(Halifax to Lunenburg, Jun. 15, 1830). Folded letter to Lunenburg datelined Halifax Jun. 15, 1830 with red “Too Late” fancy circular handstamp (Jephcott 390, MacDonald 286) and partly struck Halifax fleuron datestamp, rated “7”, some minor cover faults in outer panel at top and bottom, not affecting the red marking, Very Fine, this is the earliest recorded example of this marking (MacDonald states Jul. 12, 1830), also known in black (see lot 2265), ex Dr. Clark
(Halifax to Pictou, Jul. 18, 1846). Bold strike of “Too Late” fancy circular handstamp (Jephcott 390, MacDonald 286) and bold Halifax Jul. 18, 1846 circular datestamp over fold of folded letter to Pictou, rated “7”, some slight soiling, still Very Fine strike of this rare marking, this is the latest of the few known examples, ex Young, Glassco and Dr. Clark
(Halifax to New York, Jan. 22, 1853). Blue folded letter datelined Halifax Jan. 22, 1853 and addressed to New York, Halifax Jan. 29, 1853 departure datestamp on flap and bold strike of “NOVA SCOTIA” in scroll handstamp (MacDonald 256), manuscript “p Sir John Harvey” ship-name directive, neat “STEAM” straightline and “10” rate applied at Boston (Feb. 1 arrival), file folds
EXTREMELY FINE STRIKE OF THE “NOVA SCOTIA” SCROLL HANDSTAMP, WHICH WAS IN USE FOR ONLY THREE CONTRACT TRIPS OF THE STEAMER SIR JOHN HARVEY. THIS COVER IS THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE DATE OF USE--THE FIRST CONTRACT TRIP FROM HALIFAX WAS ON JANUARY 29, 1853.
Nova Scotia and U.S. postal officials shook hands on a mail contract with the steamer Sir John Harvey to carry letters at a special rate of 6p or U.S. 10¢, prepaid or unpaid. Research by David D’Alessandris (“The Steamer Sir John Harvey,” Chronicle 207) determined that the “contract” was disavowed by U.S. postal officials, and that no contract mail was sent from the U.S. to Nova Scotia. Only three trips from Halifax to Boston carried contract letters, which bear the “NOVA SCOTIA” scroll handstamp, the only Nova Scotia cross-border exchange marking. The contract round trips commenced with a Boston departure on January 22, 1853, and a Halifax return trip on January 29 (carrying this letter). Four Halifax-to-Boston covers are recorded: 1) Jan. 29 departure (ex Argenti and “Maritimus”), the cover offered here, 2) Feb. 9 departure (ex Young, Dr. Clark and “Skywalk”), 3) Feb. 15 departure (ex Mayer) and 4) Feb. 15 departure (ex “Halifax” and Steinhart).
Ex Argenti and “Maritimus”
(Cheticamp to Halifax, Aug. 18, 1853). Folded letter datelined “Chetican Cape Breton, August 18th, 1853” and addressed to Halifax, clearly struck “9” handstamp (MacDonald 362) with “Port Hood N.S. AU 20, 1853” circular datestamp on back, light Halifax tombstone arrival datestamp, cover with insignificant small tear at top right, Very Fine strike of this rare marking, the “9” handstamp was only used in Port Hood and indicated the 6p registry fee plus 3p postage, ex “Maritimus”