamp (December 25), red "COLONIES/&c ART. 13" Anglo-French accountancy handstamp, red Calais arrival datestamp (December 26), manuscript "30" decimes due, Very Fine, a beautiful 5¢ 1847 cover to France, ex Hubbard and Boker

E. 1,500-2,000
Future Sale
156°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 156, 1847 Issue to Continental Europe, A gorgeous 5¢ Deep Red Brown from the First Printing on an October 1847 cover to France

5¢ Deep Red Brown (1), exceptionally rich color and detailed impression from the First Printing--sometimes called the 1847 Orange Brown--large margins to full at top, tied by red square grid cancel on October 30, 1847, docketed folded cover from New York City to Paris, France, sender's ship-name directive "p Cambria via Boston"--carried on that Cunarder from Boston on November 1, 1847, and arriving at Liverpool November 15--red London transit backstamp (November 16), partly clear strike of red "COLONIES/&c ART. 13" Anglo-French accountancy handstamp, red Calais arrival datestamp (November 18) also ties stamp, manuscript "20" decimes due, Extremely Fine, a stunning 5¢ 1847 stamp on a beautiful cover to France, Miro handstamp, ex Boker, with 1985 P.F. certificate

E. 1,500-2,000
Future Sale
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157°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 157, 1847 Issue to Continental Europe, 5¢ 1847 on a petite cover to Austrian Silesia (today part of the Czech Republic)

5¢ Red Brown (1), mostly large margins to clear at bottom right, tied by three strikes of red "5" numeral handstamp, blue "Baltimore Md. Sep. 23" (1850) circular datestamp on small envelope to Freiwaldau, Silesia, then part of Austria and now part of the Czech Republic, from the Glenn correspondence, sender's directive "per Cunard Steamer"--carried on the Cunarder Asia, departing New York on September 25, 1850, and arriving at Liverpool October 5--also manuscript "via Berlin", red London transit backstamp (October 6), "AMERICAperENGLAND" rectangular framed backstamp applied at Aachen, succession of rate markings including black "1/4" British debit to Prussia, re-rated in Germany with blue "16" crossed out and "49" and "Posto 49" (Austrian kreuzers), partly readable blue "Freywaldau" straightline backstamp, receipt docketing "12 Oct.", original letter enclosure in English datelined September 20, 1850

Extremely Fine. This is one of the two finest of the nine 1847 Issue covers to Silesia recorded in the USPCS census and in Burkhard Krumm's article, "1847 Covers to the German States" (Chronicle 256, November 2017). All of the covers to Silesia have a single 5¢ stamp and come from the Glenn correspondence--dated from July 16, 1850, through May 28, 1851.

In the above-referenced article by Burkhard Krumm, he provides useful information about the destination of this and the other covers to Silesia:

There is some confusion about the location of Freiwaldau, since there were two towns of that name at that time, separated by only 170 miles. The town to which this correspondence was addressed is now called Jesenik (south of Breslau) and is part of the modern Czech Republic, but was in Austrian Silesia in 1850. The other Freiwaldau town is today called Gozdnica and belongs to Poland (west of Breslau). In summary, the Glenn covers were sent to imperial Austria and not to Prussia, but the destination was still within the German confederation (Deutscher Bund)...

Ex Duane B. Garrett and John. R. Boker, Jr. With 1985 P.F. certificate.

E. 3,000-4,000
Future Sale
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158°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 158, 1847 Issue to Continental Europe, The iconic Heidelberg cover, combining the two 1847 First General Issues, cancelled in red by the Michigan Central Railroad route agent, and prepaid for the United States portion of postage on an Ocean Line cover to Germany-- one of the most important and spectacular covers in classic philately

