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Quality 19th Century U.S. Stamps, Cancels and Postal History

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Department Officials (#1)

Item # Description Price Picture
8158 #O2, fine and fresh 2 Interior, canceled by a VF strike of Wheel of Fortune fancy commercial killer, quite scarce on this issue.  Stamp has an extremely well pressed crease that is invisible in fluid. $50
7707 #O3, fine 3 Agriculture, fresh and sound, canceled by a VF SOTN strike of purple solid 5-point star in circle killer. Attractive fancy cancel. $25
7052 #O3, fine 3 Agriculture, sound, canceled by a black leaf killer. All fancy killers on Agriculture Department stamps are scarce. $20
6759 #O3, XF 3 Agriculture, tiny corner perf bend at UL, otherwise sound, canceled by a SOTN strike of a negative 5-point star in circle.  Fancy killers scarce on the Agriculture stamps. $25
7544 #O6, F-VF 12 Agriculture, sound, attractive 4-ring target killer. Scott catalog $260. $150
7526 #O12, fine 3 Executive, sound, quartered cork killer. Scott catalog: $210. $45
7638 #O15, fair-fine 1 Interior, tiny perf faults at bottom, tied on intact small, unsealed U.S. Patent Office corner envelope, paying the circular mail rate from Washington, DC to Canandaigua, NY. Small cover stain at lower left.  Scarce use on small envelope. $150
7218 #O16, XF 2 Interior, sound, canceled by an XF strike of commercial rubber Wheel of Fortune fancy killer. Attractive stamp and fancy cancel. SOLD
6916 #O20, 12 Interior, XF-superb and sound with light cancellation, this being the scarce catalog-listed variety with short transfer at bottom right (pos. 6). Great stamp. SOLD
6754 #O21, 15 Interior, F-VF+, sound, bearing a superb SOTN strike of intense black cross fancy killer. $25
6896 #O24, 90 Interior, XF-superb and sound, with large even margins and light cancellation, 2017 PSAG certificate (0577106) graded 90. (I call this a 95.) Gorgeous used example of this stamp. SOLD
7528 #O32, XF, sound 24 Justice. Scott catalog: $425. SOLD
7690 #O39. F-VF 7 Navy, sound, lightly toned, canceled by a leaf killer of unknown origin. Scarce stamp, especially with fancy cancel. $80

$75

7954 #O35, fine, small corner crease at upper left, canceled by a SOTN strike of an unusual rounded hollow cross fancy killer. SOLD
7647 #O40, F+ 10 Navy, bearing an XF strike of a Maltese cross-like killer. Stamp has quarter inch tear at top. $8
7107 #O48, F-VF 2 Post Office, canceled by red "apple" killer, distinctly showing the split stem of the fruit at right. A wonderful fancy killer on an Official. SOLD
7971 Post Office Department, New York, intact penalty cover, mailed from Havana, Cuba to Germany. Not having separate penalty envelopes for the U.S. Cuban postal administration, the cover had its "New York" address scratched out and "Havana - Cuba Register" penned in its place. The cover bears a purple 3-line "HAVANA, CUBA / APR 2 1899 / REGISTERED No. ___ [187]" hand stamp, and two strikes of 2-line "CHAS. F. W. NEELY / Chief, Bureau of Finance" identifying the sender. The cover bears 22 centavo postage composed of four different U.S. provisional surcharged stamps (Scott Cuba: #221, #223Ax2, #224x2, #225x2, all with faults) canceled by four strikes of purple "HAVANA, CUBA" in oval postmarks. (As of the date of mailing, assuming a matching of U.S. 5 per ounce UPU rate and 8 registry rate for postage to Germany with the 22 c. Cuban postage on this cover, the postage either represents a double weight cover overpaid by 4 c. or a triple rate cover underpaid by 1 c.) The cover is addressed to Mr. M. O. Borrmann, P.O, Aue, Saxony, Germany (23 4 99 AUE back stamp). I note by examination under bright light that the address under the label and the address on the label are, unexplainedly, the same. I suspect that the addressee was a stamp dealer and that this cover contained samples of the U.S. surcharged postage stamps. I base this solely upon a single 1912 German registered cover bearing the addressee's corner name and address that I located on eBay.  If the above was all there was to this item, it would by itself be an exceptional penalty usage. But the story behind Charles F. W. Neely and his Cuban postal administration cohorts makes it much more interesting. The department of post of Cuba was reorganized under the authority of Estes G. Rathbone, appointed director of posts on December 21, 1898, by the Postmaster-General of the U.S. On January 7, 1899, Rathbone created the bureau of finance. Charles F. W. Neely was appointed as bureau chief. He was charged with the custody of the stamps, stamped paper, stamped envelopes, postal cards, and newspaper wrappers, and also issuing the same to postmasters. These responsibilities additionally would have included servicing requests from stamp collectors and dealers, both domestic and foreign. In late August or early September 1899, the surcharged U.S. stamps were replaced by newly designed Cuban stamps. On September 11, 1899, the remainder of the surcharged stamps (net of a sufficient number to satisfy requests from stamp collectors) were ordered destroyed. The burning of original sealed packages of these stamps was reported executed on September 13. The amount of postage destroyed was fraudulently misreported allowing the involved parties to embezzle post office funds through the sale of the retained portion of the the reportedly destroyed stamps. The embezzlement was subsequently discovered by audit. See a highly readable recent journalistic account of these events. See also a Congressional document detailing events. $300

7353 #O49, fine, sound 3 Post Office, canceled by a VF SOTN strike of a positive Masonic square and compass fancy killer, manuscript Winooski (Falls), VT, DEC 6, 1876 postmark (DPO Chittenden County, 1846-79) on VF intact canary official envelope.  Cover contains the original signed receipt for registered packages (scan).  Official covers with distinct Masonic killers are exceptionally rare. Clear 2019 Philatelic Foundation certificate stating that it is a "genuine usage". $250

7994 #O49, VF 3 Post Office, sound, on VF intact lemon P.O. Official Business envelope with blue NO. LEOMINSTER, MASS., MAR 9 postmark (DPO Worcester County 1851-97), blue target does not tie stamp. $20
7402 #O49, XF 3 Post Office with deep black color canceled by an XF SOTN strike of 5 segment blue wedges killer, matching blue PITTSFORD, VT, 23 OCT postmark on XF intact canary P.O. cover. Registry receipt enclosed (scan). SOLD
       
       
 

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