Auctions

Quartet of name collections in Oct. 26-27 H.R. Harmer auction series

Oct 5, 2022, 8 AM
H.R. Harmer’s Oct. 26-27 auction series features this 1856 cover franked with an 1855 2¢ black Boyd’s City Express Post local stamp on olive green paper. The cover is from the impressive John D. Bowman collection of Boyd’s City Express Post.

By Charles Snee

An array of name collections offering a wide variety of postal history will be up for bids during H.R. Harmer’s Oct. 26-27 auction series at the firm’s gallery in Rockefeller Center in New York City.

Bidders will be presented with the John D. Bowman collection of Boyd’s City Express Post, the William B. Robinson collection of Wisconsin postal history, postal history from the Steven M. Roth collection and selections from the Graham Booth collection of trans-Atlantic mail.

Also crossing the auction block will be almost 180 lots featuring postal history categories such as advertising covers, zeppelin flights, crash covers and classic United States issues.

Boyd’s City Express is among the many recognized local issues that are listed in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers. A summary of Boyd’s City Express is provided at the beginning of the listings in the U.S. Specialized catalog:

“Boyd’s City Express, as a post, was established by John T. Boyd, on June 17, 1844. In 1860 the post was briefly operated by John T. Boyd, Jr., under whose management No. 20L15 was issued.

“For about six months in 1860 the post was suspended. It was then sold to William and Mary Blackham who resumed operation on Dec. 24, 1860.

“The Blackham issued began with No. 20L16. Boyd’s had arrangements to handle local delivery mail for Pomeroy, Letter Express, Brooklyn City Express Post, Staten Island Express post and possibly others.”

Among the many eye-catching covers in the Bowman collection is a combination franking featuring an 1855 2¢ black Boyd’s City Express Post local stamp on olive green paper (Scott 20L11) and a U.S. 1851 3¢ dull red George Washington stamp (11).

Both stamps are neatly tied to the envelope by a crisp strike of a June 19 New York City circular datestamp. Docketing in the bottom left corner indicates the cover was mailed in 1856.

The sender marked the cover “Mail Direct” at upper left and addressed it to Cornish Flat, N.H. The 2¢ Boyd’s City Express Post stamp paid the fee to deliver the letter to the New York post office, and the 3¢ Washington stamp paid the postage to send the letter to Cornish Flat.

H.R. Harmer describes the cover as “a wonderful to-the-mails use of one of the scarcer Boyd’s issues which was in use for only about one year.”

H.R. Harmer lists this handsome 1856 cover franked with an 1855 2¢ black Boyd’s City Express Post local stamp on olive green paper and a U.S. 1851 3¢ dull red George Washington stamp with a starting bid of $200.

Scott 20L11 on cover and tied by a handstamp is valued at $350 in the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog. The value is italicized to indicate an item that trades infrequently in the philatelic marketplace.

Separate catalogs for each of the auctions are posted on the H.R. Harmer website, and online bidding options are available after registering with H.R. Harmer.

Additional information is also available from H.R. Harmer, 45 Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 2607, New York, NY 10111.

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