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

Overton & Company
Lot Sym. Lot Description  
235   ImageOverton & Co., (5c) Black on Greenish (113L1). Uncancelled, large margins to clear at bottom, slight thin and crease in top margin at left (could be trimmed off), Very Fine, scarce, ex Schwartz (Image)

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E. $ 200-300

SOLD for $700.00
Will close during Public Auction
236   ImageOverton & Co., (5c) Black on Greenish, "Free" below Circle (113L1). Large margins with "FREE." printed in bottom margin below design, cancelled by red "Cd." handstamp (Pomeroy's old device), sealed tear into design at top, pinhole near edge in bottom right margin, otherwise Very Fine, according to a hypothesis advanced by Richard Schwartz, the "Free" imprint was added below four positions in the sheet to indicate the discount for purchasing a sheet of 20 stamps, we record three off-cover stamps and four covers with this variety (see lot 240 for details), ex Caspary, Middendorf and Schwartz (Image)

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E. $ 500-750

SOLD for $550.00
Will close during Public Auction
237 c ImageOverton & Co., (5c) Black on Greenish (113L1). Large to huge margins, manuscript "X" cancel (bleed-thru effectively ties stamp), faint red "Forwarded by Overton & Co. 3 Broad Street, New York" oval handstamp on folded cover to Providence R.I., docketed "July 29" (1844)

EXTREMELY FINE STAMP ON AN ATTRACTIVE COVER. THE JULY 29, 1844, DOCKETING DATE IS THE EARLIEST RECORDED USE OF THE OVERTON STAMP.

Overton & Company was a letter-and-package express and foreign-mail forwarding agency founded by Richard Carleton Overton prior to July 3, 1844, the date of the earliest advertisement. The company’s route between New York City and Boston was covered by steamboats and railroad. The rates were 5c between the principal cities and 6c for other locations. Local delivery service was also available for 2c per letter. Overton & Co. issued stamps for use on intercity letters, using one design that depicts a bird carrying a letter over land. The word Free” was printed in the margin below certain positions in the sheet of 20, believed to be the last four, which would represent the 20% discount for buying 20 stamps.

There are 28 recorded stamped covers in John Bowman's census (Independent Mails book), dated from July 29, 1844 (the docketing date of this cover) through June 30, 1845, the day before the Independent mail companies were forced out of business by the July 1845 postal laws. On July 22, 1844, Overton announced expanded service, including Providence R.I., the destination of this cover.

Ex Ackerman and Hall. With 2001 P.F. certificate (Image)

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E. $ 2,000-3,000

CLOSED
Will close during Public Auction
238 c ImageOverton & Co., (5c) Black on Greenish (113L1). Large margins, cancelled by pen stroke and red "Cd." handstamp (Pomeroy's old device) applied by Overton on small folded Valentine poem to a student at Yale College in New Haven Conn., red "Overton & Co's City Mail, Office, 3 Broad Street" oval handstamp, put into the mails with red "New-York Feb. 15" (1845) circular datestamp, blue manuscript "20" rate

EXTREMELY FINE. A REMARKABLE USE OF THE OVERTON & CO. STAMP ON A VALENTINE COVER FROM ALBANY TO NEW HAVEN VIA NEW YORK CITY.

This is one of the most remarkable Independent Mail covers we have ever encountered. The red Cd.” cancel on the Overton stamp was originally used by Pomeroy’ Letter Express. After Pomeroy discontinued its letter-mail service, Overton apparently used the Cd.” and Paid” devices. This letter was carried outside the mails to New York City,where Overton’s City Mail Co. local post delivered it to the post office for transmission to New Haven. For an unknown reason, Overton did not use the services of another Independent Mail firm. The 20c rate is puzzling. Perhaps the New York City post office was wise to the letter’s origin and charged full postage to New Haven.

