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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 — 1851 12¢ Black

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
271°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 271, 1851 12¢ BlackA breathtaking mixed-issue franking with 1¢ and 12¢ 1851 Imperforate stamps and the 1857 10¢ Perforated Issue, including a strip of five of the scarce 10¢ Type I, Scott 31-- a total of $2, A breathtaking mixed-issue franking with 1¢ and 12¢ 1851 Imperforate stamps and the 1857 10¢ Perforated Issue, including a strip of five of the scarce 10¢ Type I, Scott 31-- a total of $2A breathtaking mixed-issue franking with 1¢ and 12¢ 1851 Imperforate stamps and the 1857 10¢ Perforated Issue, including a strip of five of the scarce 10¢ Type I, Scott 31-- a total of $2.50 postage paying the 25-times 10¢ transcontinental rate from California

12¢ Black (17), nine stamps in three horizontal strips of three, margins vary from large to slightly in, used with two 1¢ Blue, Type IV (9), one has huge margins, other huge to deeply cut in, and fourteen 1857 Perforated 10¢ Green, Types I, II and III (31, 32, 33), including a Type I horizontal strip of five, Positions 91-95L1, vertical pair Types II/III, two Type III horizontal pairs and three singles (two Type II, one Type III), all stamps tied by "San Francisco Cal. Oct. 10, 1857" circular datestamps on large blue cover to Coleman & Bailey, Baltimore, Maryland, with "U.S.A." designation in address, suggesting this originated from somewhere outside the United States

Fine appearance; stamps have faults, left strip of 12¢ repaired, the cover is professionally cleaned and pressed with cosmetic improvements; part of backflap missing.

Elliott Perry remarked about this cover, "I have never seen anything like this in my life."

The firm of Coleman & Bailey, the addressee, was a ship chandler and operator of omnibuses, located at 105 and 107 Thames Street in Baltimore (1858 city directory).

Ex Philip G. Rust, Tito Giamporcaro and Joseph Hackmey. With 1999 P.F. certificate.

E. 5,000-7,500
Future Sale
272°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 272, 1851 12¢ Black, A superb 12¢ 1851 bisect cover--only five recorded with the rare Sonora, California, year-dated straightline handstamp, all from the Jarvis correspondence

12¢ Black, Diagonal Half Used as 6¢ (17a), upper right diagonal half, ample to large margins, tied by blue "PAID" handstamp (with edge of device showing as a frame), matching "SONORA, CALIFORNIA/JAN. 12, 1852" two-line datestamp on blue folded letter datelined "Vine Springs Garden, Jany ["7" crossed out] 8, 1852 Thursy Eve" (January 8 was a Thursday), to the Hon. Leonard Jarvis in Surry, Maine, manuscript "Paid 6cts" to the left of stamp

Extremely Fine; slight bleaching along file fold.

The 12¢ stamp was bisected to pay the 6¢ transcontinental rate, effective July 1, 1851, due to a shortage of 3¢ and 1¢ stamps. Seven bisects are known used from Sonora, five of which have the Sonora straightline datestamp. The Jarvis family, the source of the covers, owned 60 acres of land in California named Vine Springs, on which they grew grapes and made wine.

Ex Stephen D. Brown, Dr. Scott Polland, Marc Haas, Louis Grunin, Robert Zoellner and Joseph Hackmey. With 2005 P.F. certificate.

E. 5,000-7,500
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273°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 273, 1851 12¢ Black, Well-tied 12¢ 1851 bisect accepted for postage on cover from San Francisco in September 1853

12¢ Black, Diagonal Half Used as 6¢ (17a), upper left diagonal half, large top margin, slightly in at left, tied all around by single mostly complete strike of "San Francisco Cal. 1 Sep." (1853) circular datestamp on brown cover to Dennis, Massachusetts--carried on the PMSS Oregon, departing September 1, 1853, and arriving Panama September 17, then on the USMSC Crescent City from Aspinwall on September 24, arriving New York October 4--Fine, according to research by James Allen, the 1st Assistant Postmaster General's first official notice to postmasters that bisected stamps were invalid was published on September 12, 1853 (Chronicle 239), the mail from California postmarked at San Francisco September 1 reached New York after the order was published, but some bisect covers with San Francisco September 1 datestamps show acceptance of the bisects while others (notably mail carried via Nicaragua) have due markings applied in New York--this cover was accepted as prepaid--ex Hessel, with 2005 P.F. certificate

E. 1,500-2,000
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274°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 274, 1851 12¢ Black, Rare 12¢ 1851 bisect and 3¢ 1851 combination with New York & Philadelphia Railroad datestamp

12¢ Black, Diagonal Half Used as 6¢ (17a), lower left diagonal half, large margins, used with 3¢ Dull Red, Type II (11A), large margins to cut in, tied by two strikes of "N.York & Phila. R.R. Jun. 14" railroad circular datestamp on blue folded letter to Baltimore, Maryland, letter states "We enclose a circular" which explains the triple 3¢ rate for weight (1 to 1.5 ounces), Very Fine, very few 12¢ 1851 bisects are known with other denominations, and only a few bisect covers have railroad markings, from our 1983 Rarities of the World sale, ex Jefferys, Krug and Hackmey, signed by Ashbrook, with 1951 P.F. certificate

