EXTREMELY FINE. BELIEVED TO BE THE EARLIEST RECORDED USE OF THE NORTHERN LIBERTIES NEWS ROOM MARKING, WHICH WAS APPLIED TO MAIL HANDLED BY THE SUB POST OFFICE OPERATED BY ANDREW McMAKIN.
Prior to 1854, the Northern Liberties area (north of Vine Street) was outside Philadelphia's city limits. Carriers were used to transport mail between outlying areas and the main post office in Philadelphia. The term Sub Post Office refers to a location where letters could be deposited for delivery to the main post office. The Northern Liberties News Rooms, which advertised its services as early as 1833, established a Sub Post Office in 1835. The proprietor at this time was Andrew McMakin. A news item appearing in the October 10, 1835, edition of the Philadelphia Saturday Courier states: "The enterprising, attentive and indefatigable proprietor of that popular establishment, the Northern Liberties Free Admission News Room, has found the business of his Sub Post Office so much on the increase, as to induce him to prepare a new and appropriate stamp, which we perceive is now imprinted upon all letters deposited at his office." (from research by Elliott Perry and J. William Middendorf). Later advertisements link the Sub Post Office in Northern Liberties with the main Philadelphia post office, which reinforces its status as an authorized drop point for mail.
Debate among postal historians (Perry, Hahn et al) has focused on when the distinctive marking (Type I or II) was applied to letters. Some have argued that it is a press-printed impression applied to lettersheets prior to use and is, therefore, a carrier stamp. In support of the press-printed argument is the consistent orientation of the marking at the left side and at the same degree relative to the paper upon which it is impressed; it would be impossible to apply a hand-held striking device so consistently. Arguing against this press-printed theory are those who cite the effects of folds on the markings and impressions thru the paper, physical evidence that proves the marking was applied after the lettersheet had been folded. Our opinion is that the markings were applied after the letter was folded and given to the Sub Post Office, but that a mechanical device -- similar to a corporate seal -- was used to make the impression. Each letter, when inserted into the device along the guides, would receive the impression in the same relative position and orientation, not unlike a three-hole paper-punch device commonly used today.
In summary, historical evidence supports the status of the Northern Liberties News Rooms Sub Post Office as an official carrier drop point for mail to the main Philadelphia post office. However, physical evidence refutes the claim that these lettersheets were sold to patrons as stamped stationery to indicate prepayment of the carrier fee; the marking is better classified as an elaborate and mechanically-applied indication of letter handling.
Calvet M. Hahn recorded between 12 and 14 examples of Type I (some duplication of items is possible). Offered to the market for the first time since 1991. Ex J. William Middendorf II. With 1991 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. THE FINEST OF THE FOUR RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE TYPE II NORTHERN LIBERTIES NEWS ROOMS MARKING.
Although silked to repair splits, the condition of this cover is superior to that of the two other full covers; the earliest of the four recorded is a front only. This letter is also the only known example addressed to Philadelphia, where it received the datestamp, but was not rated.
Ex Middendorf and Golden. With 2000 P.F. certificate
FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF ONLY TWO OFF-COVER STAMPS AMONG THE SIX RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE ST. LOUIS 2-CENT BLUE CARRIER (8LB3). A REMARKABLE CARRIER STAMP THAT WAS MODELED UPON THE ONE-CENT 1851 FRANKLIN DESIGN AND THE 3-CENT SILVER "TRIME".
Elliott Perry theorized that the design of this stamp was a cross between the 1851 1c stamp (ornamental border) and the 1852 3c silver coin known as a "fish-scale" or "trime", which had the shield in six-point star design (see Pat Paragraphs, reprint, pp. 263-264). The concept was "something between" 1c and 3c. Although previous reports date the stamp and covers to 1857, one of the Valentine covers has an enclosure that appears to have originated with the cover and is clearly dated 1853 (Siegel Sale 920).
Our records contain just six examples of 8LB3:
1) "1 ct" cancel, off cover, ex Golden, Kuphal and various Rarities sales, (Kuphal Sale 925, lot 1261)
2) tied by "1 ct" in frame on cover to Edwin Harrison, ex Middendorf
3) used on large Valentine cover to Mrs. Scoot, dated Feb. 13, 1857, manuscript "X" cancel (not tied) and "Paid" straightline, ex Bulger, Siegel Sale 846, lot 2403
4) tied by "1 ct" in frame on cover to Miss St. Denis, Siegel Sale 846, lot 2404
5) cut to oval shape, tied by "Paid" in arc on large Valentine cover to Mrs. Scoot, Siegel Sale 920, lot 273.
6) "1 ct" cancel, boldly struck, off cover, the stamp offered here and previously unrecorded in our census.
Scott value $22,500.00
FINE AND RARE EXAMPLE OF THE ADAMS & COMPANY EXPRESS 25-CENT ON BLUE PAPER.
Ex H. T. Richardson
EXTREMELY FINE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE SOUND EXAMPLE OF THE ADAMS & CO.'S EXPRESS STAMP WITH BLACK OVERPRINT.
Ex Boker, Golden and Kuphal
VERY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED MULTIPLE OF THE ADAMS & CO. 1L6 STAMP.
Ex Boker, Golden and Kuphal
EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF THE TWO FINEST OF THE SIX RECORDED COVERS BEARING THE PHILADELPHIA DESPATCH POST CIRCULAR BLACK STAMP. BASED ON THE 1842 DOCKETING, THIS IS THE EARLIEST EXAMPLE OF A UNITED STATES ADHESIVE STAMP USED OUTSIDE NEW YORK CITY.