Ex Geisler. With 2009 P.F. certificate (Image)

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E. $ 1,500-2,000

SOLD for $1,500.00
Will close during Public Auction
239 c ImageOverton & Co., (5c) Black on Greenish (113L1). Large margins but oddly cut round at one corner, cancelled by three pen strokes, small toned spot, used on large part of folded cover to Providence R.I., red "Forwarded by Overton & Co., 3 Broad Street, New York" oval handstamp, refolded at top and bottom, Fine, scarce, ex Knapp and Schwartz (Image)

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E. $ 500-750

SOLD for $275.00
Will close during Public Auction
240 c ImageOverton & Co., (5c) Black on Greenish, "Free" below Circle (113L1). Horizontal pair, both stamps with "FREE." printed in large bottom sheet margin, huge margins all around, filing crease thru left stamp, pen lines thru each "Free" and tied by manuscript "X" cancels on folded letter to Detroit datelined New York City, Oct. 19, 1844 with Oct. 18 invoice, conjunctive use with Wells' Letter Express from Albany to Detroit, overall even brownish toning or soiling

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. THE ONLY RECORDED MULTIPLE OF THE OVERTON "FREE" VARIETY, ON OR OFF COVER. THE FINEST OF THE THREE RECORDED OVERTON MULTIPLES ON COVER (ALL PAIRS) AND ONE OF FOUR KNOWN COVERS WITH THE "FREE" VARIETY. AN OUTSTANDING INDEPENDENT MAIL COVER.

Overton & Company was a letter-and-package express and foreign-mail forwarding agency founded by Richard Carleton Overton prior to July 3, 1844, the date of the earliest advertisement. The company’s route between New York City and Boston was covered by steamboats and railroad. The rates were 5c between the principal cities and 6c for other locations. Local delivery service was also available for 2c per letter. Overton & Co. issued stamps for use on intercity letters, using one design that depicts a bird carrying a letter over land. The word Free” was printed in the margin below certain positions in the sheet of 20, believed to be the last four, which would represent the 20% discount for buying 20 stamps.

The 113L1 stamps are known both with and without the "Free" imprint below the circle. In an article by Richard Schwartz (Penny Post, Oct. 1994), a sensible theory explaining the meaning of the Free imprint is set forth. According to Overton's advertisements, the stamps were sold singly at 6-1/4 cents each, or 20 stamps for a dollar (5c each). Therefore, the purchaser of a sheet of 20 stamps would essentially receive four free stamps. To make the point, the imprint "Free" was added below four positions in the sheet. The existence of a bottom left corner margin stamp without the "Free" rules out a sheet of five rows of four. However, if the sheet were four rows of five, the four last stamps in the sheet would have the "Free".

Our records contain only three off-cover "Free" stamps: 1) cancelled "Cd.", ex Patton and Golden; 2) cancelled "Cd.", ex Caspary, Middendorf and Schwartz, offered in lot 236; and 3) cancelled "Cd." Siegel Sale 1117, lot 4302.

We record another four "Free" stamps on separate covers: 1) Oct. 4, 1844, NYC to J. H. Austin, Buffalo, single stamp showing part of "Free" (clipped), tied by ms., large red "Paid", conjunctive use with Letter Express, ex Petri; 2) Oct. 18, 1844, to R. H. Hall, Detroit Mich., pair with "Free" below both stamps, conjunctive use with Letter Express, ex Chapman, Hollowbush, Golden, the cover offered here; 3) Feb. 8, 1845, single cancelled "Cd." on folded letter to local NYC address, City Mail oval, Mazza collection; and 4) date unknown, 1845 folded letter, stamp shows traces of "Free" at bottom (clipped), City Mail oval and "5" handstamp, ex Lilly. Looking at the record, there are really only two "Free" covers (the other two are mostly cut away) and of the two, only this cover has a pair, the largest known multiple of any Overton stamp.

The usage itself is rare. Only three covers with a pair of 113L1 are recorded, all from the Hall correspondence to Detroit. All three are offered in this sale. Overton brought the letters to Albany and Wells' Letter Express carried them to Detroit. It is believed that Wells' Letter Express took over the Pomeroy route between Albany and Buffalo by October 1844 at the latest, and possibly as early as August.

