VERY FINE APPEARANCE. THE ONLY RECORDED USE OF THE 5-CENT 1856 ISSUE ON COVER TO BERMUDA. AN IMPORTANT POSTAL HISTORY RARITY OF THE CLASSIC IMPERFORATE PERIOD.
The recipient worked as a portrait artist and engraver, and in 1851 traveled to San Francisco with his friend, Jacob Bailey Moore. Brown worked for Moore for the next several months, gathering specimens and making drawings in the California countryside. In March of 1852, he was commissioned by John Russell Bartlett, head of the U.S.-Mexico Boundary Commission and a friend of Moore's, to draw views of landscapes and Indians in Northern California, assist with collecting Indian vocabularies, and make maps of the area. From 1856 to 1859, he served as U.S. Consul for Bermuda. Little is known of his life after that date; his health was poor at the time of his resignation in 1859.
This cover was franked to pay the 10c direct rate by American Packet. The "NOT PAID" was likely applied in error in New York, though this may have gone as a private outbound ship letter.
Ex Krug, Mayer (book, p. 143), Hackmey and Gross With 2006 P.F. certificate.
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE USE OF THE 5-CENT 1856 ISSUE ON A COVER ORIGINATING IN MEXICO AND SENT TO FRANCE. THIS IS ONE OF ONLY FOUR USES OF THIS ISSUE THAT ORIGINATE OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND IT IS ALSO A DESIRABLE "THREE MONTHS” PERIOD COVER BETWEEN ENGLAND AND FRANCE.
This was carried privately from Tabasco, Mexico, to New Orleans, where it entered the mails. It then went to New York and was carried on the Cunarder Asia, departing March 4, 1857, and arriving Liverpool March 16. From London it traveled to Paris via Calais. Only three other covers bearing this issue originate outside of the United States--from France, New Brunswick, and Mexico.
Ex Hubbard and Mayer (book, p. 64). With 2005 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. THE ONLY 5-CENT 1856 ISSUE COVER CORRECTLY PREPAYING THE 20-CENT RATE TO FRANCE VIA AMERICAN PACKET DIRECT. ONE OF THE MOST OUTSTANDING 1856 5-CENT JEFFERSON IMPERFORATE COVERS IN EXISTENCE.
The Act of March 3, 1851, set the direct American Packet plus inland postage at 20c per half ounce, effective July 1. The two ships of the Havre line, Fulton and Arago, made only twelve trips during the twelve months between the 5c 1856 stamp's issue date and implementation of the new 15c U.S.-France treaty rate (Frajola and Mayer, p. 56). While there are a few other covers bearing multiple copies of the 5c 1856 stamp that were sent via American Packet, this is the only one on which the 20c rate was correctly prepaid. Two others from the Mayer collection bear 21c in postage, sufficient for any service to France.
Illustrated in Henry Hill 5c 1856-61 book (p. 18); Brookman Vol. I (p. 152, where it is misdescribed); and in Frajola and Mayer (p. 56).
Ex Stephen D. Brown, Edward S. Knapp, Philip G. Rust, Ryohei Ishikawa, Frederick R. Mayer and Steven Walske.
With 1993 P.F. certificate.
FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF FOUR RECORDED BLOCKS OF THE 5-CENT 1856 ISSUE ON COVER. THIS IS THE ONLY BLOCK USED TO FRANCE AND THE ONLY ONE USED WITH OTHER STAMPS.
Our records contain four 5c 1856 blocks on cover. An intact block of six on cover is the largest of all recorded multiples (ex Gross, lot 314 in this sale). The cover offered here is also an extremely rare example of the 5c 1856 used to make up the American Packet rate to France. Only five fully prepaid 5c 1856 covers to France by American Packet are recorded.
There were two American Packet services to France available: Collins Line via England--21c per half-ounce rate with 8 decimes per 7.5 grams due for British transit and French inland postage; and New York & Havre Line direct to France--20c per half-ounce rate with 6 decimes per 7.5 grams due for French inland postage. The two ships of the New York & Havre Line, Fulton and Arago, made only 12 trips during the one-year period from March 1856 (earliest use of 5c 1856) until the new 15c U.S.-France treaty rate was implemented in April 1857.
Two of the five recorded American Packet covers were carried by the Collins Line via England. They are both correctly prepaid 21c--one has a three-color franking and the other has a strip of 5c and 1c single (ex Hargest and Beane; illustrated in Hargest book, p. 53).
Three covers were carried by the New York & Havre Line direct to France. Only one has the correct amount of postage for the 20c rate (ex Walske, lot 310 in this sale). The other two are overpaid 1c, including the cover offered here. It is believed that the practice of prepaying the slightly higher rate was a way to ensure that a letter would be sufficiently prepaid for the earliest available sailing from New York. The cover offered here is an example of a letter prepaid 21c for Collins Line service via England, but sent by the New York & Havre Line direct to France (20c rate). This usage would be extraordinary with any composition of stamps, but the presence of an intact 5c 1856 block is truly miraculous. In New Orleans, where a large volume of 5c stamps were used, they were usually cut into strips. The river town of Donaldsonville in Ascension Parish was a low-volume source.