DESCRIPTION

5¢ Orange Brown, 10¢ Black (1b, 2), 5¢ horizontal strip of five, vivid color on strongly blued paper from a late printing--we are inclined to classify this shade as the Brown Orange--large margins except close at bottom of center stamp, 10¢ large margins at sides, ample at bottom and just in at top, fine impression, all six stamps tied by an equal number of strikes of vivid red 9-bar open grid cancel, matching "Mic. Central R.R. Mic. Apr. 4" (1851) Michigan Central Railroad route agent's circular datestamp on white envelope to Heidelberg, Baden, Germany, red "New-York Apr. 8" ocean mail circular datestamp (with "SHIP" removed) on back--carried on the Ocean Line Washington, departing New York on April 19, 1851, and arriving at Bremerhaven on May 5 after stopping at Southampton--black "PAID PART" straightline handstamp applied at New York to indicate prepayment of United States portion of postage (10¢ over-300 miles rate plus 24¢ ocean postage), red "AMERICA/UBER BREMEN" handstamp applied at the Hanover post office in Bremen, the same office applied red "1-1/3" gutegroschen handstamp indicating Hanover transit fee, the Thurn & Taxis office converted this to 6 kreuzers and added its 6 kreuzers transit fee--written as "6/6" in red--to which 4 kreuzers internal Baden postage was added for a total of 16 kreuzers due, written as a large "12" in black, Heidelberg backstamp (May 9)

PROVENANCE

C. R. Hurd, Daniel F. Kelleher sale, 1/11/1928, lot 180, to Gibson

Henry C. Gibson, Sr., Ward sale, 6/14-15/1944, lot 31, to Harry Keffer (either as agent for Meroni or later sold to Meroni)

Charles F. Meroni, John A. Fox sale, 11/10-14/1952, lot 1306, to Baker

J. David Baker, Siegel Auction Galleries, 4/4/1978, Sale 526, lot 57, to Dr. Kapiloff

Dr. Leonard Kapiloff, Siegel Auction Galleries, 1999 Rarities of the World, 5/15/1999, Sale 811, lot 28, to William H. Gross

CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES

USPCS census no. 12575 https://www.uspcs.org/resource-center/censuses/1847-cover-census/

Gordon Eubanks, Jr., "Covers with Three or More 1847 Stamps," Chronicle 254, fig. 8

Burkhard Krumm, "1847 Covers to the German States," Chronicle 256, fig. 9

Scott R. Trepel, "United States Classic Covers" (special color feature for Ameripex 1986), Chronicle 130, May 1986

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine; 5¢ at center has sharp pre-use crease ending in small tear, Gibson backstamp

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

Multiple Rare Elements in the Famous Heidelberg Cover

This cover is one of four 10¢ 1847 covers to Germany, and it is one of the few 1847 covers with either denomination carried by the Ocean Line. While that statement would suffice to make any cover stand out, this cover is even more significant. It is a combination franking with the 5¢ and 10¢ 1847 Issue, and the 5¢ stamps are in an extremely rare strip of five. The 5¢ strip is from a late printing in a beautiful Orange Brown shade (arguably Brown Orange). The envelope was carried on the Central Railroad of Michigan and has the route agent's datestamp, which is rarely seen on 1847 covers (only six recorded in USPCS census). At this point, we arrive at the most important historical aspect of this cover--it was prepaid 34¢ (with an unavoidable 1¢ overpayment) for the treaty rate to Germany for mail carried by an Ocean Line steamer.

Covers which have achieved iconic status are named, and this cover has been known to collectors as the Heidelberg cover for decades. A little background history will help put this cover in context.

The U.S. postal reforms of 1845 set in motion the post office's efforts to establish a subsidized American transatlantic mail line with regular routes to and from Europe. The creation of the Ocean Steam Navigation Company and successful negotiation of the U.S.-Bremen postal treaty of 1847 were consequences of this long and involved process, the history of which has been documented by students here and abroad. An excellent series of articles on the subject, including research by Wolfgang Diesner and Richard F. Winter, has appeared in the Chronicle (126, 129, 149 and 159), which updates earlier published work by George E. Hargest. More recently, Dwayne Littauer and Burkhard Krumm have made valuable contributions on this subject.

1847 Issue covers carried by the Ocean Line are very scarce, as are 1847 covers to Germany (fewer than 35 covers can be verified). Only four of the five 10¢ 1847 covers to Germany have been verified. The Heidelberg cover and the cover offered in lot 159 were carried on the same voyage of the Washington.

