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George Perkins Stamp Cover Collection

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Posted 10/30/2010   2:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Swamperbob:

I assume you are aware of this 2005 book which details some of the involvement of Mr. Perkins in the New Bedford Whaling District. It mentions some of the mills recited in your inventory, too. For those who may not be familar with him or his work, but have been monitoring this post, I share the following link, which I found quite interesting:

http://books.google.com/books?id=sb...ling&f=false
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Posted 10/30/2010   3:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
wt1 You come up with some great links. George Perkins was a visionary with regards to historic preservation and a collector of "all things". The nature of his many collections dictated the sheer size of his home in Dartmouth. I expect that if every room was as packed as his coin/stamp library was that it is no wonder it took months to remove everything. I only got access to the house on the day it was put into the Realtors hands for sale and I had 3 days to remove anything I thought might be of value - otherwise it was going to the trash heap. The Realtor was a ROYAL PAIN IN THE BUTT for all three days. In fact on day one as we were packing the library on the second floor - painters arrived and painted the hall and stairway floors along the most direct route out of the house. The back stair was not good for moving because of the distance and the steep stairs (the house dates to the 1700s). We had to lower boxes from the second floor with ropes using a balcony. Even then she still hassled us about possibly getting dirt on the freshly painted porch deck nearby. We had some choice words for that lady after she left.

The cover from Holmes Hole is dated May 7, 1852. It has a round red stamped cancellation and a 3 cent stamp #11. The letter is signed by a Mr. Hiram Nye. So it fits the date range. I actually lived one winter in Vineyard Haven (1969). I was contracted as supervising engineer for harbor protections dikes being constructed at Menemsha Bite for the Core of Engineers. I never knew it was called Holmes Hole. Very interesting.
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Posted 10/30/2010   6:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Swamperbob:

If you want to take time to post that cover from Holmes Hole, I think some on SCF might be interested to help you identify it's potential value.

In any event, as you keep bringing up these new names from New Bedford and Cape Cod, it keeps bringing up new history. For Hiram Nye, I found the following quite interesting:


Quote:
The following is Part One of a history of the buildings and businesses that once stood where Compass Bank stands today, on the east side of Main Street in Vineyard Haven, Mass.

Nye's Paint Shop (1843 - 1858)The first known building at this location was Nye's paint shop, probably constructed shortly after the property was bought in 1843.

Nye was born in Falmouth, the son of Francis Nye and Phebe Cushing. In June 1844, less than a year after buying this property, he married Mary P. Downs (1827 - 1891), the daughter of Capt. Charles Downs, and the granddaughter of neighbor William Downs, who had died the previous October. In 1850 the young couple was living with Mary's parents.

By about 1850 Nye had also become the proprietor and two-thirds owner of a paint and grist mill on the north shore of Chilmark. According to an article in Issue #5 (1924-25) of The Vineyard Magazine, "The mill ground paint in oil; the paint being colored clay, dug from nearby hills." Historian Charles Banks noted that "The highest annual production while it was in operation was about 46,000 pounds, valued at $5000."

Francis' brother, painter Hiram Nye (1817 - 1898) followed his brother to the island between about 1846 and 1850, and by 1851 he had become an equal partner and co-owner of the shop. He was married to Sarah _____ (1823 - ) of Falmouth.

In August 1851, catastrophe struck the Nye family.

The Aug. 1, 1851 Vineyard Gazette reported the tragedy that occurred in the paint store:

"One of the severest thunder storms within our remembrance, passed over the Vineyard on Tuesday forenoon last, by which two valuable lives were lost, and three or four persons injured.… At Holmes Hole, Mr. Francis Nye, Jr., and Mrs. Elwina Norris, widow of Capt. Howes Norris, were instantly killed. Mr. Nye was in the cellar of his paint shop, on the Main street. The fluid entered the building from the roof, striking the chimney, which it shattered, passed below, breaking out the windows, and rendering the shop a complete wreck. A portion of the fluid descended to the cellar, instantly depriving Mr. Nye of life. It struck him on the head and shoulder, and passed off by the hip and feet. The skin was peeled off and the flesh badly burned. Mr. N's shoe was cut directly in two, lengthwise. Mr. Nye was a business man of excellent character, and his loss is greatly to be deplored. He leaves a wife and one child. There were 2 other persons in the building at the time, one of whom was rendered senseless - the other had an arm paralyzed. They are convalescent."

