Terms of SaleBid IncrementsGradingLinksContact

Sale 107: Gems of Philately

Previous ChapterTable of ContentsNext Chapter

California Ephemera & Postal History

Lots 2001-2010 Lot 2011

Lot 2001

(E. Clampus Vitus) E. Clampus Vitus Ritual, small printed pamphlet detailing the initiation ritual for new members, circa late 1850's with salmon cover printed "E.C.V.", inscribed on inside front cover "No. 6 Morristown Lodge/John T. Mason", vert. fold & some wear, F.-V.F.
Estimate    $2,000 - 3,000.

AN EARLY AND A UNIQUE PIECE OF CALIFORNIA AMERICANA.

As more and more people came west, many fraternal organizations such as the Masons, Elks, and Oddfellows came along, too. They were apt to be clannish and somewhat disapproving of the rowdy miners they encountered, for they took themselves and their pomp and ceremony quite seriously. To make fun of the fancy sashes and bejewelled vests the others wore, the Clampers took to cutting tin can lids into odd shapes and pinning them to their own simple vests, most often worn over a bright red union suit. They called this "wearing your tin," a practice continued to this day, although badges, ribbons, and enameled pins have taken the place of tin can lids.

Entertainment was a cherished commodity in the diggin's, for life was hard, often brutal, and just as often short. Rather than add to life's burdens, Brothers of E Clampus Vitus sought to lighten the load. They looked on the absurdity of life as something to be cherished. With tongues set firmly in cheek, they hailed each other as "Noble Grand Humbug," "Roisterous Iscutis," "Grand Imperturbable Hangman," "Clamps Vitrix," and "Royal Gyascutis." Flowery oratory, ribald songs, and practical jokes were much admired. Yet the group was a highly respected, benevolent organization. For example, when a miner fell ill or died, the group would collect food, money and other items, take them to the widow and any orphans who had been left behind, and comfort them - especially the widow. Numerous newspaper accounts attest to the Brothers' generosity, such as the time when they braved swollen rivers, snowstorms, and treacherous trails to deliver Christmas gifts to some poor unfortunates who otherwise would have had nothing.

all lots for this sale will be subject to a 18% buyer's premium

Current Opening Bid: $950

email this lot to a friend

Lot 2002    

Happy New Year, 1857, To All At Home, magnificent California Lettersheet in blue with metallic gold dust highlight featuring the California State Seal at center, "T.C. Boyd, San Francisco" at bottom of design and "Noisy Carrier's Book & Stationery Co., Battery St. and Long Wharf, S.F." imprint below, with letter datelined "Wednesday night, Dec 3, 1856" with interesting content regarding the lettersheet, Presidential election and the mails…"I did not intend to write you this mail, but for the sake of wishing you a Happy New Year. I will drop you a few lines. The Atlantic Mail just came up to night and is being sorted now. The mail for the Atlantic closes at 8 Oclock. A friend presented me with this engraved sheet I thought I would send it to you.""I have not seen the New York papers yet, but a Telegraph despatch says that Buchanan is Elected President. I am sorry about that. I was in hope that Fremont would get it."; with original cover to Fallsburgh, N.Y. franked with large margin 1851, 10¢ green, type III (15) tied by manuscript cancels, partial red "Grass Valley, Cal., Dec 4" cds at upper left; light cover edge wear with some slight staining at upper right edge slightly affecting stamp, Very Fine.
Estimate    $3,000 - 4,000.

A SPLENDID USAGE OF THE NOISY CARRIER'S 1857 "HAPPY NEW YEAR" LETTERSHEET - ONE OF TWO KNOWN USED EXAMPLES OF THIS ICONIC CALIFORNIA LETTERSHEET.

all lots for this sale will be subject to a 18% buyer's premium

Current Opening Bid: $1,500

email this lot to a friend

Lot 2003    

Mining Scene, illustrated miner's design depicting Miner Panning for Gold with Long Tom in Background with imprint "J.M. Hutchings' California Envelope" at left and "Anthony & Baker SC" engraver's imprint at bottom right of design, on cover to Vermont with blue "Sutter Creek, Cal." double circle postmark & double oval "Paid" handstamp; trivial corner mends at left, Very Fine, one of the finer examples of this popular and scarce illustrated mining design.
Estimate    $750 - 1,000.

all lots for this sale will be subject to a 18% buyer's premium

Current Opening Bid: $350

email this lot to a friend

Lot 2004    

Grass Valley, Cal., May 24 (Nevada), bold cds tying 1851, 3¢ dull red, horizontal pair on cover to Scotland with manuscript "Due 23"(¢) to make up the correct 29¢ West Coast rate, handstamped with scarce large size "1(sh)/2½ (d)" due marking, reverse with green "Art. 5/BR Pkt." accountancy handstamp and 1853 receiving cds, tiny cover tear at top and flap missing, Very Fine and scarce, cover featured in article by W. Hubbard in Feb '81 Chronicle, ex-Kramer.
Scott No. 11A    Estimate $500 - 750.

all lots for this sale will be subject to a 18% buyer's premium

Current Opening Bid: $240

email this lot to a friend

Lot 2005    

"Lake Bigler Cal, May 18/63" (El Dorado), manuscript postmark at left and matching manuscript cancels 10¢ green (68), rich color, on light buff cover to Boston Mass.; 10¢ nicked at top, Very Fine, One of the most desirable postmarks of California.
Estimate    $500 - 750.

