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Sale 100: Gems of Philately

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Free Franks and Autographs

Lots 2001-2010 Lots 2011-2013

Lot 2001    

Aaron Burr, 1756-1836, Third Vice President of the United States 1801-1805, free frank signature on ca. 1790 folded letter sheet to New York City, with "17/Ma" Bishop mark and matching straight line "Free" handstamp, Extremely Fine and choice, signature as U.S. Senator from New York.; with 2014 P.F. certificate.
Estimate    $750 - 1,000.

On July 12, 1804, Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton dueled in New York City. Hamilton later died of the gunshot wound that he sustained during duel.

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Current Opening Bid: $850

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Lot 2002    

Alexander Hamilton, 1755-1804, 1st Secretary of the Treasury 1789-95, manuscript free frank on folded letter wrapper to Bath, Mass., docketed "Apr 12 1792", handstamped "FREE" and "22 OC" bishops mark, manuscript "Treasury Department" at upper right with "Free A. Hamilton" at lower left, tiny scuff spot & trivial tear at top, Very Fine.; with 2014 P.F. certificate.
Estimate    $2,000 - 3,000.

An early American leader, Hamilton served as an aide to Washington during the Revolution. He was later a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and co-wrote the Federalist papers. As the first Secretary of the Treasury, he stabilized the nation's finances. A champion of a strong central government, he died in a duel with political foe Aaron Burr.

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Current Opening Bid: $2,600

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Lot 2003    

Canal Zone Postmaster Gerald Bliss Photo/Autograph Album with Amelia Earhart Signature, this one-of-a-kind of flight log book and photo album was assembled by Gerald D. Bliss who was the long time postmaster at Cristobal, Canal Zone. His tenure in office was during the golden age of aerophilately and, by virtue of his position, he interacted with all of the pilots (Charles A Lindbergh, Frederic Noonan, Basil L. Rowe, etc) of pioneer flight and early scheduled Pan American Airlines first mail flights. Mr. Bliss was the person who postally handled all of the first flights that went in and out of the Canal Zone. He maintained these friendships after he retired in 1934, and was invited to accompany the 1934 Pan American goodwill flight from Miami to Buenos Aires and back. During this trip he assembled a detailed log with some stamps, postmarks, photographs of the various personalities he met at each stop, and then arranged for them to autograph the pages of the scrapbook he was preparing. This is a one-of-a-kind piece of aviation memorabilia.

In 1937 right before Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan began their round the world tour, they stopped in Miami and Fred Noonan introduced Mr. Bliss to Ms. Earhart. In remembrance of their relationship Mr. Noonan signed Mr. Bliss' 1934 flight log autograph album and Ms. Earhart agreed to as well, signing "Amelia Earhart" on May 29th 1937. Two days later they took off on their ultimate flight, never to be seen again. The photograph taken on this day with the album may well be one of the last ones taken of them before they began their flight.
Estimate    $10,000 - 15,000.

A RARE OPPORTUNITY TO ACQUIRE A TRUE AVIATION TREASURE.

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Current Opening Bid: $4,750

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Lot 2004    

Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) 7th President of the United States, 1829-1837, folded cover with manuscript "Andrew Jackson, Major Genl Comdg, D. of the South" free frank and addressed in his hand to J.C. Calhoun, Sec of War, City of Washington, black "Nash. T. Jul 26" cds and matching "Free" rating handstamp; fold strengthening, Fine.
Estimate    $1,000 - 1,500.

A SCARCE ANDREW JACKSON FREE FRANK AS MAJOR GENERAL COMMANDING THE DIVISION OF THE SOUTH.

Letter is addressed to Sec. of War John C. Calhoun, who eight years later would be Jackson's running mate as Vice President, serving two terms under Jackson.

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Current Opening Bid: $1,900

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Lot 2005    

Arthur Lee, Delegate From Virginia (Continental Congresses of 1781-84), Head of the Board of Treasury Department, autograph free frank "Free A. Lee" as commissioner of the Board of Treasury on folded cover addressed in his hand to William Ellery, commissioner of the Continental Loan Office for Rhode Island at Newport, straightline "N. YORK*NOV 15" handstamp and "FREE" rating handstamp, neat 1786 docketing on backflap, Very Fine, ex-Grunin.
Estimate    $1,000 - 1,500.

A RARE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS PERIOD FREE FRANK.

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Current Opening Bid: $475

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Lot 2006    

Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) 30th President of the United States, 1923-1929., autograph signature "Calvin Coolidge" on official The White House, Official Business penalty envelope to Edward Stern, New York City, bold "Washington, D.C., Sep 19, 1928" machine postmark, Very Fine.
Estimate    $750 - 1,000.

