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Sale 79: The George J. Kramer Collection of Western Trails and Routes

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Western Express - California - Northern Mines (Alta to Hogan)

Lots 3165-3174 Lots 3175-3184 Lots 3185-3194 Lots 3195-3197

Lot 3165    

Alta Express Co., printed illustrated river scene frank showing steamboat, on 3¢ red (U10) buff Nesbitt entire cancelled by red "Alta Express Company, Sacramento" oval handstamp to Auburn Cal.; small part of flap missing, Very Fine, ex-Knapp, Barkhausen.
Thomas No. ALT-001    Estimate $300 - 400.

After the failure of the Pacific Express in April 1857, Belam, Farrington and Frost formed Alta Express. They operated throughout the northern and central part of California. They connected at Marysville with Everts, Wilson & Co., Langton Pioneer Express, Whitney & Co. Feather River Express and Yuba Express. From their main office in San Francisco they connected with Freeman Express for British Columbia and the Atlantic States, and Nichols Express for Oregon and Washington. After about a year they sold out to Wells Fargo.

all lots for this sale will be subject to a 15% buyer's premium

Current Opening Bid: $240

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Lot 3166    

American Express., printed illustrated frank showing train and steamboat, on 3¢ red (U10) buff Nesbitt entire cancelled by manuscript "Watsonville" to San Francisco Cal., F.-V.F.
Thomas No. AME-004    Estimate $1,000 - 1,500.

ONE OF ONLY FOUR RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THIS AMERICAN EXPRESS PRINTED FRANK.

The routes for this express as reported on a company card, were along the coast of California and Oregon, Interior, Sacramento, San Jose, Monterey and San Quentin. This express was consolidated with Nichols & Co.'s in late 1858 and Nichols starting using the same pictorial frank.

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Current Opening Bid: $725

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Lot 3167 *   

Angiers North San Juan and Humbug Express, printed frank with fancy frame on 3¢ pink (U58) entire to Oakland Cal.; repaired tear at right, Very Fine appearance.
Thomas No. ANG-001    Estimate $500 - 750.

ONE OF ONLY SIX RECORDED ANGIERS NORTH SAN JUAN AND HUMBUG EXPRESS FRANKS.

It is believed that this was a stage service owned by P.J. Angier that provided an express mail service. This operation ran from North San Juan into the surrounding Humbug Mining District, connecting to Cherokee to Columbia Hill/North Columbia to Lake City to Humbug/North Bloomfield and back to North San Juan. It connected with Wells Fargo at North San Juan.

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Current Opening Bid: $350

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Lot 3168    

Becker & Co's Express, Roses Bar, two strikes of black oval on folded cover to French Corral, endorsed "Forwarded by Beckers Post" at bottom; no side flaps, F.-V.F., ex-Pearce.
Thomas No. BEK-100    Estimate $300 - 400.

ONE OF ONLY TWO RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE BECKER & CO'S EXPRESS ROSES BAR OVAL.

Becker & Co. was a one-man tri-weekly express that operated from his base of French Corral Cal. along various bars of the Yuba River to Marysville. At points he connected with Gregory's Express and Wells Fargo.

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Current Opening Bid: $220

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Lot 3169    

"Per Berches Stage", manuscript endorsement misspelled for Birch's, on blue folded letter datelines "Mormon Island, June 24, 1850" to Sacramento City in care of the Bull Head Hotel, letter written by the Secretary of the Natoma Mining Co. discussing company business, "…We have made the race about 10 feet wide and have come to larger rocks and have prospects and have found gold.", Very Fine and rare, ex-"Tahoe".
Estimate    $1,000 - 1,500.

James E. Birch, a stage driver from Rhode Island, formed a stage line bearing his name on September 1, 1849, serving the Sacramento Valley and Sierra Foothills. The fare was set at $32.00 or 2 ounces of gold dust, which made it possible to travel between Mormon Island and Sacramento, spend and hour and return the same day. Birch's business thrived and by 1851 he was running daily service between Sacramento, Mormon Island and onto Coloma. When the railroad arrived in Folsom, twenty-one separate stage lines moved to Folsom. With over 50 stages a day arriving and leaving, Folsom soon became one of the busiest towns in the state and the largest staging center in California. In December 1853, these stages were consolidated in a joint stock company, the California Stage Company, with Birch as President. It was incorporated for $1,000,000.

