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Sale 1218 — The "Dubois" Collection of Important Prestamp Covers and Postal Markings of British North America, 1694-1861

Sale Date — Tuesday, 24 March, 2020

Category — Mail from Western Territory

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
2290
c
Sale Number 1218, Lot Number 2290, Mail from Western Territory, Likely the earliest known cover from present-day Saskatchewan in private hands

(Cumberland House to London, England, Aug. 13, 1837). Folded letter datelined “Cumberland House 13th Augt 1837” and addressed to London, carried privately to London with “DEAL/SHIP LETTER” boxed handstamp and London Oct. 25 arrival backstamp, rated “1/4”, letter with interesting contents from Charles Ross, who was a fur trader for Hudson Bay Company

VERY FINE. A REMARKABLE FOLDED LETTER FROM A FUR TRADER AT CUMBERLAND HOUSE AND THOUGHT TO BE THE EARLIEST COVER KNOWN FROM PRESENT-DAY SASKATCHEWAN.

This letter made its way to York Factory for onward transmission to London by private ship. The letter was written by Charles Ross, a Hudson Bay Company fur trader, in which he states “I am suddenly and unexpectedly ordered off from this place, and I am once more about to recross the Mountains. My destination is the Columbia and then I may perhaps be at peace but in the meanwhile the length and difficulties of the journey with my numerous friends and under all the circumstances sufficiently annoying...”

Ex Steinhart

E. 2,000-3,000
0
2291
c
Sale Number 1218, Lot Number 2291, Mail from Western Territory, Early Red River Settlement letter from Adam Thom to Sir Augustus d’Este in London

(Red River Settlement to London, England, Aug. 5, 1841). Folded letter datelined “Red River Settlement, 5th August 1841” written by Adam Thom and addressed to Sir Augustus d’Este in London, manuscript “via Halifax per Steam Packet” directive at top, clear red “Lachine 12 Oct. 1841” double-circle datestamp with manuscript date, red manuscript “Sterling 1/2 Paid, Currency 1/4”, red London Paid arrival datestamp, fascinating comments regarding Thom’s opinion on d’Este’s legitimacy as Royal family member, Very Fine, the addressee, Adam Thom (1802-1890), was nicknamed “Dr. Slop” for his anti-French Canadian views, the recipient, Sir Augustus d’Este (1794-1848), was an illegitimate grandson of King George III, ex Montgomery

E. 750-1,000
550
Back to Top
2292
c
Sale Number 1218, Lot Number 2292, Mail from Western Territory, Remarkable intra-Red River Settlement letter regarding future censorship of mails

(Fort Garry, Red River Settlement to Indian Settlement, Dec. 20, 1844). Folded letter datelined “Fort Garry, Red River Settlement, 20th December 1844” written by Alexander Christie to Rev. John Smithurst at Indian Settlement, letter referencing an enclosed notice (see The Encyclopedia of British Empire Postage Stamps, Volume V, by Robson Lowe, p. 86) that all mail had to go via Fort Garry for inspection before onward transmission in an effort to curtail any “illicit traffic of furs” outside of that conducted by the Hudson Bay Company, Very Fine and remarkable historical fur trade letter, Alexander Christie (1792-1872) was a fur trader and Governor of the Red River Colony, ex Sanderson

E. 500-750
275
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2293
c
Sale Number 1218, Lot Number 2293, Mail from Western Territory, Early inter-provincial letter from Norway House to Nova Scotia via Lachine

(Norway House, Hudson Bay to Pictou, Nova Scotia, Aug. 13, 1845). Folded letter datelined “Norway House, Hudson’s Bay, 13 August 1845” and addressed to Pictou, Nova Scotia and forwarded to Wallace, carried privately to Lachine, red Lachine double-circle handstamp with “25th October 1845” manuscript date, Quebec transit and Pictou arrival backstamps, rated “2/1 (+) 4-1/2 (=) 2/5-1/2” for charge to Pictou and onward to Wallace, cover with overall soiling, edgewear and slight splitting along folds, otherwise Fine and scarce early fur trader letter, interesting contents stating “the price of Beaver, our staple article of trade has fallen off entirely in the market in consequence I believe of silk hats being now all the fashion...”, ex Montgomery