Signed by Stanley B. Ashbrook and illustrated in his Special Service, #1, p. 3, photo 3. Illustrated in Hill, The United States Five Cent Stamps of 1856-1861 (p. 13) and Frajola-Mayer, The United States Five Cent Stamp of 1856 (p. 57). Ex Hill, Wunderlich, Grunin, Ishikawa, Mayer and Gross. With 1993 P.F. certificate.
VERY FINE. AN OUTSTANDING USE OF THREE 5-CENT 1856 ISSUE STAMPS ON AN 1857 TREATY RATE COVER TO FRANCE BY AMERICAN PACKET DIRECT TO LE HAVRE.
The 1857 U.S.-France treaty set a fully prepaid rate of 15c per -1/4 ounce, effective April 1. On American Packet Direct mail, the U.S. credited France 3c for inland postage and retained 12c for U.S. inland plus packet postage. Despite the availability of 5c 1856 Issue stamps at New Orleans, covers bearing three 5c stamps to pay the 15c American Packet Direct service are very rare. This was carried on the Vanderbilt Line Ariel from New York on Aug. 8, arriving Southampton on Aug. 20.
Ex Mayer and Walske
VERY FINE. THIS PHENOMENAL TRIPLE-RATE COVER TO FRANCE WITH STRIPS OF THE 5-CENT AND 10-CENT IMPERFORATE ISSUES IS A RELATIVELY RECENT DISCOVERY AND ONE OF THE MOST OUTSTANDING 1851-56 ISSUE COVERS EXTANT.
The 1851-56 Imperforate issues are rarely found paying the 45c triple treaty rate on covers to France, because the triple rate is unusual and perforated issues began to replace imperforate stamps in the summer and fall of 1857, just months after the treaty went into effect on April 1, 1857. We have found references to two other covers with strips of three of the 5c 1856 and 10c 1855 Issues in the Ashbrook index card records at The Philatelic Foundation: 1) from Boston, date unknown, ex Waterhouse 1924 sale, strips cut in; and 2) from New Orleans, August 20, 1857, ex Ackerman. However, despite these written notes, we have been unable to find photos or more current sale records for these two covers. It is significant that we have no computerized record of having offered a 45c rate cover with the 5c 1856, nor can we find another in a search of auction catalogues or in our Scott 12 census (other than the Waterhouse and Ackerman citations).
This cover ranks among the most important of classic United States imperforate issue covers. Its provenance has eluded us, and it is believed to have originated from a long-dormant collection when it surfaced in a 2007 Cherrystone auction.
Ex Joseph Hackmey and William H. Gross.
With 2007 P.F. certificate.
THE LARGEST RECORDED MULTIPLE OF THE 5-CENT 1856 ISSUE ON OR OFF COVER, AND THE ONLY INTACT BLOCK ON COVER PAYING THE PRUSSIAN CLOSED MAIL RATE TO GERMANY.
Our records contain ten blocks of the 5c 1856 stamp, including an original-gum block of four, five off-cover blocks of four (two joined together to form a block of eight, lot 297 in this sale), and four blocks on cover. This block of six is the largest intact block on or off cover. The Rohloff and Mayer collections contained a cover with a block of five (originally a block of six, from which one stamp was removed). Apart from the on-cover blocks of six and five, all others are blocks of four. When discovered by philatelists, this block of six was folded over the edge of the letter, and the lettersheet was stained along the fold. To improve its appearance, the block has been pressed to reduce creasing, and the lettersheet has been cut and mended.
Illustrated in the Hill book (p. 13) and Mayer-Frajola book (p. 115)
Ex Clarence H. Eagle (Morgenthau sale, Apr. 4-10, 1923, lot 44), Stephen D. Bechtel, Frederick R. Mayer, Joseph Hackmey and William H. Gross.
With 1994 P.F. certificate.
VERY FINE. A RARE COVER WITH THE 5-CENT 1856 ISSUE PAYING THE BRITISH OPEN MAIL RATE FROM OHIO TO SWITZERLAND.
Our records contain only five examples of this single 5c franking for the British Open Mail rate to Switzerland (including one other from this correspondence).
Ex Gore, Haas and Mayer (book, p. 123). Signed Ashbrook. With 2006 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. A COLORFUL AND EXTREMELY RARE PRUSSIAN CLOSED MAIL COVER TO SWITZERLAND WITH THE 1856 5-CENT AND 1855 10-CENT ISSUES. THE COMBINATION OF TYPES II AND III IN A HORIZONTAL FORMAT OCCURS ONLY IN THE TOP ROW OF THE LEFT PANE WHERE THE B RELIEF WAS TRANSFERRED TO POSITIONS 1 AND 2.
This was carried on the Cunarder Africa, departing New York Feb. 18, 1857, and arriving Liverpool March 2. The letter was fully prepaid for the 35c Prussian Closed Mail rate to Switzerland, but the New York exchange office incorrectly credited Prussia for only 7c instead of 12c. Not to be denied their full credit, Prussia treated this as paid only to the border.