E. 5,000-7,500
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275°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 275, 1851 12¢ Black, A spectacular "complete set" 1851 Issue cover from New Orleans to Mexico

12¢ Black (17), used with horizontal pair of 1¢ Blue, Type IV (9) and vertical pair of 3¢ Dull Red, Type II (11A), large margins to in, tied by grid cancels, red "New Orleans La. Jun. 14" (1855) circular datestamp on blue folded cover to Vera Cruz, Mexico, from the Hargous correspondence, "Bruguiere & Co. New Orleans" oval backstamp, bold "2" reales due handstamp applied in Mexico

Very Fine and rare franking for the double 10¢ rate by American Packet to a distance less than 2,500 miles.

This cover was postmarked on June 14, 1855, shortly after the 10¢ denomination was issued. Nonetheless, it is regarded as a "complete set" cover with the three denominations issued in 1851.

Ex "J & J" collection and Joseph Hackmey.

E. 4,000-5,000
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276°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 276, 1851 12¢ Black, 1851 Issue "complete set" franking on extraordinary quadruple-rate cover to Mexico

12¢ Black (17), ample to large margins, used with 1¢ Blue, Type IV (9), mostly huge margins including top sheet margin, and horizontal strip of seven and top sheet-margin pair of 3¢ Dull Red, Type II (11A), large margins to cut in, tied by multiple strikes of blue "Charleston S.C. Paid Feb. 17" circular datestamp on brown legal-size cover to Mexico, addressed "To Mrs. Esther Monk, Care of John S. Cripps, Secretary of Legation, Mexico, Per Steamer to Vera Cruz," "Vera Cruz 4 Marzo 1855" oval datestamp and "10" reales due handstamp, 3¢ stamps have creases and small faults, 1¢ small scuffs, otherwise Fine, rare use of all three 1851 Issue denominations to pay quadruple 10¢ American Packet rate to Mexico, John S. Cripps was appointed secretary of legation May 13, 1853, and recalled August 16, 1856, ex Hackmey

E. 1,500-2,000
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277°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 277, 1851 12¢ Black, Extremely rare 1851 Issue franking to pay 45¢ British Mail rate to Buenos Aires via Southampton

12¢ Black (17), horizontal pair and single, used with horizontal pair and single of 3¢ Dull Red, Type II (11A), large margins to slightly in, symmetrically arranged in corners and tied by grid cancels on blue folded cover originating in New York City and addressed to Buenos Aires, Argentina, sender's route instructions "Pr Steamer via Boston 24th Novbr & Southampton England 9th Decbr"--carried on the Cunarder Canada as directed--magenta crayon "40" credit, red London transit datestamp (December 7, 1852), very rare franking and a fascinating round-trip transatlantic cover from the U.S. to Argentina via Great Britain, the Ashbrook archives (index cards) list another cover from this correspondence with strips of three of the 3¢ and 12¢ 1851 Issue, ex Piller, Giamporcaro and Hackmey, with 1993 P.F. certificate

E. 2,000-3,000
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278°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 278, 1851 12¢ Black, 12¢ 1851 Imperforate and 10¢ 1857 Perforated franking paying 34¢ rate to Chile via Panama

12¢ Black (17), horizontal pair, two large margins, other sides in, used with 1857 Perforated 10¢ Green, Type II (32), nicked at right, tied by black grid cancels, red "New Bedford Mass. Paid Dec. 19" circular datestamp (ca. 1857-58) on buff cover to Talcahuano, Chile, addressed to Captain William Howland Almy of the whaling bark Cape Horn Pigeon in care of Nickels, Loring & Company, red "24" handstamped credit to Great Britain for British Packet postage from Panama, blue "Nickels Loring & Co. Merchants, Talcahuano" double-line oval handstamp, most of backflap removed, some wear and mended corner at top right, otherwise Fine, very rare mixed-issue franking and reported to be one of four 1851 Issue covers to Chile (this is the only 34¢ rate)--Captain Almy and his son George perished at sea off the coast of Cape Horn in 1860--ex Dr. Chase and Hackmey, with 1983 P.F. certificate

E. 1,500-2,000
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279°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 279, 1851 12¢ Black, 10¢ and 12¢ 1851 Imperforate combination cancelled in red on cover to Peru

