EXTREMELY FINE. THIS IS THE EARLIEST DOCUMENTED USE OF THE 5-CENT 1856 ISSUE. AN IMPORTANT CLASSIC UNITED STATES COVER IN WONDERFUL CONDITION.
The 5c 1856 Issue was approved and ordered by the U.S. Post Office Department on October 24, 1855 (Travers papers). Secondary sources, using government records which apparently no longer exist, reported that sometime during the first week of January 1856 the 5c stamps were printed and in the hands of Jesse Johnson, the stamp agent in Philadelphia, where Toppan Carpenter was located. Despite this delivery date, the March 24, 1856, cover offered here has been the longstanding earliest documented date of use. The earliest documented use from the New Orleans post office, a high-volume distributor of 5c stamps, is July 20, 1856, which is further evidence of delayed release. We agree with the theory presented in the Frajola-Mayer book (pages 2-3) that because the new 5c issue was evidently never officially announced to postmasters, there was a months-long delay before the stamps were ordered by any post offices and sold to the public.
Ex Gore, Neinken, Grunin, Ishikawa, Hackmey and Gross. Illustrated in Ashbrook's Special Service, #52, p. 406, photo 213; Hill, The United States Five Cent Stamps of 1856-1861 (p. 5); Brookman, United States Postage Stamps of the 19th Century, Vol. I (p. 153); and Rose, Classic United States Imperforate Stamps (p. 68). With 2019 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE. AN OUTSTANDING FRANKING FOR THE DOUBLE 10-CENT TRANSCONTINENTAL RATE FROM ALBANY, NEW YORK, TO STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA. THIS IS THE ONLY COVER WITH 5-CENT STAMPS PAYING DOUBLE THE 10-CENT TRANSCONTINENTAL RATE. ONE OF THE GREATEST DOMESTIC COVERS BEARING THE 5-CENT 1856 ISSUE.
The Mayer collection contained a cover paying double the 10c transcontinental rate, but it was franked with a single 5c stamp and five 3c stamps. The cover offered here, with four 5c stamps with huge margins, is truly remarkable.
Ex Caspary, where this cover sold in 1956 for $4,300 to Henry W. Hill (it was not, however, in our 1959 sale of the Hill collection). It then sat in an old-time collection until 2015, when it was offered in the Siegel sale of the "European Connoisseur's" collection (Sale 1115, lot 2107).
Signed Ashbrook. With 2015 P.F. certificate