10¢ Dark Green, Type I (62B), two, deep rich color, tied by red "New York Paid Oct. 29" (1861) circular datestamp on folded letter to Manzanillo, Cuba, endorsed "pr Cosmopolitan" and carried on that steamer from New York, departing October 29, 1861, and arriving Havana October 29, "NA" in circle and "5" reales due handstamps, receiving backstamp, stamps with a few slightly toned perf tips, still Very Fine, scarce double-rate use of the 10¢ Type I to Cuba, ex Myers, with 1983 P.F. certificate
3¢ Pink (64), beautifully centered, incredibly bright color nicely contrasted by blue grid cancel which ties stamp, matching "Chicago Ills. Sep. 12, 1861" double-circle datestamp on buff cover to New York City with illustrated Iron Works blue cameo corner card, A. & G. McClement (Philadelphia) imprint, design depicts a steam boiler, slightly reduced at top, Extremely Fine stamp and cover, a truly stunning use of the 3¢ Pink, from our 2001 Rarities sale, with 1986 A.P.S. certificate
3¢ Pigeon Blood Pink (64a), color slightly adulterated but still has the bluish tint of a true Pigeon Blood Pink, superb centering and margins, tied by "Miamiville O. Nov. 9" circular datestamp on red and blue "Protect It" Waving Flag Patriotic cover to Ford P.O., Ohio, stamp has partly nibbed perf at upper right, still Very Fine and rare example of this 3¢ 1861 shade on a Patriotic cover, very few known, ex Myers and Mitchell
3¢ Deep Rose (65), tied by "Alexandria Va." double-circle datestamp on cover with hand-colored Magnus Valentine design, hand holding a bouquet at upper left, at upper right is a lady in a red dress reading a letter, with lambs and harbor scene in background, Magnus imprint at bottom left, addressed to Miss Maggie Sprott in New York City, Very Fine, an immaculate and beautiful cover and one of the rarest Magnus designs, although Magnus was a prolific publisher of Civil War song sheets, patriotic stationery and other printed matter, we do not recall seeing another example of this Valentine design
5¢ Buff (67), used with 5¢ Red Brown (75), both cancelled by and Buff tied by grid cancels, "Reading Pa. Sep. 10, 1863" double-circle datestamp on yellow cover to San Jose, California, with blind embossed booksellers and music dealers corner card, Buff stamp with light diagonal crease at right, cover slightly reduced at left not affecting the corner card, certificate does not mention either of these issues but states light overall soiling which is not evident, Very Fine and striking, a scarce combination of these two better shades paying the 10¢ rate over the Rocky Mountains, ex Grunin and Ishikawa, with 1994 P.F. certificate
5¢ Buff (67), vertical pair, perfectly centered, warm shade, tied by part strike of "N. York Steamship" circular datestamp on cover to Brooklyn N.Y., backflap removed, Extremely Fine Gem pair of the 5¢ Buff on cover, probably fewer than five pairs on cover exist in this superb quality, ex Brown, Moody and Haas
5¢ Buff (67), rich color, used with 10¢ Green (68) and 30¢ Orange (71), tied by target cancels, "Williamsburgh N.Y. Jan. 31" (1862) circular datestamp on buff cover to Hong Kong, China, magenta manuscript "24" credit, red "London Paid" transit datestamp (February 15) ties 10¢, well-struck "1d" British Colonial credit handstamp, "New York Am. Pkt Feb. 1" and Hong Kong (Apr. 11) backstamps, 5¢ with slight crease from placement near edge, fresh and Very Fine, a colorful use to Hong Kong paying the 45¢ rate, the dates correspond to the sailing of the Inman City of New York from New York on February 1, 1862, arriving Liverpool February 15, with 1994 P.F. certificate
10¢ Yellow Green (68), horizontal strip of four and two adjoining singles (separated from the same multiple), beautiful deep early shade, couple nibbed perfs, tied by grid cancels, "San Francisco Cal. Dec. 11, 1861" double-circle datestamp on blue folded letter to Podensac, France, sender's blue oval handstamp, red "New York Paid 24 Jan. 11" 24¢ credit datestamp ties right two stamps, red Calais arrival datestamp (January 24) and framed "PD" handstamp, Paris and Podensac receiving backstamps, Very Fine, a spectacular 10¢ 1861 Issue franking for the quadruple treaty rate to France, this was probably carried on the Inman Kangaroo, departing New York on January 12, 1861, arriving at Queenstown on January 24 (and entering French mails at Calais on the same day), ex Emerson, Dr. Graves ("Argentum") and Dr. Martin, with 1999 A.P.S. certificate
