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Sale 1216 — The Ambassador J. William Middendorf II Collection

Sale Date — Tuesday, 25 February, 2020

Category — Virginia City Pony Express

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
188
ngbl
Sale Number 1216, Lot Number 188, Virginia City Pony ExpressWells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 10c Brown (143L7), Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 10c Brown (143L7)Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 10c Brown (143L7). Positions D1-2/3-4/5-6/7-8, vertical block of eight, unused (no gum), ample to large margins, top right stamp with small toned spot in margin, still fresh and Very Fine, ex Twigg-Smith

E. 1,000-1,500
750
189
ngbl
Sale Number 1216, Lot Number 189, Virginia City Pony ExpressWells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 10c Brown (143L7), Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 10c Brown (143L7)Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 10c Brown (143L7). Part sheet of 25, consisting of two groups of ten and a right half group of five, each group separated by wide gutters, unused (no gum), huge margins to just clear at left, full sheet margins at top and bottom, vertical folds affect the second and far right vertical rows, some toning in top sheet margin goes into stamp at top right

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXTREMELY RARE LARGE MULTIPLE OF THE 10-CENT BROWN VIRGINIA CITY PONY EXPRESS ISSUE, WONDERFULLY SHOWING HOW THE STONE WAS LAID OUT.

The Virginia City Pony express stamps were printed in sheets of 40 subjects, consisting of four groups of 10 (each group 2 x 5). We have not encountered another multiple of the 10c Brown larger than the block of eight offered in lot 188.

E. 2,000-3,000
2,200
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190
c
Sale Number 1216, Lot Number 190, Virginia City Pony ExpressWells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 10c Brown (143L7), Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 10c Brown (143L7)Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 10c Brown (143L7). Large margins to full at top, tied by blue “Wells, Fargo & Co. Virginia Cty. N.T. Oct. 22” (1862) oval datestamp on 3c Pink on Buff entire (U35) with Wells Fargo & Co. printed frank to San Francisco, slightly reduced at left where opened, stamp lifted and reaffixed

VERY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL AND SCARCE COVER WITH THE VIRGINIA CITY PONY EXPRESS 10-CENT BROWN.

The 10c Brown Virginia City Pony Express issue is scarce on cover, with an approximate ratio versus 25c Blue covers of 1:3 (according to the Gamett census and confirmed by our auction history).

With 2013 P.F. certificate. Scott Retail $5,500.00

E. 3,000-4,000
3,250
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191
c
Sale Number 1216, Lot Number 191, Virginia City Pony ExpressWells Fargo & Co., Virginia City Pony Express, 10c Brown (143L7), Wells Fargo & Co., Virginia City Pony Express, 10c Brown (143L7)Wells Fargo & Co., Virginia City Pony Express, 10c Brown (143L7). Three large margins, just into the frame at right, tied by blue “Wells, Fargo & Co. Carson City Jan. 9” oval datestamp with additional strike over indicia of 3c Pink on Buff entire (U35) with Wells Fargo & Co. printed frank, addressed to Virginia City, original letter enclosure references the sender’s “watch dog” snarling when the express man arrives, stamp with light crease at top right, the envelope with large sealed tears from rough opening affecting the backflap (small portion missing) and the top of the printed frank

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A SCARCE USE OF THE VIRGINIA CITY PONY EXPRESS 10-CENT BROWN.

The 10c Brown Virginia City Pony Express issue is scarce on cover, with an approximate ratio versus 25c Blue covers of 1:3 (according to the Gamett census and confirmed by our auction history).

With 2013 P.F. certificate. Scott Retail $5,500.00

E. 2,000-3,000
2,700
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192
c
Sale Number 1216, Lot Number 192, Virginia City Pony ExpressWells Fargo & Co., Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Blue (143L8), Wells Fargo & Co., Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Blue (143L8)Wells Fargo & Co., Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Blue (143L8). Three singles, each with clear to full margins, used with 10c Green (68), beautiful rich color, all stamps tied by four strikes of “Wells, Fargo & Co. Virginia City, N.T. Feb. 15” (1863-64) blue oval datestamp on 3c Pink on Buff entire (U35) with Wells Fargo & Co. printed frank, used as a paste-up, therefore unaddressed and with adherences on back, this was undoubtedly carried to San Francisco, 10c two short perfs, left 25c faintly creased from fold (not noted on certificate), cover slightly wrinkled as usual for paste-up usage

A SPECTACULAR TRIPLE-RATE VIRGINIA CITY PONY EXPRESS COVER WITH THREE 25-CENT BLUE HORSE & RIDER STAMPS USED WITH THE 10-CENT 1861 ON A WELLS FARGO & CO. 3-CENT FRANKED ENTIRE--UNLIKE THE FEW OTHER MULTIPLE-RATE COVERS, THIS IS A SMALL AND ATTRACTIVE PASTE-UP ENTIRE.

