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

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10 Select Items

Lot 3403    

1856 (Mar. 7) Honolulu, Hawaii to San Francisco, Cal., vivid red "Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, Mar 7" cds (HON HI28 II) and bearing uncancelled Hawaii 1851, 5¢ blue (2), Type I, large to huge margins on three sides, a bit irregular at upper left and frameline just touched at right, short separation tear at upper left corner, free of any repair and very slightly creased by a vertical fold on California Penny Post Company, 5¢ black on buff entire (34LUI3A) with printed address "To Agent of the Penny-Post Co., San Francisco, Cal., Box 5150., Please Deliver To, Messrs. Noble & Haskel, Davis St., near California.", additionally franked with United States 1851 3¢ dull red (11), bright early 1856 shade, mostly large margins, tied by "San Francisco Cal. 21 Mar." cds, matching "Ship 6" clamshell-style circular due handstamp, Very Fine, ex-Richard Saffin, Advertiser; with 1995 P.F. certificate.
Estimate    $200,000 - 300,000.

AN EXTRAORDINARY TRIPLE MIXED-FRANKING COVER SHOWING THREE DIFFERENT FORMS OF POSTAGE COMPRISING THE 5¢ HAWAIIAN MISSIONARY, UNITED STATES 3¢ 1851 ISSUE, AND PREPAID CALIFORNIA PENNY POST COMPANY ENTIRE.

Reference: Illustrated in Letters of Gold, Jesse L. Coburn, pg. 63
Illustrated and described in Hawaii Foreign Mail to 1870, pg. II 99-101, fig. 16-84.

This cover was carried by American Bark "Yankee" from Honolulu Mar. 5th 1856 to San Francisco arriving Mar. 20th. The 5¢ Missionary stamp correctly prepays the 5¢ Hawaiian postage for a single rate letter. The U.S. 3¢ stamp short paid the 6¢ ship letter rate delivered within port of entry, and no credit was given as the 6¢ due rating handstamp was struck. The California Penny Post Company 5¢ entire represents the correct fee for delivery from the post office to the addressees, Noble & Haskel. The Honolulu post office considered the U.S. portion of postage unpaid, as it was marked with the "Hawaiian-Islands" datestamp, not "U.S. Postage Paid."

The California Penny Post Company was started by J. B. Goodwin as a city delivery post in June 1855 and, by the beginning of 1856, faced increasing pressure from a hostile San Francisco postmaster. Service ceased after approximately one year in business. This envelope was a return envelope purchased from the Penny Post by the San Francisco firm of Noble & Haskel. They would have enclosed this in a business mailing, along with their letter, and sent it to a correspondent. Instead of mailing the reply from somewhere in the West where the pre-affixed 3¢ postage would have been sufficient, the sender mailed it from Hawaii. The box number facilitated the holding of mail at the post office until the Penny Post Co. picked up letters for delivery to the addressees. There is a pencil note on back, "Found in California Penny Post files", indicating that this may have been retained by Goodwin as evidence in his fight against the post office.

The use of a Hawaiian Missionary stamp on this March 1856 cover occurs late in the Missionary issue's life, but appropriately at a time when 5¢ stamps were in great demand and short supply in the Islands. The April, 1855 rate change in the United States effectively increased the composite rate from 13¢ to 17¢ and created an increased demand for Hawaiian 5¢ stamps that could be used in combination with U. S. 12¢ stamps. By the beginning of 1857, the shortage of 5¢ stamps had reached the critical point, and supplies of 13¢ Kamehameha III stamps were provisionally surcharged "5" cents. In the context of the new demands and shortages created by the April 1855 rate change, the use of a 5¢ Missionary stamp in March 1856 is understandable.

Of the 32 Missionary covers in Gregory's census, only six are mixed frankings with United States stamps, including one defective example and another with a repaired stamp. In the context of worldwide mixed-franking covers, the coincidence of two nations' postage stamps and local-post franking is, to our knowledge, unique in this
classic period.

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Current Opening Bid: $160,000

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Lot 3257    

Berford & Co.'s Express, 1851, 3¢ black, 6¢ green, 25¢ red, one 3¢ black, two 6¢ green singles and one 25¢ red, each cut to oval shape, used to pay 40¢ rate on cover from New York N.Y. addressed to "Capt. Walter Taber, Ship Louisiana, Paita", endorsed "By Express" at lower left, faint pencil docketing on front "Dated August 3, 1852, Received August 30, 1852", cover originated in New York City and was sent by Berford's to Panama where red "Forwarded By Wm. Nelson & Co. Panama" forwarding agent's framed handstamp was applied on backflap, docketed "Augt. 28, 1852" twice on front, once tying a 6¢ stamp, note on reverse in same hand reads "If not in Tambez [Tumbes, Peru] Dr. Oakford will please return this pr first opprty & oblige. Yours truly, A Bathurst, Paita, Aug. 28, 1852, I mean if Cap. Taber has been in and sailed", based on pencil Aug. 30 receipt notation on front, the letter reached Captain Taber in Tumbes; flaps opened and top refolded to flatten both 6c stamps that were affixed over top edge, Fine, ex-Chapman, Mason, Horner, Golden and "DK"; with 1983 and 1999 P.F. certificates.
Scott No. 11L1, 11L2 (2), 11L4    Estimate $50,000 - 75,000.

