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United States Stamp Treasures: The William H. Gross Collection continued...

The Pony Express, including Russell Free Frank and $2.00 to Prince Edward Island
Lot Sym. Lot Description  
51° c ImageA truly historic piece of Western Americana--this telegraph envelope with the St. Joseph Running Pony marking is free franked by William H. Russell, the driving force behind the legendary Pony Express, and addressed to Ben Holladay, the Stagecoach King” and Russell’s biggest creditor

DESCRIPTION

PONY EXPRESS/ST. JOSEPH/MAY 6” Running Pony oval handstamp, the first recorded use of this marking on westbound mail, perfect strike on 1860 buff TELEGRAM BY THE STEBBINS LINE.” imprint cover signed Free W H Russell” at center by William H. Russell, one of the three co-founders of the Pony Express, neatly addressed to Ben Holladay in San Francisco with sender’s notations Free on Pony” (referring to the $5 Pony Express charge), Paid” (referring to the telegraph charges) and from W H Russell” (in addition to Russell’s free frank); carried on the fifth westbound Pony Express trip from St. Joseph, Missouri, which departed on Sunday, May 6, 1860, and arrived in Sacramento (and San Francisco) on Tuesday, May 15; the express rider who carried this telegraph despatch in the mochilla crossed the war zone in Nevada around May 13--one week later, the route was closed down as Paiute Indians attacked stations and riders between Cold Springs and Roberts’ Creek

PROVENANCE

* Robert S. Emerson, Daniel F. Kelleher, 1/31/1938, Sale 396, lot 281, to Knapp

* Edward S. Knapp, Parke-Bernet Galleries, May 5-10, 1941, lot 1548

* Provenance not known between 1941 and 1969 (possibly Jessup and Pearce; not listed on the B. D. Phillips inventory)

* Siegel Auction Galleries, 1969 Rarities of the World, 3/25/1969, Sale 350, lot 228

* Provenance not known between 1969 and 1989 (owned at times by Weill, but not part of the Grombacher collection sold in 1991 as the Edwards” collection)

* Weills Brothers’ Stock, Christie’s Robson Lowe, 10/12/1989, lot 342, to Dr. Test

* Dr. Charles E. Test (Concord”), 1994 Rarities of the World, 5/19/1994, Sale 759, lot 77, to William H. Gross

CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES

* Frajola-Kramer-Walske census no. W2 (illustrated on p. 16)--the finest of three recorded Russell free franked Pony Express covers: W2 , W14 and W24

* Scott R. Trepel, The Impact of Indian Attacks on the Pony Express in 1860,” published by Siegel Auction Galleries, fig. 12, p. 12

CERTIFICATION

* The Philatelic Foundation (1994)

CONDITION NOTES

* Extremely Fine strike and overall condition; bottom flap has been removed and there is a small patched spot at bottom edge of cover RSE” in circle (Emerson) and R.H.W. Co.” (Weill) handstamps on back

VIEW PDF OF HISTORY AND COMMENTARY at https://siegelauctions.com/2018/1188/51.pdf (Image)

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E. $ 75,000-100,000

SOLD for $155,000.00
Will close during Public Auction
52° c ImageA perfect strike of the San Francisco Running Pony marking on a pristine cover carried by the Pony Express in November 1860, the month Lincoln was elected and the nation moved closer to the Civil War

DESCRIPTION

PONY EXPRESS/SAN FRANCISCO/NOV. 28” (1860) blue Running Pony oval handstamp, a perfect strike showing every detail of the horse, matching blue The Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company, San Francisco, Cal.” dateless oval handstamp on 10¢ Pale Green on Buff Nesbitt entire (U16a) addressed to Mr. L. A. Booth, care J. R. Dickinson, Naval Office, New York”; carried on the eastbound Pony Express trip that left San Francisco on Wednesday, November 28, 1860, and arrived in St. Joseph on Tuesday, December 11; bold strike of The Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company, St. Joseph, Mo. Dec. 11” oval datestamp applied on arrival, entered mails with greenish-blue Saint Joseph Mo. Dec. 12” double-circle datestamp, matching grid cancel struck on 10¢ embossed stamp