The gold and silver strikes in Utah Territory between 1859 and 1863 brought a huge influx of miners and settlers into the Carson and Washoe Valley region. At the beginning of the Civil War, the federal government moved quickly to ensure that the population of eastern California and western Utah Territory--along with its mineral wealth--remained loyal to the Union. Congress created Nevada Territory on March 2, 1861, carving out a portion of Utah Territory that included Carson City (the new capital of Nevada Territory), Genoa, Virginia City, Gold Hill, and Aurora.

Wells Fargo & Co. and other express companies had long served this region. The transcontinental Pony Express of 1860-1861 passed through Carson City and Virginia City. Therefore, when there was demand for a fast express service between San Francisco and Washoe, it was relatively easy for Wells Fargo to organize a horse-and-rider relay along their existing routes. The “Pony Express to Washoe--Through in 24 Hours” was announced by Wells Fargo to start running on Monday, August 11, 1862. The schedule provided for a 4 p.m. departure from San Francisco and arrival in Virginia City by “the next evening.” Letters sent westbound from Virginia City would leave at 6 p.m. and arrive in San Francisco the “next evening, by Sacramento Boat.”

From August 1862 through January 1863, the rate for the Virginia City Pony Express was 10c per half ounce, which was paid by the brown stamp. Sometime shortly after January 1863, the rate was increased to 25c, and a new stamp was issued in blue. The 25c rate continued through to the end of the express service, but the stamp color was changed to red around March 1864.

Multiple-rate Virginia City Pony Express covers are rare. Typically, they are large envelopes that held documents weighing a few ounces. The cover offered here is the exception to the rule. It was stamped with the necessary postage and express fee, and affixed to a larger envelope bearing the address (later removed). The three 25c Horse & Rider stamps indicate the 75c rate for a letter weighing between one and one-and-a-half ounces. The 10c stamp would have covered the triple 3c postage (1c overpaid), but the franked entire was required, so the 3c embossed stamp was wasted.

Ex Wunderlich, Ishikawa, Craveri and Gross. With 1993 P.F. certificate. Signed on back by Henry Chaloner (collector)

E. 15,000-20,000
17,500
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193
c
Sale Number 1216, Lot Number 193, Virginia City Pony ExpressWells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Blue (143L8), Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Blue (143L8)Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Blue (143L8). Large margins to clear, tied by blue “Wells, Fargo & Cos. Express 26 Feb” double-circle datestamp on 3c Pink on Buff entire (U35) with Bamber & Cos. Express printed frank to Virginia City N.T., stamp affixed over red Bamber & Co. circular datestamp, reduced at left into printed frank

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

E. 4,000-5,000
0
Back to Top
194
c
Sale Number 1216, Lot Number 194, Virginia City Pony ExpressWells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Blue (143L8), Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Blue (143L8)Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Blue (143L8). Tied by blue “Wells, Fargo & Co. Virginia City. N.T. Jun. 28” oval datestamp on 3c Pink on Buff entire (U34) with Wells Fargo & Co. printed frank to Sol. Wangenheim (a furniture dealer) in San Francisco, second strike over indicia, stamp with couple small edge tears and light toned spots, cover slightly reduced at right, otherwise Very Fine, according to http://www.sfgenealogy.com, Solomon Wangenheim was an immigrant from Saxony, Germany, who was naturalized on April 30, 1855, he is listed as a merchant at 211 Powell in San Francisco as of July 25, 1866, ex Crocker and Beals, with clear 1968 P.F. certificate, Scott Retail $4,500.00

E. 1,500-2,000
1,900
Back to Top
195
ngbl
Sale Number 1216, Lot Number 195, Virginia City Pony ExpressWells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9), Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9)Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9). Complete sheet of 40 in four groups of ten, unused (no gum), vivid color, two very faint vertical creases, bright and fresh

EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF THE FINEST OF THE FEW SURVIVING SHEETS OF THE 25-CENT RED VIRGINIA CITY PONY EXPRESS STAMP. A MAGNIFICENT EXHIBITION ITEM.

