Montana postal history in Holabird’s Americana auction

Sep 10, 2015, 7 AM
Postmarked in 1887 more than a month after the post office at Furness, Montana Territory, closed, this 1885 1¢ brown Thomas Jefferson postal card will be offered at public auction by Holabird’s Americana in Reno, Nev.

By Michael Baadke

The upcoming public auction by Holabird Western Americana Collections is filled with historical objects, including Montana postal history, Hawaii flight covers, express covers, postcards and much more.

The first part of the auction is taking place in three sessions from Sept. 25-27. The auction will continue with three additional sessions Oct. 2-4.

The auction location is at Holabird’s, 3555 Airway Drive, Suite 309, Reno, NV 89511.

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Much of the Montana postal history is found in individual item lots and groupings in the third session on Sunday, Sept. 27.

An intriguing example is the 1885 1¢ brown Thomas Jefferson postal card (Scott UX8) pictured here. This example, from the Foston Smelting Co., of Foston, Mont., is struck with a Furness, Montana Territory, postmark dated June 25, 1887.

The post office at Furness, Holabird explains, was open for barely two months, from March 10, 1887, to May 20, 1887, which means the postmark is dated more than a month after the post office officially closed.

The card is addressed to the General Land Agent, Northern Pacific R.R. Co., St. Paul, Minn.

It is listed in the Holabird’s auction with an estimate of $200 to $500 at an opening bid of $100.

Some of the Montana items are in larger groupings that bring together a number of covers from within a single county.

The auction also includes a number of Wells, Fargo & Co. Express covers, plus additional material such as receipts, locks and a mail bag.

One unusual collectible is a 54-inch-long painted wood sign for the Warm Springs, Calif., post office, with black lettering on a white background with a raised gold eagle.

Auction items can be viewed online and bids can be placed from the website.