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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

America's first stamps appear for sale in extraordinary $300,000 collection

Alexander M Greig's City Despatch Post was the second stamp issue in the world, following Britain's

Robert A Siegel Auction Galleries has another sale brewing, with a title guaranteed to excite genuine philatelists: The Beginning of Adhesive Postage in the United States.

It is actually their 999th sale. No doubt a major sale is planned to come next, but whether it will be more substantial than this one, which contains the "New Amsterdam" Collection of City Despatch Post 1842-52 and The "Georgian" Collection of the 1845 New York Postmaster's Provisional is uncertain.

For now, we will just take a brief look at just one lot: lot one, the New Amsterdam Collection o f City Despatch post which was established in New York City in February 1842 - the second issue of adhesive stamps in the world following the Penny Black and Twopenny Blue in the UK.

The City Despatch Post was established in New York City in February 1842. According to an account published in 1894 and provided by Charles Windsor, the post was founded by his father, Henry Thomas Windsor, a London merchant who at the time was living in Hoboken, New Jersey.

City dispatch post sheet
City Dispatch Post sheet

Inspired by Rowland Hill's postal reforms in Great Britain, Windsor and his friend, Alexander M Greig, started operating the City Despatch Post during the first week of February 1842, in time for the busy Valentine season.

Greig was advertised as the post's "agent," and his name is usually used alone by historians and philatelists when referring to the post's proprietor.

The "New Amsterdam" Collection of this stamp type appears as just one lot and feature a number of used and unused examples of this short-lived stamp including a complete sheet of 42, one of five recorded sheets, of Greig's 1842 3c Black on Greyish.

In total, the collection is expected to sell for $200,000-300,000 in Siegel's sale which takes place on December 8 in New York (naturally) and online.