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Posted Mar 24, 17 9:06 by joe kirker (centuryc3)


Thanks, Farley

I wasn't aware of the NPM reference. Working on an article about the Sanabria backstamped C3's, primarily following the recent Siegel Sale of the Don Price airmails.

Posted Mar 24, 17 6:53 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Feather River Store & Pack Mule Express

Another interesting cover added to inventory here (described in detail here) and shown below provided a fun couple days of research. A friend emailed me a scan and asked about the endorsement at left. With the help of some good search luck, I was able to identify it and then develop the story.

For those railroad fans, the Feather River Route was a famous line developed by the Western Pacific railroad. A 1949 documentary film about the route is on youtube here, (I had a small licence plate with the WP Feather River Logo attached to the facia of my boyhood train layout a few years ago).

This is why I love postal history - always something new to learn.


Posted Mar 24, 17 3:31 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Nicolas Sanabria

The NPM tags Sanabria in your photo. See here, lower right

Posted Mar 23, 17 23:14 by joe kirker (centuryc3)


Have that picture and agree, but trying to be more certain. He (Sanabria) did associate with Putnam but mainly for very different reasons. Actually rather very unusual on how they came in contact (along with Amelia).

Posted Mar 23, 17 22:49 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Nicholas Sanabria

Looks like him. See his photo here

Posted Mar 23, 17 22:18 by joe kirker (centuryc3)

posting back after long hiatus and ongoing Agent Orange issues. Hope to validate the gentleman at the right in this 1936 Tipex photo showing Amelia Earhart and George Putnam. I believe it is Nicholas Sanabria.


Posted Mar 23, 17 17:05 by Tim O'Connor (drtimo)

early advertising cover

closeup of handstamp on back Tim


Posted Mar 23, 17 17:03 by Tim O'Connor (drtimo)

early advertising cover

1807 from London to Boston, Late for me but it tickles me a bit. Will send a closeup next. Tim


Posted Mar 23, 17 10:36 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Fake Ad Covers

These came in a rather large group of US & Canada advertising covers. Will try to write up a proper article rather than clutter the board. The ones I have shown are from the "easier" to spot group ...

I believe (although it may well be from an unreliable first source) that the items first appeared on the market and were purchased in Chicago between 10 and 20 years ago.

(update - although the group of these I have may have come from Chicago several years ago, the person who I now believe made them is a professional printer in Maryland who I am told advertises reproduction printing and lithography.)

Posted Mar 23, 17 10:25 by Rob Faux (robfaux)

"ad" covers

I take it you are finding a whole bunch of these popping up?  That's concerning.

On another front, finally managed to pick up an ex-Vogel item for my exhibit - just a few years later.  Landed 1 of 2 targets at Rumsey.  Sad I couldn't afford the 2nd one, but that's the way it goes sometimes.


Posted Mar 23, 17 10:13 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

J. Wilkes Booth

Resurrected from the dead to appear in Richard III in postwar Richmond.

Hard to imagine any American (over the age of 30 at least) making this mistake.


Posted Mar 23, 17 8:59 by Richard Frajola (frajola)


And, maybe the ultimate mourning cover not in the Paul Bearer collection. Again, in my opinion, genuine use with faked illustration added.


Posted Mar 23, 17 8:54 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Joe Jackson

Thanks for the several requests to purchase the Joe Jackson ad cover ... unfortunately, although a genuine use cover, that advertisement has been added at a later date.

From the same "Chicago" factory is the Jumbo mourning cover below


Posted Mar 22, 17 20:39 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

10c 1847

Nice buy Chad! Congratulations!

Posted Mar 22, 17 19:21 by Chad Snee (atgpac)

No. 2 to go with No. 1

I acquired this 10¢ 1847 cover at yesterday's Rumsey sale. It fills, after almost 11 years, the hole in my album created when I bought a 5¢ 1847 cover at Washington 2006.

It's also an honor to take custody of a cover that once resided in the collection of the late Harvey Mirsky, a gentleman of the highest order who treated me with great kindness.


Posted Mar 22, 17 15:53 by David Benson (dbenson)

Togo to Nossi Be.

The first point of call in France would have been where the mail was offloaded. In this case Boulogne,

David B.

Posted Mar 22, 17 15:52 by Larry Bustillo (suburban)



What caliber in your Remington ?

