An 1839 Waghorn cover sent from Boston, US to Calcutta, India is among the highlights of David Feldman's April 23 sale in Geneva.
Valued at $10,403 the lot is one of nine known specimens to display the "CARE OF MESSRS WAGHORN & CO / LONDON ALEXANDRIA" handstamp.
Thomas Waghorn (1800-1850) was a former naval officer who founded a postal service in the 1830s.
At the time, mail sent to India from the west (and vice versa) took weeks to arrive due to the necessity of travelling around the Cape of Good Hope.
Waghorn worked out that by using overland travel through Egypt he could reduce this time significantly. He teamed up with the regions' nomadic tribes to establish a relay, which proved highly effective.
His service operated until 1840, when all his horses died from disease - although the route continued to be used by other providers.
Other lots in the sale include an 1874 cover sent from Alexandria to Tripoli, which is valued at $8,348. It features a rare Russian Levant 1872 10k stamp.
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