A REMARKABLE THREE-VALUE BERFORD & CO EXPRESS FRANKING FOR THE 40¢ RATE TO THE WEST COAST OF SOUTH AMERICA.

THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED USE OF THE 25¢ STAMP, OF WHICH ONLY TWO STAMPS ARE KNOWN.

Richard G. Berford and Loring L. Lombard operated the Berford & Co. letter-carrying business beginning in 1851. Berford & Co.'s Express primarily served the West Coast of North, Central and South America, but also advertised rates to Hawaii, Hong Kong and China. Although their letter and package express business was fairly large, the adhesive stamps for letter mail are rare. During the course of their operation, there were several bitter clashes with the government over their mail route. They sold out to Wells Fargo & Co. in June 1854.

There are only a handful of Berford & Co's Express stamps recorded for any value. There are four 3¢ (11L1) stamps recorded (two off-cover and two on-cover including the one offered here), seven 6¢ (11L2) and two 25¢ (11L4), there are only two recorded: one uncancelled off cover, ex Caspary, Lilly and Hall, and the stamp on this cover.

Four covers are recorded with Berford & Co. stamps paying the 40c rate from New York to the West Coast of South America. Berford's June 17th 1851 advertisement in the New York Herald announced the "New Postage Law" and included a "Table of Postage" listing this 40¢ prepaid rate to the west coast of South America. In the advertisement, the stamps (3¢, 10¢ and 25¢) are described and various rates are given effective July 1, 1851. Obviously, Berford's was acting in response to the U.S. government postage reforms of the same date.

The Louisiana noted in the address is probably the 1,056-ton screw-vessel registered in 1850 at New York City.

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Current Opening Bid: $35,000

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Lot 3408    

(Via Panama) 1850 (Aug. 13) New York N.Y. to San Francisco, Cal., blue folded letter bearing 10¢ black (2) horizontal strip of four, pos. 77-80R, large to huge margins including part sheet margin at right, except slightly in at bottom left, tied by red grid cancels, matching red "New-York, Aug 15" cds, carried endorsed by U.S. Mail S.S. Georgia from New York to Chagres arriving Aug. 22nd, then overland across Panama, then per P.M.S.S. Panama Sep. 1st to San Francisco, docketed "Rec Sept 23" on reverse; file fold lightly affects right stamp, third stamp tiny tear, Very Fine, ex-Seybold, Kapiloff; with 2012 & 2016 P.F. certificates.
Estimate    $50,000 - 75,000.

A BEAUTIFUL AND RARE COVER, PROBABLY NOT MORE THAN SIX 40¢ RATE COVERS KNOWN IN ANY CONDITION.

Effective July 1, 1847, Congress provided for a 40¢ rate from the "East, to or from Astoria, Oregon or California". As there was no Overland Mail Contract, all government mail went by ships "via Panama".

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Current Opening Bid: $40,000

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Lot 3368    

Humboldt Express, 1863, 25¢ brown, four large even margins, tied by blue "Langton's Pioneer Express, Star City" oval handstamp on 3¢ pink (U35) buff entire with black Langton's printed frank, addressed to Bidwell's Bar Cal. "Care of Capt. Singer", entire restored at right, trivial stamp cleaning causing some barely discernable discoloration of cancel, Very Fine appearance, ex Dale-Lichtenstein; with 2004 P.F. certificate.
Scott No. 86L1    Estimate $30,000 - 40,000.

ONE OF ONLY SIX INTACT COVERS RECORDED WITH LANGTON'S HUMBOLDT EXPRESS STAMP.

The Humboldt Express was the last of seven successive Western express services operated by Samuel W. Langton, who has been described by historians as the most energetic and persevering of the numerous expressmen of the period. Langton launched the Humboldt Express in February 1860 and oversaw its operation until his accidental death in 1864. Service was provided between the Humboldt mines in Nevada to

Carson City, the state capital. For transportation across this difficult route, 25c was charged in addition to the $2.00 per letter fee. To facilitate prepayment of this surcharge, Langton issued the 1860 25c Brown adhesive stamp. The stamp, with its exceptionally detailed depiction of a stagecoach drawn by a four-horse team, is widely regarded as the finest example of a pictorial stamp issued by the numerous local posts operated in the United States between 1842 and the 1870's. The style, lettering, color and lithographic technique used to print Langton's stamp are identical to those of the Wells, Fargo & Co. pony express stamps of the same period, and it is accepted, though unproven, that the issues of both companies were made by the same printer (Britton & Rey of San Francisco).


