As a collector, do you know how you sometimes find something that really just tickles your fancy? Maybe it's just the right elephant; Or just the right Rooster; Or pig; or whatever you collect?
Well, I just love this little "prices current" from 1852. I'll share the whole thing in a separate post - but I didn't want to muddle this image with other images. This is just a spectacular 1c Franklin on a folded sheet advertising the current prices - Prices Current.
Some people collect "Prices Current". They are a great snapshot into that world.
I love the almost onion skin paper that this is on. So thin. See through. certainly, the ink can be seen from one side to the other.
I love the impression of the lettering on the printed matter. You can see where the press was impressing onto the raised letters on the press.
The manuscript handwriting on the cover. You just know that this handwriting came out of an inkwell.
And who did it go to? "Messr's H. G. & W. L. Hotchkiss" company is an essential oil company in Wayne Co., New York.
"The H. G. Hotchkiss Prize Medal Essential Oil Company was founded by Hiram Hotchkiss with his brother Leman in the early 1800's. The current building on 95 Water Street, first rented in 1841 then purchased in 1884, is located on the banks of the original Erie Canal. H. G. Hotchkiss produced internationally famous mint oils bottled in glass containers made in Clyde, New York.
"For years Lyons was known as the "Peppermint Capital" of the world. Visitors can tour the building. Permanent exhibits include Hiram G. Hotchkiss' office, the bottling room, the chemical lab, the filter room, and a Lyons history room with artifacts and art from Lyons' history. Changing exhibits are also on the tour. Allow an hour for a tour. For arrangements outside of regular hours, contact Patty Alena at 315-946-4596.
"Located near the Lyons historic town center, the Hotchkiss building, near Lock 27, is accessible from the Erie Canal way Trail as well as the Lyons dock area. Visitors will want to walk to the town center, enjoy the quaint charm of Lyons as well as the many murals and historic buildings."
Then the stamp. What a beauty! "Superb 1852 color", says the note on the reverse. Clear margins all around. Just a wonderful early impression.
And that cancel tying it to the letter sheet. Boldly screaming "NEW-YORK" - I can almost hear the accent. "NEW-(F-ing)-YORK". Bold. Like New York. Also a wonderful, bold, clear and legible, date -
Wait until you look at the back. There are a previous collector's notes: (gently written in pencil)
Recut ( )
Again, I don't claim to be an expert, but that handwriting looks exactly like Stanley B. Ashbrook's! Renowned philatelist from the middle of last century.
"Stanley Bryan Ashbrook (October 10, 1882 – January 23, 1958), of Kentucky, was a distinguished American philatelist who was known for his extensive studies of early United States stamps and postal history. He was usually known as Stanley B. Ashbrook."
Overall, this is (in my opinion) an amazing glimpse into the 1850's - The printing process, the paper used, the quilled writing, an early essential oils company (Well before Essential Oils were a thing, right?) and up through the historic collecting characteristics of the early 1900's - with Stanley Ashbrook's collector's notes - It could hardly be better certified without being certified.
It is a favorite of my items. And my absolute favorite today..