Lot 28PER ' SPITFIRE APRIL 18, bold strike of directional straightline and matching sharp strike of octagonal "Forwarded by G.B. Post & Co., San Francisco" handstamp on an immaculate light blue 1855 folded cover from Havre, France to the French Consulate at Honolulu, Hawaii, blue "Winslow & Co., Havre" sender's cachet, cover was sent under cover or privately to San Francisco, carried as directed by American Ship Spitfire on Apr. 18th 1855 to Honolulu arriving May 1st, Extremely Fine, ex-Sharbaugh, Pietsch.
Estimate $20,000 - 30,000.
THE ONLY RECORDED STRIKE OF THE G.B. POST PER "SPITFIRE" STRAIGHTLINE.
This cover was likely sent under cover or privately from France by transatlantic steamship to New York City, then by USMSC "Illinois" departing Mar. 20th to Aspinwall arriving Mar. 29th, After crossing the isthmus on the new railroad, the New York mail was loaded aboard the PMSS "Golden Gate" on Apr. 1st to San Francisco arriving Apr. 12th. Letter was turned over to G.B. Post who placed it on the only sailing of the American Clipper Ship "Spitfire" to Hawaii arriving May 1st. She sailed the following day, May 2nd, to Hong Kong and never returned to Hawaii. The American Clipper Ship "Spitfire" was listed at 1,549 tons and commanded by J.W. Arey.
References: Illustrated and discussed in Fred Gregory's Hawaii Foreign Mail to 1870 as fig. 20-23 on p. II-391.
Lot 27PER "RESTLESS.", perfect bold strike of directional straightline and matching perfect strike of octagonal "Forwarded by G.B. Post & Co., San Francisco" handstamp on an immaculate blue folded letter datelined "Honolulu Oct. 16, 1854" to Charlestown Mass., carried as directed by Schooner Restless from Honolulu Oct. 28th 1854 to San Francisco arriving Nov. 17th, black "Via Nicaragua, In Advance of the Mails" oval handstamp, carried by Vanderbilt Line Uncle Sam from San Francisco Nov. 24th to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua and then by Vanderbilt Line Northern Light from San Juan del Norte to New York arriving Dec. 15th, entered the mails with U.S. 3¢ dull red (11A) horizontal pair tied by "New-York 'Ship' Dec 16" cds, Extremely Fine with extraordinary eye appeal., ex-Haas, Grunin, Jarrett, Pietsch.
Estimate $20,000 - 30,000.
THE ONLY RECORDED STRIKE OF THE G.B. POST PER "RESTLESS" STRAIGHTLINE, WHICH IS THE EARLIEST RECORDED VESSEL NAME MARKING OF G.B. POST.
ONE OF ONLY TWO RECORDED VIA NICARAGUA COVERS ORIGINATING FROM HAWAII.
References: Illustrated in the American Philatelist (January 1943), Tracy Simpson's U.S. Postal Markings 1851-61 on p. 373, and discussed in Fred Gregory's Hawaii Foreign Mail to 1870 as fig. 20-2 on p. II-391.
Lot 13Forwarded by H.T. Fitch, Honolulu, bold strike of red octagonal handstamp on buff cover to John R. Thornton, New Bedford Mass., receipt docketing "Chs. Nichols, Navigator, 7/12. 55, Recd. 1/56" at lower left, carried privately to Honolulu where red forwarders handstamp applied by Fitch and matching "BARK FRANCIS PALMER" straightline handstamp (missing "n" in "Francis"), carried on that vessel which departed Honolulu Dec. 1st 1855 to San Francisco arriving Dec. 14th, reverse with "Forwarded by G. B. Post & Co., San Francisco" forwarders backstamp, entered U.S. mails with "San Francisco Cal. 20 Dec." cds with matching "SHIP" and "12" rating handstamps for the 10¢ rate for over 3,000 miles plus 2¢ ship fee, Very Fine.
Estimate $10,000 - 15,000.
A PHENOMENAL COVER FROM SAMOA (NAVIGATOR ISLANDS) TO MASSACHUSETTS VIA HAWAII, WITH BOTH THE H.T. FITCH OF HONOLULU AND G.B. POST & CO. OF SAN FRANCISCO FORWARDER MARKINGS.
