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Sale 89: The John Barwis Collection of Philadelphia Postal History

Table of Contents

Philadelphia Foreign Mail: 1811-1815 War of 1812 Period

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1814 (Dec. 27) London, England to Providence R.I., datelined folded letter with excellent strike of scarce "Post Paid Withdrawn Ship Letter, London, 30 De 1814" handstamp, carried by Ship Pacific from London via Cork to Philadelphia arriving May 17th, letter was delayed several weeks at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AN EXCEPTIONAL STRIKE OF THE LONDON WITHDRAWN SHIP LETTER HANDSTAMP. ONE OF ONLY 7 RECORDED WITHDRAWN SHIP LETTERS LANDED AT PHILADELPHIA.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 Such letters were thus "withdrawn" from the mails.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 The Post Paid Withdrawn-Ship-Letter option was terminated on July 11, 1815.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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