The six recorded Humboldt Express 25c Brown covers:
1) Unionville (blue oval) to J. S. Bendle, Bidwell's Bar Cal., "Care of Capt. Singer", U34 with Langton frank, ex Brown, Moody, Simpson, Hertz
2) Star City (blue oval) to J. S. Bendle, Bidwell's Bar Cal., "Care of Capt. Singer", U35 with Langton frank, PFC, ex Dale-Lichtenstein (the cover offered here)
3) Unionville (blue oval) to J. S. Bendle, Bidwell's Bar Cal., "Care of Capt. Singer", U34 with Langton frank, ex Caspary, Nathan
4) Star City (blue oval) to G. Borzo, Placerville Cal., U34 with Langton frank, WF Nevada Jun. 10 oval, ex Jessup, Hawley, Polland, Jacobitz
5) Unionville (red oval) and "Paid" in oval tying 25c, to Charles Lott, Oroville Cal., U34 with WF frank and WF Carson City May 11 oval, PFC, ex Haas, Edwards
6) Star City (blue oval) to S. W. Holladay, San Francisco, U34 with Langton frank, 3c 1861 tied by "Paid" and WF Nevada Jul. 11 (1863) oval, with enclosure, PFC, ex Hall, Kapiloff.

In addition to these six intact covers, there are two restored fronts or pieces and a few faked examples. Our census has been compiled independently of the Gamett census.

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Current Opening Bid: $28,000

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Lot 3299    

Wells, Fargo & Co., red printed paid frank on 10¢ green (U18) buff entire to Pesth, Austria, endorsed "via Panama & Liverpool" at bottom left, bearing twenty-two copies of 1¢ blue (24) in two blocks of eight and six overlapping singles on reverse and slightly over edge, each cancelled by matching red N.Y. foreign mail circular grid cancel, matching strike on indicia, red "N. York 'Paid 7' Br. Pkt." credit exchange cds, carried by Cunard Line Asia from New York Feb. 16th 1859 to Liverpool arriving Feb. 27th, red "Aachen Franco 4. 1" framed handstamp, Pesth (3.3) arrival cds; open on three sides for display, small stamp faults, Very Fine, ex-Dale-Lichtenstein.
Estimate    $25,000 - 35,000.

A REMARKABLE WELLS FARGO EXPRESS COVER TO AUSTRIA VIA PRUSSIAN CLOSED MAIL WITH A STUNNING 1¢ 1857 ISSUE FRANKING.

The 32¢ postage overpays the 30¢ Prussian Closed Mail rate to Austria effective October 1852 to August 30th 1861.

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Current Opening Bid: $18,000

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Lot 3404    

Forwarded by Peterson's Lower California Express from "La Paz", black on gray label with blue manuscript town designation, tied by sharp "San Francisco, Cal, Mar 9, 1862" double-circle datestamp, additional strike at bottom left and matching "SHIP.12" due rating handstamp on buff cover to Peacham Vt.; minor ton spot upper right, reduced slightly at right, Extremely Fine and choice.
Thomas No. PET-401    Estimate $20,000 - 30,000.

A STUNNING COVER. ONE OF ONLY THREE RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE PETERSON'S LOWER CALIFORNIA EXPRESS LABEL USED ON COVER.

The three recorded examples are:
1. PET-401 Label with pencil "San Francisco" origin, tied by red "Espreso de la Baja Cala." oval to La Paz, Mexico, blue Wells Fargo San Francisco double-circle, ex-Knapp, Grant, Hass, Forster and "Baja".
2. PET-401 Label with blue ms. "La Paz" origin, tied by San Francisco Cal. cds to Peacham Vt., the example offered here.
3. PET-401 Label with ms. "San Lucas" origin, red "Estafeta De Baja California" oval cancel to San Francisco Cal., manuscript "Capo St Lucas Apl 11, 1863" docket at left, ex Dale-Lichtenstein, Walske.

Reference: Pictured in Nathan on p. 168.

Using coastal steamers, Charles M. Peterson ran a daily service between San Francisco and La Paz, Mexico. He established an office in Henry Payot's Book Store in San Francisco. He may have established a pony/mule service between Cape San Lucas and La Paz.

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Current Opening Bid: $14,500

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Lot 3374 *   

Thompson's Carson Valley Express, bold red ornamented handstamp on 3¢ Red on buff entire (#U10) carried over the Sierra Nevada to Auburn, California with Wells, Fargo & Co. printed frank, entered the mails with clear "Carson Valley, U.T./Oct 9" datestamp, cover reduced at right and with original indicia cut out and replaced, Fine appearance, WC5050, ex-Risvold; with 1978 P.F. certificate.
Thomas No. TSS-100    Estimate $20,000 - 30,000.