ONE OF ONLY FIVE RECORDED STRIKES OF THE H.T. FITCH & CO. FORWARDER HANDSTAMP.
Samoa was called "Navigator Islands" by European explorers before the 20th century because of the Samoans' seafaring skills. The sender of this cover, Capt. Charles Nichols was master of the whale ship "Sea Gull" of New Bedford and the addressee, J.R. Thornton, was the ship's owner. The ship left New Bedford on June 9th 1853 and returned Aug. 26th 1857.
This cover, along with the July 18th cover (census #4) from Capt. Fuller of the whale ship "Ocean" that was also in the vicinity of Navigator Island, were probably carried by the American bark "Sky Lark" from Tahiti to Honolulu arriving Nov. 12th. These two covers, along with two others (census #2 and #5), were all taken by Fitch directly to the "Francis Palmer" in the G.B. Post letter bag bypassing the Honolulu post office. After arriving in San Francisco on Dec. 14th, this cover was carried on the PMSC "Sonora" departing San Francisco Dec. 20th to Panama arriving Jan. 3rd. After crossing the isthmus it was carried on the USMSC "George Law" (renamed "Central America" in 1857) from Aspinwall Jan. 15th to New York arriving Jan. 24th.
References: Illustrated and discussed in Fred Gregory's Hawaii Foreign Mail to 1870 on proof. II 398-400, fig. 20-10.
The five recorded strikes of the H.T. Fitch forwarders handstamps:
1. 1854 Oct. 28, blue strike, Honolulu, Hawaii by "Restless" to San Francisco Cal., Fred Gregory collection.
2. 1855 May 12., red strike, French Rock (Pacific Ocean) via Honolulu Dec. 1st by "Francis Palmer" to New Bedford Mass., ex- Advertiser, currently Robert Hill collection.
3. 1855 Jul. 12, red strike, Navigator Islands (Samoa) via Honolulu Dec. 1st by "Francis Palmer" to New Bedford Mass., ex-Pietsch, the cover offered here.
4. 1855 Jul. 18, red strike, Navigator Islands (Samoa) via Honolulu Dec. 1st by "Francis Palmer" to New Bedford Mass., ex-Knapp, J. David Baker, Kramer and Walske.
5. 1855 Nov. 29, red strike, Honolulu, Hawaii Dec. 1st by "Francisco Palmer" to San Francisco Cal., Fred Gregory collection.
Lot 491867 (Nov. 2) Nicolaefsky, Siberia to Tenants' Harbor, Me. via Honolulu, blue cover with blue "Steamer * Idaho. * Nov 2 1867" double-oval purser's handstamp addressed to Capt. John Bickmore, sharp strike of red "Hawaiian Steam Service" oval handstamp, endorsed "Via Panama", entered mails with "San Francisco Cal Nov 18" cds duplex with quartered cork and matching "10" cent due rating handstamp, docketed "July 7' 1867" at left, photocopy of original letter accompanies; partial flap, Very Fine.
Estimate $10,000 - 15,000.
A REMARKABLE LETTER FROM SIBERIA VIA HONOLULU CARRIED ON THE FIRST CONTRACT STEAMSHIP SAILING OF THE IDAHO TO THE UNITED STATES.
This letter was carried by American Bark "Behring" from Nicolaefsky sailing Sep. 22nd to Honolulu arriving Sep. 30th. It was transshipped to the "Idaho", apparently posted at the wharf as there is no Honolulu postmark and bears the "Idaho" Nov. 2nd 1867 purser's oval. Carried by the steamship "Idaho" on her maiden contract voyage (second trip) from Honolulu Nov. 2nd to San Francisco arriving Nov. 15th. Postmarked at San Francisco Nov. 18th and carried by the steamer "Montana" departing San Francisco the following day, Nov. 19th to Panama.