12¢ Black (17), large margins to barely in at top, used with two 10¢ Green, Type III (15), mostly full margins (left stamp has tiny scissors-cut in margin), rich color, tied by red segmented cork cancels, matching "New Bedford Mass. Paid Mar. 3" circular datestamp (ca. 1856) on buff cover to Paita, Peru, addressed to Captain William Howland Almy of the whaling bark Cape Horn Pigeon in care of Captain Alexander Bathurst, large red "12" handstamped credit to Great Britain for British Packet postage from Panama, Very Fine, reported to be one of six 1851 Issue covers to Peru--Captain Almy and his son George perished at sea off the coast of Cape Horn in 1860--ex Ackerman (Elliott Perry's label on back), Emerson (his pencil "D.L." Deluxe notation on back), Haas, Grunin, Giamporcaro and Hackmey, illustrated in Wierenga, United States Incoming Steamship Mail 1847-1875 (p. 113), with 1988 and 1999 P.F. certificates

E. 2,000-3,000
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280°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 280, 1851 12¢ Black, 12¢ 1851 Issue cover to England and forwarded to France with a colorful array of markings

12¢ Black (17), horizontal pair, full margins to clear, tied by bold blue "Cincinnati O. Aug. 13" (1855) circular datestamp, second strike at right on light blue folded cover to Liverpool, England, and forwarded to Paris, France, in care of Brown, Shipley & Co. and Livingston, Wells & Co., respectively, red "19" credit handstamp--carried on the Cunarder Asia, departing Boston August 15, 1855, and arriving Liverpool August 25--two different red Liverpool datestamps (August 25 and 27), red British transit datestamp (August 28) and matching "PD" in circle handstamp, manuscript "4" pence forwarding rate, Calais arrival datestamp (August 28), Paris receiving backstamp, Very Fine, ex Krug and Hackmey

E. 500-750
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281°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 281, 1851 12¢ Black, 12¢ 1851 Issue and Great Britain mixed franking on cover to London and forwarded to Paris

12¢ Black (17), horizontal pair, large margins to just touched, tied by grid cancels, "Northampton Ms. Sep. 8" (1857) circular datestamp on buff cover to London, England, and forwarded to Paris, France, with Great Britain 1855 4p Rose, in care of Peabody & Co. (London) and Munroe & Co. (Paris), "Boston Br. Pkt. Sep. 8" circular datestamp on back, red "19" credit handstamp--carried on the Cunarder America, departing Boston September 9, 1857, and arriving Liverpool September 20--red British datestamps (September 21) front and back, red "PD" in oval handstamp, greenish blue rimless circle handstamp, Peabody & Co. forwarder's oval backstamp, 4p tied by oval numeral grid cancel, Calais arrival datestamp and Paris receiving backstamps, Very Fine, ex Haas, Grunin, White and Hackmey, with 2005 P.F. certificate declining opinion as to Scott number of 4p stamp

E. 1,500-2,000
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282°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 282, 1851 12¢ Black, A beautiful and rare "complete set" 1851 Issue cover to France, mailed in the period when these three denominations were the only 1851 Issue stamps in circulation

12¢ Black (17), used with two 1¢ Blue, Type IV (9) and horizontal pair of 3¢ Dull Red, Type I (11), all with ample margins to slightly in, matching grid cancels, tied by red "New-York Am. Packet Oct. 15" (1853) circular datestamp on bluish gray cover to Lyon, France, sender's ship-name directive "Pr Str. Baltic"--carried on the Collins Line Baltic, departing New York on October 15, 1853, and arriving at Liverpool on October 26--red British arrival datestamp on back (October 27), red "Etats-Unis Paq. Am. A. Paris 28 Oct 53" arrival datestamp (American Packet service via England), "16" decimes due handstamp for double-rate French inland postage (7.5-15 grams), Paris and Lyon receiving backstamps (October 28 and 29)

Very Fine--covers with 1¢, 3¢ and 12¢ "complete set" 1851 Issue frankings are rare, and the few known postmarked before the 10¢ denomination was issued in April 1855 are extremely rare and desirable.

There were two American Packet services to France available: Collins Line via England--21¢ per half-ounce rate with 8 decimes per 7.5 grams due for British transit and French inland postage; and Havre Line direct to France--20¢ per half-ounce rate with 6 decimes per 7.5 grams due for French inland postage. This was stamped with 20¢ postage for direct service, but marked for the Collins Line Baltic, which carried mail to England rather than direct to France. The 1¢ underpayment was tolerated, and it was accepted as a fully prepaid letter. In France it was weighed at over 7.5 grams and charged double-rate postage (16 decimes).

Ex Jack Dick, J. David Baker, Stanley M. Piller, Tito Giamporcaro and Joseph Hackmey. Illustrated in Bakers' U.S. Classics (p. 216).

