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The Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito Collection of Independent Mails continued...

Wells Letter Express continued...
Lot Sym. Lot Description  
228   ImageLetter Express (Wells), 10c Black on Scarlet Glazed, Ty. II, Tete-Beche Pair, One Stamp Bisected (96L4a). Originally a horizontal pair with stamps in tete-beche arrangement -- either a work-and-turn printing or inverted cliche -- one stamp was then bisected with a horizontal cut, leaving the lower half joined with the full stamp, neatly cancelled by pen stroke and remaining on small piece, excellent color and impression without any of the oxidation usually found on the Scarlet

EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF THE RAREST STAMPS IN AMERICAN PHILATELY. AN EXTRAORDINARY COMBINATION OF TETE-BECHE MULTIPLE AND BISECTED USAGE OF A STAMP THAT IS RARE EVEN AS A NORMAL SINGLE.

In this unique piece we have three distinctly rare elements combined as one. In the first place, the Letter Express 10c Scarlet stamp is extremely rare -- we estimate that no more than 12 exist in total, on or off cover. This rare stamp is not known in any multiple, so there has been almost no material to provide knowledge of the plate composition or sheet arrangement. This pair shows conclusively -- and quite strikingly -- that the 10c Scarlet comes in tete-beche arrangement. The head-to-foot orientation of two stamps in a pair means that the sheets were printed in a work-and-turn method or, less likely, that one or more subjects on the plate were inverted. The third aspect of this unique item is the use of a bisect joined with a full stamp for the 18-3/4c rate (or 15c in stamps). The Cleveland Herald of July 12, 1844, carried an advertisement from Wells' office that specifically authorized the use of "one and a half stamp to those rated at 18-3/4 [cents]." Bisected stamps on cover are well-known, very rare and desirable, but this is the first and only recorded bisect still joined with a full stamp.

Illustrated in Independent Mails book. Ex Golden. With 1995 P.F. and 1991 P.S.E. certificates. (Image)

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E. $ 5,000-7,500

SOLD for $7,500.00
Will close during Public Auction
229 c ImageLetter Express (Wells), 10c Black on Scarlet Glazed, Ty. II (96L4). Large margins, bright color with only negligible oxidation, tied by manuscript cancel on folded cover to Dater, Miller & Co. (grocers and merchants) in New York City, "161 Front" street address written in faint red crayon, receipt docketing "Curtis & Root Sep. 29/44" -- Curtiss & Root were commission and forwarding merchants in Buffalo N.Y. -- some light soiling on address panel

VERY FINE. ONLY FIVE GENUINE COVERS EXIST WITH THE 10-CENT SCARLET LETTER EXPRESS STAMP, MAKING THIS ONE OF THE RAREST OF ALL INDEPENDENT MAIL ITEMS.

The stamps issued by Wells' Letter Express are remarkable both for the purpose they served and for their distinctive designs. The oval 96L1-96L2 stamps depict the Goddess of Commerce surrounded by bales and barrels with a merchant vessel in the background -- symbols of private enterprise and the robust economic growth of America during the 1840's. The circular 96L3-96L4 stamps depict an American marine charging ashore with sword raised and Union Flag waving, and a naval vessel in the background. This design, chosen for stamps that would be used in the Great Lakes region, has been described as a commemoration of the Battle of Lake Champlain during the War of 1812.

Our records contain five 10c Scarlet covers as follows:

1) Jul. 19, 1844 Boyd's delivery date in NYC, sent from Cleveland with Scarlet 96L4 and Pomeroy's 117L1, ex Worthington, Hollowbush, Hall, offered in lot 231

2) Sep. 29, 1844, folded letter from Buffalo to Dater, Miller & Co., NYC, double rate, stamp tied by ms., ex Caspary, Golden and Kuphal, the cover offered here

3) Oct. 4, 1844, folded letter from Monroe Mich. to Dwight Johnson, NYC, with Scarlet 96L4 and Pomeroy's 117L1, ex Perry, Schwartz, offered in lot 232

4) [Date unknown] 1844, folded letter from [origin unknown] to Willet P. Ward, NYC, with Scarlet 96L4 and Pomeroy's 117L1, Sloane's records

5) [Date unknown] 1844, folded cover from [origin unknown] to Mrs. Jane Bruce, Boston, ex Petri, offered in lot 230.

The three combination frankings each bear a Pomeroy's stamp, affixed by Wells to credit Pomeroy with their share of the prepaid postage. This cover, originating in Buffalo, is evidence that by late September, the Buffalo-Albany route previously operating under Pomeroy's name was run by Wells' Letter Express.

Ex Caspary, Golden and Kuphal. With 1999 P.F. certificate. (Image)

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E. $ 4,000-5,000

SOLD for $3,500.00
Will close during Public Auction
230 c ImageLetter Express (Wells), 10c Black on Scarlet Glazed, Ty. II (96L4). Large margins to barely in at top, manuscript "X" cancel, used on folded cover to Mrs. Jane Bruce, Boston Mass., undated and no indication of origin, although some offset manuscript can be read, which identifies the sender as "Your affectionate granddaughter, Margaret B.", overall toning

VERY FINE. ONLY FIVE GENUINE COVERS EXIST WITH THE 10-CENT SCARLET LETTER EXPRESS STAMP, MAKING THIS ONE OF THE RAREST OF ALL 1844 INDEPENDENT MAIL USES.

