Sale 1218 — The "Dubois" Collection of Important Prestamp Covers and Postal Markings of British North America, 1694-1861
Sale Date — Tuesday, 24 March, 2020
Category — Nova Scotia Instructional & Special Markings
(Halifax to New York, Jan. 22, 1853). Blue folded letter datelined Halifax Jan. 22, 1853 and addressed to New York, Halifax Jan. 29, 1853 departure datestamp on flap and bold strike of “NOVA SCOTIA” in scroll handstamp (MacDonald 256), manuscript “p Sir John Harvey” ship-name directive, neat “STEAM” straightline and “10” rate applied at Boston (Feb. 1 arrival), file folds
EXTREMELY FINE STRIKE OF THE “NOVA SCOTIA” SCROLL HANDSTAMP, WHICH WAS IN USE FOR ONLY THREE CONTRACT TRIPS OF THE STEAMER SIR JOHN HARVEY. THIS COVER IS THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE DATE OF USE--THE FIRST CONTRACT TRIP FROM HALIFAX WAS ON JANUARY 29, 1853.
Nova Scotia and U.S. postal officials shook hands on a mail contract with the steamer Sir John Harvey to carry letters at a special rate of 6p or U.S. 10¢, prepaid or unpaid. Research by David D’Alessandris (“The Steamer Sir John Harvey,” Chronicle 207) determined that the “contract” was disavowed by U.S. postal officials, and that no contract mail was sent from the U.S. to Nova Scotia. Only three trips from Halifax to Boston carried contract letters, which bear the “NOVA SCOTIA” scroll handstamp, the only Nova Scotia cross-border exchange marking. The contract round trips commenced with a Boston departure on January 22, 1853, and a Halifax return trip on January 29 (carrying this letter). Four Halifax-to-Boston covers are recorded: 1) Jan. 29 departure (ex Argenti and “Maritimus”), the cover offered here, 2) Feb. 9 departure (ex Young, Dr. Clark and “Skywalk”), 3) Feb. 15 departure (ex Mayer) and 4) Feb. 15 departure (ex “Halifax” and Steinhart).
Ex Argenti and “Maritimus”