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George Perkins Stamp Cover Collection

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Valued Member

United States
64 Posts
Posted 10/20/2010   01:29 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I am new to the Stamp Forum but I have been a member of the Coin Forum for some time. My specialty is Circulating Counterfeit coins.

Recently I undertook a project to evaluate and dispose of a large amount of material from the estate of George Perkins, Esq. of Dartmouth, Mass.

I have been documenting some of the coin related finds on the Coin site but I am in new territory when dealing with Stamps and Covers. Beyond a brief foray into stamp collecting in Junior High School about 50 years ago, I have little understanding of the world of stamps.

Here are a few covers I found in the collection today. I like the looks of some of them but have no real idea of value. The correspondence (covers) run from 1821 to the 1940s. But the largest number seem to date near the Civil War. Most have no stamps and the letter is folded closed with the address and postal marks on the outside. So the number of actual envelopes is smaller.

I am wondering if anyone can identify these covers and estimate the value? I tried to get what I see as representative types. My personal bias runs to the color illustrated ones but there are fewer of them.

I have several 100 covers in all to evaluate in the next few months. Any help would be appreciated. But I don't want to ask dumb questions if these are $2 type items and I should sell them as a large lot.

The first is a "political" cover but it is dateless.



The next is one of the stampless covers a folded letter from 1851. The post mark is Charlestown, MS (where MS stands for Massachusetts).



The next one dates to 1834 and is postmarked Taunton, Mass. I photographed both sides because of the notes and the wax seal.





This one is an envelope that has a Green Postmark from South Framingham, Mass but lacks a date. I liked the way they cancelled the stamp with a pen. The stamp also has no perforations.



I liked this one because it was stamped FREE. It is a folded letter addressed to the Hon. Elijah Hayward Commissioner of the Land Office Washington, DC. Should I be opening these letters to see what they say or does contents not effect value very much?



This is the oldest letter so far. It is a letter sent by a ship the Brig Thomas of Boston in 1821.



This is the first of a pair of letters that were in an envelope with notes as follows: "Transatlantic SFL wrapper to France, 1857" There are other notations about the Postal marks.



The second letter or cover is very similar but the postmarks show clearer - I believe they were together because of the address.



This is a folded letter from 1848 - again the Postmark reads MS for Massachusetts. The large hand written 5 where the stamp would be caught my eye.



This envelope was odd because the entire thing was printed in a "security" like set of lines on the OUTSIDE. The advertising is formed by leaving part of the grid out. The date is not 100% clear could be 1859 or 1860 or any similar date with rounded numbers.




This envelope has an embossed picture of the American House (Hotel) that was located on Hannover Street in Boston before the big fire. There is a Postmark and a stamp placed on the postage stamp that reads "PAID" oriented vertically.



The last one I found today is from an insurance company containing a bill. I liked the picture of the Indian from the Massachusetts State seal. Insurance in 1863 cost $123 a year. The insured Mr. Cory must have been a rich fellow. His address Westport Point is still a pretty nice area.



I hope this was worth the effort and that it is interesting to those of you who collect covers.

I will post other interesting items as time permits provided these are of some value.

I actually like these things so I hope they are of little value so I can buy them from the estate.
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Bedrock Of The Community
Australia
28407 Posts
Posted 10/20/2010   07:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

I see no one has answered yet,

I gotta tell you, I am not an US specialist,
but your examples make me groan, they are absolutely spectacular,
You lucky devil.
I hope someone chimes in with some prices
I would dream of owning such examples.

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Pillar Of The Community
United States
5877 Posts
Posted 10/20/2010   07:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add smauggie to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply


Some of your covers are in or above the $100 range, perhaps significantly more. Beyond that I cannot say as I have not dealt with such fine covers.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
4106 Posts
Posted 10/20/2010   08:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampvirgin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am no cover expert either..
crap, almost had a heart attack looking at these.

In my mind here is what sticks out.. anything from civil war era, anything patriotic. the cover that is stamped "ship" the cover that is stamped "Free" soldiers mail. The cover from/to Paris..

. Open the letters very carefully to read what's inside. sometimes people included stamps for return mail.
the ones with written numbers (5) etc. was the price of the postage paid...

and finally before you sell any of those off, please let me know ahead of time.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
4106 Posts
Posted 10/20/2010   08:21 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampvirgin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
oh if you need any help just let us know.. there are some cover pros on this site..
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
977 Posts
Posted 10/20/2010   1:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ratio411 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The first and last cover are franked with a 64 or 65
3 cent stamp. I am dealing with that right now...
A cover with a 65 is a few bux, but on the other hand
with a 64 it ranges from a few hundred to a few thousand
depending on shade of ink! You need to be very careful
with those 2. There were 1.6 BILLION 65s printed, but
only 100k 64s. Top that off with the fact that telling
the two apart is pretty much only do-able by an expert.
I am dealing with 3 right now that I need to get certified.

