Canada-U.S. ‘First Issues’ cover brings $300K US

Described by auctioneers as “one of the most desirable covers in all of classic worldwide philately,” an 1851 folded letter franked with the first issues of both Canada and the U.S. realized $300,000 US during the third part of the sale of the William Gross Collection.

Offered as Lot 146 of the Oct. 29-30 sale Robert Siegel Auction Galleries, the mixed-franking cover contains a U.S. 1847 five-cent red-brown stamp plus Canada’s 1851 three-penny beaver, both of which are tied by bold strikes of a Canadian seven-ring target cancel, a red circular datestamp reading, “Montreal L.C. JU 8, 1851,” and the word “CANADA” in red in a framed arc cross-border handstamp.

The blue folded letter was mailed from Montreal to New York city from the D. S. Kennedy correspondence and is datelined “Montreal, June 7th 1851.”

It was about a month after Canada issued its first stamp on April 23 and only weeks before the U.S. demonetized its 1847 stamps on July 1.

The cover’s provenance includes the joint collection of Alfred Lichtenstein and Louis Boyd Dale, among others.

Altogether, the third part of the Gross sale realized $5.58 million US, including buyer’s premium, across 562 lots.

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