E. 3,000-4,000
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283°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 283, 1851 12¢ Black, Extremely rare double 21¢ American Packet rate cover to France with 3¢ and 12¢ 1851 Issues

12¢ Black (17), vertical strip of three, mostly full to large margins including parts of adjoining stamps at right, touched at lower left, used with horizontal pair of 3¢ Dull Red, Type I (11), huge top margin with adjoining stamps, other sides touched to slightly in, tied by grid cancels and partly readable red New Orleans circular datestamp, red "New-York Am. Packet Nov. 28" (1855) circular datestamp on folded cover to Paris, France, sender's directive "p. United States Mail Steamer"--carried on the Collins Line Pacific, departing New York November 28, 1855, and arriving Liverpool December 9--red Liverpool backstamp (December 10), Calais arrival datestamp (December 10), "16" decimes due handstamp, vertical file fold through 3¢, lightly cleaned, otherwise Very Fine, double 21¢ rate American Packet covers via England are very rare, and this franking with the strip of 12¢ 1851 stamps is extraordinary, ex Gibson and Hackmey

E. 2,000-3,000
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284°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 284, 1851 12¢ Black, Phenomenal 1851 Issue American Packet Direct cover to France with West Coast 5¢ surcharge

12¢ Black (17), horizontal pair, huge margins showing parts of six adjoining stamps, left stamp small corner crease, used with horizontal pair of 1¢ Blue, Type IV (9), large margins to slightly in, tied by "San Francisco Cal. 16 Jan." (1855) circular datestamps on blue folded letter in French to Montpellier, France--carried from San Francisco to Panama on PMSS Sonora, departing Jan. 16, arriving Jan. 29; from Panama to New York on USMSC North Star, departing Jan. 31, arriving Feb. 8; Havre Line Union, departing New York Feb. 10, arriving Le Havre Feb. 27--red "New-York Am. Packet Feb. 10" circular datestamp, red "Outre-Mer Le Havre 27 Fevr 55" arrival datestamp, Paris and Montpellier backstamps (February 28 and March 1), prepaid 26¢ for the 21¢ American Packet rate to France via England plus 5¢ West Coast surcharge, but at New York it was placed on a Havre Line steamer direct to France (20¢ rate), without any French markings indicating the usual 6 decimes due on American Packet mail direct to France, Very Fine, a remarkable and very rare 1851 Issue transatlantic cover from California, Calves handstamp at bottom right, ex Haas, Dr. Kapiloff, Giamporcaro and Hackmey

E. 2,000-3,000
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285°
 
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 285, 1851 12¢ Black, Stupendous 12¢ 1851 Issue franking with 15 stamps surrounding address to Germany

12¢ Black (17), fifteen stamps including a horizontal strip of five, tied by seven strikes of blue "Cincinnati O. Dec. 16" (1855) circular datestamp on grayish front only to Carlsruhe, Germany (with complete address and all significant markings)--carried on the Collins Line Baltic, departing New York December 27, 1855, arriving Liverpool January 8, 1856--prepaid $1.80 for six-times 30¢ Prussian Closed Mail rate to Germany, red "N. York Am. Pkt. 7 Paid Dec. 27" credit datestamp with 7¢ credit crossed out and revised credit of "42" in magenta manuscript at center, red "FRANCO" straightline handstamp, numerous creases, stamps with small faults (to be expected in a franking of this magnitude), Fine appearance, truly spectacular, ex Seybold (backstamp), Rust (1987 Rarities of the World sale), Dr. Kapiloff, Giamporcaro and Hackmey, with 1992 P.F. certificate

E. 5,000-7,500
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286°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 286, 1851 12¢ Black, Impressive 12¢ 1851 Issue franking cancelled in red on double 30¢ rate cover to Germany

12¢ Black (17), horizontal pair and three singles paying double 30¢ Prussian Closed Mail rate, large margins to slightly in, one stamp in vertical pair has pre-use crease, one single lifted and reaffixed, tied by red grid cancels, matching "PAID" straightline handstamp and "N. York Br. Pkt. 14 Paid May 27" (1857) 14¢ double-rate credit datestamp on cover to Wulfenbuttel, Brunswick, Germany--carried on the Cunarder Asia, departing New York May 27, 1857, arriving Liverpool June 8--red "AACHEN 9/6 FRANCO" (June 9) framed datestamp, blue Wulfenbuttel receiving backstamp (June 10), Very Fine cover, rare 12¢ 1851 franking, ex Giamporcaro and Hackmey, with 1991 P.F. certificate

E. 1,000-1,500
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287°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 287, 1851 12¢ Black, A beautiful 3¢ and 12¢ 1851 Issue cover to Germany by Prussian Closed Mail

12¢ Black (17), horizontal pair, used with 3¢ Dull Red, Type I (11) horizontal pair, both have large margins to slightly in, tied by two perfect strikes of "Hannibal Mo. Jun. 17, 1857" circular datestamp on grayish folded letter to Neustadt, Weimar, Germany, sender's notation "Postage paid pr. prussian closed mail", bold red "N. York Br. Pkt. 7 Paid Jun. 24" 7¢ credit datestamp--carried on the Cunarder Canada, departing New York June 24, 1857, arriving Liverpool July 7--red "AACHEN 8/7 FRANCO" (July 8) framed datestamp, Apolda and Neustadt backstamps (July 9), Very Fine, unusually choice quality, ex Piller, Giamporcaro and Hackmey, with 1991 P.F. certificate

