Contact Siegel
6 West 48th Street
9th Floor
New York, NY 10036
Contact by phone:
New York: (212) 753-6421
Dallas: (214) 754-5991

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

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

Category — Hawaiian Mails

Cat./Est. Value
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 348, Hawaiian Mails, One of two known covers with this combination of the Hawaii "5" on 13¢ manuscript surcharge and United States 1¢ 1851 and 10¢ 1855 Imperforate stamps


Hawaii, 1857, 5¢ on 13¢ Dark Red (7), Type I manuscript surcharge applied by Alvah Clark (Postmaster Jackson's clerk), three ample to large margins, just slightly in at bottom, used with horizontal pair of 1¢ Blue, Type II (7), Plate 2, mostly large margins, and 10¢ Green, Type III (15), large even margins, all stamps remained uncancelled in Hawaii where red "Honolulu * U.S. Postage Paid * Mar. 11" (1857) circular datestamp was applied on cover to Mrs. H. W. McCoughtey in New Bedford, Massachusetts, carried on the bark Yankee, departing Honolulu March 11, 1857, and arriving in San Francisco April 3--after arriving in San Francisco the stamps were cancelled and tied by two strikes of "San Francisco Cal. 6 Apr." circular datestamp; from San Francisco to Panama on Pacific Mail Steamship Company John L. Stephens, departing April 6 and arriving April 19; crossed the isthmus to Aspinwall and carried to New York on U.S. Mail Steamship Company Illinois, departing April 20 and arriving April 29#


John F. Seybold, J. C. Morgenthau sale, 3/15-16/1910, lot 509

F. Spiegelberg, J. C. Morgenthau sale, 1/10/1911, lot 362

Alfred H. Caspary, H. R. Harmer sale, 10/8/1957, lot 52, to Krug

Emmerson C. Krug (sold privately by Siegel to Middendorf)

Hon. J. William Middendorf II, Siegel Auction Galleries, 4/25/1967, Sale 316, lot 84, to Rust

Philip G. Rust, Siegel Auction Galleries, 1987 Rarities of the World, 5/2/1987, Sale 679, lot 427, to Ishikawa

Ryohei Ishikawa, Christie's Robson Lowe sale, 9/28-29/1993, lot 90, to Guido Craveri (for Giamporcaro)

Tito Giamporcaro, Spink sale, 4/20/1999, lot 110, to Hackmey

Joseph Hackmey (collection sold privately to William H. Gross, 2010)


Fred Gregory, Hawaii Foreign Mail to 1870, Volume III, p. 54, census no. 5 (Meyer-Harris no. 2)


Signed by Stanley B. Ashbrook (October 15, 1957)

The Philatelic Foundation (1999) notes "stamps with tiny flaws"


Very Fine overall appearance; 10¢ small tear at top right, stamps have small surface scrapes, small scuff in cover at top left

"John F. Seybold, Syracuse, N.Y." purple backstamp


An Extraordinary Combination of Stamps from Paradise

The Hawaiian 5¢ provisional surcharge was created in 1857 during a shortage of 5¢ stamps just after the transition from Honolulu postmaster Henry M. Whitney to Joseph Jackson. The April 1855 increase in the U.S. transcontinental rate from 6¢ to 10¢ made the Hawaii 13¢ Kamehameha III stamp obsolete, since it was based on a composite rate of 5¢ Hawaiian, 6¢ U.S. and the 2¢ ship captain's fee. When the supply of 5¢ stamps was exhausted, 13¢ sheets were changed to a 5¢ denomination by writing the numeral "5" on each stamp. Most were made by Jackson's clerk, Alvah Clark, around the start of 1857. New supplies of the 5¢ stamp were received from Boston at the end of June 1857.

Fred Gregory's census in Hawaii Foreign Mail to 1870 lists 18 covers with the 5¢ on 13¢ surcharge. Three were carried on the same trip of the Yankee from Honolulu on March 11, 1857. Only two have this combination of imperforate stamps. There is a third cover with the same denominations, but the 1¢ pair is perforated. The mixed franking paid the 5¢ Hawaii and 10¢ U.S. postage, plus the 2¢ ship fee. This cover is addressed to Mrs. H. W. McCoughtey in New Bedford, Massachusetts. McCoughtey's name and title as Registrar of Public Accounts appears in ads placed by the Hawaiian Minister of Finance's office in the Polynesian (starting 11/2/1859).

The first collector known to have owned this cover was John F. Seybold, a pioneering collector of covers. In 1909 Seybold committed suicide, and his collection was bought from the estate by John T. Coit and the prominent New York dealer, J. C. Morgenthau, who put the collection into three auctions between March and April 1910. This cover was sold in the first Seybold auction on March 15-16, 1910. It reappeared in the 1911 Morgenthau sale of the Spiegelberg collection and then 46 years later in the Alfred H. Caspary sale, where it was bought by Ezra D. Cole for Emmerson C. Krug. Robert Siegel sold the Krug Hawaii collection privately, and the cover passed to the Hon. J. William Middendorf II, whose Hawaii collection was offered anonymously in Siegel Sale 316 (April 1967). The cover was acquired by Philip G. Rust and later appeared in the 1987 Rarities of the World sale, where it was bought by Ryohei Ishikawa. From Ishikawa it passed to Guido Craveri, Tito Giamporcaro and Joseph Hackmey. The Hackmey collection was purchased privately by William H. Gross in 2010.

