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Sale 101: The Westpex Sale

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Western Expresses - Pacific Union to Thomes & Skadan's

Lots 1009-1014

Lot 1009    

Pacific Union Express Company, black on buff label, affixed on reverse of circa 1868 orange cover to Marysville Cal.; cover tear at right, edge faults, Fine and scarce Pacific Union label use.
Estimate    $150 - 200.

Realized: $150

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Lot 1010    

Pacific Union Express Company, black on buff label, affixed on 3¢ pink (U59) buff entire to San Francisco Cal., docketed "Notarial fees $.75, Recd July 31./68" at left; light vertical central fold and light soiling, F.-V.F.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

This label apparently served duty in lieu of a printed express frank.

Realized: $240

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Lot 1011    

Pacific Union Express Company, Windsor, red on orange label affixed on reverse of 3¢ pink (U58) entire with red "Pacific Union Express Co., Paid" printed frank, canceled by blue "Pacific Union Express Co., Windsor" double-circle to San Francisco, endorsed "$74.00 - Check", Very Fine, the only recorded example of this label.
Estimate    $400 - 600.

Pacific Union was formed in 1868 after signing an exclusive agreement to carry express on the soon to be completed transcontinental railroad. Wells Fargo, realizing the threat, was forced to merge with Pacific Union in the October 1869 "Treaty of Omaha" which resulted in Lloyd Tevis becoming president of the new company which retained the Wells Fargo name.

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Lot 1012    

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 tone spot upper right, reduced slightly at right, Extremely Fine and choice.
Thomas Nos. 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, Haas, 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.

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.

Reference: Pictured in Nathan on p. 168 and Pictured in Letters of Gold on p. 210.

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Lot 1013    

Susanville Express, Susanville, Cal., large black on green label, affixed on reverse of legal-size cover from Sheriff of Lassen County to Red Bluff, Cal; cover reduced at right with edge tears and nick, label with minor flaws, Fine and rare.
Estimate    $1,000 - 1,500.

THE ONLY COVER OF ANY KIND FROM THIS EXPRESS, A GREAT WESTERN EXPRESS RARITY.

This company is unlisted in the Nathan, Garnett and Thomas books. Apparently it was the predecessor of Thomes & Skaden's Express and was absorbed by Thomes & Skaden in mid-1870 (see Susanville's Lassen Sage Brush newspaper of 6 August 1870).

References: Illustrated in "Letters of Gold" on page 230.

Realized: $1,050

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Lot 1014    

Thomes & Skadan's Express, Reno, Nev., black on green label, affixed on reverse of 3¢ Reay entire with printed "Thomes & Skadan's Express" ribbon frank to San Francisco, canceled by indistinct large cds and blue "Wells Fargo Co., Reno" oval, docketed "Recd Oct 15, 1871" on reverse; stain at center, reduced at right, Very Fine and extremely rare.
Estimate    $1,500 - 2,000.

THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE THOMES & SKADEN'S EXPRESS LABEL FROM RENO, NEVADA.

Thomes & Skaden's Express operated between Susanville and Reno in the early 1870s. Turned over to Wells Fargo at Reno, where blue Wells Fargo Reno oval handstamp struck and carried by Wells Fargo stage to San Francisco arriving October 15, 1871.

References: Illustrated (but not the label) in Gamett's "Nevada Expresses" on page 131.

Realized: $1,700

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Lots 1009-1014

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