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Sale 89: The John Barwis Collection of Philadelphia Postal History

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10 Select Items

Lot 3011    

1748 (Oct. 10) Philadelphia Pa. to London, England, folded cover with "Phi. paid dwt 3:8" written in Benjamin Franklin's hand (who was Postmaster at this time) for 3dwt (9d) inland to New York plus 8gr (1d) outgoing ship fee, first endorsement crossed out and updated to "p first ship from NYK", carried by private ship from New York Jan. 2nd to Dover arriving Apr. 15th for 106 day voyage, Dover "15/AP" Bishop backstamp and "4" pence due rating for 3¢ inland to London plus 1d ship fee, London "17/AP" arrival backstamp and rerated "4" pence due; some splitting reinforced, Very Fine; with 2019 P.F. certificate.
Estimate    $7,500 - 10,000.

ONE OF ONLY TWO PREPAID SHIP LETTERS FROM PHILADELPHIA RECORDED.

Benjamin Franklin was the Philadelphia Postmaster from 1737 to 1753.

Realized: $13,000

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Lot 3030    

1775 (Apr. 4) Philadelphia Pa. to London, England, datelined folded letter addressed to Jamaica Coffee House, light strike of "PHILA Apr: 4" straightline postmark on flap, endorsed "p packet" at bottom left, red "N. York Ap: 5" straightline backstamp with manuscript "To Pay 6d" as debit to London for colonial inland postage, carried by packet Duke of Cumberland from New York Apr. 6th to Falmouth May 4th, London "4/MA" Bishop mark backstamps and matching clear strike of "AMN. & PACT./POSTAGE" two-line handstamp and manuscript "1/6" 1sh6d due for colonial inland plus packet postage, Very Fine and exceptional packet letter with markings of three cities., ex-Hahn.
Estimate    $5,000 - 7,500.

ONE OF ONLY TWO RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE "PHILA" STRAIGHTLINE RECORDED ON FOREIGN MAIL, AND THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE LONDON "AMN. & PACT./POSTAGE" HANDSTAMP.

Letter includes an invoice and discusses loading the brig Rachel to Madeira, and the great scarcity of money. Two weeks to the day after this letter was written, Paul Revere warned Sam Adams that 100 British soldiers were on their way to Concord to destroy arms.

Complete Images.

Realized: $4,750

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Lot 3001    

Benjamin Franklin, folded cover addressed to "Dr. Franklin, Craven Street in the Strand, London", Edinburgh "IA 30" backstamp and manuscript "6" pence due rating, London "3/FE" Bishop mark arrival backstamp, rating crossed out and sent free of charge with red London "Free" in circle handstamp, manuscript receipt docketing "Dr. Robertson 1770" on flap (almost certainly in Franklin's own hand); reinforced with some aging and wear, F.-V.F., ex-Dr. Robertson.
Estimate    $4,000 - 6,000.

A RARE 1770 FREE USE TO BENJAMIN FRANKLIN FROM EDINBURGH TO LONDON.

This cover was sent from the President Dr. William Robertson of Edinburgh College to Franklin during his term as Deputy Postmaster General, which allowed him to send and receive mail free of charge.

William Robertson (1721-1793) was a Scottish historian, minister in the Church of Scotland, and Principal of the University of Edinburgh. The thirty years he presided over the college were some of its greatest. He made significant contributions to the writing of Scottish history and the history of Spain and Spanish America. He was Chaplain of Stirling Castle and one of the King's Chaplains in Scotland.

Complete Images.

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Lot 3062    

1814 (Dec. 27) London, England to Providence R.I., datelined folded letter with excellent strike of scarce "Post Paid Withdrawn Ship Letter, London, 30 De 1814" handstamp, carried by Ship Pacific from London via Cork to Philadelphia arriving May 17th, letter was delayed several weeks at Cork due to gales, arrived five and a half months later with Philadelphia red "Phi,17 May" cds and matching "SHIP" arc handstamp and manuscript "27½" due rating for 17¢ inland, 2¢ ship and 8½¢ surcharge, Extremely Fine and choice, ex-Risvold.
Estimate    $4,000 - 6,000.

AN EXCEPTIONAL STRIKE OF THE LONDON WITHDRAWN SHIP LETTER HANDSTAMP. ONE OF ONLY 7 RECORDED WITHDRAWN SHIP LETTERS LANDED AT PHILADELPHIA.