Nye's estate included 1/64 part of the whaling ship Ocmulgee, a Holmes Hole whaler which later gained infamy as the first northern whaler sunk by the Confederate warship Alabama, as well as 1/16 part of the home-town whaling bark(s?) Malta and Cutfett. His half-interest in the paint shop was valued at $375, but his stock in trade, including window glass, varnishes, and an astonishing variety of colored paints, was valued at nearly $4000.

In November 1852, Francis' widow Mary sold the paint shop property to Hiram for $350. (William Case Manter bought the paint mill property in Chilmark and established a grist mill and general store there.)

By 1858, Nye had taken on a partner in the business, Foster Hooker Jenkins. Walling's 1858 Holmes Hole Business Directory lists their business as "Nye & Jenkins - Paint Store" on Main Street, and the 1858 Walling Map marks this location "Paint Shop." Their partnership was short-lived, however, perhaps by design.

In February 1858, the following notice appeared in the Vineyard Gazette:

"The firm of H. Nye & Co. is this day dissolved by mutual consent. F. H. Jenkins will continue the Painting and Retailing business at the Old Stand… H. Nye intends to manufacture and wholesale Paints, in connection with paper hanging. … Hiram Nye, F. H. Jenkins, Feb. 15, 1858."


Nye subdivided the lot the same month, selling the southern half the property, which included a building, to William M. Norton for $700. This lot was twenty-seven feet wide and butted right up to the brick foundation wall of Nye's paint shop on the north.

In March 1858 Nye sold the north half of the property, including the paint shop, to Jenkins for $900. This lot was twenty-three feet wide. Nye moved to Hyannis by 1860 where he found work as a painter, and he died there in 1898. His children were Marietta R Nye (1841-?), Samuel B. Nye (1846-1851), Hiram Francis Nye (1852-?) who settled in Dennis, and Augustus B. Nye (1858-?) who settled in Hyannis.


Here's the link, if you want to read more on that history (which is only in draft form):

http://history.vineyard.net/mainst/...1/index.html
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Edited by wt1 - 10/30/2010 6:26 pm
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Posted 10/30/2010   7:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampgal to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have been doing some research on the Titanic recently. It struck me that, given the dates and location, and with shipping being an area of interest, that there maybe some Titanic related material amongst the collection? Just speculating...
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Posted 10/30/2010   7:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampvirgin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
stampgal.. I like the way you speculate.
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Posted 10/30/2010   7:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bfranton to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Think this is an absolutely fascinating thread. Please post some more stamp pictures....
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Posted 10/31/2010   08:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
stampgal So far nothing related to the Titanic or White Star. A couple letters do refer to the loss of Whalers.

Regarding Confederate actions against the New England Whaling fleet - so far I only have the two Claims for Prize which involved a captured Confederate vessel. I have to research the particulars of the US and Confederate vessels involved.

I will try to get the camera out later today. But the grand-kids are coming over for Halloween so I don't know how much I will get done.
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Posted 11/05/2010   4:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Morgans dad to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I must say, I am really a Numismatist/Coin collector, CCF is a great place.

I have in the last few years been doing more and more work with older stamps, covers, and etc. I was actually given a chance to own a pre started large collection, which is dusty.....