Even if yours are both 65s, the fact that they are on cover,
it is patriotic/advertising cover, and they appear to have
interesting cancels... these things should bring the catalog
value up from 5 bux to at least 50 or maybe even over 100 from
what I am learning.

Also, in my research, I have seen fancy cancel ad covers like
those with 64s that had auction results from as little as $500
for the 64 pink, to just under $10k for 64a pigeon blood pink.
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Edited by ratio411 - 10/20/2010 1:41 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
977 Posts
Posted 10/20/2010   1:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ratio411 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The first cover can be no earlier than 1861.
That stamp was released in August, the postmark
is November.

The fifth cover can be no later than 1861. That
is the first class stamp used at the opening of
the war, and it was nullified quickly to keep the
south from profiting from their supply of stamps
in occupied post offices. The design was replaced
with the 64/65 that is on the first cover. When
the announcement was made, folks only had a matter
of days to trade in or use the old design.

Have you examined the backs of the envelopes closely?
Often the year may not have been put on the front, but
the receiving post office sometimes cancelled the back
and often that cancel would have the year. Just a thought.

Edit:
5th cover is cancelled Feb 3 of unknown year.
You probably already saw that, but I threw it
out just in case. Hand dates from back then are
written/abbreviated different than today, so they
are easy to overlook or not recognize.
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Edited by ratio411 - 10/20/2010 2:04 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
977 Posts
Posted 10/20/2010   1:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ratio411 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Houghton and Sawyer is in the same boat, so to speak.
It cannot be used after 1861. It's hard to tell from
the pic, but my guess would be 1859.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
977 Posts
Posted 10/20/2010   2:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ratio411 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
American House can be no later than 1860. The December
cancel would be too late for 1861 use.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
977 Posts
Posted 10/20/2010   2:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ratio411 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
All of those pre-61 three cent stamps are either #10 or #11.
There are several color shades of each, so I'd recommend an
expert on those as well... Although I don't think the price
difference is quite as vast as the spread between #64 and #65
mentioned earlier. There are also "Type 1" and "Type 2" varieties
of these... There is a frame line added to the stamp border IIRC.
Very, very minor change, but the catalog recognizes it, and
therefore may change the value some. Personally, I had to strain
to see the added line on the border of mine, so it doesn't mean
spit to me if I have to look that hard. It's novelty IMO.

Edit:
Well, I looked it up and there is a fair price spread between cover
with 10 and 11. 10s on cover catalog for about 200 bux, while 11s are in the 20 bux range (15-25).

SINCE YOU ARE A COIN GUY, YOU NEED A HEADS UP ON CATALOG VALUE:
Catalog value on stamps is pretty much based on a dream scenario
of the perfect stamp, on the perfect cover, sold to the perfect
buyer. Unlike coins, what you generally get is not even close to CV.
Ask what you will, but expect 10-20% of catalog value, and consider
any additional money you might get as 'gravy'.
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Edited by ratio411 - 10/20/2010 2:27 pm
Rest in Peace
Canada
6750 Posts
Posted 10/20/2010   2:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Puzzler to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am no cover or US expert from what I have learned on here (SCF) over the years the sender and receiver can be very important in the value determination.

The more you have the history of an item the better it makes the value. The contents of the letter (and the letter itself may be dated) will sometimes give clues or other interesting historical information. For soldiers in the Civil War there is a lot of info available online seemingly as to what they did and where they did it.

Then the trick is knowing who to sell it to to get the highest price, if that is a thought. The value I would suppose is somewhat determined by who wants it and how badly they do want it.

Thanks for sharing too!

Any chance of a scan or photo of the letters if that is a possibllity and safe to do without harming the paper?
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Valued Member
United States
64 Posts
Posted 10/20/2010   3:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the helpful hints and for all the work by ratio411. For a coin guy to be thrown neck deep into the stamp world is a real experience. But I am proceeding slowly and deliberately. I am sorting and protecting the paper items that might be damaged. I am essentially doing triage because some of the lose materials had been thrown in barrels and boxes for disposal. There was some physical damage and a limited amount of water staining.

My job is to determine actual value and do my best to get as much as possible (while considering the expenses involved) for the estate. I am on a fixed fee plus expense basis, but I feel obligated to minimize expenses (time is money) unless the potential for actual recovery is present. I do not want to waste time on low end items, if it causes losses on the bigger things.

I got involved after the first "expert" called in stole them blind. Under the guise of an appraisal the expert bought rare books and letters for pennies on the dollar. Some better ship/whaling material "purchased" from the estate for pennies sold at auction for about $5000, so I am not surprised that some of these covers could actually be quite rare. One dealer offered $10 each for all the letters based on a verbal description. When that happens I put on the brakes. There must or might be something there.

For those of you that have not accessed the coin forum to see the Green Collection subject and discussion, I should mention that, these covers come from a large library collection of Numismatic, Philatelic and Historical materials that belonged to a lawyer named George Perkins. His coin collection was one of the best assemblies of rare and unique Connecticut Colonial Cents ever put together and it was sold in two parts by Stacks for over $1,000,000. Mr. Perkins was a connoisseur of the rare and eclectic.