ONE OF ONLY TWO KNOWN EXAMPLES OF THE "SNOWSHOE" THOMPSON'S HANDSTAMP, BOTH ARE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE WELLS, FARGO & CO. FRANK.

Thompson's Carson Valley Express was established by John A. "Snowshoe" Thompson in 1857-58 and operated between Genoa, Nevada and Placerville, California. He also carried the overland mails for Chorpenning during the winter months of 1861. Snowshoe died on 15 May, 1876. (see Across The Sierra Nevada Mountain by Snow-Shoe, by Risvold and Frajola in Chronicle #215).

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Current Opening Bid: $17,000

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Lot 3322 ()   

Pony Express, San Francisco, red Running Pony oval handstamp along with matching "Central Overland California & Pike's Peak Express Company, San Francisco, Cal." red oval handstamp canceling 10¢ green (U18) rebacked front with red Wells, Fargo & Co. printed frank addressed to New London, Conn., endorsed "Pr Pony", clear strike of green "St. Joseph, Mo., Apr. 26" cds; the indicia and most of the printed frank have been replaced with portions of the markings expertly drawn in, Very Fine appearance.
Estimate    $10,000 - 15,000.

ONE OF THE FEW USAGES WITH THE PONY MARKINGS IN RED, A GORGEOUS USE.

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Current Opening Bid: $7,250

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Lot 3136    

"Salt Lake Deseret, Nov 20 1850", manuscript territorial postmark and matching "10" rating on blue folded letter from gold prospector W.R. Dickinson to his father William, datelined "November 14th 1850" and again on "November 19", the contents of this letter includes several significant references to the Mormon settlement in Salt Lake City, the writer was a gold prospector headed for California, begins by describing his journey: "…there was a plenty of mormons wageons teeams all along The road -- there was estemated to be aboute 15.00 [cross-out thru second 0] Mormons. There was game a plenty -- buffalo aplenty", followed by a description of buffalo hunting. The writer also mentions difficulties with Indians: "indeans hostile between hear, Salt lake and the mines" and gives an account of a Mormon party of 10 that was attacked (all but two killed). Reference is made to "the mail from Independence to Salt Lake 4 months in the year, once a month, it goes out in the morning at 10 oclock for the States" and "letters do not cost but 10 cents from hear to the States". Of the greatest significance are first-hand accounts of meeting Brigham Young with references to polygamy: "I have seen Brigam Younge and gave him Best wishes. Plade the fiddle for him to dance At a party. He has got some thirty or forty Spiritual Wives besides his own, and I talk of Takeing one for the winter as for life and What do you think of that, dad, do you think I am a goner, ha. I intend starting for Callafornia in the spring, I think. I sende my love to pardy and tell him that i will tell all aboute the Spiritual Wives when i come home…"; accompanied by a second letter from the same writer, datelined "State of Deserett, Salt lake City, May 29th 1851" with a report of Indian hostilities and dissatisfaction with the Mormon community., Very Fine.
Estimate    $10,000 - 15,000.

ONE OF ONLY TWO OR THREE RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE "DESERET" MORMON POSTAL MARKING.

On March 4, 1849, the Constitution for the provisional government of the State of Deseret was approved by the Mormons, and soon submitted to Congress for approval. As of September 9, 1850, Congress created portions of the requested area as Utah Territory, and as the State of California.

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The first mail under the new Government contract from Independence to Salt Lake City was received in early November. This November 20th letter was carried on the first return eastbound mail. Assuming the first mail to Salt Lake City left before September 9th, the writer would not know that the petition for "the State of Deseret" had been rejected. However, he surely would have known by the time of his later May 29th 1851 letter.

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Lot 3402    

1851 (May 8) Honolulu, Hawaii to Portsmouth N.H., gray folded letter datelined "Oahu - May 1st 1851" addressed to Mrs. Harriet Pierrepont, bold strike of "Honolulu, Hawaiian Is. / May 8, 1851." two-line postmark, carried by American Schooner Velasco from Honolulu May 8th to San Francisco arriving Jun. 3rd, "San Francisco, Cal. 14 Jun" cds and red crayon "42" rating for 40¢ west coast rate plus 2¢ ship fee, then by PMSS California from San Francisco Jun. 14th to Panama arriving Jul. 1st, overland to Chagres and then by US Mail S.S. Crescent City Jul. 10th to New York arriving Jul. 20th, Very Fine, Gregory Census No. 28, ex-Rust.
Estimate    $10,000 - 15,000.

Illustrated and Described in Gregory's Hawaii Foreign Mail to 1870, p. 227, fig. 14-6.

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Current Opening Bid: $7,250

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