Illustrated in Independent Mails book. Ex C. E. Chapman (handstamp), Hollowbush (erased cost code on back) and Golden. With 1999 P.F. certificate (Image)

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E. $ 5,000-7,500

SOLD for $5,000.00
Will close during Public Auction
241 c ImageOverton & Co., (5c) Black on Greenish (113L1). Vertical pair, margins at sides, cut in at top and bottom, each with manuscript "X" cancel, used on Oct. 3, 1844 folded letter from New York City to Detroit Mich., red handstamped "PAID" struck from the device previously used by Pomeroy's Letter Express, right stamp with pre-use crease, left stamp creased from file fold

ONE OF THREE RECORDED COVERS WITH A PAIR OF THE OVERTON & COMPANY STAMP. FROM A POSTAL HISTORY PERSPECTIVE, THIS IS A VERY RARE WESTBOUND INDEPENDENT MAIL COVER TO THE GREAT LAKES REGION.

Only three covers with a pair of 113L1 are recorded, all from the Hall correspondence to Detroit. All three are offered in this sale. Overton brought the letters to Albany and Wells' Letter Express carried them to Detroit. It is believed that Wells' Letter Express took over the Pomeroy route between Albany and Buffalo by October 1844.

Ex Schwartz (Image)

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E. $ 2,000-3,000

SOLD for $1,300.00
Will close during Public Auction
242 c ImageOverton & Co., (5c) Black on Greenish (113L1). Horizontal pair, margins at sides, cut in at top and bottom, each with smudged manuscript "X" cancel, used on Oct. 11, 1844 folded letter from New York City to Detroit Mich., red handstamped "PAID" struck from the device previously used by Pomeroy's Letter Express, right stamp creased from file fold

ONE OF THREE RECORDED COVERS WITH A PAIR OF THE OVERTON & COMPANY STAMP. FROM A POSTAL HISTORY PERSPECTIVE, THIS IS A VERY RARE WESTBOUND INDEPENDENT MAIL COVER TO THE GREAT LAKES REGION.

Only three covers with a pair of 113L1 are recorded, all from the Hall correspondence to Detroit. All three are offered in this sale. Overton brought the letters to Albany and Wells' Letter Express carried them to Detroit. It is believed that Wells' Letter Express took over the Pomeroy route between Albany and Buffalo by October 1844.

Illustrated in the Independent Mails book. Ex Schwartz (Image)

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E. $ 2,000-3,000

CLOSED
Will close during Public Auction
243 c Image"per Overton & Co. Express from Newburgh". Manuscript express marking and "paid 6c" rate on Aug. 15, 1844 folded letter from Newburgh to Kingston N.Y., slightly worn and soiled file folds, otherwise Very Fine, Overton took over this route from Damon in August 1844, according to Hahn this is the earliest reported Overton usage along this route, ex Hahn (Image)

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E. $ 300-400

SOLD for $225.00
Will close during Public Auction
244 c ImageFORWARDED BY/OVERTON & COS EXPRESS. Two-line handstamp in an unusually small type, clearly struck with manuscript "6" rate on folded letter to the comptroller's office in Albany, the writer (Elisha Crawford, president of the White Plains Bank) is returning a letter received from W. W. Van Zandt, a bank auditor in Albany, original letter datelined Aug. 9, 1844, docketing indicates Aug. 15 mailing date (Overton & Co.), file folds, Very Fine, this is the only recorded example of the two-line Overton handstamp, ex Schwartz (Image)

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E. $ 750-1,000

SOLD for $475.00
Will close during Public Auction
245 c ImageForwarded by Overton & Co., 29-1/2 State Street, Boston. Clear strike of black oval handstamp and red "Forwarded by Overton & Co. 3 Broad Street, New York" oval handstamp on Aug. 19, 1844 folded letter from Boston to New York City street address, pencil "Paid", red crayon "2" local delivery charge, file folds, one thru the Boston marking, Very Fine, ex Golden (Image)

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E. $ 200-300

SOLD for $600.00
Will close during Public Auction

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