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Sale 29

The Steve Berlin Collection of Karl Lewis Covers


New Year's Stamps
 
 
Lot Photo Description
Lot 2173

1935 (Dec. 25), Yokohama Christmas Day cover, The earlier of two known covers, the second dating from 1938. A bright ship cachet adorns the cover, franked by 10s postage (two of the three stamps commemoratives), tied by 10.12.25 Yokohama Scenic Datestamp and/or 25.12.35 foreign mail comb. Blue "To US" handstamp at left below inscription. "C-9." combination notation and ") N (" instruction typed, with "Don't open" added in pencil. Flap sealed by oval genkan handstamp. Cleanly opened at right. A rare cover, in pristine condition., Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 2,600 - 3,000.
Realized HK$2,200.
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Lot 2174

1936, Year of the Rat postcard, with message, A Tanaka & Co. postcard with design of rat, box and mask along with pre-printed greeting on picture side. Address side is a typed and signed note from Lewis to George Dinges, a solid customer, discussing a recent order and wishing him a Happy New Year. Obviously sent under separate cover, as the card lacks an address or postage. A nice collateral item., Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 800 - 1,000.
Unsold
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Lot 2175

1936 (Jan. 1), 1½s New Year's Greeting (J.S.C.A. N1. Scott 222), One of six examples known. This front is imaged on page 113 of JP 72:2, but the inscription on the reverse differs slightly from those listed in the journal. A generic cachet of a building in the foreground, with sampans on the water and Mt. Fuji and sun in distance, bearing a single plus a horizontal block of six of the 1½s Mt. Fuji New Year issue, totaling 10½s postage, tied by two New Year's Day Yokohama 11.1.1 special datestamps. Blue "To US" handstamp below inscription. Reverse bears "A First Day Cover,/of a New Issue./_ _ _ _ _ _" and ") O (" at top of the backflap, along with "22" at lower left, all typed. Vertical oval kan handstamp across flap. Opened at left. Minor condition issues (tear affecting top left stamp, bottom right stamp with turned corner) are of minor concern. A scarce item, with an unrecorded caption reverse., Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 2,200 - 2,600.
Realized HK$1,700.
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Lot 2176

1936 (Jan. 1), 1½s New Year's Greeting (J.S.C.A. N1. Scott 222), A second example, from six known (imaged at JP 72:2, p. 113), on a ship cachet showing a path leading to a torii with mountain and sun in background. The seven stamps comprise a single, a vertical pair plus a block of four, all tied by three Yokohama 11.1.1 special New Year's Day comb cancels. Blue "To US" handstamp below inscription noting "New Year's Day,/1936." Reverse only with typed ") O (" instruction and handstamped horizontal oval genkan across seal—lacking any indication that this is a First Day Cover. Opened both left and right. A great cover., Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 2,200 - 2,600.
Realized HK$2,400.
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Lot 2177

1937 (Jan. 1), 1½s New Year's Greeting (J.S.C.A. N2. Scott 234), Block of four and irregular block of three Wedded Rocks issue, tied to cover with matching cachet and printed inscription, tied by two strikes of the Yokohama 12.1.1 Scenic Datestamp. Blue "To US" handstamp at lower left. Typed ") O (" at top center of backflap and "15" at lower left. Flap sealed by double-framed circular kan handstamp in blue. Neatly opened at right. According to JP, only eight covers are known. A lovely cover., Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 2,000 - 2,400.
Realized HK$2,200.
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Lot 2178

1938 (Jan. 1), 2s New Year's Greeting, Year of the Tiger (J.S.C.A. N3. Scott 256), A horizontal pair at upper right of cover immediately below printed inscription, tied by Yokohama 13.1.1 Scenic Datestamp with blue "To US" handstamp alongside. Cachet (discussed and imaged in JP 72:2, p. 116) shows a tiger in profile emerging from a bamboo grove with Mt. Fuji in the distance. Reverse bears blue handstamped ") N (" indicator and typed "15" at lower left, with flap sealed by pair of 8s Mt. Fuji & Deer stamps, making up the 20s postage, tied by Yokohama 13.1.1 New Year's Day comb cancel. One of 14 known Year of the Tiger covers. Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 2,000 - 2,400.
Realized HK$2,200.
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Lot 2179

1938 (Jan. 1), 2s New Year's Greeting, Year of the Tiger (J.S.C.A. N3. Scott 256), On the second of two cachet designs known for this issue, a rather self-satisfied looking tiger amidst bamboo, with Mt. Fuji in the distance. Horizontal pair of New Year stamps placed below inscription and tied by 13.1.1 Yokohama Scenic Datestamp, with blue "To US" handstamp at left. Reverse carries a blue handstamped ") N (" notice, "20" typed twice at lower left, plus an additional 16s postage across backflap, tied by Yokohama New Year's Day comb cancel. Flap partially opened along right-hand side, stopping before reaching the stamps. An eye-catching cover of a three-legged tiger. JP notes 14 covers are known. Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 2,000 - 2,400.
Realized HK$3,200.
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Lot 2180

1939 (Sept. 2), "The Year of the Rabbit," Japanese Zodiac cover, On cachet showing rabbits playing in snow, with Mt. Fuji in the distance. 20s postage (a 10s Daisen and Inland Sea National Park issue, plus two definitives) tied by two strikes of the Nippon around-the-world-flight commemorative cancel dated 14.9.2. Blue "To US" handstamp at lower right. Reverse with small caps "open this" instruction and vertical oval kan handstamp, both in blue. Cover opened along flap. The use of a small commemorative datestamp is unusual on Lewis' covers, with this one even more interesting, as it was the final day of the Nippon's original flight plan, as Britain and France declared war on Germany on Sept. 3, forcing her to cancel her planned European tour and return to Japan over North Africa to the Middle East. JP (72:2, p. 117) notes these covers are "relatively uncommon" and lists three inscription types. Perhaps one of three covers known, but difficult whatever the quantity., Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 2,800 - 3,200.
Realized HK$3,000.
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Lot 2181