If you go to the Coin Forum you can get caught up on the rest of the items but it is a huge collection - well over 100 boxes of material of all sorts. I brought home 36 boxes on the first trip and placed 105 more in storage. So I have a lot of work to do just in sorting and making a preliminary inventory.

Part of the collection includes the Estate Inventory of the Colonel Green Stamp collection. The inventory was prepared after the Colonel's death in 1936 and comprises three loose-leaf binders (about half standard sheet size). It is the lawyer's carbon copy of the estate filing and it accompanied the carbon copy of the appraisal of the coin Collection. The John Ford Library sale by George Kolbe (January 2010) included the original copy of the Green coin inventory, but I can't recall the stamp inventory as being included in that sale.

Has anyone a guess as to what the inventory of the Colonel Green Stamp Collection might be worth?

I have a 2008 copy of Scott's stamp catalog to start looking up the THOUSANDS of new, loose and affixed stamps. The Perkins library included several hard bound books on stampless covers, advertising covers and postmarks. The references all date to the 1990s at the MOST recent. How would catalog value in terms of those books match up with the 10-20% expectation quoted above for present day catalog value? Is this approach a waste of my time?

Sorry to ask what may seem to be obvious beginner questions but stamps are starting to sound like die varieties the more I hear about them. So many different factors go into value and ultimately the market decides.

If I were to take an auction consignment route as the best avenue for sale - WHO IS REASONABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY?

Also any suggestions as the best way to prepare an inventory so that it will be useful later to the Estate, the lawyer and myself? I am dealing with Books, Coins, Stamps, Covers, Letters, Checks, Fancy Receipts, Promissory Notes, Bank and Treasury Transfer Certificates, Stocks, Bonds, Deeds, Leases, Corporate Records, Affidavits, (2) Prize Claims from the Civil War, Diplomatic Correspondence, (1) Death Certificate, Copyright and Patent claims, the documents (including court records) related to the seizure of a Whale-ship by Russia in 1901, Bills of sale for 4 ships (possibly one of the Stone Fleet in 1863) and who knows what else will be in the last 105 boxes.

We have already made consignment of the famous autograph collection to an auctioneer specializing in those items. The jewelry has been appraised and sold. The low end US bullion coins were disposed of to an heir, the foreign coins and bullion have been sold and some of the Whaling items were sold to a museum. But what remains are 10's of thousands of documents.

I am liquidating the items with easily established market values first to cover the ongoing expenses of the rest of the project.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
5877 Posts
Posted 10/20/2010   4:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add smauggie to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For such a sizable collection I suspect there are a few auction houses in the US which would be able to help with the vast majority of the material you have to sell. This could be a win-win for you as the auction house will have it in their vested interest to realize the best prices for the items.

You might also have a local dealer or two in your area that take consignment for auctions of philatelic material that they conduct.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
4106 Posts
Posted 10/20/2010   6:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampvirgin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
to add on to what smauggie said, from what you have described, it is not a trivial collection by any means, the value of the coins and the obvious wealth of the man would mean he did not waste time or money on uninteresting or worthless items. Therefore, I HIGHLY recommend you talk to a few of the more experienced and larger auction houses. I suspect that the stamp collection will be worth a small fortune. I also highly recommend you get a 2011 Scotts Specialized US catalog, it will have much more detail then a normal one would and includes covers and such. From the catalog you will be able to be much more informed in s short period of time.

Also, I ask you for everyone on this site.. please take some pictures to share with us..
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
2683 Posts
Posted 10/20/2010   6:18 pm  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'll also chime in to say those are some nice covers, especially the advertising and transatlantic covers. Like others, I would recommend a good auction house. There are a number of them out there like Regency-Superior, Cherrystone, Siegel, Shrieves and others.
Here's a link to all the big players:
http://stampauctionnetwork.com/auctions.cfm
I would recommend Regency-Superior myself as they handle most forms of paper collectibles too and have auctions at major stamp shows.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
977 Posts
Posted 10/20/2010   7:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ratio411 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Good comparison there with the 'die varieties'...

Imagine if the entire coin collecting hobby, every coin out there,
was based on collecting VAMs like Morgans. Every Dansco would have
holes for year, mm, die variety, and error possible for each and every
year... Think about collecting all your coins like that and filling
your books like that. Well, that is EXACTLY the state of stamp
collecting. Every little thing, every minute detail, every slight
variation in color, even the direction of water marks (or lack of),
along with shininess of gum (adhesive). All these things are factored
in to basic stamp collecting. IMO it kinda takes the fun out of it.
I can't even stand the fact that Dansco has a hole for the 22 plain
cent! It is a worn die! Get over it! I would rather NOT collect a
known substandard coin, especially when it will be the most expensive!
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