The sender, Albert Smith Bickmore (1839-1914), was an American naturalist and one of the founders of the American Museum of Natural History. He traveled extensively in the Malay archipelago and eastern Asia during 1865-69, collecting objects in natural history, principally shells. This letter was written home to his father during his Far East travels, reading "I have come as I had planned up the Gulf of Tartary in a Russian Man-of-war…From Hakodate we crossed the Japan Victoria or Peter the Great Bay on the Coast of Manchuria, …and finally to this city. Since I arrived here I have been studying the different peoples in this part of Asia and shall soon send a second paper on that subject to the Boston Soc. of Nat. Hist. The Governor here received me into the greatest kind and offered one a "Centre blanches", over his territory that is to go where I pleased free of any cost… He gave me a small steamer and I have been up the river…to see the natives and examine old monuments."
References: Illustrated and discussed in Fred Gregory's Hawaii Foreign Mail to 1870 as fig. 17-82 on p. II-227.
Lot 507Father Joseph De Veuster Damien, Autograph Letter Signed "J Damien" and reading in full "Dr. Emerson, Dear Sir, If you perhaps go to day at Honolulu I take the liberty for asking you to send me a good provision of Dr. Wrights and James pills - Canadian pain destroyer - and castor oil for the lepers in my neighborhood. With my aloha nui to his Exc. S. G. Wilder, Yours Truly, J. Damien cath pr.", and postscript "Feb. 7, 1879, The above request of Pere J. Damien is approved of and respectfully conferred to S.G. Wilder Minister Dept. of Interior, N.B. Emerson, Med. Spt. L.A., Kawawao, Molokai", Very Fine.
Estimate $10,000 - 15,000.
A RARE AUTOGRAPHED LETTER SIGNED BY FATHER JOSEPH DE VEUSTER DAMIEN, WHO WAS ANOINTED A SAINT IN 2009.
Father Joseph De Veuster Damien was born in Belgium and came to Hawaii in 1864. At his request sent to the leper colony on Molokai in 1873. In 1881, the King conferred on him Knight Commander Royal Order of Kalakaua I. He labored under terrible conditions until his death from leprosy in 1889. His body was removed from Molokai at the request of the Belgium Government in great ceremony in 1936. A statue of him is at the State Capitol in Honolulu and also in Washington D.C. He was anointed a Saint on October 11, 2009.
Lot 530 ()1859, 1¢ Light Blue on Bluish White, plate 2-B, type II, position 10, without gum, large margins, bright pastel shade on fresh paper, Extremely Fine, only a couple other mint examples are known in similar quality; with 2015 P.F. certificate.
Scott No. 12 $17,500.
A REMARKABLE MINT EXAMPLE OF THE 1859 1¢ LIGHT BLUE NUMERAL ISSUE.
Sound examples of the 1859 Numeral Issue printed in blue are exceedingly rare, due to the delicate nature of the thin paper. The stamp offered here, with wide margins, fresh color and in completely sound condition, is a true condition rarity.
Lot 7Forwarded via Panama. By Bush & Co., Lahaina., bold strike of chamfered framed handstamp on gray folded letter datelined "Lahaina, Maui, Sand. Isls. March 27, 1850" to Lewiston Falls Me., carried by American Bark Russell that sailed from Honolulu Mar. 29th via Lahaina (Apr. 31) to take on the Bush & Co. mail bag to San Francisco, red "San Francisco '40' 15 May" integral due rating cds with matching red "PER STr. ISTHMUS" straightline, carried as directed by Law's Line Isthmus from San Francisco May 15th to Panama arriving Jun. 16th, then by U.S.M.S.C. Georgia departing Chagres Jun. 2th to New York arriving Jul. 8th, affectionate contents from a "bachelor cousin" writing to his female cousins that sheds some light on mailings: "When you write to me you need not mind about the postage as I can pay the postage here. But you will have to pay the postage on the letter I send to you as there are no arrangements so that I can pay the postage in advance. Perhaps you had better seal and direct the letters to me then enclose in an envelope directed to Messr. S.N. Williams, San Francisco, then they will receive them with their own and forward them to me."; minor edge toning and wear, a Very Fine use, ex-Ostheimer, Advertiser; with 1996 P.F. certificate.
Estimate $7,500 - 10,000.
ONE OF ONLY TWO RECORDED STRIKES OF THE BUSH & CO. LAHAINA VIA PANAMA FORWARDERS HANDSTAMP.
A RARE HAWAII USE CARRIED ON THE FIRST SAILING OF LAW'S LINE NON-CONTRACT STEAMER "ISTHMUS" FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO PANAMA.