Posted Mar 22, 17 15:37 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Joe Jackson

The inspiration


Posted Mar 22, 17 15:36 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

Joe Jackson

... no, but I walk around West Philadelphia without a Remington slung over my shoulder frequently --- but I always recommend wearing decent shoes if you are. (LOL)

Posted Mar 22, 17 15:35 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Joe Jackson

The ad


Posted Mar 22, 17 15:27 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Togo to Boulogne sur Mer to Nossi Be

Sounds like Captain Peter Wrongway Peachfuzz was at the helm. ;-)

Posted Mar 22, 17 15:21 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Joe Jackson

Lots of very interesting things crossing my desk today.

Has anybody seen this ad cover design?

(add-on March 23rd - in my opinion this ad has been added at a later date to an otherwise genuine cover.)


Posted Mar 22, 17 9:02 by Rob Faux (robfaux)

Nossy Be


At the time of this letter I believe Nossy Be was under control of the French.  So, the letter must have gone from the West Coast of Africa (Togo) to France and then via French ship to the destination in Madagascar.  I am not sure why it would go to Boulogne sur Mer which is on the northern coast rather than Marseilles or Nice.


Posted Mar 22, 17 2:46 by David Handelman (davidh)

good day, eh

Steve: AR: avis de réception (Rückschein; acknowledgment/advice of receipt; return receipt, ...).

Lavar: A very nice cover indeed.

Posted Mar 22, 17 0:54 by Steve Walske (steve w)

Good Day


Congrats! What is "AR"? Also, why does the cover have a French transit (Boulogne) on it?

Posted Mar 21, 17 23:44 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

A Good Stamp Day

Today was a good stamp day.  I opened a recently delivered package which contained the item shown below. It is a registered cover sent from Lome, Togo on May 7, 1908 to Nossi Be, Madagascar.  This is a particularly unusual destination for mail sent from German Togo.

What makes this very special, however, is the notation "Ruckschein" in the upper right corner. This is an AR cover. AR covers from German colonies are extremely rare. A very good stamp day, indeed.


Posted Mar 21, 17 19:59 by Al Starkweather (stark39)

Stamp Insider for March–April 2017

Stamp Insider for March–April 2017

The March-April 2017 issue of the Stamp Insider, journal of the Federation of New York Philatelic Societies, is online and available for free download in PDF format or viewing online with page turning. It is available in both PDF and HTML5-friendly format at:


The issue is devoted to the home front when the US entered World War I on April 6, 1917. In the lead story — Flogging Bonds To Beat the Kaiser: Slogan Cancels Promoted Public Awareness — Glenn A. Estus shows how slogan postmarks promoted Liberty Bond sales in the US and War Bonds in Canada, as well as Thrift and interest-bearing War Savings stamps in both countries. Estus and George McGowan’s Food Will Win the War illustrates slogan postmarks used in the US, Manila, Philippines, and Newfoundland.

Steve Swain’s The Darker Side of Patriotism: The Home Front Confronts the War Front illustrates postcards promoting the sale of Liberty Bonds and stamps, contrasting the colorful domestic cards, black and white soldier’s mail Overseas Post Cards showing the weapons of war, and Treasury Department cards produced for the Liberty Loan Committee of New England. In a short article he also illustrates a Red Cross postcard for military personnel arriving overseas sent by an heir of the founder of Coca-Cola.

Albert W. Starkweather’s A Relative Mystery shows how a February 19, 1919, postcard sent by a great uncle on duty in France to his mother ties in with family genealogy.

In another significant event in 1917, Ruth L. Sabo’s Deltiolgoy column is devoted to the Russian Revolution.

The featured video — The Bond — is the silent movie Charlie Chaplin created at his own expense for the Liberty Load Committee for theatrical release to help sell Liberty Bonds. His half brother, Syd Chaplin, appears as the kaiser.



Posted Mar 21, 17 18:32 by Michael Schreiber (michaelschreiber)

target cancels on 19th-century stamps of Nicaragua

Here is an article picturing genuine in-period targets, genuine out-of-period, and genuine but cannot tell if in period or not.


Posted Mar 21, 17 17:11 by Terence Hines (thines)

Favor cancels on high value stamps.

This discussion reminds me of the gaudy first day covers created by Carl P. Ruth, then (1960s) editor of Linn's. Ruth would cover a cover with all sorts of Columbians, Trans-Missipies etc. that were sort of related to the topic of the first day stamp. I've always wondered what happened to all those covers. Anyone have any ideas?

Posted Mar 21, 17 16:46 by Lawrence Gregg (ecovers)

Stolen Stamps 1977

Fascinating story. What happened to the stamps and where are they now 40 years later?

Posted Mar 21, 17 16:23 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

target cancels

Target cancels were widely available and one can occasionally find one for sale.  See this ad from the January,1882 Postal Guide.