1939 (Nov. 18), The Year of the Rabbit, Japanese Zodiac cover, On the second known cachet type, showing a pair of rabbits playing in the summer, with Mt. Fuji in the distance. Postage overpaid by 1s, consisting of 4s and 10s Daisen & Inland Sea National Park issues, plus 7s Diamond Mountains definitive, tied by two strikes (one half-way off the cover at left) of the Yokohama Scenic Datestamp dated 14.11.18. Blue "To US" handstamp at bottom center. Reverse bears none of the usual Lewis markings, with the flap unorthodoxly sealed by a cut-out (apparently partly cancelled by a Yokohama comb) of The Last Supper. "Kanagawa Scenic Cancel Yokahama [sic]" in pencil at lower left. Opened a bit roughly at right, but a scarce cover—and the latest known date according to JP. Near Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 2,400 - 3,000.
Realized HK$2,800.
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Lot 2182

1939 (Jan. 1), Year of the Rabbit postcard from Lewis to New York, The card portraying a rabbit, sun, cherry blossoms and soldier's kit and rifle with bayonet, along with pre-printed New Year's message. Franked by 2s Mt. Nantai stamp, which is tied by Yokohama Scenic Datestamp dated 14.1.1. Reverse bears the heading, "A Japanese New Year Card of Greeting for 1939./(The 'Year of the Rabbit,' Japanese Zodiac.)" along with a blue "To US" handstamp at left and typed address of recipient. Obviously sent under separate cover. A nice collateral item., Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 800 - 1,000.
Realized HK$900.
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Lot 2183

1940 (May 27), The Year of the Dragon, Japanese Zodiac cover, Three First Showa Series definitives tied by two Yokohama Scenic Datestamps dated 15.5.27 to cover with dragon in gray blue with Mt. Fuji and rising sun behind. Blue "To US" handstamp at far right. No markings on reverse, but cut-out from Lewis' stationery used as a seal across the backflap. Opened neatly at right. This cover is illustrated on page 119 of JP 72:2, but the journal fails to mention the enclosed (and included) single-page typed and signed letter from Lewis to Battle. Dated May 25, 1940, the letter is an absolute treasure for the Lewis collector: topics include a word of thanks for Battle's get-well-soon card and its curiosity value in Japan, the death of Lewis' wife (and his look at his own impending mortality), the failed experiment of Japan's first coil issue (and Scott's undervaluing them in their catalogue), plus information on his one-time stamp collection, pawned, "with my gun, and a gold ring," but never redeemed. Be sure to read the entire letter online—it's well worth it., Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 3,200 - 3,600.
Realized HK$4,000.
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Lot 2184

1941 (Jan. 1), Year of the Snake postcard, A Seikyokudo postcard depicting cranes flying over buildings with mountains behind, addressed to a client in Louisville. Bears pre-printed message from Lewis (with location of "Yokohama-Nippon", rather than "Japan"). Typed address, violet "To US" and "U.S. of AMERICA." handstamps. Horizontal pair of 5s Tazawas tied by two strikes of (Yokohama) 1.1.41 foreign mail combs. Imaged in JP 72:2, p. 127, though the reverse is incorrectly ascribed there. The last New Year's card Lewis could have sent, as postal relations were severed following Pearl Harbor., Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 800 - 1,000.
Realized HK$800.
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Lot 2185

1941 (Apr. 7), Winter in Japan, A beautiful all-over cachet from Lewis' master painter, depicting a boat moored on the water with snow-covered buildings behind and Mt. Fuji in the distance. One of two cachet designs recorded. Four definitives pay the 20s postage, tied by three Yokohama 7.4.41 foreign mail comb cancels (a bad slug makes the day appear to be "17"). Violet "To US" handstamp at lower right, with receiver's magenta boxed dated handstamp at center (further tying the 3s stamp). Backflap shows client's message, "With my Compliments./F. C. G.", and is sealed by violet vertical oval "kan" handstamp. Neatly opened at top. A simply stunning, late cover., Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 2,800 - 3,200.
Realized HK$2,600.
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Lot 2186

1941 (Apr. 7), Winter in Japan, A second cachet design by the master painter, showing a figure with parasol gazing out at a snow-covered scene with a house nearby. The four stamps totaling 20s are tied by three Yokohama foreign mail combs dated 7.4.41. Violet "To US" handstamp at lower right. Reverse blank save for violet kan vertical oval handstamp. Cleanly opened at left. Addressed to Frederick C. Gustetter, the "F.C.G." of the previous Lot, and mailed the same day. An absolutely beautiful cover, and one of the latest known from Lewis., Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 2,800 - 3,200.
Realized HK$5,500.
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Lot 2187

1941 (June 5), Karl Lewis' last known cover, Bearing a peaceful all-over cachet of a figure in an outrigger canoe near a palm-lined shore, with a warm and bright sky overhead. Franked by three stamps, each depicting Lewis' beloved Mt. Fuji, and tied by two strikes of a Yokohama/5.6.41/Nippon" foreign mail comb. Violet "To US" handstamp at bottom center. Reverse with only a vertical oval kan handstamp in violet. Opened cleanly along flap. Addressed to a long-time client, this seems a fitting end (as currently recorded) to Lewis' career, the cover with a calm design and addressed to a town named, poetically for an old mariner coming onto his last days, Haven., Very Fine.
Estimate HK$ 3,000 - 3,600.
Realized HK$4,000.
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