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Current Opening Bid: $725

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Lot 3170    

Forwarded by Bowers Express, full clear strike of oval handstamp on buff cover with red "San Francisco, 40, 15 Nov" integral rate cds to Windsor Vt.; some edge wear, Very Fine and choice strike, ex-Parker, Haas.
Thomas No. BOW-100    Estimate $1,000 - 1,500.

Reference: Illustrated in Wiltsee

John Taylor Bowers, with help of brothers, began by transporting small packages, letters and gold dust between Caldwell's Upper Crossing and Sacramento, and from there extending to San Francisco. The location at Caldwell's Upper Crossing would soon be known as Nevada City and this was the first express operating out of the area. Very quickly they were servicing new locations of Nevada City, Grass Valley, Rough & Ready, Washington and the Placer locations along Poor Man Creek and the Yuba River. They advertised connecting with Freeman in Sacramento and Adams in San Francisco. Freeman purchased this express in October 1851.

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Current Opening Bid: $725

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Lot 3171    

Cherokee Express Paid, printed frank with fancy frame on 3¢ pink (U34) buff entire cancelled by "Cherokee Cal" dateless circular handstamp (CHE-101) to Oroville Cal.; pencil 1862 notation, Very Fine, WC3882, ex Dale-Lichtenstein.
Thomas No. CHE-002    Estimate $750 - 1,000.

ONE OF ONLY TWO RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THIS CHEROKEE EXPRESS FRANK.

This small express operated between Oroville and the diggings across the mountain range that has been referred to as the Cherokee Diggings. They connected with Wells Fargo at Oroville, California.

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Current Opening Bid: $350

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Lot 3172    

Cherokee Express Paid, bold strike of blue oval handstamp on 3¢ pink (U58) entire cancelled by "Oroville Cal., Apr" cds duplexed with cork cancel to Oroville Cal., pencil "Gen. Runyon" docketing at left; reduced at left with small mend, Very Fine appearance.
Thomas No. CHE-100    Estimate $400 - 600.

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Current Opening Bid: $290

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Lot 3173    

Copley & Co's Miners' Express, choice strike of blue double-oval handstamp on buff cover to Marysville Cal., blue "Bennington Vt., Jul 3" origin cds and matching "Paid" and "10" rating handstamps, pencil "St. L 75" for Copley's 75¢ express fee to St. Louis, Ca; repaired at sides and across top, back flap added, Very Fine appearance, ex-Clifford, Hahn.
Thomas No. COP-100a    Estimate $3,000 - 4,000.

ONE OF ONLY TWO RECORDED BLUE COPLEY & CO'S MINERS' EXPRESS OVALS ON COVER.

This express between Marysville running north to the Slate Creek Basin mining camps briefly operating circa 1856 by Jack Copley. This included but may not have been limited to Gibsonville, Saint Louis and Warren Hill, California connecting with the U.S. mail at Marysville for outgoing letters and with Wells Fargo for express items. The ovals struck in blue are known only on incoming mail.

all lots for this sale will be subject to a 15% buyer's premium

Current Opening Bid: $2,400

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Lot 3174    

Copley & Co's Miners' Express, perfect sharp strike of red double-oval handstamp on 10¢ green (U17) Nesbitt entire to Sempronius N.Y., entered the mails with "New-York Sep 28" cds; toned spot at center, bit of flap missing, Extremely Fine, ex Dale-Lichtenstein.; with 2004 P.F. certificate.
Thomas No. COP-100b    Estimate $2,000 - 3,000.

ONE OF THE CLEAREST STRIKES OF THE DESIRABLE COPLEY & CO. MINERS' EXPRESS HANDSTAMP ON COVERS. A RARE WEST TO EAST USAGE THAT WAS CARRIED OUTSIDE THE REGULAR MAILS UNTIL IT REACHED NEW YORK CITY.

This express between Marysville running north to the Slate Creek Basin mining camps briefly operating circa 1856 by Jack Copley. This included but may not have been limited to Gibsonville, Saint Louis and Warren Hill, California connecting with the U.S. mail at Marysville for outgoing letters and with Wells Fargo for express items. The ovals struck in red are known only on outgoing mail. This cover has the added element of rarity in that it was carried outside the regular mails presumably by express via Panama or Nicaragua entering the mails at New York.

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Current Opening Bid: $1,900

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Lots 3165-3174 Lots 3175-3184 Lots 3185-3194 Lots 3195-3197

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