Even before waiting to see if the previous Chicago Perf was acceptable here, I'm going to share a second one!
This cover has been in a lot of the right hands. Ex-Grunin, Ex-Piller, Dr. Amonette Certified - and I am sure a lot of other people as well.
Described in one auction like this:
1852, 3¢ pale brownish carmine, type I, unofficial "Chicago" perf 12½. Position 19L7. Vibrant color, scissor separated showing full perfs on three sides and portion of adjacent stamp at left, tied by light "Chicago, Ill., May 22" cds on 1856 cover addressed in the hand of R.K. Swift to Washington D.C., reverse with blue Tremont House hotel cameo corner card on backflap, Very Fine, ex-Grunin & Piller, with 1975 P.F. certificate and 1993 Dr. Amonette attest.
AN EXCEPTIONAL HOTEL CORNER CARD COVER USAGE OF THE 3¢ CHICAGO PERF SENT BY THE PROMOTER OF THE HADLEY PERFORATING MACHINE, R.K. SWIFT, WHICH WAS USED TO PRODUCED THE CHICAGO PERFS.
This cover also sold in a Robert A. Siegel Auction, Sale 748, Lot 136, (1993 Stanley Piller Sale) described like this:
3c Rose Red, Chicago Semi-Official Trial Perforations, Perf 12-1/2 (11 var). Bright shade, scissors separated with full perf holes at left showing part of adjoining stamp, s.e. at right, tied by lightly struck "Chicago Ill." cds (possible Sep. 22) on cover addressed in the hand of R. K. Swift to Washington D.C., backflap with indigo oval return card of Tremont House, a lovely fresh cover and nice association between the Chicago perf and Swift, ex-Grunin, with 1975 P.F. certificate (submitted by Stanley Piller)
Dr. Amonette wrote some notes on the reverse of this cover - and signed it. Check that out!
A letter also accompanies this cover from June 12, 1993 and signed by "W. F. Amonette MD" with his name under it "Wilbur F. Amonette, MD"
In this letter, Dr. amonette says -
"Plate 6 or 7"
"Pale 1856 brownish carmine"
"usage is most likely 1856 or less likely 1857"
There is also a copy of the certificate, including a copy of the Siegel sale description, and a red pen note that says, "Possible 1855 use judging from the "Ills." CDS (Norona, p. 332-No.A6)" Referring to Delf Norona's book, "Cyclopedia of United States Postmarks and Postal History" (EDIT: New knowledge gained from Charles Epting's comment below)
I don't know Noronay, and am not even sure that is the right word, but I have Piszkiewicz's 573 page, illustrated, 2006 book, Chicago Postal Markings and Postal History". Sure enough, A-6 is a 32mm, blacl, CDS that was used from May 1853 to March 10, 1856. And it is the only one that matches with the period at the end -> "Ills."
The Siegel auction mentions "(possible SEP 22)" but the best that I can make out this date is "FEB 22" With the 1856 colors indicated by Amonette, this cover would have had to have been used no sooner than early 1856. And with the dates of use on the CDS, it would have had to have been used no later than March 10, 1856.
February 22 of 1856 matches colorwise, as well as being within the time period of that "CHICAGO, Ills." CDS. So I am going to go with a FEB 22, 1856 use.
Now for the funny part:
R. K. Swift didn't invent perforations, but he had a machine that made perforations on sheets of stamps. He experimented with a few of the imperforate stamps of the day. With the main postal rate being 3c at the time, most of the survivors are 3c Washingtons. (I don't have any 1c Franklins yet, but they show up from time to time.)
So here is this guy, experimenting with making perforations on sheets of stamps and trying to sell the US Postal Service on the idea. Perforating stamps so that they can be torn apart more easily. Look how easy! And then he pulls out a pair of scissors and he cuts along the perforations anyway. I can only imagine myself squinting slightly, tilting my head to the side slightly, and staring at this guy until he realized what he was doing.
Anyway - cool cover. #128526;