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Friday, July 30, 2010

Stampless $10,000 letter brings ten-times its estimate at Spink Shreves

Marked 'Navy Department/Texas', this letter from man to wife dated 1838 was a big hit at auction:- An historic stampless cover which sold for ten-times its estimate was among the highlights at Spink Shreves' Collectors Series Sale at the weekend (July 21-23).

Lot #1 in the sale is dated to 1838 and addressed to Mrs Mary Forrest in Baltimore, Maryland, US. In the corner, the envelope is marked "Navy Department/Republic of Texas".

The three-page letter, from Moreau Forrest to his wife, talks about business ventures in Texas, the difficulty of sending US money, as well as personal family issues.


The unstamped, folded letter from 1838

Other features on the cover include a red "SHIP" handstamp. According to Spink Shreves' condition report, there are some splits in the letter, caused by a vertical fold.

Nevertheless, the letter remains a remarkable historic philatelic artefact. It appeared in the auction with a printed transcript of the letter's contents and a pre-sale estimate of just $1,000-1,500.

Attracting spirited bidding, this rare Navy Department/Consulate specimen from the Republic of Texas realised a final price of $10,000 - clearly a great investment for the seller.