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

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Western Express - California - Central Mines

Lots 3230-3236

Lot 3230 *   

W.T. Gibbs' Express., printed frank on buff cover with two strikes of blue "Wells Fargo Express, Sac. City, Feb 4" double-oval, one obliterating the printed frank to Middle Fork, Placer Cal., address updated in pencil "via Coloma, El Dorado", Very Fine and rare, ex-Dale-Lichtenstein, Thomas WC4231.
Thomas No. GIB-001    Estimate $1,500 - 2,000.

ONE OF ONLY TWO RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE PRINTED W.T. GIBBS' EXPRESS FRANK, THE OTHER IS IN THE WILTSEE COLLECTION.

William T. Gibbs was postmaster at Georgetown from October 1851 for about two years. In 1854, Gibbs began an express between Sacramento, Coloma and Georgetown. It lasted about a year.

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Current Opening Bid: $725

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Lot 3231    

Forward by Hoffman & Co's Express, small black oval handstamp on blue 1850 folded cover with red "Drakeville Iowa" cds with manuscript "May 29" date and matching "40" cent rating to Sacramento City; some wear and missing side flaps, Fine and rare express handstamp, ex-Pearce.
Thomas No. HOF-100    Estimate $400 - 600.

F.J. Hoffman operated an express in 1850 and 1851, running from Sacramento to Weberville and Placerville.

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Current Opening Bid: $190

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Lot 3232 *   

Hunter & Co's. Express, clear strike of double-oval with left facing horse and rider with manuscript "M. Bar" (Murderers Bar) and "1.25" express rating on orange buff cover with blue "Fairfield Ct. Dec 25" Christmas Day cds and manuscript "10" rating to Sacramento City Cal.; no back flap, Very Fine and unusually clear strike, ex-Emerson.
Thomas No. HUN-101    Estimate $1,000 - 1,500.

AN EXCELLENT STRIKE OF THIS INTRICATE EARLY EXPRESS MARKING.

Alexander Hunter, one of the early pioneer express men, started by running as a single man pick up service. From this operation he quickly expanded into a service running between Sacramento and Placerville, and Sacramento and Mormon Island. From Mormon Island and Placerville, his operation would finger out to service most of the mining camps and river bars on the south, middle and north forks of the American River. Hunter connected at first with Gregory's Express and later Adams & Co. In 1854, facing increasing competition, he started to sell off pieces of his operation including offices to Adams & Co., and then the entire operation to Wells Fargo and became their agent at Placerville.

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Current Opening Bid: $725

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Lot 3233    

Forwarded by Hunter & Co's. Express, Mud Springs, Cala., sharp strike of shield handstamp with double-oval "Paid" handstamp on light buff cover to San Francisco Cal.; cover repaired at bottom left with small part of shield frame drawn in, left flap missing, Very Fine appearance; with 2003 P.F. certificate.
Thomas No. HUN-111    Estimate $300 - 400.

ONE OF ONLY 5 RECORDED STRIKES OF THE HUNTER & CO. EXPRESS MUD SPRINGS SHIELD HANDSTAMP.

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Current Opening Bid: $140

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Lot 3234    

W.H. Robinson, Express Agent, Sacramento, double-oval handstamp on cover with manuscript "Jonesville N.Y., Sep 10" postmark at left and bearing pen cancelled 3¢ dull red (11A), horizontal pair, rich color, to Sacramento Cal., docketing below postmark at left, cover wear and restoration, Fine and scarce.
Estimate    $200 - 300.

This one man operation ran 1852-1853 between Sacramento and Murphy's. This cover would indicate a local delivery.

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Current Opening Bid: $90

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Lot 3235    

Stanton & Co, Sacramento & Folsom Express, illustrated printed paid frank showing steam locomotive and cars, at left on 3¢ red (U10) buff Nesbitt entire bearing 3¢ dull red (11), tied along with indicia by partial "Fall River, Mass, Nov 4" cds, addressed to Fond du Lac County, Wisc.; soiled with some repaired faults, Fine, WC8108.
Thomas No. SAF-700    Estimate $1,500 - 2,000.

ONE OF ONLY TWO RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THIS STANTON FRANK.

According to Thomas, this express never operated.

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Current Opening Bid: $1,400

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Lot 3236 *   

(Tracy & Spear's Express) "Tracy & Spear", manuscript endorsement with boxed "Paid" handstamp overstruck used as frank on 3¢ red (U10) Nesbitt entire used as a paste-up, carried from the Placerville area to San Francisco Cal., operating north of Placerville T&S turned this letter over to the Wells Fargo at Spanish Flat with dateless "Spanish Flat" circular handstamp struck, from Spanish Flat the letter was carried north by Wells Fargo to its center at Georgetown where it received "Wells, Fargo & Co., Express, Georgetown" oval handstamp canceling indicia and strike on the paste-up, Wells Fargo then carried it to San Francisco, Very Fine.
Estimate    $1,500 - 2,000.

A GREAT EXPRESS RARITY WITH ONLY THREE EXAMPLES KNOWN. THIS BEING ONE OF ONLY TWO IN COLLECTOR'S HANDS AS THE THIRD IS IN THE WILTSEE COLLECTION.

Tracy & Spear's Express is very rare as it operated but a few months in 1858 around the city of Placerville. By 1859 Spear had departed and Theodore Tracy was working as Wells Fargo's agent in Placerville. In 1864 he became the mayor of Placerville. His brother, Edward was his agent at some earlier point and in 1859 moved to Portland to start his own express operation in conjunction with Wells Fargo. We know from other letters that the agent at Spanish Flat was using the same canceling device for both the U.S. Mail and WF material.

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Current Opening Bid: $1,100

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Lots 3230-3236

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