Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries, Inc. Sale: 1211
United States Western Mails, including the Pony Express
Sale No: 1211
Lot No: 345
Cat No: 143L3
A colorful and desirable Pony Express $1.00 Horse & Rider cover
Wells Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Red (143L3), Position R14, large margins to in at upper left, tied by "Pony Express San Francisco Jul. 31" (1861) Running Pony oval datestamp on 10¢ Green on White Star Die entire (U32) with Wells Fargo & Co. red printed frank, addressed to A. W. Canfield in New York City, grid cancel applied by New York post office
Very Fine. A beautiful Pony Express cover with the $1.00 Red stamp issued by Wells Fargo & Co. for the official government contract period, beginning on July 1, 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, which is represented by the printed frank on this entire. The contract also stipulated the mandatory U.S. postage charge of 10¢ per half ounce. This cover beautifully combines all three postage elements and was carried on the eastbound Pony trip departing San Francisco on Wednesday, July 31, 1861, and arriving at St. Joseph on August 12. Thousands of miles away, the first major land battle of the Civil War had occurred in Virginia ten days before this Pony Express departure from San Francisco.
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.
One of two recorded strips of three of the 25¢ Blue Virginia City Pony Express stamp on cover--an impressive 1861 Issue and Pony Express combination franking
Wells Fargo & Co., Virginia City Pony Express, 25¢ Blue (143L8), vertical strip of three, margins mostly full to just slightly into frameline, used with three 3¢ Rose (65) and tied by two strikes of blue "Wells, Fargo & Co Virginia City N.T. Feb. 15" (1863) oval datestamp on buff legal-size paste-up cover to San Francisco, addressed to Wm. E. Wood, in care of Stanford Brothers, additional clear strike of datestamp with matching "PAID" in double-line oval handstamp, docketing at left indicates the heavy contents related to bids for a tunnel contract
Fine appearance; strip has small tear and toning at top, 3¢ stamps have small faults, cover edgewear and tears.
This is one of only two recorded strips of three of the 25¢ Blue Virginia City Pony Express stamp on cover. It is a remarkable artifact of Western Express postal history.
We record only four covers bearing multiples of the Wells Fargo & Co. 25¢ Blue, as follows:
1 Strip of 5 plus one, February 25, 1863, "Edwards" (Grombacher) Collection, Christie's sale, 10/29/1991
2 Strip of 3, February 20, 1863, ex Mitchell (Sale 859, lot 199)
3 Strip of 3, February 15, 1863, the cover offered here
25¢ Red Virginia City Pony Express stamp on cover from the Crittenden correspondence
Wells Fargo & Co., Virginia City Pony Express, 25¢ Red (143L9), huge margins to touching frameline at bottom left, sheet margin at right, bright color, tied by partly clear strike of blue "Wells, Fargo & Co. Virginia City. N.T. Jan. 20" (1865) oval datestamp on 3¢ Pink on Buff entire (U35) with Wells Fargo & Co. printed frank, to Clara C. Crittenden in San Francisco, original letter enclosure datelined January 20, 1865
Very Fine. A choice example of the 25¢ Red Virginia City Pony Express stamp on cover, from the famous Crittenden correspondence.
This cover was sent to Clara C. Crittenden by her husband, Alexander Parker Crittenden, a prominent West Coast attorney, while he was residing in Virginia City. The move to Nevada became necessary after California passed a law prohibiting the practice of law by anyone who would not take the loyalty oath. "Parker" Crittenden was a pro-Southerner who chose to relocate to Virginia City, rather than swear allegiance to the federal government. His wife stayed in San Francisco for some time, and the two corresponded frequently while he was away. A few years later he was shot dead by his mistress in front of his wife and son.