Outside of this sale, we have offered only two other complete sheets of 143L9 in our auctions since 2000: 1) sheet with stains and other faults (2003 Fall Rarities sale); and 2) ex Hall and Twigg-Smith sheet which last realized $12,500 hammer in 2009. This sheet is equal to the Hall sheet in terms of condition.

Ex Fekete. With 1985 P.F. certificate

E. 7,500-10,000
7,500
Back to Top
196
ngbl
Sale Number 1216, Lot Number 196, Virginia City Pony ExpressWells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9), Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9)Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9). Complete sheet of 40 in four groups of ten, unused (no gum), typical flaws for a sheet of this nature, including two vertical folds, one mostly between the left two panes and the other affecting the right row of the third pane, light stains in the left pane and at the bottom of the right two panes

VERY FINE APPEARING AND RARE SHEET OF THE 25-CENT RED VIRGINIA CITY PONY EXPRESS STAMP.

Outside of this sale, we have offered only two other complete sheets of 143L9 in our auctions since 2000: 1) sheet with stains and other faults (2003 Fall Rarities sale); and 2) ex Hall and Twigg-Smith sheet which last realized $12,500 hammer in 2009. This sheet is equal to the Hall sheet in terms of condition.

Ex Knapp.

E. 3,000-4,000
2,000
Back to Top
197
ngbl
Sale Number 1216, Lot Number 197, Virginia City Pony ExpressWells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9), Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9)Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9). Block of 20 with wide gutters between the two groups of ten, unused (no gum), large margins, few creases, still Very Fine and attractive multiple, Scott Retail as four blocks of four and two pairs

1,060
1,000
Back to Top
198
ngbl
Sale Number 1216, Lot Number 198, Virginia City Pony ExpressWells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9), Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9)Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9). Block of 20 with wide gutters between the two groups of ten, unused (no gum), rich color, several creases in margins and thru several stamps, some ending in small tears in margins, otherwise Very Fine, ex Golden, Scott Retail as four blocks of four and two pairs

1,060
750
Back to Top
199
c
Sale Number 1216, Lot Number 199, Virginia City Pony ExpressWells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9), Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9)Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9). Position A4, full to large margins all around, rich color, tied by blue “Wells, Fargo & Co. Virginia Cty. N.T. Jul. 12” (1864) oval datestamp on 3c Pink on White entire (U34) with Wells Fargo & Co. printed frank to Clara C. Crittenden in San Francisco, 1864 letter enclosed, small gum smear

EXTREMELY FINE. A CHOICE STAMP AND BEAUTIFUL VIRGINIA CITY PONY COVER FROM THE FAMOUS CRITTENDEN CORRESPONDENCE. THE RED 25-CENT VIRGINIA CITY PONY STAMP IS MUCH SCARCER ON COVER THAN THE BLUE.

This cover was sent to Clara C. Crittenden by her husband, Alexander Parker Crittenden, a prominent West Coast attorney, while he was residing in Virginia City. The move to Nevada became necessary after California passed a law prohibiting the practice of law by anyone who would not take the loyalty oath. “Parker” Crittenden was a pro-Southerner who chose to relocate to Virginia City, rather than swear allegiance to the federal government. His wife stayed in San Francisco for some time, and the two corresponded frequently while he was away. A few years later he was shot dead by his mistress in front of his wife and son.

Ex “D.K.” Collection and Twigg-Smith. With 1981 P.F. certificate.

E. 7,500-10,000
5,750
Back to Top
200
c
Sale Number 1216, Lot Number 200, Virginia City Pony ExpressWells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9), Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9)Wells Fargo & Co. Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9). Ample to large margins including portion of adjoining stamp at bottom, affixed upside down and tied by bold blue “Wells, Fargo & Co. Virginia Cty. N.T. Jun. 9” (1864) oval datestamp, second strike cancels indicia on 3c Pink on Buff entire (U35) with Wells Fargo & Co. printed frank to San Francisco, edge of stamp with slight gum soak, missing part of backflap

VERY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL 25-CENT RED VIRGINIA CITY PONY COVER WITH TWO BOLD STRIKES OF THE WELLS FARGO VIRGINIA CITY DATESTAMP.

Most of the 25c Red covers originate from the famous Crittenden correspondence. This cover, from the Shattuck correspondence, was off the market for more than 60 years before emerging in our 2013 Rarities sale.

With 2013 P.F. certificate

E. 3,000-4,000
3,250
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