PROVENANCE

* Robert W. Baughman, Siegel Auction Galleries, 5/25/1971, Sale 396, lot 3

CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES

* Frajola-Kramer-Walske census no. E42

CERTIFICATION

* The Philatelic Foundation (1975)

CONDITION NOTES

* Extremely Fine; a few negligible faint toned spots

VIEW PDF OF HISTORY AND COMMENTARY at https://siegelauctions.com/2018/1188/52.pdf (Image)

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E. $ 10,000-15,000

SOLD for $18,500.00
Will close during Public Auction
53° c ImageThis Prince Edward Pony” cover is unique in three important respects--it is the only Pony Express cover to Prince Edward Island, the only $2 Horse & Rider stamp on a cover to a foreign destination, and the only combination of the 5¢ 1860 Issue with a Pony Express stamp--based on these facts, it is rightfully acclaimed one of the most outstanding covers in United States postal history

DESCRIPTION

5¢ Brown, Type II (30A) and 10¢ Green, Type V (35), used with Wells, Fargo & Co., $2.00 Red, Horse & Rider, First Issue (143L1), Position 5, three full to large margins, just barely in along top frameline, all have bright and rich colors, all tied by blue PONY EXPRESS/ SAN FRANCISCO/MAY 29” (1861) blue Running Pony oval handstamp on yellow cover to Angus McFadyen in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; carried on the eastbound Pony Express trip that left San Francisco on Wednesday, May 29, 1861, and arrived in St. Joseph on Sunday, June 9; entered mails the next day with green St. Joseph Mo. Jun. 10” circular datestamp struck three times (twice tying stamps), St. John N.B. JU 14 1861” transit datestamp and Prince Edward Island JU 17 1861” receiving datestamp struck on back

PROVENANCE

Provenance prior to Lichtenstein’s ownership is unknown

* Alfred F. Lichtenstein, H. R. Harmer sale, 5/13/2004, lot 1511, to William H. Gross

CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES

* Frajola-Kramer-Walske census no. E42 (illustrated on p. 77)

* World Stamp Show 2016 Court of Honor (Gross)

CONDITION NOTES

* Very Fine; 10¢ negligible toned spot and tiny perf flaws at top

VIEW PDF OF HISTORY AND COMMENTARY at https://siegelauctions.com/2018/1188/53.pdf (Image)

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E. $ 300,000-400,000

SOLD for $300,000.00
Will close during Public Auction
54° c ImageA spectacular triple-rate Virginia City Pony Express cover with three 25¢ Blue Horse & Rider stamps used with the 10¢ 1861 on a Wells, Fargo & Co. 3¢ franked entire--unlike the few other multiple-rate covers, this is a small and attractive paste-up entire

DESCRIPTION

10¢ Green (68), beautiful rich color, used with Wells, Fargo & Co., Virginia City Pony Express, 25¢ Blue (143L8), three singles, each with clear to full margins, all stamps tied by four strikes of Wells, Fargo & Co. Virginia City, N.T. Feb. 15” (1863-64) blue oval datestamp on 3¢ Pink on Buff entire (U35) with Wells, Fargo & Co. printed frank, used as a paste-up, therefore unaddressed and with adherences on back, this was undoubtedly carried to San Francisco

PROVENANCE

* Probably from the Rudolf Wunderlich 1861 collection (sold privately by Harvey R. Warm)

* Ryohei Ishikawa, Christie’s Robson Lowe sale, 9/28-29/1993, lot 414, to Craveri (later sold privately to William H. Gross)

CERTIFICATION

* The Philatelic Foundation (1993)

CONDITION NOTES

* Very Fine; 10¢ two short perfs, left 25¢ faintly creased from fold (not noted on certificate), cover slightly wrinkled as usual for paste-up usage

* Signed on back by Henry Chaloner (collector)

VIEW PDF OF HISTORY AND COMMENTARY at https://siegelauctions.com/2018/1188/54.pdf (Image)

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E. $ 15,000-20,000

SOLD for $20,000.00
Will close during Public Auction

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