A rare cover posted eastwards in the run-up to the American Civil War has been sold at auction:- A very rare Pony Express cover sent eastwards across the United States on September 22, 1860, was a highlight in Harmer-Schau Auction Galleries' sale of rare world stamps last weekend (July 10).
It is just one of 54 known covers to have been sent along its route between August 15, 1860, and April 14, 1861 - known as the Pony Express's "second period".
The historic philatelic specimen bears a 10¢ Nesbitt entire stamp (in its top right-hand corner, see below) and an attractive strike of the Pony Express's 'Running Pony' blue handstamp.
According to experts, the cover was received in North Havenstraw in October - probably October 4 - and, though wrinkled, still retains its desirability as a collectible.
This was confirmed by the cover's final selling price of $6,750 - slightly lower than expected, but still a rare and appreciable investment for its lucky buyer.
The Pony Express was a horseback fast mail service which crossed the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains between Missouri and California between April 1860 and October 1861.
In the years preceding the American Civil War, the Express became the west's most direct means of communication and was vital in tying the state of California closely with the Union.