The Philadelphia Despatch Post is documented in an advertisement in the Philadelphia Public Ledger (Dec. 8, 1842) and in an expanded version with some differences. In the later ad, the stamps are priced at 3c individually, 31c per dozen and $2 per hundred. Valuable-letter registration for 6-1/4c and a 6c rate on letters beyond two miles are quoted (no examples of either special service are known). The firm's address is 93 Chestnut Street, not 83 South Second Street as in the earlier advertisement.
Dr. Vernon R. Morris Jr. has recently published his own comprehensive census, which updates and expands the census previously published by our firm.
Ex Caspary, Hollowbush, Schwartz and "Gordon N. John"
VERY FINE. THIS IS THE EARLIEST RECORDED USE OF THIS STAMP "TO THE MAILS" AND THEREFORE THE EARLIEST RECORDED USE OF A PICTORIAL STAMP OUTSIDE OF THE CITY OF ISSUE.
Ex Ferrary, Hall and Dr. Morris. With 2001 P.F. certificate
FINE. THIS IS THE RAREST OF THE STRIDING MESSENGER STAMPS, ISSUED BY THE PHILADELPHIA DESPATCH POST, PREDECESSOR TO D. O. BLOOD. THIS IS A VERY EARLY USE.
The "R & Co." Striding Messenger stamps without any background shading lines are extremely rare. This stamp shows an extremely worn impression with the buildings at left and right almost completely missing. This was used only three days after the earliest documented use (October 10, 1843, offered in D.K. collection, Sale 862, lot 62). Ex Kuphal.
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. THE ONLY RECORDED BLOCK OF THE RARE BROWNE'S EASTON DESPATCH ENGRAVED STAMP.
The engraved stamp with a portrait of Washington, 30L3, was the subject of a study by Larry Lyons (The Penny Post, April 2006). In his article, he documents at least 37 examples and reconstructs the original plate layout using the multiple offered here. This block of six and pair, and three or four additional pairs, are the only known multiples. Lyons assigns Positions 2-3, 4-5/7-10 to this block and pair.
Ex Weekes, Souren, Boker, Lilly, Golden and Kuphal. Scott value as block of six and pair.
VERY FINE. ONE OF SEVEN RECORDED COVERS BEARING THE HAMPTON 77L1 STAMP, OF WHICH ALL BUT ONE HAVE UNCANCELLED STAMPS. ONE OF THE GREAT LOCAL POST RARITIES.
Very little information about the T. A. Hampton post is known. Different students have located the same 1852-53 city directory listing for Thomas A. Hampton, a printer located at Marshall and 5th, but nothing earlier. In his CCP article on Philadelphia locals (Nov.-Dec. 1994), Calvet M. Hahn attached special significance to the fact that tobacconists named Gilbert Harris and Benjamin Hampton occupied the same address at 11 North 10th Street during the relevant years. Although the first names do not match the local-post proprietors' names, Hahn believed that a family connection might exist that would link the two local posts. Steven M. Roth also noted the possibility of an association, based on the sequence of dated covers (Penny Post, Oct. 1993). Given the similarity of the stamps and the association of names and addresses, another possibility is that the Despatch Post was neither Harris's nor Hampton's individually, but that they were partners -- the stamps with each partner's name could have been a convenient accounting method. Nothing is impossible, given the paucity of documentation.
This cover is the third of seven 77L1 covers recorded (see Siegel Sale 1025, lot 270 for a listing). One other off-cover stamp is also known.
Ex Gibson, Boker, Golden and Kuphal. With 1999 P.F. certificate. Scott value for uncancelled stamp on cover (with a P.F. certificate) is $5,000.00
VERY FINE AND ATTRACTIVE SOUTHBOUND COVER CARRIED BY THE HARTFORD MAIL ROUTE.
The relationship between the Hartford Mail Route and Hale & Co. was extremely close; however, to the best of our knowledge, no one has been able to establish whether Hale had an ownership interest. The sender's notation on this cover demonstrates how the public perceived the Hartford Mail Route.
Ex C. E. Chapman with his handstamp struck over "h" of "Joseph" in address; also ex Ackerman, Hall and Dr. Puliafito. With 2001 P.F. certificate
ONE OF FIVE EXAMPLES OF THE MENANT & CO. LOCAL POST STAMP AVAILABLE TO COLLECTORS. A GREAT PHILATELIC RARITY.
According to The Great Mail, Menant & Co.'s Express Post commenced operations in 1853 at 21 Conti Street and were still in business as late as 1856, although at a different address, 118 Exchange Place, near the post office.
The six examples of 104L1 in our records (all unused) are: 1) ex Souren and Hall, illustrated in The Great Mail (p. 133), 2012 Rarities sale, lot 273; 2) ex Middendorf, faults including hole at top right; 3) ex Caspary, thin and pinhole; 4) ex Kuphal and from our 1999 Rarities sale, vertical crease; 5) the copy in the British Library, Tapling Collection; and 6) the example offered here, which was not previously recorded in our census.
Scott value $15,000.00
VERY FINE. THIS IS THE UNIQUE UNUSED MULTIPLE OF THE POMEROY'S LETTER EXPRESS 5-CENT LAKE. AN IMPORTANT RARITY OF THE INDEPENDENT MAILS AND CARRIERS AND LOCALS OVERALL.
Despite the abundance of multiples of remaindered Pomeroy stamps in different colors on bond paper or in similar colors on medium fibrous paper, this original printing in Lake on bond paper is extremely scarce. This is the only unused 117L6 multiple we record, and there is only one pair known, used on cover.
Ex Sloane (Fox sale 11/11/59, lot 683) and Chapin. With 1961 P.F. certificate stating "without plate bruise in the margin"
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXTREMELY RARE CONJUNCTIVE USE OF BAMBER & COMPANY’S EXPRESS AND WELLS FARGO & COMPANY’S 1862-65 PONY EXPRESS TO NEVADA.
With 2010 P.F. certificate