Sale 1255 — The David W. Gorham Collection of Outstanding Used U.S. Stamps
Sale Date — Tuesday-Friday, 17-20 May, 2022
Category — Postmasters' Provisionals (Scott 3X3-11X8)
EXTREMELY FINE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE SOUND EXAMPLE OF THE 5-CENT BALTIMORE POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ON BLUISH PAPER, WITH A NEATLY STRUCK HANDSTAMPED "PAID" CANCEL AND WITHOUT ANY PEN CANCELLATION.
This issue is more frequently encountered on cover -- 35 are listed in the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society census. This is the first off cover we have offered since 2016, and the first sound off cover we have offered since 1999.
With 2002 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE. THIS IS WITHOUT QUESTION ONE OF THE FINEST EXAMPLES OF THE BRATTLEBORO POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ISSUE IN EXISTENCE. A TRULY SPECTACULAR STAMP IN EVERY RESPECT.
The USPCS census records 57 examples of the Brattleboro, Vermont, Postmaster's Provisional (37 off cover and 20 stamps on 19 covers). Four off-cover stamps recently emerged after decades off the market. Most of the known examples have faults, ranging from thins to creases and repairs. There are seven potential off cover that are sound, but three do not have four margins and one is just touched at one spot. This leaves only three off-cover copies that are sound and have four margins: USPCS census nos. 20196, 20199 (which is reportedly unused) and the stamp offered here.
Ex Lapham, Colson, Weill Brothers and Wall. With 1990 and 2005 P.F. certificates
EXTREMELY FINE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE MULTIPLE COMBINING TWO DIFFERENT STYLES OF THE "ACM" SIGNATURE, WITH FOUR LARGE MARGINS, IN SOUND CONDITION AND WITH A LIGHT CANCEL. THIS IS EASILY THE FINEST WE HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED.
According to the Piller book, shortly after the stamps were issued, the postmaster apparently felt it necessary to initial or validate the stamps. Several different signature were used, including "ACM" for Alonzo Castle Monson, brother-in-law of postmaster Robert H. Morris. Three styles of "ACM" signature are known, including all letters connected (Scott 9X1), the "A" and "C" connected (Scott 9X1a), and with periods between all letters (Scott 9X1b). The first two are the most frequently encountered. Multiples containing more than one signature type are extremely rare, especially in such choice condition.
With 2004 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE. A SUPERB AND VERY RARE EXAMPLE OF THE NEW YORK POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ON BLUE PAPER.
The last printing of the New York provisional was furnished on January 7, 1847, when 100 sheets were delivered. Most of the stamps on Gray paper (Scott 9X3) and Blue paper (Scott 9X2) likely come from this last printing. It is estimated that 40-50 examples of the New York provisional on blue paper exist (34 recorded in Levi-Wall-Farrington census).
With 1963 and 1998 P.F. certificates
EXTREMELY FINE. A RARE SOUND FOUR-MARGIN EXAMPLE OF THE NEW YORK POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ON GRAY PAPER. THIS IS THE FIRST SOUND SINGLE WE HAVE OFFERED SINCE KEEPING COMPUTERIZED RECORDS.
The last printing of the New York provisional was furnished on January 7, 1847, when 100 sheets were delivered. Most of the stamps on Gray paper (Scott 9X3) and Blue paper (Scott 9X2) likely come from this last printing. A Power Search review found only ten other different examples on Gray paper, including one other off-cover single (offered as unused), two pairs off cover, and five covers (four with singles and one with pair). We have also offered only one single each of 9X3a and 9X3b, for a total of 13 other stamps. Three out of four stamps in the two off-cover pairs have faults. The single offered here is the finest example of 9X3 we have offered.
With 1995 and 2005 P.F. certificates
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. SOUND EXAMPLES OF THE ST. LOUIS "BEARS" PROVISIONAL CANCELLED ONLY BY THE RED CIRCULAR DATESTAMP (WITHOUT THE USUAL PEN CANCELLATION) ARE EXCEEDINGLY RARE. THIS SUPERB STAMP IS AMONG THE FINEST OF ALL RECORDED ST. LOUIS BEARS.
