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Sale 29

The Steve Berlin Collection of Karl Lewis Covers


National Parks Stamps
 
 
Lot Photo Description
Lot 2159

1936 (July 10), Fuji-Hakone National Park complete (J.S.C.A. P1-4. Scott 223-226), An unaddressed cover, not mentioned in the JP article on this issue (72:2, p. 96). The complete set on the sole-known cachet design for this: a group of five buildings on two outcroppings of land with Mt. Fuji and the rising sun in the background. The stamps are tied by two strikes of the 11.7.10 Yokohama Scenic Datestamp. Reverse without markings of any kind. It is interesting to note that on both this and the addressed cover in the next Lot, the sun behind Mt. Fuji is darkened. This is not a changeling (note the sun's rays are still bright), and it is not the result of ink colors intermingling. This is intentional and individual, each cover showing a slightly different application of the darker ink to the sun's disk. Of course, no self-respecting (or self-preserving) Japanese artist would ever darken the symbol of Nihon in this way. We like to think that one of Lewis' painters was an amateur astronomer who found a creative way to commemorate the solar eclipse that had occurred on June 19, just three weeks before this set was issued. The path of totality crossed the northern tip of Hokkaido, but Yokohama experienced approximately 80% totality. We can't prove it, of course, but we dare you to come up with a better explanation! Only 11 covers recorded by JP. Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 3,600 - 4,000.
Realized HK$3,000.
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Lot 2160

1936 (July 10), Fuji-Hakone National Park complete (J.S.C.A. P1-4. Scott 223-226), Cachet with pre-printed inscription as in the previous Lot, with the full set present (though in reverse order) and tied by two strikes of the Yokohama Scenic Datestamp. A darkening blue "To US" handstamp at far right. Reverse with handstamped ") N (" and manuscript "Do not open" immediately below. Flap sealed by near-circular kan handstamp. Opened cleanly at right. Again exhibiting a darkened sun behind Fuji-san. A lovely example of this first National Park set First Day Cover. Only 11 recorded. Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 3,200 - 3,800.
Realized HK$3,000.
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Lot 2161

1938 (Dec. 25), Nikko National Park complete (J.S.C.A. P5-8. Scott 280-283), An unrecorded cachet variety. A one-line pre-printed issue inscription at top, with cachet showing a tree and house behind a knoll, with Mt. Fuji and birds—but no ship or sun as reported in JP 72:2, p. 97. The set complete, with the 2s and 20s stamps tied by Yokohama 13.12.25 Scenic Datestamp, and the 20s, 10s and 4s values tied by date-equivalent Yokohama foreign mail comb cancel. Bright blue "To US" handstamp at bottom center. Reverse with manuscript "Open" instruction, plus blue horizontal oval genkan handstamp. Opened neatly at left, but with resultant 2mm reduction. Nonetheless, a pretty cover. JP notes 10 known. Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 2,400 - 2,800.
Realized HK$2,400.
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Lot 2162

1938 (Dec. 25), Nikko National Park complete (J.S.C.A. P5-8. Scott 280-283), A beautiful cover with pre-printed inscription and sacred bridge (as depicted on 10s stamp) cachet. This is a departure from most all other Lewis cachets as, with the exception of the bridge itself, the entire design is in shades of black. It also seems that a new artist was at work, or an old hand was trying something new, as the trees, rocks and bridge supports are all in a pure black, heavily laid on that, in raking light, shine (the top of the tree at left in particular showing a very clear texture of the applied ink). The stamps are tied by two Yokohama cancels, the 2s and 10s by a 13.12.25-dated Scenic Datestamp; the 10s, 20s and 4s by a foreign mail comb dated 25.12.38. Bright blue "To US" handstamp to left of address. Reverse with typed ") O (" and partially erased penciled "Open this" below, with flap sealed by vertical oval kan handstamp. Oddly, a reverse printing of the recipient's address also appears at lower left. Opened at top with a bumped corner and a small tear above "25" of the date in the inscription; stamps and cachet unaffected. Ten covers for this issue are known, as reported in JP., Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 2,400 - 2,800.
Realized HK$2,600.
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Lot 2163