Commercial letter written the day after the arrival of the Treaty of Ghent in London and the day before it was ratified by the Prince Regent Dec. 28, 1814: "We congratulate you most sincerely on the near approach of Peace between our two countries - so long and anxiously desired - the Preliminary Treaty from the Commissioners at Ghent having arrived yesterday - has been ratified by the Prince Regent - & will be forwarded without delay, to the United States for the Signature of the President - which we cannot doubt will be obtained - until that takes place, hostilities are not to cease….We hope to get this on board the M.W. which carries out the Treaty." Tho. Dickason & Co. to Messrs. Brown & Ives, Providence R.I.

Rates Respond to the Economics of War: Commerce with the United States was important to British business, so with packet service unavailable, GPO London reduced the ship-letter rate by 30% to 8½ pence. Conversely, because the U.S. Treasury was essentially bankrupt, American inland rates and the ship-letter fee were increased by 50%.

Effective Oct. 10, 1814, senders could use any private ship of their choosing if they prepaid one-third of the 2s2d packet-letter rate (26d x .33 = 8.58d, rounded to 8.5d). Such letters were thus "withdrawn" from the mails. The postmark was struck, as per instructions, over the folded letter-joint to prevent further enclosures. The Post Paid Withdrawn-Ship-Letter option was terminated on July 11, 1815.

Complete Images.

Realized: $7,000

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Lot 3029    

1774 (Sep. 3) Philadelphia Pa. to Poole, England, datelined folded letter with red clear strike of red "PHILA/DELPHIA" two-line backstamp on flap and matching red "6 SE" Franklin mark, endorsed "p Packet via New York" at bottom left, "NEW-YORK" straightline on other flap with light strike of "7 SE" Franklin mark over Philadelphia straightline, red manuscript "To pay 1/" rating for double-rate debit to London for colonial inland postage, carried by packet Mercury from New York Sep. 8th to Falmouth arriving Oct. 8th, London "11/OC" bishop mark backstamp and matching "INLAND AND/PACKET POSTAGE" two-line handstamp on front with manuscript "3N" postage due for inland plus two-times packet postage, re-rated "3N8" 3sh8d due for 8d inland to Poole, beautifully written letter concerns contains a draft of "Durham Lands" divisions and sales; wear and small paper loss on one flap which does not affect any markings, splitting along folds, Very Fine and rare colonial packet letter, ex-Hahn.
Estimate    $4,000 - 6,000.

AN EXCEPTIONAL PACKET LETTER WITH MARKINGS OF THREE CITIES, INCLUDING ONE OF ONLY EIGHT RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE LONDON "INLAND AND PACKET POSTAGE" HANDSTAMP.

Six types of London postmarks denote unpaid American and packet postage. All are rare.

Complete Images.

Realized: $5,000

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Lot 3156    

1851 (Sep. 17) Liverpool, England to Buffalo N.Y., folded letter bearing Great Britain 1841, 2d blue (2) horizontal strip of four, large margins to shaving framelines, position 3 with pinhole, tied by "466" barred ovals prepaying the 8d outgoing ship letter rate, Liverpool "Ship Letter SP 17 1851" crown backstamp, carried by Inman Line City of Manchester from Liverpool Sep. 17th to Philadelphia arriving Oct. 3rd, blue "Philadelphia Pa. Oct 3" cds and matching "Ship" and "7" circled ratings for the 5¢ domestic rate to Buffalo plus 2¢ ship fee, Very Fine and rare prepaid non-contract steamship sailing, ex-Winter; with 2013 P.F. certificate.
Estimate    $3,000 - 4,000.

THE ONLY RECORDED BRITISH PREPAID SHIP LETTER TO PHILADELPHIA.

Letter carried on the second voyage of the "City of Manchester" and fifth voyage of the Inman Line. The Inman Line operated from Liverpool to Philadelphia from 1851-1856, then shifted the U.S. terminus to New York beginning in 1857.