Our records contain five 10c Scarlet covers as follows:

1) Jul. 19, 1844 Boyd's delivery date in NYC, sent from Cleveland with Scarlet 96L4 and Pomeroy's 117L1, ex Worthington, Hollowbush, Hall, offered in lot 231

2) Sep. 29, 1844, folded letter from Buffalo to Dater, Miller & Co., NYC, double rate, stamp tied by ms., ex Caspary, Golden and Kuphal, offered in lot 229

3) Oct. 4, 1844, folded letter from Monroe Mich. to Dwight Johnson, NYC, with Scarlet 96L4 and Pomeroy's 117L1, ex Perry, Schwartz, offered in lot 232

4) [Date unknown] 1844, folded letter from [origin unknown] to Willet P. Ward, NYC, with Scarlet 96L4 and Pomeroy's 117L1, Sloane's records

5) [Date unknown] 1844, folded cover from [origin unknown] to Mrs. Jane Bruce, Boston, ex Petri, the cover offered here.

The three combination frankings each bear a Pomeroy's stamp, affixed by Wells to credit Pomeroy with their share of the prepaid postage. Wells' Letter Express and Pomeroy's Letter Express did not serve Boston, so this must have been given to a third carrier (possibly Hale), but there are no markings to indicate who carried it.

With 2013 P.F. certificate (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

E. $ 2,000-3,000

SOLD for $1,600.00
Will close during Public Auction
231 c ImageLetter Express (Wells), 10c Black on Scarlet Glazed, Ty. II (96L4). Large to huge margins, bright color with unusually mild oxidation, conjunctive use with Pomeroy's Letter Express, 5c Black on Yellow (117L1), large margins to slightly in at upper left, each stamp cancelled by manuscript "X" on 1844 reddish-brown folded cover from Cleveland to Battelle & Renwick (chemical distributors), New York City, "163 front" street address written in different hand and delivered by Boyd's City Express Post, red "Boyd's City Express Post, July 19 9 O'C" framed datestamp and matching "Paid/J.T.B." handstamp, letter has been removed, but docketing confirms Cleveland origin and postscript states "P.S. We send this by private express postage 12-1/2 prepaid. If you have facilities please reciprocate to encourage the enterprise", horizontal file fold thru bottoms of both stamps, causing creases and small tears that are not very noticeable (certificate describes Letter Express stamp with small repair at bottom right, but that statement is not accurate -- there is no repair, just a bit of red pencil touch-up), the cover has some creases, minor erosion spots in address reinforced with paper

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. ONLY FIVE GENUINE COVERS EXIST WITH THE 10-CENT SCARLET LETTER EXPRESS STAMP, OF WHICH THREE ARE MIXED FRANKINGS, EACH USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH POMEROY'S LETTER EXPRESS.

Our records contain five 10c Scarlet covers as follows:

1) Jul. 19, 1844 Boyd's delivery date in NYC, sent from Cleveland with Scarlet 96L4 and Pomeroy's 117L1, ex Worthington, Hollowbush, Hall, the cover offered here

2) Sep. 29, 1844, folded letter from Buffalo to Dater, Miller & Co., NYC, double rate, stamp tied by ms., ex Caspary, Golden and Kuphal, offered in lot 229

3) Oct. 4, 1844, folded letter from Monroe Mich. to Dwight Johnson, NYC, with Scarlet 96L4 and Pomeroy's 117L1, ex Perry, Schwartz, offered in lot 232

4) [Date unknown] 1844, folded letter from [origin unknown] to Willet P. Ward, NYC, with Scarlet 96L4 and Pomeroy's 117L1, Sloane's records

5) [Date unknown] 1844, folded cover from [origin unknown] to Mrs. Jane Bruce, Boston, ex Petri, offered in lot 230.

The three combination frankings each bear a Pomeroy's stamp, affixed by Wells to credit Pomeroy with their share of the prepaid postage. This cover is the only one of the three with a Boyd's delivery marking.

Illustrated in Independent Mails book (Wells' Letter Express chapter). Ex Worthington, Hollowbush and Hall. With 2001 P.F. certificate (Image)

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E. $ 10,000-15,000

SOLD for $11,000.00
Will close during Public Auction
232 c ImageLetter Express (Wells), 10c Black on Scarlet Glazed, Ty. II (96L4). Huge bottom margins, other sides clear to ample, black printing a bit rubbed at top, bright color with mild oxidation, conjunctive use with Pomeroy's Letter Express, 5c Black on Yellow (117L1), large margins to slightly in at left, each stamp cancelled by manuscript "X" on Oct. 5, 1844 folded letter from the Bank of River Raisin at Monroe Mich. to New York City street address, Dwight Johnson correspondence, horizontal file fold clear of stamps

VERY FINE. ONLY FIVE GENUINE COVERS EXIST WITH THE 10-CENT SCARLET LETTER EXPRESS STAMP, OF WHICH THREE ARE MIXED FRANKINGS, EACH USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH POMEROY'S LETTER EXPRESS.