E. 1,000-1,500
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288°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 288, 1851 12¢ Black, The only known correctly prepaid 1851 Issue cover to Switzerland by Bremen-Hamburg Mail

12¢ Black (17), horizontal pair, three clear to large margins, slightly in at left, used with 3¢ Dull Red, Type II (11A), one 12¢ with manuscript cancels, manuscript "1857" yeardate cancel on 3¢, pair tied by bold orange-red "Antwerp O. Jun. 29" (1857) balloon-style circular datestamp, magenta manuscript "Paid 27" rate on bright buff cover addressed in European style handwriting to Thurgau, Switzerland, red "N. York U.S. Pkt. Paid Jul. 11" circular datestamp--carried on the Vanderbilt Line North Star, departing New York July 11, 1857, arriving Bremen July 25--blue "AMERICA/UBER BREMEN/FRANCO" handstamp, red crayon "f5" (paid 5 silbergroschen) crossed out and re-rated "2" silbergroschen for postage beyond GAPU, backstamped Frankfurt (July 27), Bern (July 29) and Sierre (July 30), Very Fine, extremely rare 1851 Issue franking for 27¢ rate to Switzerland by Bremen-Hamburg Direct Mail--covers showing this particular rate that were actually carried on the Bremen-Hamburg route are rare with any issue, but since the rate was introduced in 1857, the use of imperforate stamps occurred in a narrow period, and we have never seen another example--signed Ashbrook, ex Giamporcaro and Hackmey, with 1999 P.F. certificate

E. 2,000-3,000
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289°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 289, 1851 12¢ Black, 12¢ 1851 strip of three on extremely rare cover to Holstein, then under Danish Crown rule

12¢ Black (17), horizontal strip of three, large margins to mostly clear, slightly in at top left, used with 1¢ Blue, Type IV (9), three mostly large margins but cut in at bottom, ink spot, tied by "Davenport Ioa. Apr. 16" (1855) circular datestamps on brown cover to Kiel, Holstein, then under Danish crown rule--carried on the Cunarder America, departing Boston on April 25, 1855, and arriving at Liverpool May 8--red "N. York Br. Pkt. 7 Paid Apr. 24" 7¢ credit datestamp applied incorrectly, thus treated as paid only to German border with red framed "Franco Preuss:/resp. Vereinsl:AusgGr" handstamp (paid only to limits of German-Austrian Postal Union), red "FRANCO" straightline handstamp, Prussian blue manuscript notation at lower left, red crayon "9" skillings due from recipient, red Aachen backstamp (May 10), "St.P.A. 11 Mai 55" oval and Hamburg double-circle datestamps (May 11) on back, "KDOPA HAMBURG 11/5" (May 11) Royal Danish Postal Agency in Hamburg double-circle backstamp, cover opened on two sides, some wear and small faults, still Fine and an enormously rare 1851 Issue cover, the 37¢ Prussian Closed Mail rate to Denmark applied to mail to Holstein until July 1855, ex "Sevenoaks," Giamporcaro and Hackmey, illustrated in Starnes article on the "Paid to Border" handstamp in Chronicle 136, with 1999 P.F. certificate

E. 2,000-3,000
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290°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 290, 1851 12¢ Black, Exceedingly rare 1851 Issue cover to Greece with a 12¢ strip of three

12¢ Black (17), horizontal strip of three, huge margins to barely in, used with horizontal pair of 3¢ Dull Red, Type II (11A), clear magians to in at top, tied by grid cancels on March 1854 blue tissue-paper folded letter to Athens, Greece, to Reverend John. H Hill, sender's route directive "Prussian Closed Mail" and correctly prepaid 42¢--carried on the Collins Line Baltic, departing New York on March 4, 1854, and arriving at Liverpool March 19--the lefthand stamp in strip was originally folded over edge and 3¢ pair is tied on back by red "New-York Am. Packet Mar. 4" circular datestamp, magenta manuscript "19" credit, red Aachen backstamp (March 21) and matching "FRANCO" straightline handstamp on front, Prussian blue manuscript "5-1/4" silbergroschen at lower left indicating postage paid beyond GAPU border, Trieste transit backstamp (March 25) and red crayon rate notations, receipt docketing, thin lettersheet reinforced in places and treated to improve appearance (not noted on certificate), still Very Fine, there are only three or four known 1851 Issue covers to Greece, all from the Reverend Hill correspondence, ex "Sevenoaks," Giamporcaro and Hackmey, with clear 1999 P.F. certificate

E. 2,000-3,000
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291°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 291, 1851 12¢ Black, This beautiful cover is one of six recorded with a block of the 12¢ 1851 Issue, and it is the only block known used to Sardinia

