$2.00 Trans-Mississippi (293), rich color, tied by clear "Philadelphia Pa. Jun. 24 3-30PM 1898" wavy-line machine cancel on immaculate cover to Mr. E. J. Clinton in Ocean City, New Jersey, clear "Ocean City N.J., Rec'd Jun. 26, 1898" receiving datestamp on back
Very Fine. This is the earliest recorded use of the $2.00 Trans-Mississippi--one of the most important cover rarities of the early United States commemorative issues.
The Trans-Mississippi Exposition was open to the public from June 1 to November 1, 1898. The stamps were not ready in time for the opening, and the official First Day of Issue was June 17.
First Day covers with the Trans-Mississippi Issue are rare. The following quantities are recorded or estimated by Henry Scheuer: 1¢: 4-5 used alone (plus 4 in combination); 2¢: 12+ used alone (plus 3 in combination); 4¢: One used alone (plus 3 in combination); 5¢: One used alone (plus 3 in combination); 8¢: Two used alone (plus one in combination); 10¢: One used alone (plus one in combination); 50¢: One (used alone); $1.00: One (used alone); $2.00: None known. In the absence of a $2.00 First Day Cover after 121 years, this June 22 cover is of paramount importance and likely to remain the earliest documented use.
Ex Dr. Jerome Motto ("Vanguard" collection, Rumsey Sale 11, 4/26-29/2001, lot 3633, where acquired by William H. Gross). With 2001 P.S.E. certificate.