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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 — 1856 Chicago Perforations

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
211°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 211, 1856 Chicago Perforations, One of five recorded covers bearing the 1¢ Chicago Perforation, and the only one to a foreign destination

1¢ Blue, Type II, Chicago Perf 12-1/2 (7 var), Position 71R2 (plated by Richard Celler), deep shade, separated outside perfs at left (in sheet margin) and bottom leaving perforation holes intact and nicely showing the comb-perf overlap, slightly rounded corner at top right, cancelled by "PAID" straightline handstamp, used on folded Chicago Market Review and Weekly Prices Current (published by P. L. Wells) to Montreal, Canada, half of printed content removed (which probably had the May 28, 1856, dateline quoted in census data)

Very Fine. One of five recorded covers bearing the 1¢ Chicago perforation, of which this is the only one to Canada. One is part of the National Postal Museum's collection and so is unavailable to collectors. One of the great rarities of the 1¢ 1851-57 Issue.

Ex Ryohei Ishikawa, Dr. Alfred Martin and Joseph Hackmey. With 1982 and 2005 P.F. certificates.

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

Dr. Hadley's Perforating Machine

The origin of the Chicago perforation was revealed in an article published by Jerry Wagshal in the Chronicle 130 (May 1986). To briefly summarize his research, the inventor of the machine used to create the Chicago Perf stamps was Dr. Elijah W. Hadley, a Chicago dentist. He probably constructed the machine in 1854. Over a two-year period, beginning in November 1854, Dr. Hadley's device was offered for sale to the Post Office Department through R. K. Swift, a prominent Chicago banker and businessman. The distinctive 12.5-gauge Chicago Perf was applied to sheets of the 1¢ (Plates 1 Late and 2) and 3¢ 1851 Issue, the 1¢ being considerably rarer.

According to the updated census of Chicago Perf items compiled by W. Wilson Hulme II (Chronicle 175, Aug. 1997), approximately 19 examples of the 1¢ Chicago Perf have been recorded, including five used on covers. These are:

1 Type II, Plate 2 (not plated), tied by Chicago May 29, 1856 datestamp on P. L. Wells May 28, 1856 circular to Armitage, ex Gross (Sale 1041, lot 375)

2 Type II, Position 71R2, "Paid" cancel (no dated postmark), on P. L. Wells May 28, 1856 circular to Edmonstone & Co., Montreal, Canada, ex Ishikawa and Dr. Martin (Sale 893, lot 38), the cover offered in this sale

3 Type II, Position 95L2, tied by grid cancel on P. L. Wells circular to Sheppard & Morgan, NYC, ex Jefferys, currently in the Franklin Institute, unavailable to collectors

4 Type II, Position 48R2, "Paid" cancel on Lake View Water Cure circular (no date), Ashbrook Vol. II, p. 26, current whereabouts or state of this cover unknown

5 Type II, Plate 2, used with three 3¢ 1851 on cover, Cherry Valley Ill. to Leland, Oregon Territory, ex Wagshal (Sale 994, lot 1140)

Summarizing the census data, there are currently five 1¢ Chicago Perf covers accepted as genuine, all Type II from Plate 2, one of which is part of the Franklin Institute's collection. Of the four in private hands, one has not been seen and is known only from Ashbrook's description. Therefore, only three confirmed covers are in private hands, two of which are May 28, 1856, printed circulars.

A small number of 3¢ Chicago Perf covers have corner cards from businesses or hotels. Wilson Hulme speculates in his article in Chronicle 175 that R. K. Swift distributed Chicago Perf stamps to various businesses as a trial or to strengthen the possibility of selling the perforating machine to the post office. Many of the businesses were in a straight path between Swift's bank and Elijah Hadley's (inventor of the machine) office. Covers from Chicago hotels with 3¢ Chicago Perf stamps were probably mailed by travelers who obtained the stamps from the hotel concierge.

