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Sale 91: The December Sale

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Pioneer Steamships

Lots 1497-1506 Lots 1507-1515

Lot 1497    

"Britannia" Return Maiden Voyage, Boston Aug. 1st - Liverpool Aug. 14th 1840, light blue folded letter endorsed "Per Steamer 'Britannia' Via Boston Halifax N.S. & Liverpool", blue "Philada Pa. Jul 28" cds and matching "Paid" framed handstamp with red manuscript "18¾" rating to Boston to be put on the Britannia for Liverpool arriving August 14th 1840, Liverpool "1/-" due handstamp for 1s packet postage, Very Fine and choice, ex-J. Pullin.
Estimate    $1,500 - 2,000.

ONE OF THE FINEST OF ONLY A FEW RECORDED LETTERS CARRIED ON THE RETURN MAIDEN CONTRACT VOYAGE OF THE CUNARD LINE BRITANNIA.

July 4, 1840, the "Britannia", first of four steamships designed especially for North Atlantic service, departed Liverpool. This sailing initiated a contract between the British government and Samuel Cunard. These ships proved steamers could provide more reliable service than sailing packets, especially on westerly crossings. As this line carried more fine freight and specie, sailing packets carried less and less valuable and profitable cargo. The British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company became the Cunard Line. The Britannia left Boston on August 1st to make her maiden return voyage to Liverpool carrying the first contract mails from America to Britain.

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Current Opening Bid: $725

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Lot 1498    

"British Queen" Maiden Return Voyage, New York Aug. 1st - Portsmouth Aug. 15th 1839, Jul. 30th folded cover from Baltimore to London, indistinct red "Baltimore Md. Jul 31" and matching "Paid" straightline with red manuscript "18¾" for inland postage to New York and "25" for freight money fee, red "New-York, Aug 1" cds, "Portsmouth, Ship Letter" framed handstamp and manuscript "1/4" due rating for 8d incoming ship fee plus 8d inland postage; slight fold wear and toning, F.-V.F., ex-J. Pullin.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

The "British Queen" was a vessel of the British & American Steam Navigation Company, which also owned the "Sirius" and the "President".

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Current Opening Bid: $140

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Lot 1499    

"British Queen" Maiden Voyage, Portsmouth July 12th - New York Jul. 28th 1839, Jul. 4th 1839 gray folded letter from Manchester, England to Lowell Mass., red "Manchester, JY 4, 1839" double-arc backstamp and matching "Paid at Manchester" circular handstamp with manuscript "3/-" due rating, endorsed "p Great Western Steamer" and "paid to Bristol" but redirected, red "New-York 'Ship' Jul 28" cds with "58¼" rating for three-times 18¾¢ plus 2¢ ship fee, F.-V.F., ex-J. Pullin.
Estimate    $500 - 750.

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Current Opening Bid: $240

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Lot 1500    

"British Queen" Portsmouth Jul. 1st - New York Jul. 18th 1840, Jun. 19th 1840 folded letter from Newry, Northern Ireland to Staten Island N.Y. forwarded to St. Catherines, Canada, red "Newry, JU 19, 1840" arc cds and red manuscript "8d" prepaid rating for 8d ship letter rate and matching "p ship from Liverpool" endorsement, red London Paid (6.20) transit and red "Ship-Letter, Liverpool, 12 JU 12, 1840" rimless backstamp, partial New York N.Y. arrival cds and blue manuscript "8" cents due rating for 6¢ ship letter fee plus 2¢ carrier fee, forwarded with blue manuscript "North Shore NY, Augst-18th" postmark and matching "forwd" with manuscript "25" cent rating to St. Catherines, Canada totaled to "33" debit, sharp "Queenston U.C., Aug 25, 1840" cds and "1.8" plus "4½" Canadian inland totaled to "2/0½" total due, Very Fine and interesting pioneer steamship forwarded use, ex-J. Pullin.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

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Current Opening Bid: $140

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Lot 1501    

"Great Britain" Final Voyage, Liverpool July 7th - New York July 21st 1846, folded July 3rd folded letter from Liverpool to Boston endorsed "pr. G' Britain", prepaid ship fee in Liverpool indicated by red manuscript "8" rating, red "New York 'Ship 7cts' " cds for 5¢ inland postage plus 2¢ ship fee; light vertical file fold, clean and Very Fine, ex-Winter, J. Pullin.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

Letter carried on the fourth and last voyage of the "Great Britain" to New York before she ran hard aground on the sandy beach of Dundrum Bay near Belfast in September 1846.