Posted Mar 21, 17 16:01 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Mute favor cancels

Some years ago Clyde Jennings published a $100 reward offer for an example of the bicolor ½¢ Numerals postage due stamp, Scott J88, properly used on a commercial cover. Eventually a certain well-known provider of favor-canceled improbable covers supplied this example, which the Philatelic Foundation certified as "a genuine usage."

Clyde was furious when I published a critique of the opinion, noting that the card was mailed June 18, 1959, the postage due stamp was issued June 19 a long way from Florida, and there was no BEP or POD record of a shipment that early.

We all need to do better. A while ago Lewis Kaufman questioned an APEX certificate on a mute-canceled AEF booklet pane on wrapper which described it as genuine used, probably based on my opinion. At the time of my examination I had been looking at a number of items submitted as Scott 498f and 499f, some of which were and some were not, so my focus was on identification, not on the cancels. I should have called it genuine with favor cancels.


Posted Mar 21, 17 14:45 by Dave Savadge (nomad55)

target cancels

Coincidentally to the ongoing discussion, while browsing a 'certain auction site', I found this item: "1893 Helvetia, Arizona Cover Envelope Stamp Cancel"


Posted Mar 21, 17 12:54 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

Target Cancels

I presume examples of these canceling devices exist out there. I know I have seen one of the wooden target cancels, well worn and ink clogged, in my travels. It looked like it was still usable.

I have yet to see any NYFM ones though, sorry Nick. I am still dreaming of finding some other 19th Century items but they are probably all in museums or attics somewhere. I know the only Maltese Cross known was found in the attic of an old village Post Office in England.

Posted Mar 21, 17 12:36 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

The Lyman, Md cover

I assume this cover is philatelic -- it is very odd that one would put 2017 $60 worth of stamps on such a cover upside down, unless maybe it was intended as a soaker. Or are you saying the cover is no good? (Signed) Puzzled in Boston

Posted Mar 21, 17 11:49 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Rupp Additional Image #2

Jack Molesworth had a couple different devices that he used (mostly he used double oval but had a target killer as well). Unused, no gum were hard to sell in the late 70s (Californians preferred regums - insert smiley face - joke was they would not know OG if they saw it). Jack would buy certain coils and scarce stamps with no gum, cancel them and sell as "cancelled" stamps - always marked them cancelled.

I presume Pat Herst did the same in an earlier era when Columbians were hard to sell. Pat (along with many other dealers of his era) was also not adverse to replacing or adding stamps to a cover as part of what he considered "restoration" to previous appearance.

We had an interesting conversation about that habit around the time he consigned his French balloon mail collection to me for auction. Easy for him to speak openly of some of the practices that were not considered "unethical" at the time.


Posted Mar 21, 17 11:41 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Rupp Additional Image

Herst Blocks


Posted Mar 21, 17 8:01 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Pat Herst target cancels

Yes, he offered the stamps for sale unused, and when his customers preferred used stamps he offered to cancel them with his concentric-circles device, which was an actual Zevely wood marker from an earlier era. He wrote to me about it in the 1980s. It's possible I published that story in The Philatelic Communicator, but I don't recall for sure. I rejected articles that he had previously published elsewhere.

Posted Mar 21, 17 1:26 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

X-Walske Cover

Rob, Interesting idea. I think 2.40 would have been 45 cents. The 3 cent clearly indicates that the French thought this a single to US. So they probably got the idea it was to Pembina. I imagine the credit would have been something like 10 cents if they thought it was through to Canada (if the treaty even allowed for such a thing--I don't know but -- a very different kettle of fish from Canada via UK).

It is true that 15-3+10 (or 12 French internal plus ocean plus 10 US to Canada) would equal 22, which is intriguing.

I suppose that would explain the lack of double accounting (30/44), as they would be expecting someone in Canada to pay it, but as it arrived out of the mails, that would be very odd.

Posted Mar 20, 17 23:35 by Rob Faux (robfaux)

Red River Cover

I mistyped.
The rate from France to Canada via Great Britain and US was 1franc per 10 grams.

I agree that the 80centime to US rate is what the sender was thinking and I think that's what the Portland office initially thought it was.  But, I also think they figured out this wasn't in US territory, therefore the Canada rates were what applied.  Hence my analysis below that I think might give a reasonable idea where the 44 cents comes from.

I am not entirely convinced of this either.  But, you did say you hadn't figured out the 44 cts marking and the rate to Canada via England and France was different.  So, that just might be a start in the analysis.

I edited my post below to fix the typo


Posted Mar 20, 17 23:30 by Steve Walske (steve w)

Red River Cover (It is no longer mine!)