12¢ Black (69), pair and single, pair with straight edge at left, used with 3¢ Bright Rose (65), tied by red grid cancels, red "N. York Am. Pkt. Feb. 8" (1862) circular datestamp on back of folded letter to Port Louis, Mauritius, magenta manuscript "12" credit, red "London Paid" transit datestamp (February 21), bold red "4-1/2d" British Colonial credit handstamp, Mauritius (April 24) backstamps, right 12¢ stamp small tear at bottom, cover with some separations along top edge and light toning, still Very Fine and very rare 1861 Issue franking to the British Colony of Mauritius, prepaid for the 39¢ British Mail rate via Marseilles, ex Gallagher and "Sevenoaks"
24¢ Violet, Thin Paper (70c), used with vertical pair of 30¢ Orange (71), tied by red "Paid" in circle cancels, matching "Providence R.I. Oct. 1" (1861) circular datestamp on cover to Athens, Greece--carried on the Cunarder Europa from Boston on October 2, 1861, arriving Queenstown October 12, red crayon "38" credit, red "AACHEN 15/10 FRANCO" (October 15) framed datestamp, manuscript rates front and back including "f 5" silbergroschen for transit beyond the German-Austrian Postal Union, receiving backstamp, 24¢ tiny expert repair at right and tiny corner crease which are difficult to detect, Extremely Fine appearance, a spectacular and very rare 1861 Issue cover to Greece from the Reverend Hill correspondence, double 42¢ rate via Prussian Closed Mail, ex Paliafito and Myers, accompanied by Paliafito's detailed rate analysis, with 1972 A.P.S. certificate
24¢ Red Lilac (70), used with three 30¢ Orange (71), bright colors, cancelled and tied together by grids, "Sheffield Mass. Nov. 18" (1862) circular datestamp on tissue-paper cover to Singapore, sender's directive "Via Marseilles", red "N. York Br. Pkt. Paid Nov. 19" circular datestamp, magenta manuscript "104" double-rate credit, red "London Paid" transit datestamp (December 1), red crayon "2" British Colonial credit marking, right 30¢ stamp with tiny faults from placement near edge of cover, fresh and Very Fine, a rare 1861 Issue franking for the double 57¢ rate by British Mail via Marseilles, ex Ishikawa
2¢ Black (73), tied by 5-point Star fancy cancel on "T. H. Dinsmore, Skowhegan, Me." overall illustrated advertising cover depicting an eagle over shield and flags and a piano, to Rome, Maine, mentions the sale of revenue stamps among several other services, stamp with tiny perf tear at top right and light corner crease, still Extremely Fine, a beautiful Black Jack illustrated cover and probably the finest example of this design among the few we have encountered, ex Steinway, Allen and Metzger, illustrated in Lane Black Jack book (fig. 39)
2¢ Black (73), lightly cancelled by grid and affixed as intended over the window of unsealed Leeds & Franklin lattice window patent envelope, lattice work completely intact and unbroken, albino "Pat. June 19, 1860" below window, cover is addressed to Wells River, Vermont with "The Claremont Manufacturing Company, Book and Paper Manufacturers N.H." corner card, original enclosure a two-page circular advertising diary sales for 1865, fresh and Extremely Fine, an absolutely superb example of this rare patented envelope and especially desirable with the 2¢ Black Jack, the placement of the stamp nicely demonstrates the sender's understanding of the purpose of the envelope, which was to have the stamp and cancel or postmark become affixed to the enclosed letter when the letter was removed, but in this case the stamp did not stick through to the enclosure so it remains undisturbed on the lattice window, with 1994 P.F. certificate
2¢ Black (73), two singles, tied by partly clear strike of Clinton N.Y. circular datestamp and target cancels (struck in the U.S.) on a cover originating in Canada and addressed to Clinton, "Montreal C.E. Au 31 '64" circular datestamp, pencil docketing of the same date at left, slightly smudged manuscript "10" below stamps, faint and unreadable double-circle datestamp on back (September 1), right stamp couple nibbed perfs at upper right, cover barely reduced at left, Very Fine appearing and extremely rare use of U.S. stamps on a cover originating in Canada, with 1974 P.F. certificate
2¢ Black (73), two pairs, used with two singles of 24¢ Gray (78b), one with straight edge, neatly arranged in alternating pattern and tied by circle of wedges cancel, red "N. York Br. Pkt. 14 Paid Oct. 9" (1866) 14¢ double-rate credit datestamp on cover with printed address to Bavaria, Germany, Seligman Bendit & Sohne correspondence with Bendit double-circle datestamp, sender's directive to go on the Cunarder "Cuba"--departing Boston October 10, 1866, and arriving Southampton October 20--sent via Prussian Closed Mail at double the 28¢ rate, two strikes of blue "AACHEN 22/10 FRANCO" (October 22) framed datestamp (one ties stamps), receiving backstamp
Very Fine--a colorful and outstanding Prussian Closed Mail cover with what is believed to be a unique 1861 Issue franking. This cover was one of the highlights of the Russo Black Jack collection.
Ex Anthony Russo and Walter C. Klein. Signed by Stanley B. Ashbrook.
