Exceptionally rare Marine Sorter cover finds its way to $85,000 at Siegel

Siegel's week of fantastic auctions is drawing to a close and the results are just beginning to come through.

The Gordon Eubanks collection of The United States 1869 pictorial issue was the first, and one of the highlights was a remarkable cover:

Sporting an example of the 30c Ultramarine & Carmine (121) with bright colours, used with a 12c Green (117), both of which are superb with wide margins and tied by circle of V's cancels it was destined for Hong Kong, China.


30c Ultramarine & Carmine Marine Sorter cover
30c Ultramarine & Carmine Marine Sorter cover

It bears a red "New York Paid All Br. Transit Jul. 31" backstamp, red "London Paid 10 AU 69" transit, endorsed "Via Marseilles" at the upper left, with a well-struck "Hong-Kong Marine-Sorter, Singapore-to Hong-Kong, SP 16/23 69" backstamp (Webb Type B, sub-type e).

The receipt docketing at the left indicates arrival on Septemeber 21, with contemporary manuscript calculation showing that sending via California would have resulted in its delivery 17 days earlier.

Extremely fine, this is one of only four recorded covers to Hong Kong or China with the 30-cent (or 12-cent) 1869 pictorial issue. It is especially desirable with the rare marine sorter type e backstamp. Another fascinating element is the calculation of travel time by the recipient.

A postal history rarity of the highest order and one of the highlights of the Eubanks collection, it sold in the middle of its listing at $85,000.


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