Rob, the letter was sent under the terms of the 1857 Franco-US Treaty, which set an 80 centimes per 7.5 grams fully paid rate. A reasonably complicated accounting system set credits on the mail; in this case the red "3" cents credited from France to the US for inland postage.

This letter was sold with most of my transatlantic last year.

Posted Mar 20, 17 22:45 by Matthew Healey (matthewhealey)

Recovering stolen stamps: 1977 edition

I guess I'm too young to remember this story, but others here will:

Posted Mar 20, 17 22:34 by Rob Faux (robfaux)

Walske cover

It is my understanding that the rates from France to CANADA for 1866 were as follows:

paid via England and the US was 1 Franc per 10 grams
unpaid 1,20 per 10 grams

If the treaty between France/Canada followed similar terms to what was agreed upon between GB/France, then the underpayment from the rate times 2 would be due.

For example: if 1Franc were due and 80 centimes paid, then 20centimesx2 = 40 centimes were due. 

If this were a double rate letter (2 Fr), then 1,20 due x 2 = 2,40 which is roughly equivalent to 44 cents.
That might work.

PS - the red 3 may have been applied initially assuming a US destination and the same for the Portland red paid.  The "44" over the 3 and PD would be the correction.  As to where it was applied - I would normally think it was the exchange offices job to figure this out.

PPS - when there was an unpaid and a paid rate for France, normally the short paid amount would be taken from the unpaid rate, but I am not sure what the agreement with respect to Canada in its full detail was in 1866.  I believe it was a new agreement as of that year, so there could also have been some confusion.

Posted Mar 20, 17 21:58 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

Steve's Red River Cover

Are there any markings on the reverse?

Posted Mar 20, 17 20:59 by richard babcock (babcock)

one I like

interesting cover


Posted Mar 20, 17 20:30 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Walske Cover

It is still passing strange that Portland did not cross out the PAID when (or if) they decided the thing was overweight.

I don't think this was an extortion by the Pembina PM.

Posted Mar 20, 17 17:48 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Oops -- Walske cover

Steve: My error -- I Assumed, erroneously, that that smudgy thing was New York. The exchange at Portland on the 11th apparently was slightly higher than New York. At Chicago on the 18th (cf. St. Paul arrival) a bit less than on Sept. 11 at New York. The former might get me somewhat closer to 43 cents. It would be 43 if they rounded up. Being one cent off the only likely, and Variable, rerate is almost OK.

I think the initial exchange office (Portland) would have been the controlling office.

Posted Mar 20, 17 17:36 by Steve Walske (steve w)

Red River Cover

Bernard, I don't know if it makes a difference, but the cover came into the US via Portland, Maine on the Allan Line. There could have been a re-rate at St. Paul.

Posted Mar 20, 17 17:22 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Col. Legrand Cannon

A newspaper notice in Sept. 1866 states that in early 1862 thousands of letters to Union POWs in the South had been held held up, beginning in 1861 because the rebel PMG insisted on postage prepayment in hard currency. Col. Cannon paid several hundred silver dollars out of pocket and without publicity to forward these heavenly missives to there benighted recipients.

Posted Mar 20, 17 16:52 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Walske cover -- a definite maybe

Thanks Chip. I think there are several possibilities, they go toward the approach I have been hoping for:

1) Due 30 cents. 9/11 gold rate -- about 145 3/4. That computes out, re Hargest, at 42 cents or so. The problem, which is huge, is that the French, British, and New York (circle) markings all indicate proper prepayment. 2) Due 30 cents plus one cent Cy for Pembina-RR at conversion -- about 44 cents. 3) Due 30 cents plus two cents Cy for Pembina-RR at conversion -- about 45 cents.

Of course 2 or 3 is very beautiful, but it seems improbable -- very, very improbable -- that NY would do this. Did the cross border private charge appear on incoming in period? Thus it appears to me to be between a very strange rerate at New York (St. Paul a bit farfetched) or a stack rate. Even though I am one or two cents off I lean toward the due 30/44 idea. Maybe the exchange was a little different when it was actually rated. The number on the afternoon of Sept 11 close to 145.75 times 0.962 ? times 30. Note that if the cover was underpaid the 30 due (hard currency) did not need to appear on the cover, if underpaid, but the greenbacks currency rate did need to be there. I don't think the charge was put on at Pembina (or RR) because, sans NYC guidance, they would have no way of knowing about the balance due the USPO.

Since it didn't go cross border in the U.S. mails, we are relieved of the duty to examine the treaty etc. to figure out if there was a France to US to Canada rate that would fit.

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