I must add this thread reads like the Redfield Hoard, or the Louis Eliasberg Collection, or the infamous Jack Lee collection, You people who collect stamps, and covers to the highest level must be actually going crazy with joy over just reading and seeing material like this, which to me, is a very unique collection and SB I wish you all the best of sorting, cataloging, listing, researching, documenting, viewing, and simply just placing this enormous undertaking upon your self to come to a reasonable idea of just what is THERE, not to mention the stored 105 boxes, NOT looked at yet, I commend your efforts and commitment to complete such an amazing task.

I have been lurking and learning for a while, I know that there are MANY on this SCF that can certainly assist and help sort things out with you as these are some of what I like to call, "THE PROS'.

This reads like a can not put down novel, please keep us all abreast of things to come, all 105 of them..........If your time permits
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Posted 11/05/2010   9:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bfranton to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Morgan's Dad... Welcome! We need you too. Lurkers... come out of the shadows and join us. We need all of you and this is a respectful place to be.
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Posted 11/05/2010   9:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have been very busy this week with pre-trip arrangements and the grandkids.

I did get the copy of the Scott Specialized Catalog from Amazon.

With my new book, I did complete a review of a shoebox full of postcards. These were the printed type with postage on them. They were not as BORING as I originally thought.

There are:

2 - UX1 PC1 One cent Liberty postcards with the large watermark. I had a hard time finding that using a strong light source. Both are used (as are most) with clear cancels. New York and Washington DC

10 - UX3 PC1 One cent cards - small watermark - Cancels from NYC, DC and the larger Mass cities Boston, Fall River and New Bedford. Two from Brighton Station, Mass which must be a precursor to Brighton.

127 used - 25 unused UX5 PC2 Black 1 cent Liberty cards with "Write the address ...." - I did NOT check them for watermarks yet. The ones that were not actually posted were preprinted on the message side with a standard text. Do those count as unused?

67 used UX7 PC2 Black 1 Cent Liberty cards with "Nothing but address...." The odd or small town cancels are "Boston & Prov. ACD" - "Brighton Station" - "Cottage City , Mass" (I presume this is Oak Bluffs on Marthas Vineyard. The date 1885 is fairly close to the date of settlement.) - Edgartown, Mass - Gloucester, Mass - several Nantuckets - Sharon - an odd looking Taunton Cancellation with no outer circle (this is on several cards so it is a different than normal looking cancel)- a "Brooklyn, NY" cancel from 1882 (perhaps before it was consolidated with NYC - "Gouvernors, NY" (never heard of that) - Abingdon, Va - and of course all of the typical big cities.

36 used UX8 PC4 Brown 1 cent Jefferson - I noted multiple colors of the stamp and card stock. This series covers the transition in Boston from the two stamp cancel to the single cancel with two parts - the circle followed by 6 straight lines. There are three versions one has a number in the lines like there was in the two stamp system. (I presume that number was for the station? or the postal employee? - the numbers go to 50). One cancel has just a space and one has solid lines. I suspect that there are virtually no two cards with exactly identical cancel marks. I also noted that there is a smaller card version of this card NOT in Scott. The small card has the large card design printed on it (only one of these).

150 UX9 PC5 Black 1 cent Jeffersons with the picture in the center. There are about a dozen with no cancellation or address - but they have pre-printed messages on the message side. This series I note that Washington DC adopted the circle followed by 14 straight lines. Some of the Boston cancels revert to the Circle followed by the Oval shape with the number inside. There are also the straight line cancels for Boston some with Letters as well as numbers.

89 UX10 PC6 Black 1 cent Grant - This is the first time I notice the cancel followed by waving lines - which are the stripes on a 13 star flag.

2 UX11 PC6 Blue 1 cent Grant - printed on a small card. Both cancelled.

I didn't count the rest yet but with very few exceptions most of the primary card types are represented until the 1920's. There are overprints - extra stamps etc. I also found a few interesting two part cards - George and Martha Washington. The Martha card was torn off to allow for the reply.