1939 (Apr. 20), Daisen & Setonaikai National Parks complete (J.S.C.A. P10-13. Scott 285-288), On a cover bearing a single-line pre-printed inscription for the issue and an all-over cachet of Abuto-Kannon with sailboats in the distance (based on the 10s stamp design in reverse). The four stamps are tied by two strikes of the Tottori Daisen Scenic Datestamp, with blue "To US" handstamp at far right. This is another departure from the standard Lewis cover, as the moon (?) and its reflection on the water (to the immediate left of the 2s stamp) are painted in metallic silver that shines under angled light. Reverse with typed "22" at lower left, and blue handstamped ") N (" and near-circular kan, the latter rotated 90° clockwise. Despite instructions, cleanly opened along flap. A pretty cover, of which JP reports nine known. Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 2,400 - 2,800.
Realized HK$2,600.
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Lot 2164

1939 (Aug. 15), Aso National Park complete (J.S.C.A. P15-18. Scott 290-293), On a smoking caldera of a cachet, whose design is based on the 10s stamp's image. The four stamps of the set are tied by two 14.8.15 Yokohama Scenic Datestamps, with blue "To US" at far right and partly obscured by the 2s stamp. The photographic, almost three-dimensional effect of the cachet is heightened by a layer of reflective darker ink along the front edges of the caldera. As JP 72:2 notes (p. 101, where this cover is imaged), the two-line inscription was altered, the original date of August 10 being corrected to August 15 by impression of a "5" over the "0"—the impression heavy enough on this cover to show through the backflap! A typed "22" at lower left and standard-location blue handstamped ") N (" and vertical oval kan on reverse. Lower left corner creased, but this hardly detracts. One of seven copies known. Very Fine despite the corner crease.
Estimate HK$ 2,000 - 2,400.
Realized HK$3,000.
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Lot 2165

1940 (Apr. 20), Daisetsuzan National Park complete (J.S.C.A. P20-23. Scott 303-306), A printed one-line inscription above another of the master painter's works, depicting a sampan sailing among tree-topped islets. The set of four tied by two strikes of the Yokohama Scenic Datestamp dated 15.4.20, with blue "To US" handstamp at far left. The reverse is, interestingly, completely blank, and the cachet is on a new-style envelope with flat, rather than pointed, backflap, which is unsealed. A beautiful and pristine cover, of which JP records nine. Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 2,000 - 2,400.
Realized HK$3,000.
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Lot 2166

1940 (Aug. 21), Kirishima National Park complete (J.S.C.A. P25-28. Scott 308-311), Another example of the master painter's work, showing mountains through a flower-strewn glad. The four stamps of the set are tied by two strikes of the Yokohama Scenic Datestamp dated 15.8.21, with the "To US" handstamp uncharacteristically in purple at far left. Reverse bears two ") N (" indicators, one manuscript in pencil, the other handstamped in blue immediately below. The squared flap of the envelope is sealed by a near-circular kan handstamp in a blue-shading-to-violet. This cover was kept sealed, with the original stiffener included. With strong backlight, two words can be made out on the enclosed card: "Lincoln Zephyr". Lewis was a car salesman, after all…. An absolute beauty of a cover, of which JP reports only seven known. Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 2,000 - 2,400.
Realized HK$2,400.
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Lot 2167

1941 (Mar. 10), Daiton and Niitaka-Arisan National Parks complete (J.S.C.A. P30-33. Scott 315-318), Lewis' last-known First Day Cover, and an interesting use of "left-over" cachets. The set honors the National Park established in Formosa, so Lewis went into his stores and pulled out a Formosa common cachet Type II, our familiar litter-bearers, still in their yellow conical hats and pink outfits, if not quite so jauntily (compare Lot 2080). The four stamps are tied by two strikes of the Yokohama 10.3.41 foreign mail comb cancels, with "To US" handstamp at far right in pure purple. Reverse shows "open this" in small caps and vertical oval kan handstamps in purple. Neatly opened at left. JP notes four covers known. Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 2,800 - 3,200.
Realized HK$2,600.
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