E. 400-500
900
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2294
c
Sale Number 1218, Lot Number 2294, Mail from Western Territory, Interesting folded letter from Norway House to London via Montreal

(Norway House, Hudson Bay to London, England, Jun. 23, 1848). Folded letter datelined “Prince Ruperts Land, Norway House, Lake Winnipeg, June 23rd, 1848” and addressed to London, carried privately and entered the mails with red “Montreal L.C. JY 27 1848” circular datestamp and rated “2/4”, London arrival backstamp, fascinating contents from Charles Beardmore regarding his journey to Norway House “...preceded by the Northern Brigade of canoes to consisting of 4 canoes & 49 men up the River Mattawa & into Lake Mississagua thence down the French River into Lake Huron through that & Lake Superior to Fort William...then down through Lac La Pluise, Lac de Bois, Lake Winnipeg to Norway House...”, front panel with reinforcement, otherwise Fine, on May 18, 1850 U.S. postal service started in Pembina to serve the Red River route, ex de Volpi and Dr. Robertson

E. 1,000-1,500
800
Back to Top
2295
c
Sale Number 1218, Lot Number 2295, Mail from Western Territory, Folded letter from Colour Gardens to Toronto via Detroit and Minnesota Territory

(Colour Gardens, Red River Settlement to Toronto, Jun. 14, 1854). Folded letter datelined “Colour Gardens, 14th June 54” and addressed to Toronto, carried privately to Detroit with “United States 6” cross-border handstamp and “Saint Paul, Min Ter. Jul. 15” circular datestamp with “10” handstamp, Windsor transit and Toronto arrival backstamps, some minor interior reinforcement to face panel, tear at top extending into Saint Paul marking, still Fine and scarce, ex de Volpi

E. 500-750
1,100
Back to Top
2296
c
Sale Number 1218, Lot Number 2296, Mail from Western Territory, The earliest recorded example of the sought-after Red River manuscript postmark and the only known use on a cover sent outside of British North America

(Fort Alexander to Kilmun, Scotland, Oct. 27, 1855). Clear “Red River Nov. 6th 1855” manuscript postmark in circle with matching large “PAID/24” handstamp on cover to Kilmun, Scotland, with original contents datelined “Fort Alexander, Lac La Pluis District October 27th 1855”, route directive “via New York” at bottom left and “Pembina” above circle, red “19” credit handstamp, red “Paid America, Liverpool, 14 JA 56” and Greenock transit datestamps, top flap reattached, some edgewear and reinforcements

FINE. THIS IS THE EARLIEST RECORDED RED RIVER MANUSCRIPT POSTMARK AND THE ONLY EXAMPLE ADDRESSED OUTSIDE OF BRITISH NORTH AMERICA AND WITHOUT THE “B.N.A.” DESIGNATION IN THE CIRCLE. AN IMPORTANT RED RIVER RARITY WITH ONLY EIGHT CONFIRMED EXAMPLES RECORDED.

This marking was applied by Postmaster William Ross (1825-1856), who likely created this marking by tracing a coin or round object, then writing in the postmark. Known examples are dated from Nov. 6, 1855 thru Mar. 10, 1856 (with the exception of the unique small marking--see lot 2300). This is likely due to the untimely death of Ross in May 1856.

Our census is available on our website at https://siegelauctions.com/census/canada/redriver. Outside of the unique 1858 small marking, we record only eight confirmed examples, plus another two which are recorded by Eastern Auctions but have not been seen. The cover offered here is the only example addressed outside of British North America and without the “B.N.A.” designation inside the circle. The other covers are addressed to Toronto or Nova Scotia.