Lyman D. Norris was studying civil law in Heidelberg when he received this cover. In 1852 Norris represented Dred Scott when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Scott could not sue for his freedom, because he was property, not a person.

E. 150,000-200,000
Future Sale
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159°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 159, 1847 Issue to Continental Europe, One of four recorded 10¢ 1847 covers to Germany--this remarkable cover with its array of rate markings was carried from New York to Bremen by the Ocean Steam Navigation Company

10¢ Black (2), full margins to clear at bottom, cancelled by well-struck blue grid, matching "Schenectady N.Y. Apr. 14" (1851) circular datestamp on blue folded cover to Steinenstadt, Baden, Germany, red "New-York Apr. 15" circular datestamp on back--carried on the Ocean Line Washington, departing New York on April 19, 1851, and arriving at Bremerhaven on May 5 after stopping at Southampton--receiving backstamp (May 9)

Very Fine; stamp has toned spots tying it to the cover (faint stains on inside of letter), manuscript notations erased at right.

This outstanding cover is one of four verified 10¢ 1847 covers to Germany, and it is one of the few with either denomination carried by the Ocean Line.

The complex markings are explained in Burkhard Krumm's article, "1847 Covers to the German States," in Chronicle 256, which illustrates and describes this cover. The 10¢ stamp pays the double 5¢ under-300 miles rate from Schenectady to New York City. The "48" debit handstamp was applied at the New York foreign-mail office for the double 24¢ American Packet rate. The red "AMERICA/UBER BREMEN" handstamp was applied at the Hanover post office in Bremen, where the red crayon "18" was written to its left to indicate the amount owed to Bremen in gutegroschen (approximately 48¢). The same clerk wrote "1-1/4" in red crayon at lower left indicating that the weight was 1-1/4 loth (double rate). Hanover added 2-2/3 gutegroschen for its transit fee and applied the red "20-2/3" handstamp at upper left as a debit to the Thurn & Taxis post office, which converted the amount to 89 kreuzers and added 11 kreuzers for transit to Wurttemberg. This total of 100 kreuzers equals 1 gulden 40 kreuzers, to which Thurn & Taxis added another 24 kreuzers for Baden internal postage, written as "1f40/24" at center. The total amount due, 2 gulden 4 kreuzers (124 kreuzers), is written as "2f4c" at right.

The U.S. postal reforms of 1845 set in motion the post office's efforts to establish a subsidized American transatlantic mail line with regular routes to and from Europe. The creation of the Ocean Steam Navigation Company and successful negotiation of the U.S.-Bremen postal treaty of 1847 were consequences of this long and involved process, the history of which has been documented by students here and abroad. An excellent series of articles on the subject, including research by Wolfgang Diesner and Richard F. Winter, has appeared in the Chronicle (126, 129, 149 and 159), which updates earlier published work by George E. Hargest. More recently, Dwayne Littauer and Burkhard Krumm have made valuable contributions on this subject.

1847 Issue covers carried by the Ocean Line are very scarce, as are 1847 covers to Germany (fewer than 35 covers can be verified). Only four of the five 10¢ 1847 covers to Germany have been verified, including the celebrated Heidelberg cover offered as lot 158 in this sale. The Heidelberg cover and the cover offered here were carried on the same voyage of the Washington.

Ex John D. Pope III, Dr. Leonard Kapiloff and Joseph Hackmey. Illustrated in Stanley B. Ashbrook, Special Service, #32, pp. 231-233, photo 125. With 1985 and 2004 P.F. certificates.