Backstamped "W.H.C." (Warren H. Colson). Ex Dr. Morris. With 1994 and 2004 P.F. certificates. The Scott Catalogue states "Values for used off-cover stamps are for pen-cancelled copies. Handstamp cancelled copies sell for much more."
EXTREMELY FINE EXAMPLE OF THE 5-CENT ON GRAY LILAC PAPER -- ONE OF THE RAREST OF ALL ST. LOUIS PROVISIONAL ISSUES.
The St. Louis Bear stamps were printed from a single plate of six subjects (two horizontal by three vertical) that was modified twice to change the denominations of two positions.
The original plate (First State) contained three 5c stamps at left and three 10c stamps at right. All stamps from the First State plate were printed on Greenish paper.
The plate was then altered by burnishing out the "5" on Positions 1 and 3 and engraving a new "20" denomination (Second State). A small printing on Greenish paper was made from this Second State altered plate. 5c stamps (Position 5) and 10c stamps (Positions 2/4/6) on Greenish Paper cannot usually be identified as First State or Second State impressions (the 20c on Greenish paper is a great rarity).
The larger portion of stamps from the Second State plate are on Gray Lilac paper. However, because only one of six subjects was a 5c value, the 5c on Gray Lilac is an extremely rare stamp -- perhaps even rarer than the 20c on Gray Lilac. The plate was modified again by burnishing out the "20" and engraving the old "5" denomination (Third State). At the time of this second alteration, a large ball was engraved inside the end curl of the numeral "5" on Position 5. As far as we know, all stamps from the Third Plate were printed on a very thin pelure paper. These were the last stamps used before the 1847 Issue was placed on sale in St. Louis.
Ex Twigg-Smith. With 1985 and 2009 P.F. certificates
EXTREMELY FINE EXAMPLE OF THE 10-CENT ST. LOUIS POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ON GRAY LILAC PAPER.
Ex Koppersmith. With 1971, 1995 and 2005 P.F. certificates
A FINE AND VERY RARE SOUND EXAMPLE OF THE 20-CENT GRAY LILAC ST. LOUIS POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL.
The census of 20c St. Louis Bears published in the Faiman catalogue (Bennett, Oct. 31, 2003) contains 12 off-cover singles.
Ex Earl of Crawford, Hind and Golden. With 2012 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. EXCEPTIONALLY CHOICE CONDITION FOR THIS RARE ST. LOUIS "BEARS" PROVISIONAL ON PELURE PAPER, EXAMPLES OF WHICH ARE SELDOM ENCOUNTERED IN SOUND CONDITION AND WITH A LIGHT CANCELLATION.
A survey of our Levi records and auction catalogues produced a tally of approximately 35 examples of the 5c Pelure off and on cover. The vast majority have faults or margins cutting into the design. This lightly cancelled stamp with a tiny scissors-cut is one of the most attractive of all, and it is essentially sound.
Ex Caspary, Pope, Wagshal and "Golden Oak". With 1985 and 2014 P.F. certificates. Scott value $11,000.00, but footnote states: "Values of Nos. 11X7-11X8a, on and off cover, reflect the usual poor condition of these stamps, which were printed on fragile pelure paper. Attractive examples with minor defects sell for considerably more."
VERY FINE EXAMPLE OF THE RARE 10-CENT ST. LOUIS PROVISIONAL ON PELURE PAPER.
A survey of our Levi records and auction catalogues produced a tally of approximately 35 examples of the 10c Pelure off and on cover. The vast majority of these stamps have faults, many severe, or margins cutting into the design. This is one of the finest we have encountered, and it is especially desirable with the numeral "10" manuscript cancel.
With 2012 P.F. certificate. Scott value $15,000.00, but footnote states: "Values of Nos. 11X7-11X8a, on and off cover, reflect the usual poor condition of these stamps, which were printed on fragile pelure paper. Attractive examples with minor defects sell for considerably more."