I also have a FREE Post Card - It says "Official Business" where the stamp should be. It is dated 1909 and the cancel is from Middleboro, Mass.

There is a "Private Mailing Card" which says "Authorized by an Act of Congress - May 19, 1898" - I has a 1 cent green Franklin A115 on it cancelled in New York.

Next are the notebooks full of stamps.
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Posted 11/05/2010   9:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bfranton to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Lots of us slobbering over the keyboard and the postal cards. Don't forget to let us know when you begin to auction.
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Posted 11/05/2010   11:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampvirgin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
bob, the cards that are preprinted but not canceled are still considered "unused". They are usually described as unused pre-printed. Depending on the company they came from/for dictates the desire. some folks say that pre-printed are less valuable then not printed.. I myself think the pre-prints are cooler then plain post cards.
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Posted 11/06/2010   02:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Nice descriptions of great sounding material.

FYI, the reference to Cottage City, Mass. IS what is now Oak Bluffs, Mass. The Cottage City named post office was used from 1880-1907 only. Apparently the name was changed to Oak Bluffs in 1907.

Also, the New York town you mention should be "Gouverneur, NY" With that spelling I found the following info. on the town:

"Located in southwestern St. Lawrence County in northernmost New York State, Gouverneur is situated just a few short miles from the St. Lawrence Valley, the Thousand Islands, the northern Adirondack Mountains and well-established colleges and universities in Potsdam Canton and Watertown, N.Y. Branches of the beautiful Oswegatchie River wend their way through both the town and village.

"Gouverneur is named for American statesman Gouverneur Morris, who owned a large portion of the town at the time of its founding. Among his credits, Morris penned the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. His Gouverneur home still stands today and, nearly 200 years old, is considered a historic structure.

"Referred to as the "Marble Village" or "Marble City," Gouverneur is abundant with white dolomite marble which has been quarried and used for construction and various marble products almost since the town's founding nearly 200 years ago. The mineral-rich region is also home to the Gouverneur Talc Company, one of the world's oldest and largest talc producers... Zinc Corporation of America mines, one of largest zinc production facilities in the U.S... and CIVES Steel and Iron Works. Cellu Tissue Corporation also operates a large, converted mill which formerly manufactured lace products at Natural Dam."
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Edited by wt1 - 11/06/2010 02:05 am
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Posted 11/06/2010   10:07 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
WT1 Based on the catalog value I presume that the postcards will be sold using eBay or this forum. None of them seem to cross the $50 line. I will definitely post auctions or links here.

But I do have a question on how to sell cards. These are not all pristine by any means so I suspect the postmarks may be of more interest and value in most cases. A few could be the signatures as well. Should I sell groups of the same city or state together or is a group of random cancels better? The same goes for the different varieties - same UX number together or distributed say one of each in lot? I am tending to think bulk sale on these things to save some work.

Any suggestions?

WT1 Based on your search results earlier, I used google to work on some of the signatures and did find a number of the names were semi-famous historically. I now believe that the collection of receipts and checks was culled through to locate the better signatures. The stamps and pre-stamped checks are of limited value based on Scott but many are signed by Henry H. Crapo who became Governor of Michigan, William Wallace Crapo who was a Representative in Washington for the Mass First District and John Henry Clifford Attorney General of Mass - later Governor and President of the board of overseers at Harvard.

Based on your earlier identification of Hiram Nye as the owner of the paint shop hit by lightning in 1851 in Holme's Hole. I opened the letter and found it was dated 1852 and contained information on the insurance claim arising from that incident. The Insurance company was still dragging their feet making a payoff and Nye was writing to a New Bedford Lawyer and DA who was somehow involved in the claim. Nye's brother was killed in the lightning strike but this is property damage claim.

I have opened several of the letters (but I can not refold them without damage (the folding is very difficult to figure out) so is it critical that they be folded? I am now placing them open in sheet protectors. I presume the value is not effected. Correct?