Our records contain five 10c Scarlet covers as follows:

1) Jul. 19, 1844 Boyd's delivery date in NYC, sent from Cleveland with Scarlet 96L4 and Pomeroy's 117L1, ex Worthington, Hollowbush, Hall, offered in lot 231

2) Sep. 29, 1844, folded letter from Buffalo to Dater, Miller & Co., NYC, double rate, stamp tied by ms., ex Caspary, Golden and Kuphal, offered in lot 229

3) Oct. 4, 1844, folded letter from Monroe Mich. to Dwight Johnson, NYC, with Scarlet 96L4 and Pomeroy's 117L1, ex Perry, Schwartz, the cover offered here

4) [Date unknown] 1844, folded letter from [origin unknown] to Willet P. Ward, NYC, with Scarlet 96L4 and Pomeroy's 117L1, Sloane's records

5) [Date unknown] 1844, folded cover from [origin unknown] to Mrs. Jane Bruce, Boston, ex Petri, offered in lot 230.

The three combination frankings each bear a Pomeroy's stamp, affixed by Wells to credit Pomeroy with their share of the prepaid postage. Wells was running the Buffalo-Albany route by the date this letter was mailed, so the Pomeroy stamp was presumably unnecessary. However, the stamp appears to have originated, and the cover was considered completely genuine by Elliott Perry and Richard Schwartz.

Illustrated in Independent Mails book (Wells' Letter Express chapter). Ex Perry and Schwartz (Image)

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E. $ 7,500-10,000

CLOSED
Will close during Public Auction
233 c ImageWells & Co. Express Mail from Chicago. Small circular handstamp clearly struck three times on Aug. 25 (and 27), 1844 folded letter from Chicago to Calvin Spaulding in Hallowell Me., written by two different people, sender's directive "Agent of the american letter mail co." and "Free", the latter crossed out and overstruck by Wells' handstamps, manuscript "18-3/4" rate, each handstamp probably represents 6-1/4c, red oval "Forwarded by Hale & Co. from Albany" and "Collect Six Cents for Hale & Co." framed handstamp with manuscript "18-3/4" written over "Six Cents", religious contents mentions hope of sending mail free

VERY FINE. A UNIQUE TRIPLE-RATED LETTER BEARING THE RARE WELLS' CHICAGO OFFICE HANDSTAMP IN CONJUNCTION WITH HALE & COMPANY'S ALBANY OFFICE MARKINGS -- ANOTHER COMPANY, THE KENNEBEC EXPRESS, WAS INVOLVED IN TRANSPORTING THE LETTER TO ITS FINAL DESTINATION IN MAINE.

This highly-regarded cover has been illustrated and discussed in several publications. In an article published in The Penny Post ("Wells & Company and Hale and Company: Another Look at a Well-Known Cover," January 2014), William Sammis presents a fresh insight into the final leg of the cover's journey from Chicago to Hallowell, Maine. According to Sammis, the sender wrote the directive "Agent of the american letter mail co.", because he was aware that Calvin Spaulding, the nominal addressee, was ALMCo.'s agent in Hallowell. The letter was marked "Free" by the sender with the hope that it would pass through the ALMCo. system without charge. However, Sammis states that a conjunctive service arrangement existed between Wells' Letter Express and Hale & Co., so at Albany the letter was turned over to Hale for transport to its Boston office. Hale applied its Albany office oval handstamp and marked the letter due 18-3/4c. On the final leg of the trip, from Boston to Hallowell, the Kennebec Express Company was used, as usual for Hale's mail to and from Maine.

In August 1844, Wells' Letter Express worked with Pomeroy's Letter Express to carry mail eastward from Buffalo to Albany, so there could be yet a fourth silent partner in this journey. Pomeroy's Letter Express covers to New England were typically carried by Hale & Co.

Illustrated in Gutman Hale book and Independent Mails book. Ex Knapp, Hennan and Golden (Image)

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E. $ 2,000-3,000

SOLD for $5,250.00
Will close during Public Auction
234 c ImageWells & Co. Express Mail from Chicago. Small circular handstamp clearly struck on Sep. 19, 1844 folded letter from Chicago to Rev. Milton Badger at New York City street address, manuscript "Paid 12-1/2" rate, red crayon "Paid" at upper left, red "Boyd's City/Express Post./Sep. 28 9 O'C." framed datestamp for local delivery, Very Fine, an extremely rare Wells' Letter express Chicago office marking (Snow records nine examples in Independent Mails book), a fascinating cover that demonstrates the competitive edge the private companies had over the U.S. Post Office -- for 12-1/2 cents, versus 25c charged by the Post Office, this letter was carried from Chicago to the door of 150 Nassau Street (this presumes Boyd's received its share from the prepaid amount) and the letter reached its destination in less than ten days (in 1844) -- ex Hennan and Golden (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

E. $ 750-1,000

SOLD for $1,600.00
Will close during Public Auction

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