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Rare Pony Express Envelope Up For Auction


Al Kowsky

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CNN posted this interesting article on Google yesterday 😊.

https://ktvz.com/news/national-world/cnn-national/2023/06/10/rare-pony-express-envelope-bound-for-vermont-to-be-auctioned-in-new-york-city/

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When I was in high school I collected interesting envelopes & old post cards, pictured below are a few I still have. IMG_0904(2).JPG.bb834035e71b2d67193ea6057088c663.JPGIMG_0905(2).JPG.1afa97eefc6842cbc30bf71bcd6f55f8.JPG

This envelope was mailed from Nova Scotia (New Scotland) in 1860 & has been canceled with a pen.

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Thanks, @Al Kowsky. A very interesting and attractive piece. I noticed that the article states that "H.R. Harmer Fine Stamp Auctions, which is handling the sale of the Vermont piece, said only about 250 envelopes were carried by the Pony Express before it shuttered." That couldn't possibly be correct, could it? I imagine that what the auction company actually said (or intended to say) was that only 250 such envelopes are known to survive.

I haven't actively collected stamps or other philately-related items since I was about 8 years old: despite my father's best efforts to persuade me to take up his own childhood hobby, I always really liked coins better for a lot of reasons. (Including not having sufficient manual dexterity ever to be good at applying those hinges!)  But I do have a collection of old postcards and envelopes dating back to the late 19th century, largely limited to those saved by my family -- mostly from back in the days when it was common for family photos to be printed in postcard form, as well as envelopes from the World War II era -- and postcards I've bought depicting different cities and towns where my family has lived over the last few hundred years.

Here are a couple of envelopes that contained letters my mother wrote from England (where she lived from Dec. 1938 to Oct. 1943 after leaving Berlin on the first Kindertransport) to her parents in New York City (where they emigrated via Lisbon after finally succeeding in leaving Berlin in June 1941) in 1942 & 1943. Both have the censors' inspection stamps on them.

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Edited by DonnaML
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39 minutes ago, DonnaML said:

Thanks, @Al Kowsky. A very interesting and attractive piece. I noticed that the article states that "H.R. Harmer Fine Stamp Auctions, which is handling the sale of the Vermont piece, said only about 250 envelopes were carried by the Pony Express before it shuttered." That couldn't possibly be correct, could it? I imagine that what the auction company actually said (or intended to say) was that only 250 such envelopes are known to survive.

I haven't actively collected stamps or other philately-related items since I was about 8 years old: despite my father's best efforts to persuade me to take up his own childhood hobby, I always really liked coins better for a lot of reasons. (Including not having sufficient manual dexterity ever to be good at applying those hinges!)  But I do have a collection of old postcards and envelopes dating back to the late 19th century, largely limited to those saved by my family -- mostly from back in the days when it was common for family photos to be printed in postcard form, as well as envelopes from the World War II era -- and postcards I've bought depicting different cities and towns where my family has lived over the last few hundred years.

Here are a couple of envelopes that contained letters my mother wrote from England (where she lived from Dec. 1938 to Oct. 1943 after leaving Berlin on the first Kindertransport) to her parents in New York City (where they emigrated via Lisbon after finally succeeding in leaving Berlin in June 1941) in 1942 & 1943. Both have the censors' inspection stamps on them.

image.png.99aefa1261e71e29408155aa2f8e4c9c.png

 

Donna, I was never a serious collector of postage stamps like my brother Henry was. Henry really enjoyed handling the stamps with tweezers & attaching the tiny hinges to the stamps & carefully mounting them in the albums 🤣. To me the envelopes & postcards were far more interesting & you could handle them anytime unlike post stamps 😊. Pictured below are a few more envelopes & postcards I saved. The number 250 in the article gave me pause too 🤨. The Pony Express was operational for only 571 days so maybe that number is accurate, however, I'm sure they delivered many small packages some of which had valuable contents 😉. The American Civil War put an end to this historic company 😒.

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I'll bet nobody on this website ever heard of the country Nauru, a tiny island in Oceana with a population around 12,500 people 😜. This envelope like many others was censored during WW I, & this was a common practice during WW II also.

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This envelope sure has enough cancellations on it 🙄. Mail delivery by canoe worked for these people 😂.

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1 hour ago, Kali said:

I enjoyed stamps, as I was growing up, but they fell by the wayside, as I became an adult. I still appreciate the history and the art on them.

This item, itself is pretty cool, just for the history.

Stamp collecting is a great hobby to start kids with 😉. Not only is it a great learning experience but it's an inexpensive hobby for parents too ☺️.

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1 hour ago, Al Kowsky said:

 it's an inexpensive hobby for parents too ☺️.

Especially with all those old stamp collections you can buy on ebay for about 5 cents on the dollar compared to their old "book value"! It's astonishing how much the popularity of stamp collecting, and the value of old stamps, have declined in the last 50 years. At one time, I believe it was probably just as popular a hobby as coin collecting. Or maybe it's not so astonishing, given that 98% of the mail I receive doesn't have stamps on it anymore.

Edited by DonnaML
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I would still buy stamps, even as late as 2019. It just isn't a serious hobby as coins and some other hobbies, of mine.

We had a stamp collecting club, back in jr. high school And this was back in 1992-93, it was about 12 of us and a math teacher ran the club. It was fun. My stamps consisted of those grab bag mail orders, from back in the day.

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Philatelic experts need to examine the envelopes that Frank Robinson sends to his clients. They are covered with rare (or old issues) or both, which apparently, he gets for less than face value. Sort of a profit center.!!!

I myself buy stamps from the USA Philatelic catalogs because they are more interesting than what you get at the post office. Latest ones I've had were the planets, Star Wars droids, The James Webb Space Telescope, and so on. 

Edited by Ancient Coin Hunter
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2 hours ago, Ancient Coin Hunter said:

Philatelic experts need to examine the envelopes that Frank Robinson sends to his clients. They are covered with rare (or old issues) or both, which apparently, he gets for less than face value. Sort of a profit center.!!!

I myself buy stamps from the USA Philatelic catalogs because they are more interesting than what you get at the post office. Latest ones I've had were the planets, Star Wars droids, The James Webb Space Telescope, and so on. 

As I recall, Kirk Davis also sends his coins in envelopes covered with old stamps. Even though I haven't actively collected stamps for more than 50 years, I feel compelled to save those envelopes.

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No great rarity here, stamp-wise or otherwise, but a bit of whimsy from 1926 by Dudley Buxton (1884-1951) a well known British artist.  This card was given to me by my sister many years ago - probably got it a the Camden Lock market in London.

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Edited by robinjojo
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