E. 15,000-20,000
Future Sale
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160°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 160, 1847 Issue to Continental EuropeOne of four confirmed 10¢ 1847 Issue covers to Germany--and, of the three 1847 covers to Germany with the "COLONIES/&c ART, One of four confirmed 10¢ 1847 Issue covers to Germany--and, of the three 1847 covers to Germany with the "COLONIES/&c ARTOne of four confirmed 10¢ 1847 Issue covers to Germany--and, of the three 1847 covers to Germany with the "COLONIES/&c ART. 13" handstamp, only this one has a 10¢ stamp

10¢ Black (2), Position 82R (plate notation on back of cover), ample to large margins, tied by bold manuscript cross-hatch cancel on dull green folded tissue-paper letter to Stuttgart, Germany, manuscript "Naples Ill./24 Sept." (1849) postmark above stamp where it entered the mails, dateline inside letter (which is written in German) indicates letter was begun in Quincy, Illinois, on September 21, 1849, and continued in Naples on September 23, sender's routing directive "p. British Mail Steamer via New York & Liverp.", no New York foreign-mail office markings--carried on the Cunarder Cambria, departing New York on October 3, 1849, and arriving at Liverpool October 18--red London transit backstamp (October 18), mostly readable strike of red "COLONIES/&c ART. 13" Anglo-French accountancy handstamp, Calais arrival datestamp (October 19), red crayon "42" kreuzers due, small blue German "D1 22/10" in circle receiving backstamp (October 22), receipt docketing notation to the right of stamp

Very Fine; stamp with negligible small corner crease at top right, minor ink erosion in docketing at bottom. This cover is one of four verified 10¢ 1847 covers to Germany (of the five in the USPCS census), and it is one of three with either denomination bearing the "COLONIES/&c ART. 13" marking.

The 10¢ stamp was clearly intended to pay the over-300 miles rate from Naples, Illinois, to New York City for the next available Cunard sailing. However, unbeknownst to the sender and possibly the postmaster of this small midwestern town, the 1848 U.S.-Great Britain postal treaty required only 5¢ internal U.S. postage on covers sent by Open Mail to or through Great Britain; therefore, since all other markings indicate this was a single-rate letter, the 10¢ stamp overpaid the 5¢ shore-to-ship rate.

Ex Edward S. Knapp, Philip G. Rust, Henry Stollnitz, "Sevenoaks" collection, Guido Craveri and Joseph Hackmey. Illustrated in The United States 1847 Issue: A Cover Census (in color section and also on p. 932) and in Burkhard Krumm's article, "1847 Covers to the German States" (Chronicle 256). With 1999 P.F. certificate.

E. 7,500-10,000
Future Sale
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161°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 161, 1847 Issue to Continental Europe, A remarkable cover which arrived from Germany just days after the first federal stamps were issued and was forwarded with the new 5¢ 1847 stamp

5¢ Dark Brown (1a), deep rich color and impression from the First Printing, large margins to clear at bottom, tied by bold strike of blue grid cancel with matching "Philadelphia Pa. Jul. 16" (1847) circular datestamp (inverted "16"), used as forwarding postage to Boston on a folded letter originating in Dusseldorf, Germany--letter is datelined at Dusseldorf, June 14, 1847, and written by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, the artist who in 1851 painted the iconic Washington Crossing the Delaware Revolutionary War scene, and who also painted the Columbus in Chains scene used as the basis for the $2.00 Columbian stamp--addressed to the care of Furness, Brindley & Co. in Philadelphia, sent either via Aachen or Cologne and Belgium to London, manuscript "5/8" Prussian loth (weight) at top right, "P." in oval indicating prepayment of postage at Dusseldorf, Prussian "22" (silbergroschen) in red crayon indicating all transit fees to U.S. prepaid, red London "Paid" transit datestamp (June 17, 1847), Liverpool oval datestamp (June 17)--presumably carried on the Cunarder Caledonia, departing Liverpool on June 19, 1847, and arriving at Boston July 4--due markings were applied at the Philadelphia post office with the blue July 16 circular datestamp and "12" in circle handstamp struck for 10¢ over-300 miles rate plus 2¢ ship fee, address crossed out and forwarded back to Boston, in care of Thomas Lamb, with 5¢ stamp applied by Furness, Brindley & Co., manuscript line through "12" in circle and re-rated "10" cents for distance over 300 miles, the 5¢ stamp was insufficient so rated in manuscript "Due 5"

Very Fine; minor splits along folds--a unique use of the 5¢ 1847 Issue as forwarding postage on a folded letter from a famous artist writing from Dusseldorf, Germany, and a scarce first-month use of the 5¢ 1847 Issue.

