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$5.62 1/2 PAID SFL Questions  
 

 
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
626 Posts
Posted 07/06/2018   5:08 pm  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add orstampman to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
This Stampless Folded Letter (SFL), is just the wrapper part used to send the contents. It has markings of "7 1/2 oz", "$5.62 1/2 PAID", so appears to have been sent at a rate of 18.75c/ quarter ounce. Checking the distance between Harrisburg and Montrose, Pennsylvania, this appears to be the correct rate, since they are more than 150 miles and less than 400 miles apart.

There is no date, so it must be some date between 1825 and 1845?

It was sent to William Jessup, Esquire, Atty. at Law, but appears to be a private direct correspondence. This isn't considered a "court letter" since it is addressed to the Atty, and not a court, right?

$5.62 1/2 must have been a great amount to pay for postage at that time. How scarce are SFLs with this amount of postage paid?

Naturally, I am curious as to how to value this SFL. Does anyone have useful references or comparables?

If this is only the cover or wrapper without the letter or contents, is is called a Stampless Folded Cover (SFC), or a Stampless Folded Letter (SFL), or??

Thank you,

Dave



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Edited by orstampman - 07/06/2018 5:41 pm

Pillar Of The Community
1550 Posts
Posted 07/06/2018   5:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
While not technically a "courthouse cover", it no doubt wrapped around legal papers.
Rates this high are very scarce and very desirable to postal historians.
Yes, It is in the time range you state, 1825 and after, but the American Stampless Cover Catalog narrows is down to 1832 or 33 at the latest, when the mark was replaced by others. So between 1825 and 1833.
Value? Hard to say. The marking lists at $15, but being s 30x rate, who knows what it might fetch in an open auction. There are no value guides for evaluating high-rate covers.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
626 Posts
Posted 07/06/2018   7:03 pm  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add orstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you, John, for your quick inputs on this. Regarding whether it is considered a "courthouse" cover, that IS what I was trying to determine, since I understand that those types of covers are less desirable to postal historians. Even though it undoubtably contained legal documents, I would like to believe it is still considered a private correspondence, and not something that may have been part of a courthouse property from which it may have been obtained.

The source of the $15 valuation is the American Stampless Cover Catalogue? I assume the catalog pricing is from some time ago. I need search my boxes to see if I have that reference to do more research.

I appreciate your wide-range of useful scholarly information.
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Valued Member
United States
343 Posts
Posted 07/06/2018   7:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add SPQR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The American Stampless Cover Catalog is available for free download from the US Philatelic Classics Society here - https://www.uspcs.org/resource-cent...nic-library/
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
626 Posts
Posted 07/06/2018   7:39 pm  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add orstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Fantastic! Thank you, SPQR!
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Pillar Of The Community
1550 Posts
Posted 07/06/2018   7:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, the $15 pricing is from ASCC and is somewhat old, but large cities tended to use their work-horse devices for many years and common marks will always be common. The $15 is still in-line with what one would expect for a nice strike on SFL paying a single rate. Yours at 30x, is a completely different animal. The only way to find the marker value is through auction.

Not sure where you get the idea that courthouse covers are less desirable. They supply many unusual markings and higher rates, very similar to yours. The downside is that some cities/states have sought legal action to get them back despite many being properly discarded and salvaged, but that is a tangent for another day.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
626 Posts
Posted 07/06/2018   8:07 pm  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add orstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I suppose I should check my sources before saying such about the desirability , but I know I read it somewhere... possibly the Frajola board some years back or something similar.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
508 Posts
Posted 07/06/2018   9:41 pm  Show Profile Check paperhistory's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add paperhistory to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The risk with "courthouse" covers is that it can be difficult to prove if they were legitimately deaccessioned or if they were stolen. Some people don't like the larger size of legal wrappers, or the fact that they are just wrappers, rather than with letter content.

Agree with John that the high rate is the attraction here; it's unusual and there's a market for it. I'd have it at $100 if I had it in my eBay stock.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
626 Posts
Posted 07/06/2018   11:49 pm  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add orstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
paperhistory - makes sense, thanks for the input. I appreciate the valuation guidance.
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583 Posts
Posted 07/07/2018   06:29 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Glenn Estus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That is a wonderful high value cover. Here's a link to my webpages with all sorts of information about stampless cover rates: http://www.glennestus.com/PHrates.htm

The highest rate I have in my collection is $5.00 (20 times rate): http://www.glennestus.com/stampless...page25c.html Scroll to the bottom of the webpage to see the $5.00 cover

(Just a word of caution: I know that some of my links don't work between the pages. This used to be on a geocities account and when that went dead, I had to move all the information to another account. I have not had time to check out the dead lines.)
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Edited by Glenn Estus - 07/07/2018 06:34 am
Pillar Of The Community
United States
626 Posts
Posted 07/07/2018   07:54 am  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add orstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Glenn - That's a great web page! Bookmarked
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Valued Member
United States
80 Posts
Posted 07/10/2018   12:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add craigk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
William Jessup(b.1797,d.1868) a Montrose lawyer since 1818. From 1838-51 he was residing judge of the 11th judicial district. In April 1861 he was one of the committee of three sent by the governors of Penna.,Ohio and N.Y. to confer with Lincoln about the raising of 75,000 men.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Jessup
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Pillar Of The Community
876 Posts
Posted 07/11/2018   11:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kimo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Given the addressee I would find it hard to argue that this is not a courthouse cover, but then I would imagine that most very high multiple rate covers are courthouse covers given the many pages legal documents contain and the requirement that they be sent from place to place.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
626 Posts
Posted 07/12/2018   07:51 am  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add orstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
craigk - thank you for the historical information - it's good to know his professional history, as well as connection with Lincoln.

kimo - hard to to argue, yes, although there is a difference between legal documents sent to private attorneys, which Jessup was at the time of this cover, and documents addressed to the court house itself, which would retain the documents. I still remain open to court-related, but not court house property.
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