Sale 1207 — Outstanding Pony Express Covers from the George J. Kramer Collection
Sale Date — Wednesday, 25 September, 2019
Category — Pony Express Covers
Wells Fargo & Company Pony Express, $1.00 Red (143L3). Position R17, large top margin, other sides clear to slightly in, tied by blue "Pony Express, San Francisco, Aug. 7" (1861) Running Pony oval datestamp on 10¢ Green on White Star Die rebacked front (U32) with Wells Fargo & Company printed red frank and "PAID 50 Cts." surcharge overprint, addressed to Mrs. N. K. Samson, care of Ira Richards, 177 Broadway, New York City, sender's notation "V M Richards" at lower left, carried on the Pony trip that departed San Francisco on Wednesday, August 7, 1861, and arrived in St. Joseph on August 19, entered the mails in New York City with that post office's grid cancel on embossed stamp, all backflaps expertly added to make this front appear as a complete cover
VERY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE WELLS FARGO & COMPANY SURCHARGED ENTIRE USED ON THE TRANSCONTINENTAL PONY EXPRESS.
The "PAID 50 Cts." surcharge is one of several varieties overprinted on Wells Fargo & Company franked entires to indicate a premium rate for service--for example, for letters to and from the Boise Mines in Idaho Territory. Some of these surcharged entires are found with markings indicating that they were used for the service for which they were intended. Others, such as the example offered here, were probably used as an expediency--whether the 50¢ premium was paid and used toward the Pony Express fee, we cannot say, since the $1.00 Red stamp would have covered the fee.
We have been unable to locate any information regarding the addressee, but Ira Richards & Co. was a large jewelry maker in Attleboro, Massachusetts, which had an office at this Broadway location. The name V. M. Richards, written at lower left, does not appear in genealogical sources we consulted, but is assumed to be a relative traveling in California at the time.
FKW Census E137. Ex Dale-Lichtenstein.