12¢ Black (17), block of four, large margins including parts of adjoining stamps at bottom, slightly in at upper right and top, tied by "Chicago Ills. May 13" (1856) circular datestamp on buff cover to midshipman R. W. M. Graham aboard the U.S. Ship Constellation at Spezzia, Sardinia, sender's route directive "by Mail Steamer to Liverpool, England", prepaid 48¢ which might have been intended (erroneously) to pay the double 24¢ treaty rate to England or to overpay (by 6¢) the double 21¢ French Mail rate to Italy, but in the actual event overpaid (by 10¢) the double 19¢ rate to Italy by Prussian Closed Mail--carried on the Ocean Line Hermann, departing New York on May 17, 1856, and arriving Southampton May 31 and Bremen June 2--red "New-York Am. Pkt. May 17" backstamp, magenta manuscript "15" credit marking, red "AACHEN 3/6 FRANCO" (June 3) framed datestamp, German transit backstamp (June 5), Genoa backstamp (June 8), matching "VIA DI SVIZZERA", "P.D." and "FRANCA" handstamps on front

Very Fine; cover with few minor edge tears at top from opening, neatly sealed and not affecting block.

Midshipman R. W. Meade Graham, the addressee, was born in Washington D.C, on July 14, 1837. He passed away in November 1856 after succumbing to typhoid fever while serving on the U.S.S. Constellation, only a few months after receiving this letter.

Collectors are acutely aware of the rarity of blocks and large multiples of the imperforate stamps issued from 1847 through 1857, when perforated issues replaced them. The rarity increases significantly for blocks used on cover. We are currently aware of six blocks of the 12¢ 1851 Imperforate on cover. The largest multiple on cover is a vertical block of six (with a strip of three) on a cover to Norway in the Charles A. Hirzel collection at the Swiss Museum of Communications in Berne, Switzerland (see Chronicle 244). There is also a strip of six on cover in the James Allen collection. The cover offered here is the only example of a block used to Sardinia.

Ex Joseph Hackmey. With 2005 P.F. certificate.

E. 10,000-15,000
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292°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 292, 1851 12¢ Black, A magnificent and exceedingly rare 1851 Issue cover to Norway--this destination is rarely encountered in the early classic period of American postal history

12¢ Black (17), L-shaped strip of three, large margins including parts of adjoining stamps at top to slightly in at right, used with 10¢ Green, Type II (14), large top and bottom margins, close to touching at sides, tied by "Woodstock Vt. May 31" (1857) circular datestamp on light buff cover to Bergen, Norway, prepaid 46¢ Prussian Closed Mail rate to Norway--carried on the Collins Line Columbia, departing New York on June 6, 1857, and arriving at Liverpool June 17--red "New-York Am. Packet Jun. 6" circular datestamp on back, magenta manuscript "23" credit, red "AACHEN 19/6 FRANCO" (June 19) framed datestamp, magenta manuscript "f6" indicating 6 silbergroschen paid beyond German-Austrian Postal Union border, "St.P.A. 23 Jun 57" oval and "KDOPA HAMBURG 23/6" (June 23) Royal Danish Postal Agency in Hamburg double-circle backstamps, blue "Bergen 3/7 1857" (July 7) receiving datestamp

Very Fine; small mended corner in envelope at bottom right (truly immaterial).

The rarity of covers to Norway with any of the imperforate issues is reflected in the fact that Power Search located only two others--a 10¢ 1847 cover with a repaired stamp, ex Hart (Sale 745, lot 335) and a cover with a repaired block of the 12¢ 1851 in the "Sevenoaks" sale (Sale 799, lot 163). There is also a cover to Norway with a 12¢ 1851 vertical block of six and strip of three in the Charles A. Hirzel collection at the Swiss Museum of Communications in Berne, Switzerland (see Chronicle 244), but of course that cover is unavailable to collectors. To the best of our knowledge, none of the major census works (1847 Issue, 5¢ 1856, etc.) contain any other covers to Norway.

Ex Louis Grunin, Ryohei Ishikawa and Joseph Hackmey.

E. 7,500-10,000
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293°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 293, 1851 12¢ Black, An extraordinary cover to Sweden with the 42¢ Prussian Closed Mail rate paid by a 12¢ 1851 and strip of 10¢ Type III 1855 Imperforate Issues

12¢ Black (17), Position 9L1 with double transfer, mostly full margins, just barely in at bottom, used with horizontal strip of three 10¢ Green, Type III (15), large margins to slightly in at bottom, tied by two strikes of "Galva Ill. Jun. 17" (1857) circular datestamp on cover to Hudiksvall, Sweden, sender's route directive "Via Prussian Closed Mail" and correctly prepaid 42¢, red "19" credit handstamp (no exchange office datestamp)--carried on the Cunarder Canada, departing New York on June 24, 1857, and arriving at Liverpool July 7--red "AACHEN 8/7 FRANCO" (July 8) framed datestamp, magenta manuscript "f5" indicating 5 silbergroschen postage paid beyond German-Austrian Postal Union border, backstamped with "St.P.A. 9 Jul 57" Hamburg oval, "K.D.O.P.A. HAMBURG 9/7" circular datestamp applied on back by the Royal Danish Postal Agency in Hamburg, and "(K.S.?)P.A. Hamburg 9/7 1857" double-circle applied by Royal Swedish Postal Agency in Hamburg, Helsingborg (July 10) datestamp

Very Fine; stamps lifted and reaffixed, and some minor cover wear.