E. 15,000-20,000
Future Sale
212°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 212, 1856 Chicago Perforations, Superb 3¢ Chicago Perforation stamp on a wonderful illustrated cameo corner card cover

3¢ Dull Red, Chicago Perf 12-1/2 (11 var), Almost perfectly centered with full perfs all around, deep rich color, tied by bold "Chicago Ill. Apr. 24, 1857" circular datestamp on cover to Indianapolis, Indiana, with E. S. Wells Boots and Shoes Manufacturer's blue illustrated cameo corner card, imprint at lower left, backflap removed, a few tiny edge tears and nicks neatly repaired

Extremely Fine. Without question one of the finest "Chicago Perf" covers extant and one of the few with an illustrated advertising corner card. A magnificent artifact from the early period of perforated United States postage stamps.

Ex Walter A. Keightley, Dr. Robert LeBow and Joseph Hackmey. With 1991 P.F. certificate.

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

Dr. Hadley's Perforating Machine

The origin of the Chicago perforation was revealed in an article published by Jerry Wagshal in the Chronicle 130 (May 1986). To briefly summarize his research, the inventor of the machine used to create the Chicago Perf stamps was Dr. Elijah W. Hadley, a Chicago dentist. He probably constructed the machine in 1854. Over a two-year period, beginning in November 1854, Dr. Hadley's device was offered for sale to the Post Office Department through R. K. Swift, a prominent Chicago banker and businessman. The distinctive 12.5-gauge Chicago Perf was applied to sheets of the 1¢ (Plates 1 Late and 2) and 3¢ 1851 Issue, the 1¢ being considerably rarer.

A small number of 3¢ Chicago Perf covers have corner cards from businesses or hotels. Wilson Hulme speculates in his article in Chronicle 175 that R. K. Swift distributed Chicago Perf stamps to various businesses as a trial or to strengthen the possibility of selling the perforating machine to the post office. Many of the businesses were in a straight path between Swift's bank and Elijah Hadley's (inventor of the machine) office. Covers from Chicago hotels with 3¢ Chicago Perf stamps were probably mailed by travelers who obtained the stamps from the hotel concierge.

E. 5,000-7,500
Future Sale
Back to Top
213°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 213, 1856 Chicago Perforations, 3¢ Chicago Perforation on a cameo corner card cover

3¢ Dull Red, Chicago Perf 12-1/2 (11 var), Position 88R3 (plated by Richard Celler), choice centering, rich color, slightly rounded corner perf at top left, tied by bold "Chicago Ill. Mar. 10, 1857" circular datestamp on brown cover to Philadelphia with Sherman House blue ornately framed cameo corner card with "W. Eaves" imprint

Extremely Fine. Without question this is one of the finest "Chicago Perf" covers in existence.

Ex Dr. Alfred Martin. With 1981 P.F. certificate.

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

Dr. Hadley's Perforating Machine

The origin of the Chicago perforation was revealed in an article published by Jerry Wagshal in the Chronicle 130 (May 1986). To briefly summarize his research, the inventor of the machine used to create the Chicago Perf stamps was Dr. Elijah W. Hadley, a Chicago dentist. He probably constructed the machine in 1854. Over a two-year period, beginning in November 1854, Dr. Hadley's device was offered for sale to the Post Office Department through R. K. Swift, a prominent Chicago banker and businessman. The distinctive 12.5-gauge Chicago Perf was applied to sheets of the 1¢ (Plates 1 Late and 2) and 3¢ 1851 Issue, the 1¢ being considerably rarer.

A small number of 3¢ Chicago Perf covers have corner cards from businesses or hotels. Wilson Hulme speculates in his article in Chronicle 175 that R. K. Swift distributed Chicago Perf stamps to various businesses as a trial or to strengthen the possibility of selling the perforating machine to the post office. Many of the businesses were in a straight path between Swift's bank and Elijah Hadley's (inventor of the machine) office. Covers from Chicago hotels with 3¢ Chicago Perf stamps were probably mailed by travelers who obtained the stamps from the hotel concierge.

E. 5,000-7,500
Future Sale
Back to Top
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