The 10c Plate 1 used to print 10c 1855-57 stamps was entered from Reliefs A (Type II), B (Type III) and C (Type I, bottom row only). For the most part, each entire row is one type, except for the eight scattered recut positions classified as Type IV--see diagram on page 223. The exception to this rule is the top row, where Positions 1L, 2L and 3R were entered from the B Relief (Type III) instead of the A Relief (Type II) used for the rest of the row. Since Position 3R was recut, it is a Type IV. A multiple in horizontal format with a combination of Types II and III is only possible when Position 3L is involved. For the specialist seeking various combination multiples, horizontal pairs and strips with the Misplaced B Relief are very desirable. The 10c strip on this cover--Types III-III-II--is not only a scarce multiple, it is used in combination with the 5c 1856 on a beautiful Prussian Closed Mail cover to Switzerland.
Ex Hill, Dr. LeBow and Hackmey. With 2005 P.F. certificate
FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED 5-CENT 1856 ISSUE COVER TO BELGIUM.
A total of 14 pence was due from the recipient, of which one shilling went to England. Ex Mayer (book, p. 142). With 2006 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED 5-CENT 1856 ISSUE COVER TO HOLLAND.
Although the sender directed this to go by the sailing of the Cunarder Europa from Boston on February 25 (1857), it was held for the March 4 sailing of the Cunarder Asia from New York, which arrived in Liverpool on March 16.
Ex Dr. Robertson, who acquired it in a June 1966 H. R. Harmer sale.
VERY FINE. A PHENOMENAL COVER WITH A THREE-COLOR 1851-56 IMPERFORATE ISSUE FRANKING PAYING THE 38-CENT RATE TO HONG KONG VIA PRUSSIAN CLOSED MAIL.
It appears from the docketing that the addressee received the letter in Foochow on February 2, 1857, one day after its delivery in Hong Kong. The addressee worked as an agent for and later as a partner of the famous firm of Augustine, Heard & Co. He went to China in 1849, and it is believed he drowned in the Indian Ocean on his way home to Providence in 1859. We have offered one other cover from this correspondence, franked to pay the same 38c rate, but instead was sent by American Packet to England (ex Gross, Sale 1041, lot 360). It does not bear the 5c stamp. A cover in the Mayer collection was also franked for the 38c rate, but was sent by British Mail at the 33c rate.
Ex Donald Richardson. With 2021 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. A SPECTACULAR COVER TO HONG KONG WITH A STRIP OF FOUR OF 1856 5-CENT AND 1851 ONE-CENT IMPERFORATE ISSUES PAYING THE 21-CENT RATE VIA SOUTHAMPTON. ONE OF THREE SIMILAR COVERS ADDRESSED TO LIEUTENANT EARL ENGLISH IN HONG KONG, THESE BEING AMONG THE MOST OUTSTANDING OF ALL 5-CENT 1856 COVERS.
The 21c postage paid the rate to Hong Kong via Southampton. The remaining 6-pence postage was collected from the recipient. Accompanied by two lengthy 1856 enclosures from this correspondence.
Under the command of U.S. Navy officer William N. Smith and with Lieut. Earl English aboard, the U.S.S. Levant sailed on Nov. 13, 1855, for Rio de Janeiro, the Cape of Good Hope, and Hong Kong, where she arrived to join the East India Squadron on May 12, 1856. On July 1 the U.S. Commissioner to China boarded the Levant for transport to Shanghai, arriving on August 1. At the outbreak of hostilities between the British and Chinese, the Levant arrived in Whampoa on October 28. The Levant took part in protecting American interests, and in November 1856 saw action during the American amphibious assault on Chinese fortifications on the Pearl River. The Levant received the major part of the Chinese bombardment, with 22 shot holes in her hull and rigging, one man dead, and six injured. The Levant cruised between Hong Kong and Shanghai until she departed Hong Kong on December 7, 1857, arriving at the Boston Navy Yard on April 6, 1858 (source: Wikipedia).
Illustrated in Robert G. Rose, "Five Cent 1856 Stamp on Covers from New Jersey," New Jersey Postal History journal, May 2012.
Ex Dr. Wilbur Amonette, who acquired this from the original find. It was offered in our Sale 784 on October 29, 1996, where it was the sole item illustrated on the front cover.
With 1996 P.F. certificate
FINE APPEARANCE. THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE 5-CENT 1856 ISSUE USED ON A COVER TO THE CAPE VERDE ISLANDS. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE DESTINATION FOR MAIL DURING THE 1851-56 IMPERFORATE ISSUE ERA.
Cape Verde is a series of ten volcanic islands off the west coast of Africa, discovered by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century. It was an important location in the slave trade and was prosperous until efforts increased to limit the slave trade. A review using Power Search did not find any other 1851-56 Issue covers sent to Cape Verde.
From our 1975 Rarities sale. Ex Mayer (book, p.144 where described as one of two covers to Cape Verde, but we record only one), Hackmey and Gross. With 2006 P.F. certificate