Prior to the catastrophic crop failures and famine of 1867-1869, which drove Swedish farming families to leave their country, there was only a small population of Swedes living in the United States. Consequently, mail volume was low, and covers from the 1840s and 1850s are rare. The rural community of Swedish religious dissidents in western Illinois was founded in 1846. About 400 immigrants arrived under the leadership of Erik Jansson, a wheat farmer turned preacher, after a three-month voyage from Sweden and a 150-mile trek from Chicago. In 1857 the Andover and Galva post offices served these Swedish settlers. The letters had to first travel from the midwest to the port city of New York, then across the Atlantic on a steamship, usually to England, where they were forwarded to the Prussian postal authorities for delivery to the Swedish postal agency. The price of sending a letter by this route was 42¢ per half-ounce in 1857, with 19¢ credited to Prussia. A strip of three 10¢ stamps and single 12¢ conveniently paid the postage.

Ex Jack Dick, J. David Baker, Tito Giamporcaro and Joseph Hackmey. With 1983 and 1999 P.F. certificates.

E. 4,000-5,000
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294°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 294, 1851 12¢ Black, Rare 1851 Issue cover to Russia with 1¢ and 12¢ stamps paying 37¢ Prussian Closed Mail rate

12¢ Black (17), three singles, large margins to slightly in, small tears in right stamp and file crease through left 12¢ stamp, used with 1¢ Blue, Type IV (9), large margins to touching, tied by "Philadelphia Pa. Oct. 2" (1855) circular datestamps on blue folded letter to Alexandrovsky, near St. Petersburg, Russia, sender's route directive "Via Prussian Closed Mail" and prepaid 37¢ rate, red "New-York Am. Packet Oct. 3" circular datestamp on back, magenta manuscript "14" credit--carried on the Collins Line Baltic, departing New York October 3, 1855, arriving Liverpool October 14--red "AACHEN 16/10 FRANCO" (October 16) framed datestamp, blue manuscript "f6" on back and "f3" on front indicating German and Russian transit fees had been paid, Fine, an extremely rare 1851 Issue cover to Russia and one of the few with the 37¢ Prussian Closed Mail rate--this letter refers to the fall of Sevastopol during the Crimean War and the end of Danish-American treaties--ex Ishikawa and Hackmey, with 1999 P.F. certificate

The Winans Correspondence

The two folded letters offered in lots 294 and 295 are addressed to William L. Winans, who worked for the American railroad construction firm Harrison, Winans & Eastwick. He and his brother Thomas traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia, while the firm worked on construction of the Czar's new railroad from St. Petersburg to Moscow. The Winans' contract was to equip the new Russian railway with locomotives and stock cars. They established workshops in Alexandrovsky, near St. Petersburg. When the railway was completed in 1851, Thomas returned to Baltimore with his Russian wife, while William stayed until 1862.

E. 4,000-5,000
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295°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 295, 1851 12¢ Black, Rare 37¢ Prussian Closed Mail rate cover to Russia with 1¢ and 12¢ 1851 Issue

12¢ Black (17), three singles, large margins to clear, faint gum toning, used with 1¢ Blue, Type IV (9), large margins to slightly in, tied by "Philadelphia Pa. Apr. 15" (1856) circular datestamps on blue folded letter to Alexandrovsky, near St. Petersburg, Russia, sender's route directive "Via Prussian Closed Mail" and prepaid 37¢ rate, red "New-York Br. Pkt. Apr. 16" circular datestamp on back, magenta manuscript "14" credit--carried on the Cunarder Asia, departing New York April 16, 1856, arriving Liverpool April 28--red "AACHEN 30/4 FRANCO" (April 30) framed datestamp, blue manuscript "f6" on back and "f3" on front indicating German and Russian transit fees had been paid, bleached spots and toning along file fold, otherwise Fine, an extremely rare 1851 Issue cover to Russia and one of the few with the 37¢ Prussian Closed Mail rate, ex Giamporcaro and Hackmey, illustrated in The 1851 Issue of United States Stamps: A Sesquicentennial Retrospective (p. 366).

The Winans Correspondence

The two folded letters offered in lots 294 and 295 are addressed to William L. Winans, who worked for the American railroad construction firm Harrison, Winans & Eastwick. He and his brother Thomas traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia, while the firm worked on construction of the Czar's new railroad from St. Petersburg to Moscow. The Winans' contract was to equip the new Russian railway with locomotives and stock cars. They established workshops in Alexandrovsky, near St. Petersburg. When the railway was completed in 1851, Thomas returned to Baltimore with his Russian wife, while William stayed until 1862.