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Current Opening Bid: $140

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Lot 1502    

"Great Britain" Maiden Voyage, Liverpool Jul. 26th - New York Aug. 11st 1845, folded letter from London, England to Wilmington Del., endorsed "Per Steamer Great Britain from Liverpool" at top left, red London "Paid" (7.24) cds and matching "Paid Ship Letter, London, 24 JY 24, 1845" rimless oval with red manuscript "1/" prepaid rating, red "New York 'Ship 7cts' Aug 11" integral-due cds for 5¢ inland plus 2¢ ship fee, red Wilmington (8.12) arrival backstamp; couple stain spots, F.-V.F., ex-J. Pullin.
Estimate    $400 - 600.

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Current Opening Bid: $190

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Lot 1503    

"Great Western" Liverpool October 12th - New York October 26th 1844, Oct. 1st folded letter from Paris, France to New York with red "T.P./G Surrey S." postmark and red manuscript "Pd 1 0" prepaid rating for the 8d ship fee plus 2d Two Penny Post fee, reverse with red "Paid Ship Letter - London, 8 OC 8, 1844" rimless postmark and additional Paid tombstone, New York manuscript "6" due rating for 6¢ ship fee, Letter carrier manuscript "Chged 8 cts" rating for 6¢ ship fee plus 2¢ carrier fee, Very Fine and scarce "Great Western" use showing New York carrier fee, ex-Winter, J. Pullin.
Estimate    $400 - 600.

Letter carried privately to London where it was posted in the Two Penny Post Office on Great Surrey Street. The prepayment in London is shown in the upper left in red pen as "10" pence. New York post office marked the letter for 6¢ postage due, the incoming ship letter rate to the port. A New York letter carrier marked "chged 8 cts" in pen, showing that an additional fee of 2¢ for carrier delivery service was charged on the letter. Carrier collect fees were seldom marked on letters and are scarce to find.

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Current Opening Bid: $190

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Lot 1504    

"Great Western" Maiden Return Voyage, New York May 7th - Bristol May 22nd 1838, May 6th folded letter from Philadelphia Pa. to Sheffield, England with blue "Philadelphia, Pa. May 6" cds and matching "Paid" framed handstamp with manuscript "25" cent prepaid rating, endorsed "Per Great Western, 7th May 1838" at bottom left and "Single Sheet, with Sample Enclosed" at top, red "New-York, May 7" transit cds, "Bristol Ship-Letter" stepped handstamp and "4/6" 4s6d due rating for three-times 8d ship letter fee and 10d inland for 54d, F.-V.F. and rare, ex-J. Pullin.
Estimate    $1,500 - 2,000.

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Current Opening Bid: $725

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Lot 1505    

"Great Western" New York Aug. 1st - Bristol Aug. 13th 1839, folded letter with red "Montreal L.C. JY 29, 1839" double-circle origin cds and matching "Paid" handstamps, magenta manuscript "4½" cdy for Canadian inland and "18¾" cents for postage to N.Y., red "New-York, Aug 1" cds, neat "Bristol / Ship Letter" handstamp with manuscript "1/5" due 1s5d rating for 8d ship fee plus 9d inland postage, red London (8.15) arrival backstamp; horizontal fold, Very Fine, ex-J. Pullin.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

Montreal did not mark freight money fees on letters.

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Current Opening Bid: $140

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Lot 1506    

"Great Western" New York Jun. 13th - Bristol Jun. 27th 1839, Jun. 7th folded letter from Charleston S.C. to London, England with black "Herckenrath Lowndes & Co." oval handstamp (Charleston forwarders) used as corner card and red "Charleston S.C. Jun 7" cds and matching "Paid" straightline with manuscript "25" cent Freight Money steamship fee plus "25" cent inland postage ratings, red "New-York Jun 11" cds, two-line "Bristol / Ship Letter" handstamp and manuscript "2/10" 2s10d due rating, red London (6.28) arrival backstamp, Very Fine, ex-J. Pullin.
Estimate    $150 - 200.

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Current Opening Bid: $70

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Lots 1497-1506 Lots 1507-1515

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