E. 40,000-50,000
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 349, Hawaiian Mails, Strip of four 3¢ 1851 Issue stamps on cover from Hawaii to New York

3¢ Dull Red, Type II (11A), horizontal strip of four, full margins to in, tied by two strikes of "San Francisco Cal. 16 Jul." (ca. 1854) circular datestamp on cover to Reverend H. Halsey in East Wilson, New York, clear strike of red "Honolulu * U.S. Postage Paid * Jun. 15" circular datestamp at left, bottom left corner of strip nicked, corner crease at top right, minor cover toning, appears Very Fine, a scarce franking from Hawaii to New York, ex Rust, Piller, Giamporcaro and Hackmey, with 1993 P.F. certificate

E. 1,500-2,000
Back to Top
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 350, Hawaiian Mails, 12¢ 1851 and Hawaii 5¢ 1857 Kamehameha III Issue mixed-franking cover

12¢ Black (17), three huge margins including sheet margin at right, just touched at top, used with Hawaii, 1857, 5¢ Blue, Thin White Wove (8), full to large margins, tied by "San Francisco Cal. Nov. 14, 1859" circular datestamp on cover to Parma, New York, red "Honolulu U.S. Postage Paid Oct. 26" circular datestamp at left, sender's instructions "Will the Parma Post Master oblige by giving notice &c &c", carried on the Frances Palmer (cleared October 27, arrived November 13), expertly cleaned to remove stains and refolded at edges to reduce wear, Very Fine appearance, a lovely mixed-franking cover from Hawaii, ex Adm. Harris, Ishikawa, Honolulu Advertiser and Hackmey, signed Ashbrook, with 1981 Jakubek certificate

E. 5,000-7,500
Back to Top
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 351, Hawaiian Mails, An impressive 2¢ Black Jack and 3¢ 1861 Issue multiple franking from Hawaii, prepaid 22¢ at the late-1864 "Kalakaua Error Rate"

2¢ Black (73), two vertical pairs and single, used with vertical strip of four of 3¢ Rose (65), tied by cogwheel cancels and by "San Francisco Cal. Nov. 29, 1864" double-circle datestamp on cover to Boston, clear strike of red "Honolulu U.S. Postage Paid Nov. 9" circular datestamp, carried on the bark Yankee from Honolulu on November 10, 1864, arriving San Francisco November 28, 1864, then via overland mail to Boston

Very Fine appearance; right edge and right 2¢ stamp expertly restored, sealed cover tear.

A rare and exceptional multiple 2¢ Black Jack use from Hawaii, prepaid 22¢ based on the Honolulu postmaster's misinterpretation of the July 1, 1864, U.S. blanket steamship rate. A wonderful classic cover of U.S. and Hawaiian postal history.

During the period from August 13 through December 3, 1864, U.S.-Hawaiian postal rates were misinterpreted by the postmasters in both San Francisco and Honolulu (Postmaster General Kalakaua). Their misinterpretation was based on an erroneous reading of the July 1, 1864, U.S. postal law that provided for a blanket 10¢ steamship rate on incoming or outgoing foreign mail. However, the law did not apply to mail exchanged between countries which already had a postal treaty, as the U.S. and Hawaii did (1850 treaty). As a result, letters sent from Hawaii during this period were prepaid according to the following erroneous schedule: U.S. postage at 10¢ per -1/2 oz (blanket steamship rate); Hawaiian postage at 5¢ per -1/2 oz.; and a ship fee of 2¢ per letter, regardless of weight.

The cover offered here is an example of the 22¢ rate for letters between a half-ounce and one ounce (double rate), where the ship fee was charged at a flat 2¢ rate and the Hawaiian 10¢ postage was paid in cash. The correct rate for the U.S. postage would have been 10¢ based on the still effective 1850 treaty. The Gregory book records only four covers mailed to the U.S. during this period--this cover is number 2 in the census.

Illustrated in the Meyer-Harris and Allen books, as well as Gregory, Hawaiian Foreign Mail to 1870 (p. II-185). Ex Charles Wilson, Harry F. Allen (and Maryette B. Lane), Dr. Joseph F. Rorke and Blake M. Myers.

E. 5,000-7,500
Back to Top
Copyright 2020. All rights reserved by Siegel Auction Galleries Inc. Information and images may be used with credit to Siegel Auction Galleries or subject to guidelines and restrictions.
Website Terms of Use and Privacy Policy