E. 4,000-5,000
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296°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 296, 1851 12¢ Black, Spectacular and rare cover to Australia with an unusual 1¢ and 12¢ 1851 franking

12¢ Black (17), horizontal strip of three, mostly full to large margins except touched at top left, a few toned spots, used with 1¢ Blue, Type II (7), Position 71L2, large margins including parts of adjoining stamps at right and bottom, tied by grid cancels and "Oxford O. Jul. 20, 1857" circular datestamp on buff cover to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and forwarded to Mount Korong, addressed to James W. Messler and directed in another hand "By British Packet via England", prepaid 37¢ for a non-applicable rate but credited "12" cents for 33¢ British Mail via Southampton rate by American Packet--despite the directive, this was not carried on a British steamer; it was carried on the Inman Line City of Washington, departing New York on July 23, 1857, and arriving at Liverpool August 5--red "New-York Am. Packet Jul. 23" circular datestamp on back, red British transit datestamp (August 6), Melbourne rimless oval backstamp (October 15), another part strike of receiving backstamp applied at Victoria

Very Fine--an outstanding 1851 Issue foreign-mail cover, with a franking that is rare because it overpaid the prevailing 33¢ rate to Australia.

James W. Messler traveled to Australia in search of gold and found success. His activities are noted in an account of Joshua Rogers Gray's life in Australia at http://www.thetreeofus.net/8/273960.htm . It includes this colorful description:

During the time I was partners with Messler and some years after he left I usually bought from 100 to 150 ounces of gold per week. The gold bought at Wedderburn had to be taken either to Sandhurst Maryborough or Ballarat for sale. The profit on the gold was from 2/- to 3/- per ounce but the risk to life and property was very great and I have very little doubt but I would have been nobbled and in all probability killed had it not been generally known that I always went armed and that I was not likely to part with life or treasure without a struggle.

Ex William C. Michaels, Marc Haas, Louis Grunin, Ryohei Ishikawa and Joseph Hackmey.

E. 7,500-10,000
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297°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 297, 1851 12¢ Black, Remarkable 12¢ 1851 Issue cover to the Dutch East Indies--probably sent via Marseilles

12¢ Black (17), horizontal strip of three, ample to mostly clear margins, used with three 3¢ Dull Red, Type I (11), slight creases, manuscript cancels, two 3¢ stamps tied by "Holmes Hole Ms. May 4" (1857) circular datestamp on yellow cover to Batavia, Java, Netherlands East Indies, addressed to Captain S. Lyman Norton of the ship Minstrel, in care of Paine, Stricker & Co., sender's directive "Via Southampton" but prepaid 45¢ instead of prevailing 33¢ rate--carried on the Cunarder America, departing New York May 6, 1857, and arriving at Liverpool May 17--red "New-York May 5, 1857" circular datestamp (not the normal foreign-mail office marking), magenta manuscript "40" cents credit for British Packet service, red British transit datestamp (May 18), manuscript "30" for additional postage due in Batavia, faint cover bleaching not affecting stamps, otherwise Fine--the sender wrote "Via Southampton" to indicate the route, but by this date the rate to Java by British Mail via Southampton was only 33¢; the 40¢ credit applied in New York may have ensured that it traveled on the faster route via Marseilles (45¢ rate)--ex Hackmey.

The Norton Correspondence

This sale contains three remarkable covers addressed to Captain S. Lyman Norton as he sailed the ship Minstrel from Boston to the East Indies and Far East in 1857 and 1858. Included are covers with the 1851-56 Issue addressed to Java (lots 246 and 297) and Singapore (lot 270).

E. 3,000-4,000
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298°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 298, 1851 12¢ Black, Extraordinary 1851 Issue cover to the Isle of Celebes with an impressive three-color franking

12¢ Black (17), two horizontal pairs and single, used with 3¢ Dull Red, Type I (11) and 10¢ Green, Type II (14), margins vary and at least five stamps faulty, cancelled and tied together by red grids, matching "New Bedford Mass. Jan. 13" (1857) circular datestamp on yellow cover to Kema, Isle of Celebes, East Indies, addressed to Captain James L. Smith of the whaling ship Newark, in care of the governor of Kema, sender's directive "pr. Overland Mail" and "via Singapore", prepaid 73¢ for the British Mail via Marseilles rate which was reduced to 61¢ in January 1856 and 39¢ in January 1857, "Boston Br. Pkt. 14 Jan." circular datestamp on back, red crayon "70" credit--carried on the Cunarder Niagara, departing Boston January 14, 1857, and arriving Liverpool January 26, then via Mauritius and Calcutta--manuscript "2" (possibly for British Colonial credit), backstamped "Packet Letter Mauritius MR 2 1857" double-oval and "Calcutta Steam Letter" framed datestamp with 1 rupee, 1 anna, 2 pies manuscript due notation (slightly over 51¢), ex Potter (H. R. Harmer sale, 4/27-28/1948, lot 53), "Sevenoaks", Giamporcaro and Hackmey, with 1999 P.F. certificate

E. 3,000-4,000
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