2¢ Black, Atherton Shift, Major Double Transfer of Top Left Corner and "Postage" (73 variety), horizontal strip of three, left stamp clearly showing the dramatic double transfer at top, tied by target cancels and "Warrenton Va. May 13" (1867) circular datestamp on attorney corner card cover to Philadelphia, receipt docketing at left
Very Fine appearance; accompanying certificate notes the Atherton Shift stamp has small corner crease at bottom left, which is utterly negligible--right stamp light crease and small sealed cover tear at top (these issues not noted on certificate).
A spectacular example of the rare Atherton Shift--the most pronounced double transfer of the Black Jack Issue and, in fact, of any classic postage issue printed by the National Bank Note Company. We have encountered only two covers bearing this dramatic variety, and this is by far the finer of the two.
According to the Allen book, the Atherton Shift got its name from Stanley B. Ashbrook, who first discovered it in the summer of 1923 in the collection of H. P. Atherton. Concerning this double transfer, Ashbrook wrote: "Here we have one of the most remarkable double transfers on U. S. stamps that I have ever seen. I have for years classed the One Cent 1851, Type II, 89R2, as the No. 1 among remarkable examples of this variety and in my opinion this 2¢ Black Jack could well rank as No. 2. Perhaps some would even rank it equal to the 1¢..." He stated further that it was his opinion, supported by other authorities whom he had consulted, that the variety must surely have come from an early or first condition of one of the plates, and that later it had been burnished out and a fresh entry made. The fact that every line in the Atherton Shift "is razor sharp" led him to conclude that the plate from which it came was very new.
This cover has been a highlight of important Black Jack collections, including those formed by Anthony Russo and Steven Metzger. When the Metzger collection was sold this was described as the only on-cover example of the Atherton Shift known. We subsequently sold a cover in the Bernard Faust collection with the Atherton Shift (Sale 1181, lot 1105), but the stamp on that cover has been repaired, with the bottom portion of the design replaced. This is by far the finer of the two covers we have encountered.
Ex Judge Robert S. Emerson, Anthony Russo and Steven Metzger. With 2003 P.F. certificate.
2¢ Black, Vertical Half Used as 1¢ (73d), two covers bearing bisects, first is a double rate (6¢) with two bisects in pairs, each with a single normal stamp, second is a single rate (3¢) with one bisect in a pair with a normal stamp, this bisect represents the left half of the left pair on the first cover, formerly a strip of three, both covers are addressed to the Otsego County Bank in Cooperstown N.Y., dated October 26 and 28 (1865 based on enclosure), right stamp of the 6¢ cover with trimmed perfs at right and scissors-cut into design at bottom right, Very Fine appearance and a fascinating matched pair of covers, the use of two 2¢ bisects on the 6¢ rate cover instead of three normal Black Jack stamps indicates that the sender prepared a batch of these "3¢" pairs in anticipation of sending several letters, when one required a double rate he simply used two of his bisect pairs
5¢ Red Brown (75), nine singles, neatly affixed overlapping (two inverted) and tied by grid cancels, "Norwalk Ct. Jan. 12, 1863" circular datestamp on cover to Shanghai, China, red "N. York Br. Pkt. Paid Jan. 14" circular datestamp, magenta "40" cents credit, red "London Paid" transit datestamp (January 29), "INSUFFY STAMPED/VIA MARSEILLES" two-line handstamp, manuscript "1" British Colonial credit, Hong Kong (March 25) and Shanghai (March 31) backstamps, several stamps with tears or other small faults, overall soiling, Very Fine appearance and extremely rare use of nine 5¢ 1861 stamps on a cover to China, this was short paid for the rate via Marseilles and was instead sent by British Mail via Southampton at the 45¢ rate and treated as completely prepaid, ex Rohloff and Ishikawa, with 1993 P.F. certificate
15¢ Black (77), used with 5¢ Brown (76) and 3¢ Ultramarine (114), 3¢ with choice centering, tied by quartered cork cancels, "Brooklyn N.Y. Nov. 4" (1869) circular datestamp on registered cover to Zurich, Switzerland, "REGISTERED" straightline handstamp applied at Brooklyn, small "PD" handstamp, red "New York Registered Nov. 6" circular datestamp, "CHARGEE" framed registry handstamp applied in Switzerland, Basel and Zurich backstamps, Very Fine and extremely rare mixed franking with 1861 and 1869 Issue stamps paying the 15¢ Closed Mail rate to Switzerland via England and 8¢ registry fee
24¢ Grayish Lilac (78), two, used with 5¢ Brown (76), tied by bold strikes of large circle of wedges cancel, red "N. York Am. Pkt. Paid Jun. 27" (1863) circular datestamp on folded letter to Shanghai, China, sender's directive "p City of New York Via Marseilles", magenta manuscript "32" credit, red "London Paid' transit datestamp (July 8) and "1d" British Colonial credit handstamp, Hong Kong receiving backstamp (August 17), left 24¢ stamp with pre-use tear which is large but not very noticeable, Very Fine appearing and attractive 1861 Issue cover to China, prepaid at the 53¢ rate by British Mail via Marseilles immediately after the rate became effective in June 1863