STOCKHOLMIA 2019 Private Treaty Sale

Lot 64


United States, Opening Salvos: A Battery of 19th-Century US Patent Envelopes. This lot, consisting of well over 60 items and built over many years, highlights the development of the American envelope—in myriad forms and formats—from around 1860 to about 1913. The range of designs is fascinating, with envelopes for every use imaginable. Their ingenuity and functionality are underlined by each having been granted a US patent.

Each item is annotated, with many identified by manufacturer, ranging from the American Bank Note Company's letter sheet essay to Weaver's Mailing Envelope, with letter sheets, cabinet photo mailers, safety and sample envelopes, and more in between. That said, roughly half the items have no maker's mark on them—a ready-made research project. There are wire-pull envelopes, perforated envelopes, amazing tab or flap arrangements and more—including a not-for-the-cat-lover-in-your-life Valentine folded letter sheet with an ad for Hood's Sarsaparilla.

In addition to these privately produced envelopes, the collection contains the first two US embossed entires by Nesbitt (Scott #U1 and U2, both used, #U1 uprated by an imperforate 3-cent adhesive, being sent from New Hampshire to California) plus two used copies of the 1887 Grant letter sheet (#U293), one of which never made it into the mail and is thus complete.

Two private wafer seals, a rivet envelope (advertising D.A. Comstock, NY, in surround), plus a stock certificate for the United States Sealed Postal Card Company, ca. 1880. The latter is the copy described by Charles Fricke in The American Philatelist. (This was the company that produced and provided the Grant sheet to the Post Office Department—free of charge to the latter—and so capital had to be raised through stocks. A copy of Fricke's article is included.)

And it must be noted: beyond the technical details, many of these covers are beautifully illustrated or embellished with embossings, clever holding devices (come dancing!), etc.

After seeing these once-available envelopes, you'll rue your next bill or advertising letter all the more.

Price: $9,500; £7,450; €6,085; 95,000 SEK; HK$74,100.

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Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions, LLC
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