Nevada collectors believe this cover was sent from what is today's Glenbook, Nev. area. In 1861, Lake Bigler, Lumber Co. was established there to furnish lumber to the Comstock Lode mines. In 1863, the Lake Bigler Toll road was completed at nearby King's Canyon to Friday's Station, Nevada Territory.

John Bigler, California's Third Governor 1852-1858, led a rescue party into Lake Valley in the winter of 1852 to bring out a snowbound group of emigrants. The lake was called "Bigler" in his honor. The Washoe Indian "Tahoe", meaning deep or blue water became popular in the late 1860s and 1870s.

all lots for this sale will be subject to a 18% buyer's premium

Current Opening Bid: $290

email this lot to a friend

Lot 2006    

Los Angeles, Cal. - Judge Benjamin Hayes Correspondence (Los Angeles), 4 folded lengthy letters from 1850-51 written to friend (1st letter) and wife in Liberty, Mo. during his early his career as an attorney and judge in Los Angeles; first 3-page letter datelined "City of Los Angeles, May 29th, 1850" entered the mails with "San Diego, Cal., Jun 4" cds, to St. Louis and forwarded to Liberty with red "St. Louis, Mo., Jul 18" cds and manuscript "40" & "for 5/45" total rate, letter tells of arrival to Los Angeles and his election…I left home Sept 10th - reached this place Feb 3d. At the election of April 1st was elected County Attorneysometimes I give sound decisions, probably sometimes, certainly, unsound ones, for I had a fellow whipped the other day, beyond doubt contrary to Mexican law. Justice seems to require it., with other interesting details regarding the legal system in Los Angeles, sending for his letters in San Francisco, publication comprehending the best road from Santa Fe to the California mines, etc., second 3-page folded letter datelined "City of Los Angeles, June 1st, 1850" entered the mails with red New - York, 10cts, Jul 8 integral rate cds, letter regarding his busy practice and lamenting over not having his wife in Los Angeles with him, third 2-page folded letter datelined "City of Los Angeles, Jany 20th, 1851" with orange-red "San Francisco, Cal., Feb 1" cds and matching "40" rate handstamp, letter regarding sending his wife out to Los Angeles and taking her to places beyond…There is a pretty little island just opposite our port (Santa Catalina)…A short sail, upon a quiet sea, would take us to Lima or the Sandwich Islands, fourth 7-page folded letter datelined "City of Los Angeles, Feby 21th, 1851" regarding the securing of a draft in San Francisco to be sent out to his wife by steamer soon for her trip out, takes of the troublesome crossing of the Isthmus, various things to bring on trip out, mentions San Pedro "the port of Los Angeles", various steamer sailings including the Panama and the Constitution, etc.; some cover edge staining and edge wear, F.-V.F. overall.
Estimate    $1,500 - 2,000.

The rush to mine gold from the hills of northern California brought many professionals to the new territory in addition to the prospectors. Benjamin Hayes was a lawyer living in Missouri in 1849 when he decided to make the overland journey to California. There he became a leader of the Los Angeles bar. His wife, Emily, eventually made the trip out to Los Angeles in 1851. As Catholics living in Southern California, the Hayeses boasted a wide circle of friends among their Hispanic neighbors and a special interest in the Missions and Mission Indians.

all lots for this sale will be subject to a 18% buyer's premium

Current Opening Bid: $1,200

email this lot to a friend

Lot 2007    

Sacramento City, Cal., Feb 6, 1857 (Sacramento), circular postmark (Williams SAC-2560) tying 1851 1¢ blue, horiz. strip of 3 (position 81-83R2) on cover to Dry Creek P.O., with original enclosure and pencil notations by S. Ashbrook, strip with large margins, light crease between second and third stamp, Extremely Fine, a scarce usage of the 1¢ 1851 issue in California, ex-Polland; plated and signed by Ashbrook.
Scott No. 7    Estimate $400 - 600.

all lots for this sale will be subject to a 18% buyer's premium

Current Opening Bid: $210

email this lot to a friend

Lot 2008    

San Francisco, Cal. (San Francisco), bold cds tying horiz. pair of 1851 3¢ orange brown (large margins to just touched at right) on 1852 folded cover datelined "San Diego" addressed to New York, pencil "Due 12 + 2 = 14¢" rate (most unusual as we cannot explain the 12¢ due portion), Very Fine and attractive.
Scott No. 10    Estimate $300 - 400.

all lots for this sale will be subject to a 18% buyer's premium

Current Opening Bid: $190

email this lot to a friend

Lot 2009    

(San Francisco) Victoria Vancouver Island, Post Office, Paid, blue oval frank handstamp on 1866 cover to Glasgow, Scotland, additionally franked with U.S. 1862, 24¢ lilac (small margin tear) tied by cogwheel handstamp with matching "San Francisco, Cal., Feb 14" cds alongside, red "N. York Br. Pkt., Paid 19, Mar 13" exchange cds and receiving backstamp, Very Fine.
Scott No. U.S. 78    Estimate $750 - 1,000.

all lots for this sale will be subject to a 18% buyer's premium

Current Opening Bid: $650

email this lot to a friend

Lot 2010    

San Francisco, Cal. (San Francisco), neat cds tying 1851 1¢ blue, type II (slightly cut in) on folded cover to Rhode Island with manuscript "Due 9" rate to make up the 10¢ transcontinental rate, Very Fine and rare, reported to be a unique usage, ex-Kramer.
Scott No. 7    Estimate $500 - 750.

all lots for this sale will be subject to a 18% buyer's premium

Current Opening Bid: $240

email this lot to a friend

Lots 2001-2010 Lot 2011

Previous ChapterTable of ContentsNext Chapter