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Lot 3198    

1861 (May 31) Philadelphia Pa. to Liverpool, England, cover with blue "Why don't you take it?", Winfield Scott, Jefferson Davis and Washington D.C. Cartoon Patriotic design, bearing 24¢ gray lilac (37) tied by red "Phila. Am. Pkt. '3' May 31" credit exchange cds, carried by HAPAG Line Saxonia from New York Jun. 1st to Southampton arriving Jun. 12th, red London Paid (6.12) entry cds, Liverpool (6.13) arrival backstamp, minor small tone spots, Very Fine and rare, ex-Matthies, Haas.
Estimate    $3,000 - 4,000.

A RARE USE OF THE 24¢ 1860 ISSUE ON A CIVIL WAR PATRIOTIC CARTOON COVER TO GREAT BRITAIN.

The cartoon and other similar representations were created early in the war when General Winfield Scott commanded U.S. forces protecting the nation's capital from the threat of Confederate invasion. It depicts General Scott as a bulldog wearing Scott's military hat and Jefferson Davis as a frightened dog dressed in a Confederate flag and wearing a plantation owner's hat. Scott dares Davis, "Why Don't You Take It?", with Washington D.C. shown as a prime rib cut of meat between them. In April 1861 the isolated U.S. capital was exposed to invasion until sufficient U.S. forces arrived and secured the surrounding region.

Realized: $2,500

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Lot 3079    

1834 (Jul.) Calcutta, India to Pittsburgh Pa. via Philadelphia, docketed folded cover with part missionary letter from Rev. T. W. Lowrie to Western Free Missionary Society, carried by private ship Edward from Calcutta Aug. 10th via St. Helena Oct. 12th to Philadelphia arriving Dec. 8th, entered mails with slightly oily red "Phila., 8, Dec" octagonal double-line datestamp and matching Philadelphia Full-Rigged Ship handstamp, noted "Treble" at bottom but rated as a quadruple letter with red manuscript "1oz." weight and "77" due rating for quadruple the 18¾¢ inland postage plus 2¢ ship fee; slight soiling and fold splitting reinforced, rittle folds, small piece missing from wax seal, Fine appearing and, which was used between May 1834 and September 1835, Fine rare combination of Calcutta origin and this iconic ship handstamp.
Estimate    $2,000 - 3,000.

The Philadelphia Rigged Ship handstamp was used only on incoming mail for addresses beyond the port. It is recorded used from May 1834 to Nov. 9, 1835.

Complete Images.

Realized: $3,750

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Lot 3036    

1786 (Feb. 2) London England to Philadelphia Pa. via New York, datelined folded letter endorsed "Via New York / Feby Pacquet", London "2/FE" bishop mark backstamp and matching "POST/PAID" in circle handstamp with red manuscript "1oz" and "p 4/-" prepaid rating for four-times the 1sh packet rate, carried by Packet Speedy from Falmouth Feb. 14th to New York arriving Apr. 18th, New York manuscript "8" dwt rating for inland postage (4x 2dwt for 60-100 miles), Philadelphia manuscript "3/6" 3s6d due rating in local currency (8dwt = 24d sterling, so: 24d x 1.67 = 40d local + 2d delivery = 3s6d), docketed "Recd 21 August 86"; some edge wear, F.-V.F.
Estimate    $2,000 - 3,000.

A RARE PREPAID QUADRUPLE RATE PACKET LETTER.

Realized: $2,700

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Lot 3165    

1853 (Jan. 6) Philadelphia Pa. to Paris, France, folded letter bearing 3¢ dull red (11A) strip of three and 12¢ black (17), mostly large margins, prepaying the 21¢ treaty rate, tied by two strikes of blue "Philadelphia Pa. Jan 6" cds, red "New-York, Am. Packet, Jan 8" exchange cds and matching "3" cent credit to G.B. handstamp (struck in error), carried by Collins Line Atlantic from New York Jan. 8th to Liverpool arriving Jan. 20th, red London (1.21) transit backstamp, Paris (1.22) entry cds and bold "16" décimes due handstamp for 7½ to 15 grams, Paris (1.22) arrival backstamp, Very Fine.
Estimate    $2,000 - 3,000.

A CHOICE PREPAID 21¢ TREATY RATE TO FRANCE BY AMERICAN PACKET WITH 3¢ ERROR CREDIT HANDSTAMP.

The addressee Charles Toppan co-owned the Philadelphia company that printed the stamps on this cover.

Realized: $1,600

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