Census no. RRS-COV-01. Ex de Volpi, Bilden and Risvold

E. 3,000-4,000
3,000
Back to Top
2297
c
Sale Number 1218, Lot Number 2297, Mail from Western Territory, Wonderfully choice example of the Red River manuscript postmark-- one of only eight confirmed examples

(Red River Settlement to Toronto, Jan. 10, 1856). Bold and clearly written Red River Jan. 10 1856 B.N.A.” manuscript postmark in circle on cover to Toronto, matching large “PAID/10” handstamp, sent via Pembina with “United States 6d” oval handstamp, Toronto Feb. 13 arrival backstamp, back with Bishop of Rupert’s Lane wax seal

EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF THE FINEST OF THE EIGHT CONFIRMED EXAMPLES OF THIS RED RIVER MANUSCRIPT POSTMARK.

This marking was applied by Postmaster William Ross (1825-1856), who likely created this marking by tracing a coin or round object, then writing in the postmark. Known examples are dated from Nov. 6, 1855 thru Mar. 10, 1856 (with the exception of the unique small marking--see lot 2300). This is likely due to the untimely death of Ross in May 1856.

Our census is available on our website at https://siegelauctions.com/census/canada/redriver. Outside of the unique 1858 small marking, we record only eight confirmed examples, plus another two which are recorded by Eastern Auctions but have not been seen.

Census no. RRS-COV-06. Ex de Volpi, Hollingsworth and Fraser

E. 4,000-5,000
3,500
Back to Top
2298
c
Sale Number 1218, Lot Number 2298, Mail from Western Territory, Outstanding quality example of the rare Red River manuscript postmark-- one of only eight confirmed examples

(Red River Settlement to Toronto, Feb. 11, 1856). Bold and clearly written “Red River Feb. 11th 1856 B.N.A.” manuscript postmark in circle on cover to Toronto, matching large “PAID/10” handstamp, sent via Pembina with “United States 6d” oval handstamp, partly struck Toronto arrival backstamp, cover with minor edgewear and backflap missing

VERY FINE. THERE ARE ONLY EIGHT CONFIRMED EXAMPLES OF THIS RED RIVER MANUSCRIPT POSTMARK. THIS IS SECOND LATEST EXAMPLE KNOWN.

This marking was applied by Postmaster William Ross (1825-1856), who likely created this marking by tracing a coin or round object, then writing in the postmark. Known examples are dated from Nov. 6, 1855 thru Mar. 10, 1856 (with the exception of the unique small marking--see lot 2300). This is likely due to the untimely death of Ross in May 1856.

Our census is available on our website at https://siegelauctions.com/census/canada/redriver. Outside of the unique 1858 small marking, we record only eight confirmed examples, plus another two which are recorded by Eastern Auctions but have not been seen.

Census no. RRS-COV-09. Ex Dr. Robertson and Wilkinson

E. 4,000-5,000
3,250
Back to Top
2299
c
Sale Number 1218, Lot Number 2299, Mail from Western Territory, The latest recorded example of the Red River manuscript postmark and the only double-rate example known

(Red River Settlement to Toronto, Mar. 10, 1856). Clear “Red River March 10/56 B.N.A.” manuscript postmark in circle on blue cover to Toronto, matching large “PAID” handstamp with manuscript “20c” rate, Windsor Apr. 15 transit and Toronto Apr. 16 arrival backstamps, interesting docketing “Recd April 16th, 1856 (& May 20th, his last--see within)” likely indicating there was at least one more letter sent to Ross’s brother James before his passing in May 1856

VERY FINE. THIS IS THE LATEST OF THE EIGHT CONFIRMED EXAMPLES OF THE RED RIVER MANUSCRIPT POSTMARK. IT IS ALSO THE ONLY KNOWN DOUBLE-RATE COVER.

This marking was applied by Postmaster William Ross (1825-1856), who likely created this marking by tracing a coin or round object, then writing in the postmark. Known examples are dated from Nov. 6, 1855 thru Mar. 10, 1856 (with the exception of the unique small marking--see lot 2300). This is likely due to the untimely death of Ross in May 1856.

Our census is available on our website at https://siegelauctions.com/census/canada/redriver. Outside of the unique 1858 small marking, we record only eight confirmed examples, plus another two which are recorded by Eastern Auctions but have not been seen.

