Submitted by H.R. Harmer.
On January 17, 2023, H.R. Harmer Fine Stamp Auctions will be offering at public auction the eighth of ten installments of the “Erivan” Collection of United and Confederate States Postal History. This collection represents one of the most comprehensive and important holdings of American postage stamps ever assembled, and its appearance at auction marks a watershed moment for the hobby of philately. Highlights from the past few years include an envelope carried by Pony Express to Abraham Lincoln, which sold for $330,000, and the famous “Blue Boy” stamp of Alexandria, Virginia, which realized an impressive $1.18 million.
This upcoming sale includes an 1855 envelope and letter from Steilacoom City, Washington to Wilmington, Ohio.
This is a very early piece of mail from the first post office ever established in Washington territory. “Getting mail out of Washington territory and across the country wasn’t easy and it was very expensive at the time,” H.R. Harmer President and CEO, Charles Epting remarked. “It’s incredibly rare to have mail from Washington this early. I would consider this one of the greatest artifacts of Washington postal history you can find.”
The value of this envelope cannot be measured in merely monetary terms—it is a key piece of Americana and Washington state history. Erivan Haub (1932-2018), a German businessman and philanthropist with a love for American history, spent decades curating a collection of United States stamps and postal history that documents the rise of America in the 19th Century and beyond. Mr. Haub preserved some of the most precious artifacts from America’s past, and this coming January items from his collection will once again have a chance to make history on the auction block.