Sale 1264 — The Stephen Rose Collection of 2c 1869 Pictorial Issue
Sale Date — Wednesday, 28 September, 2022
Category — Domestic Rates and Markings on Cover
VERY FINE. MARCH 26, 1869, IS THE EARLIEST DATE OF USE OF THE 2-CENT 1869 PICTORIAL ISSUE AND THIS IS ONE OF ONLY TWO COVERS KNOWN WITH THIS DATE. THIS IS ALSO THE EARLIEST DOCUMENTED USE OF ANY 1869 PICTORIAL DENOMINATION.
The Scott Catalogue lists March 20, 1869, as the EDU for Scott 113, based on a cover from the Alan Berkun collection. The supposed March 20, 1869, cover is not year-dated and has an A.P.S. certificate as the EDU based on docketing at bottom, which may or may not be contemporary. Subsequent to the issuance of the A.P.S. certificate in 1998, research by Stephen Tedesco published in the Chronicle demonstrated that the earliest date the 2c stamps were available for sale was March 23, which would make the March 20 cover at least an 1870 use. We believe the editors of the Scott Catalogue should delete the March 20 date and revert to this March 26 date as previously listed. This cover, with the clearly matching envelope and letter, is definitively March 26, 1869, and one of only two such uses known. This is also the earliest documented use for any 1869 Pictorial denomination.
Illustrated and discussed in Chronicle 244 (pp. 347-349). With clear 1996 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE. A RARE USE OF THE 2-CENT 1869 PICTORIAL ISSUE ON A "GOOD SAMARARITAN" LABEL COVER WITH A REVENUE STAMP -- THE 2-CENT STAMP WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY TO PAY THE POSTAGE IN PLACE OF THE THE ILLEGAL REVENUE STAMP.
Illustrated in Chronicle 269 (p. 52), which explains "The fact that the New Orleans post office had these markers on hand suggests that attempted use of revenue stamps for postage was not a rare event. The letter was turned over to an anonymous benefactor signed 'Thoughtful,' who added the 2c Pictorial stamp, hoping that the recipient, a commercial firm, would respond generously to this charitable act. Such 'Good Samaritan' covers, whereby the local post office allowed third parties to augment missing postage, had the practical effect of building community goodwill and keeping mail out of the Dead Letter Office."