ONE OF THE FINEST RECORDED CALVIN COOLIDGE FRANKING SIGNATURE AS PRESIDENT.

Coolidge was elected as the 29th Vice President in 1920 and succeeded to the Presidency upon the sudden death of Warren G. Harding in 1923. Elected in his own right in 1924, he gained a reputation as a small government conservative, and also as a man who said very little. Coolidge restored public confidence in the White House after the scandals of his predecessor's administration, and left office with considerable popularity. As a Coolidge biographer put it, "He embodied the spirit and hopes of the middle class, could interpret their longings and express their opinions. That he did represent the genius of the average is the most convincing proof of his strength."
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Current Opening Bid: $800

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Lot 2007 ()   

George Washington, 1732-1799, 1st President of the United States 1789-97, manuscript free frank "G. Washington" as General of the Continental Army on circa 1777 cover front addressed in his hand to "Owen Biddle Esqr., President of Board of War of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia", minor file folds, a Very Fine free frank.
Estimate    $5,000 - 7,500.

A WONDERFUL GEORGE WASHINGTON FREE FRANK FROM ONE OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS OF THE UNITED STATES.

Owen Biddle, Sr. (1737-1799) was an American Revolutionary War Colonel from Philadelphia. He was a delegate to the Provincial Conference January 23, 1775; member of the Committee of Safety from June 30, 1775 to July 22, 1776, during which period he served as defacto Governor of Pennsylvania on July 4, 1776 and again on July 8 and 10, 1776, and finally on July 16, 1776. He was member of the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention of July 15, 1776 and continued service with the newly constituted Council of Safety from July 24, 1776 to March 13, 1777. He became a member of the Board of War on March 13, 1777 and in June, 1777, he was appointed Deputy Commissary General of Forage, with the rank of Colonel, by the Continental Congress.

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Current Opening Bid: $6,500

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Lot 2008    

James K. Polk, 1775-1849, 11th President 1845-49, Manuscript "Free, J. K. Polk" free frank as Member of Congress on fresh folded cover addressed entirely in his hand to Joseph B. Boyd in Cincinnati Ohio, red "Washington D.C. Sep 14" cds and matching sharp "Free" rating handstamp, Extremely Fine and choice.
Estimate    $3,000 - 4,000.

A RARE AND DESIRABLE JAMES K. POLK FREE FRANK.

Polk was a Congressman 1825-39 and House Speaker 1835-39, but resigned to become Governor of Tennessee. Nominated by the Democrats against the heavily favored Clay, he won because he favored the annexation of Texas. This, however, led to war with Mexico, after which America acquired much of the Southwest. Polk also acquired Oregon and Washington from England and reduced tariff rates. He declined to run for a second term and died three months after leaving office.

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Current Opening Bid: $2,800

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Lot 2009    

John Hancock, 1737-1793, Signer of Declaration of Independence, Delegate From Massachusetts, manuscript free frank "J Hancock" as the second President of Second Continental Congress (May 24, 1775 to October 29, 1777) at lower left on folded lettersheet to "The Hon. Council of Safety of the State of Pennsylvania" addressed in his hand, recipient docketing on flap "From the Presd. of Congress, Baltimore, February 11, 1777"; some light toning along file folds, still Very Fine.
Estimate    $3,000 - 4,000.

A RARE JOHN HANCOCK FREE FRANK SIGNATURE AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE SECOND CONTINENTAL CONGRESS.

On May 24, 1775, John Hancock was unanimously elected President of the Second Continental Congress, succeeding Peyton Randolph. Hancock served in Congress through some of the darkest days of the Revolutionary War. The British drove Washington from New York and New Jersey in 1776, which prompted Congress to flee to Baltimore. Hancock franked this letter during this time in Baltimore with the Congress later returning to Philadelphia in March of 1777.

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Current Opening Bid: $2,400

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Lot 2010    

John Tyler, 1790-1862, 10th President 1841-45, manuscript "J. Tyler" free frank as ex-President on neat circa 1860 folded cover addressed in his hand to Norfolk Va., clear strike of Norfolk "Steamboat" straightline handstamp, fresh and Extremely Fine.
Estimate    $500 - 750.

Tyler was a Congressman, Governor of Virginia, and Senator. Elected Vice President under Harrison, he became President after only one month. His term was marked by frequent clashes with Whigs led by Henry Clay. He approved the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, which clearly defined the American and Canadian boundary, and signed the measure annexing Texas. He was expelled from his party and denied renomination. In 1861, he was elected to the Confederate House of Representatives, becoming the only President to renounce his American citizenship.

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Current Opening Bid: $450

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Lots 2001-2010 Lots 2011-2013

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