Alfred Bush and Charles Robinson formed the firm Bush & Co. in 1850. It was dissolved in 1851 when Bush died.
Although the Pacific Mail Steamship Company had an exclusive government contract to carry the mails, Law offered the San Francisco postmaster the use of his ships to convey mail. On May 14, 1850 the postmaster agreed only on condition that the sender's had to indicate carriage by Law's steamers. This agreement was a breech on the government contract and was eventually terminated after five months.
References: Marking illustrated as listing example in Fred Gregory's Hawaii Foreign Mail to 1870 on p. III-66.
The two recorded strikes of the Bush & Co. Lahaina "Via Panama" handstamp:
1. 1850 Mar. 27, Lahaina, Hawaii to Lewiston Falls. Me., ex-Advertiser, the cover offered here.
2. 1851 July, ex-Ishikawa.
Lot 112(Hawaii) Volcano House, bold straight line postmark in red (204, 1R) tying well centered 1882, 5¢ ultramarine on cover to Denver, Colo., with matching oval "Volcano House., Crater of Kilauea, Hawaii" illustrated crater scene handstamp used as a corner card (213, 1R), stamp additionally tied by purple "Hilo, Hawaii, Nov 23, 1890" cds and target duplex and "Honolulu, H.I., Nov 25, 1890" duplex postmark, transit and receiving backstamps; cover with sealed tear at right and trivial faint edge soiling, Very Fine and choice; ex-Twigg-Smith.
Scott No. 39 Estimate $5,000 - 7,500.
AN EXTREMELY RARE AND ATTRACTIVE EXAMPLE OF THE RED VOLCANO HOUSE STRAIGHT LINE POSTMARK AND ILLUSTRATED OVAL CACHET USED AS A CORNER CARD ON COVER.
This cover last sold in the R.A. Siegel's 2007 Thurston Twigg-Smith Collection auction sale for $8,000 hammer. In 1893, the Volcano House office was described as a "postal agency" with Lee as the "postal agent" as an "accommodation to tourists". During the period 1895-1897, Lee (manager of the hotel) continued to handle mail without official status. Ollie Shipman, manager of the hotel from 1883 to 1885 and John H. Maby, manager from 1885-1891, presumably preceded Lee as "postal agents".
Lot 252"Wells Fargo & Co., Lahaina", endorsement at lower left and matching "Paid" rating on U.S. 3¢ Nesbitt entire to L.W. Sloat, San Francisco Cal.; apparent non-contemporary red pencil "Wells Fargo" at top left, otherwise Very Fine and rare.
Estimate $5,000 - 7,500.
THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF MAIL HANDLED BY WELLS FARGO AT LAHAINA, HAWAII.
The addressee, Lewis W. Sloat was the addressee in his capacity as Commissioner of Board of Claims at San Francisco. Sloat was the son of Commodore Sloat, who figured in capturing California for the United States in 1846. In 1854, he was apparently appointed a commissioner to acknowledge legal instruments to be recorded in the states of Massachusetts and Texas. This cover proves that there was a Wells Fargo & Co. office in Lahaina, about which nothing else is currently known.
References: Illustrated and discussed in Fred Gregory's Hawaii Foreign Mail to 1870 on p. II-354, fig. 19-6.
Lot 166(Molokai) Molokai, Apl 22nd, bold manuscript island and date cancel used from Kaluaaha (803, 1RRRR), tying large margin 1863, 2¢ carmine rose, vertically laid paper on cover to Kohala, additionally tied by "Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, Apr 24" cds (243.03), Very Fine and choice.
Estimate $3,000 - 4,000.
THE UNIQUE MOLOKAI MANUSCRIPT POSTMARK ON COVER AND EARLIEST RECORDED POSTMARK USED FROM MOLOKAI.
Site of the first Christian mission station on Molokai, established in 1833 by Rev. Harvey Hitchcock. A Catholic mission station was built at Kaluaaha by Father Damien in 1874. Later, after the leper colony was opened on the other side of the island at Kalaupapa, Father Damien moved there to serve the lepers. The post office here served the small foreign resident population in the eastern section of Molokai. Mail service connected to Lahaina on Maui or by overland carrier to the harbor at Pukoo.