This cover is fascinating in many aspects. It was mailed from Germany to the United States two weeks before the release of the 1847 Issue. By the time it reached Boston, on Independence Day, the first federal postage stamps were just three days old. The Philadelphia circular datestamp was dated July 16 either in error, as Creighton C. Hart speculated, or for another reason--perhaps the letter was carried on a different vessel, or the markings were applied after a delay or upon forwarding to Boston.

The writer, Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, was born in Germany, but emigrated to the U.S. as a child. His artistic talent manifested itself early in life, and in adulthood he was noted for many significant paintings, including his iconic Washington Crossing the Delaware. Another painting, Columbus in Chains, won him the gold medal at the Brussels Art Exhibition, and was subsequently purchased by the Art Union in New York; it was the basis of the 1893 $2.00 Columbian stamp. In this letter Leutze mentions having painted pictures entitled "Columbus" and "Knox." Leutze quotes a $1,000 price for the picture he is painting for James T. Furness, the addressee, and asks to be paid with a British bank draft. He writes that the picture will be sent via Havre in ten days.

Ex Creighton C. Hart and John R. Boker, Jr. Illustrated and discussed in Chronicle 46 (pp. 6 and 34-36) and in Hargest (p. 10). With 1963 P.F. certificate.

E. 4,000-5,000
Future Sale
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162°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 162, 1847 Issue to Continental Europe, The only recorded 10¢ 1847 Issue on a cover to Holland

10¢ Black (2), ample margins to full, deep shade and proof-like impression, tied by blue "Paid" in oval handstamp, matching "Philada. Pa. 10 cts Jan. 13" (1848) integral-rate circular datestamp on folded letter to Amsterdam, Holland, sender's ship-name directive "Liverpool Steamer Caledonia from Boston, Jan. 15"--carried on the Cunarder Caledonia, departing Boston on January 15, 1848, and arriving at Liverpool January 29--red Liverpool backstamp (January 29), manuscript "1/8" 1sh8p British debit marking, red "ENG:CORRESP./Over 's HAGE" handstamp on back, red Amsterdam receiving backstamp (February 3), manuscript "120" Dutch cents due marking, addressee's last name crossed out in pen, Very Fine, this is the only recorded 10¢ 1847 cover to Holland--the 10¢ over-300 miles rate applied to Open Mail via England up to March 15, 1849, and then the single rate was 5¢ for any distance; for this reason, 10¢ rate covers to Holland are extremely rare--ex John Bister (Morgenthau sale, 10/23/1925), Dr. Kapiloff, Dr. LeBow and Hackmey, illustrated in the Alexander book (p. 936), with 1981 P.F. certificate

E. 7,500-10,000
Future Sale
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163°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 163, 1847 Issue to Continental Europe, One of only three recorded 1847 covers to Switzerland

5¢ Red Brown (1), margins all around, late impression, cancelled by neat magenta squiggle on greenish folded letter originating in New Orleans, Louisiana, and addressed to Winterthur, Switzerland, sender's directive "British Mail Steamer"--carried on the Cunarder Cambria, departing Boston on October 16, 1850, and arriving at Liverpool October 27--red London transit backstamp (October 28), red Calais arrival datestamp (October 29), red "COLONIES/&c ART. 13" Anglo-French accountancy handstamp just ties stamp, red crayon "38" (kreuzers), backstamped Basel (October 15 date error), Winterthur (October 31), contents in French comprises two letters, the first datelined at New Orleans on October 5, 1850, and the second datelined at New York on October 15, lettersheet with light aging and fold splits, stamp with light vertical crease at right and tiny scrape in one corner, still Fine and rare, only three 1847 covers to Switzerland are recorded in the USPCS census, ex Gibson, Rust (1987 Rarities of the World sale), Dr. Kapiloff, Craveri and Hackmey, with 1994 P.F. certificate

E. 3,000-4,000
Future Sale
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