The same selection criteria (autographs) was likely used for the receipts and unstamped material. I believe I mentioned before that two receipts were signed by Joshua Chamberlain the hero of Little Round Top who won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service at Gettysburgh. Now that they made a movie of that battle (Gettsyburgh) he should be a bit more famous. He signed the receipts while President of Bowdoin College. I also have the President of a Rail Road Company, several Bank presidents and a who's who of Lawyers and judges in Mass during the Civil War era.

So I am wondering if the documents are more stamp related or autograph related - or both. Since he collected stamps he may have picked up autograph collecting as a related sideline.
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Posted 11/06/2010   2:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Swamperbob:

Thanks for asking my opinion on some of what you describe, however, I must preface my remarks by telling you that I am merely a stamp collector; I do not have any background in knowing what may or may not be worth a considerable premium based on historical documents or autographs of semi-famous people, etc. I simply share what I do know and what I would do myself if the inventory were in my hands to dispose of.

First and foremost, as you well know, Massachusetts is steeped in history. There are many historical organizations and/or museums that would probably be your first course of action to determine the rarity of an item, how it may have played into local history, etc., that could put a pricetag on the material far greater than just consigning them to a national auction house for sale. In fact, Boston has several auction houses itself, and it would be my best guess that to keep the material local would realize a greater value than outside of the New England area.

I would tend to agree that with very few exceptions, the stamps are only a fraction of the worth of some of these documents. Many are likely to have greater value because of the signatures/autographs of famous individuals in the State history or national events (i.e. Civil War, etc.)

As for Nye letter you refer to from Holmes Hole, I would suggest you contact the Dukes County Historical Society. If they are not interested in acquiring the material, they can certianly provide leads for you to as to the right people to contact.

In fact, some of the references you made about individuals who were later College Presidents leads me to suggest that maybe contact with a place like Harvard may prompt some interest. It's well out of my league, but it occurs to me that a well-endowed place like Harvard would have their own archive and they may well be interested in documents related to a former President of the Board of Overseers of their University.

As to your question about reading the material and being afraid to put it back in its envelope because of how fragile the document may be, I see no problem with keeping them unfolded (just keep them with the original envelope they came in). If you are going to use page protectors, however, be absolutely certain you are using archival quality materials that are acid-free, etc., in order to maintain a level of protection of such potentially valuable documents. The few dollars extra it may cost will realize a far greater return in conserving irreplaceable historical items.

It sounds to me like Mr. Perkins' collection was more in line with collecting historical artifacts of New England than just the value of some classic stamps and/or covers. In such cases, the catalog (whether it be Scott or anyone else's) are probably useless in terms of really identifying a true value of an item that could command substantial premiums depending on the writer and/or the content of the letters you describe.

Finally, to respond to your first question last, without seeing them, it would be difficult to determine whether you should group postcards together or sell them individually. Again, given the quality of the other items you describe, I would be very careful before posting any of them for sale on e-bay, etc., as they may be worth far more than just the catalog value of the card, especially if there are rare postmarks or people mentioned in its content. I would hate to see you sell a group of perhaps 5 or 10 cards, only to find that most may be of minimal value, but there is always the possibility that the one you may not think is valuable, could be worth more than the whole group put together. While stamp collectors live for such finds, if I understand it correctly, you are selling these items in behalf of the Perkins Estate in which case you would have an obligation to realize the greatest return for the items. Therefore, my original suggestion about a Boston-area auction house may be the best place to start, and if they disregard the postcards as being of no interest, then you can always return to the idea of an e-bay auction. However, based on the quality of the material described in this post, it would make me believe that even the postcards may be of more value than you may think.

I hope these comments are helpful. Again, if you would like to post some of the cards or covers in this thread, I am sure that members of SCF could give you some advice, even before you consider placing any of them up for auction.
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Edited by wt1 - 11/06/2010 2:50 pm
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