Census no. RRS-COV-10. Ex Fraser

E. 5,000-7,500
0
Back to Top
2300
c
Sale Number 1218, Lot Number 2300, Mail from Western Territory, The only recorded example of the small Red River manuscript postmark

(Red River Settlement to Victoria Island, Nova Scotia, May 13, 1858). Boldly written “Red River 13 May 1858” manuscript postmark in circle on blue folded letter datelined “Red River Settlement April 9th, 1858” and addressed to “Patrick’s Channel County of Victoria Island of Cape Briton” in Nova Scotia, with manuscript “Paid 10 Cents” at top right, Pembina May 15/50” manuscript postmark, light strike of red “U. States” curved handstamp, St. John, New Brunswick and Pictou transit backstamps, outer panel with overall soiling and slight splitting along folds

FINE. THE HIGHLY SOUGHT-AFTER AND ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE SMALL RED RIVER MANUSCRIPT POSTMARK, DATED MORE THAN TWO YEARS AFTER THE LARGER EXAMPLES. IT IS ALSO THE ONLY KNOWN RED RIVER POSTMARK USED BETWEEN POSTMASTER ROSS’S DEATH AND THE START OF CANADIAN POSTAL SERVICE AT RED RIVER IN 1870.

The diameter size of this postmark measures approximately 22mm, whereas the earlier Postmaster Ross circles are approximately 30mm. It is the only recorded postmark used in Red River from the period after Postmaster Ross’s death in May 1856 to the start of Canadian postal service at Red River in 1870.

The letter contains interesting contents: “Since the arrival of the soldiers here the price of produce is increasing...if you are accustom to reading the newspapers I suppose you have seen the desperate betwixt the Hudson Bay Company and Canada government the expectation of the Red River people is that this place will be united to Canada soon and monopoly of the Hudson Bay Company will soon be finished. The government of Canada already grated £5,000 to make a road between Lake Superior and the Red River...there is no doubt but merchants and settlers will emigrate to the Red River and throughout all the country...”. It was about a decade later in 1869 that the Hudson Bay Company’s monopoly came to an end when they returned Rupert’s Land to Britain.

Our census is available on our website at https://siegelauctions.com/census/canada/redriver. This is not only the unique small manuscript postmark, but it is also one of only two examples addressed outside of Toronto.

Census no. RRS-COV-11. Ex Steinhart

E. 10,000-15,000
7,500
Back to Top
2301
c
Sale Number 1218, Lot Number 2301, Mail from Western TerritoryMisdirected cover from Red River Settlement to Elma, U.C. then to Elora, C.W, Misdirected cover from Red River Settlement to Elma, U.C. then to Elora, C.WMisdirected cover from Red River Settlement to Elma, U.C. then to Elora, C.W.

(Red River Settlement to Elora, Canada West, Feb./Mar. 1857). Buff cover originating at Red River and addressed to Elora, Canada West, manuscript “prepaid 10 cents” and red “United States 6d” oval cross-border handstamp of Pembina, first sent to Elma, U.C. with manuscript “Try Elora” at left, Windsor, Elma and Guelph transit and Elora arrival backstamps, cover with minor edgewear, otherwise Fine and scarce, ex Sanderson

E. 400-500
325
Back to Top
2302
c
Sale Number 1218, Lot Number 2302, Mail from Western Territory, Scarce “Post Office Nanaimo, Vancouver Island” oval handstamp

(Nanaimo, Vancouver Island to New Westminster, B.C., 1864). Red “Post Office Nanaimo, Vancouver Island” oval handstamp with black “PAID” oval handstamp on cover to New Westminster, British Columbia, manuscript “Received April 19/64” along top, overall wear and missing top left corner and part of backflap, Fine and scarce marking, with small original news clipping regarding the schooner Langley having sunk near the wharf with mail onboard, but we have no definitive way to confirm this is a salvaged shipwreck cover, ex Wellburn

E. 400-500
475
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