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2007 Rarities of the World continued...

Pony Express
Lot Sym. Lot Description  
320 ng imageWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $2.00-$4.00 Horse & Rider Issues (143L1-143L5). All five Horse & Rider stamps including $2.00 Red and $4.00 Green, First Issue (April 1861) and $1.00 Red, $2.00 Green and $4.00 Black, Second Issue (July 1, 1861), unused (no gum), large margins, bright and fresh, No. 143L1 has small natural inclusion

EXTREMELY FINE SET OF WELLS, FARGO & COMPANY'S HORSE & RIDER STAMPS ISSUED FOR USE ON THE LEGENDARY PONY EXPRESS. VERY FEW SETS OF THIS SUPERB QUALITY COULD BE ASSEMBLED.

The Pony Express was launched in 1860 by the overland freight express firm operated by William H. Russell, Alexander Majors and William B. Waddell. In an attempt to secure the lucrative government mail contract, the Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company announced that it would carry letters between California and the railroad terminus at St. Joseph, Missouri, in less than ten days. The earliest advertisements appeared in January 1860, and the first pony rider left the Alta Telegraph office in San Francisco at 4:00 p.m. on April 3, 1860. The expressman and his bag of mail did not actually ride off toward St. Joseph. He first boarded the steamer New World and traveled up the Sacramento River to Sacramento. From there another horse and rider galloped off on the first leg of the journey. Several riders and horses were used along the arduous journey, and the mail reached St. Joseph ten days later, on April 13. The operation continued until October 1861.

Commencing July 1, 1861, the Pony Express was authorized by Congress to carry mail at the rate of $1.00 per half ounce. An additional fee was charged by Wells, Fargo & Co. to carry mail from San Francisco to the western terminus at Placerville. The contract also stipulated the mandatory U.S. postage charge of 10c per half ounce. Although the Scott Catalogue lists the July 1861 issue Pony Express stamps (143L3-143L6) with other private post issues, we wish to emphasize that these stamps were issued under the terms of a government mail contract, therefore, they have semi-official status.

Although some of the Horse & Rider stamps were remaindered, they are scarce, and the vast majority do not have four margins or have faults. This superb set would be extremely difficult to duplicate.

Each stamp has been plated and has a 2007 P.S.E. certificate (Image)

990.00

SOLD for $3,500.00
Will close during Public Auction
321° c imageWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Red (143L3). Position L16 with break in "1", large margins at top, other sides slightly into framelines, bright color, tied by sharp strike of blue "Pony Express San Francisco Aug. 31" (1861) Running Pony oval datestamp on 10c Green, Star Die Entire (U32) with red Wells, Fargo & Co. printed frank, sender's endorsement "Per Pony", clearly struck "St. Joseph Mo. Jul. 25" circular datestamp cancels entire, trivial opening tear at upper right corner

A FRESH COVER WITH CLEARLY STRUCK MARKINGS AND A FINE EXAMPLE OF THE $1.00 RED STAMP ISSUED BY WELLS, FARGO & COMPANY FOR THE OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACT PERIOD BEGINNING IN JULY 1861. THIS IS A VERY EARLY USE OF THE STAMP.

Commencing July 1, 1861, the Pony Express was authorized by Congress to carry mail at the rate of $1.00 per half ounce. An additional fee was charged by Wells, Fargo & Co. to carry mail from San Francisco to the western terminus at Placerville, which is represented by the printed frank on this entire. The contract also stipulated the mandatory U.S. postage charge of 10c per half ounce. This cover beautifully combines all three postage elements and was carried on the fourth eastbound Pony Express trip after the new rates and stamps were introduced. Although the Scott Catalogue lists the July 1861 issue Pony Express stamps (143L3-143L6) with other private post issues, we wish to emphasize that these stamps were issued under the terms of a government mail contract, therefore, they have semi-official status.

Pony Express Census No. E112. Ex Knapp. (Image)

E. 7,500-10,000

SOLD for $9,500.00
Will close during Public Auction
322 c imageWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, 25c Blue (143L8). Large to huge margins incl. sheet margin at right, tied by one of two strikes of blue "Wells, Fargo & Cos. Express, Aurora" oval handstamp on 3c Pink entire (U34) to San Francisco with Wells Fargo & Co. printed frank, some overall fading and toning around edges from exposure to light, stamp with small corner crease

VERY FINE EXAMPLE OF THE WELLS, FARGO & COMPANY 25-CENT BLUE PONY EXPRESS STAMP ON A COVER FROM THE CELEBRATED CRITTENDEN CORRESPONDENCE.

With 1986 P.F. certificate (before cover was affected by light exposure) (Image)

4,000.00

SOLD for $3,500.00
Will close during Public Auction
323° c imageWells, Fargo & Co., Virginia City Pony Express, 25c Red (143L9). Full even margins all around, bright color, tied by blue "Wells, Fargo & Co. Virginia Cty. N.T. Jul. 17" (1864) oval datestamp on 3c Pink entire (U35) with printed frank, to Clara C. Crittenden in San Francisco, small corner repair at top right clear of stamps and markings

VERY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLE OF THE VIRGINIA CITY PONY EXPRESS 25-CENT RED ON COVER FROM THE FAMOUS CRITTENDEN CORRESPONDENCE. THE RED PONY STAMP IS MUCH SCARCER ON COVER THAN THE BLUE.

With 1981 P.F. certificate. (Image)

E. 5,000-7,500

SOLD for $8,000.00
Will close during Public Auction
324° c imageWells, Fargo & Co., (unstated value) Black, "To Be Dropped in New York Post Office" (143LP1). Large margins to just clear at top right, uncancelled, used on blue folded letter datelined "San Francisco Febry. 4, 1860" to Towle & Co. in New York City, blue "Wells, Fargo & Cos. Express S.Frco. 6 Feb." large double-circle datestamp and matching "Paid" in oval, sender's routing "p. St. Sonora", Feb. 24 receipt docketing, file fold well clear of adhesive

EXTREMELY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED COVER WITH WELLS, FARGO & COMPANY'S "DROPPED IN NEW YORK POST OFFICE" STAMP, WHICH PREPAID THE EXPRESS RATE FROM CALIFORNIA TO NEW YORK.

The Scott Catalogue erroneously lists this stamp under "Newspaper Stamps" in the Wells, Fargo & Co. section. In fact, its real purpose was not to prepay newspaper charges, but to pay the express fee on letters carried by Wells, Fargo & Co. over their steamship route and "dropped in New York Post Office" as the stamp states. In this case, the letter was addressed to a local New York City firm and was probably delivered by or picked up from Wells, Fargo & Co.'s agent.

We record only this cover, one on piece offered in the Golden sale and five off-cover stamps (including a stamp added to a cover, described as such in the Middendorf collection).

From the March 1973 Robson Lowe sale and ex Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 1585, realized $10,000 hammer). With 1999 P.F. certificate (Image)

E. 5,000-7,500

SOLD for $5,000.00
Will close during Public Auction

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