United States » Collections
Price realised
60’000 – 100’000 EUR
Auction date
Thu 6 Jun 2019 at 18:00 (Europe/Zurich)


Introduction: The creator of the Waterbury cancellations, John W. Hill (1834-1921), moved with his family to Waterbury CT. at an early age. As a young man he became an apprentice as a die sinker. The outbreak of the civil war disrupted whatever plans he may have had but then he returned to Waterbury where he found work in the local post office. His duties as postal clerk may have been proven boring and he probably preferred his passion for whittling, Combined with the plain and uninteresting cancellations used by the Waterbury post office at the time, this motivated him to create a wide assortment of figures and designs while working as a postal clerk. He continued his carving, even after his promotion to the position of postmaster in 1870. The different designs were motivated by various events he experienced, for example the Elephants used in 1866 were occasioned by the arrival of the circus in the Spring of that year. Cancellations are ordered in 18 groups lettered A to S as per the Paul C. Rohloff book.

1865-90, Outstanding and most extensive collection of Waterbury postmarks housed in four “White Ace” albums comprising 123 stamps and 220 covers or cards, showing a wide range of Animals, Objects and designs.

Remarkable items include the following (all by Rohloff numbers and according to following rarity scale):

(RRRR): not more than 5 copies known.

(RRR): not more than 8 copies known.

(RR): not more than 15 copies known.

(R): more than 15 copies known.

Group A: Elephant Type 2 on 1861 1c blue (RRRR)

Group B: Arrowheads with several B2 and B3, rare B4 (RRR) on cover (illustrated in book, fig. 20), two B5 (RRR), B12 on cover (illustrated in book, fig. 27), B16 on cover (RRR), two B18 (RRR) and four B19 (RRR) covers.

Group C: Crossroads with C2 (RRR) on cover, two C3 (RRR) on cover, C4 on cover (illustrated in book, fig. 38), C6 on cover (illustrated in book, fig. 40), C8(RRR) on cover and C9 on cover (illustrated in book, fig. 43)

Group D: Designs – geometric pattern and target with two D2 (RRR) on cover, D12 (RRR) on cover, several D15 covers, D20 (RRR) on cover, D25 on cover with PF certificate

Group E: Faces with Soldier’s Head on 1861 1c blue (RRRR)

Group F: Flowers and Shamrocks with F7 (RRRR) on 3c postal stationery, F11 (RRR) on 3c banknote, F11 on 3c banknote, F12 (RRR) on cover and other F12 on 3c banknote.

Group G: Pumpkin G2 (RR) on cover (ex Judge Fay)

Group H: Grids and grills with H1 (RR) on first day of use (FEB 22) cover, H2 (RRR) on 1c banknote, H5 (RRR) on card, H7 (RRR) on card, H9 (RRR) on cover, H11 (RRR) on cover, H25 (RRRR) on entire, H12 (RRR) on 3c banknote,

Group J: Hearts with J1 (RRR) on cover plus single, J4 (RRRR) on 3c banknote, J6 (RRRR) on 1861 3c, J9 (RRRR) on 1861 3c and J11 (RRR) on 1861 3c

Group K: Letters with K1 (RRR) on 1861 3c, two K2 (RRR) on cover, two K6 (RRR) on cover, K7 (RRR) on cover, K9 (RRR) on cover, K10 (RRR) on cover, two K12 (RRR) on 1861 3c plus a cover, K13 (RRR) on 1869 1c and also on cover, K14 (RRR) on 1861 3c and also three covers.

Group L: Leaves with L4 on 1869 3c and two covers, L6 Maple Leaf (RRRR) on 1861 3c and 1869 1c, 3c and 6c, L7 (RRR) on 1861 3c and 3c banknote, L8 (RRR) on 1861 3c and on two covers, L10 (RRR) on cover and single, L11 (RRR), on cover, L13 (RRR) on cover, L14 (RRR) on card, L18 (RRR) on two covers, L22 (RRR) on cover, L23 (RRR) on cover, L25 (RRR) on cover, L26 (RRR) on cover, L27 (RRR) on cover, L31 (RRR) on two covers, L34 (RRR) on cover, L35 (RRR) on two covers, L37 (RRR) on cover (illustrated in book, fig. 188), L43 (RRR) on piece and cover, L44 (RRR) on four covers, L47 (RRR) on two covers (one illustrated in book, fig. 192)

Group N: Numerals with N1 (RRRR) on three covers, N2 (RRR) on three covers, N5 (RRR) on piece and singles

Group O: Objects with O9 (RRR) on 1869 3c, O9A (RRRR) on 1869 3c, O8 on 1861 3c and stationery cut-out, O10 (RRR) on 1861 3c

Group P: Rosettes with P4 (RRR) on 1869 1c and cover, P3 (R) but on 1869 3c (cert. PF) and on 1869 10c, P14 (RRR) on 1861 2c, P25 (RRR) on two singles and on cover, P26 (RRR) on two covers and 3c banknote, P28 (RRR) on 1869 3c, P29 (RRR) on 1861 3c, P30 (RRR) on 1869 1c, P30 on 1869 cover (2x 1c)

Group Q: Shields with Q2 (RRR) on cover, Q4 (RRRR) on 1861 3c, Q5 (RRRR) on 1869 3c, Q7 (RRR) on cover, Q7 (RRR) on 1861 3c, Q10 (RRRR) on two 1861 3c

Group R: Skulls, Crossbones and Tombstones with R1 (RRRR) on 1861 1c, R3 (RRR) on two 1869 3c, R5 Tombstone (RRRR) on two, 1861 3c.

Group S: Stars with S2 (RRR) on 1861 3c, S3 (RRRR) on 1861 2c and three 3c singles plus 3c on cover, S5 (RRR) on cover, S5A (RRR) on 3c banknote, S6 (RRRR) on 1861 3c, S8 (RRRR) on two 3c entires plus other cover with 3c banknotes

An extraordinary assembly and an excellent basis for expanding into an award-winning high-level exhibition collection. See a full set of scans on the web. Lot includes the reference book “The Waterbury Cancellations” by Paul C, Rohloff (1979) and the Mannel Hahn handbook on Waterbury Cancellations (1940)

Provenance: Bill Gross

1857 5c Blue, Thin White Wove (8). Full to large margins including right sheet margin, clear at top, tied

by “Honolulu U.S. Postage Paid Sep. 8” (1857) circular datestamp, used with United States 1851

12c Black (17), large margins including left interpane margin with centerline, both stamps tied by “San

Francisco Cal. Oct. 5, 1857” circular datestamp on buff cover to J. T. McMurran at Natchez Miss., docketing

indicates sender was Thomas M. Jordan, slight edgewear, Extremely Fine, carried on British bark

Sebastopol (depart Sep. 8, arrive Sep. 29), PMSC Golden Gate left on Oct. 5 but returned with broken shaft,

Golden Age took the Panama mail (depart Oct. 11, arrive Oct. 24), carried to New York on USMSC Star of

the West (depart Oct. 24, arrive Nov 4), signed Ashbrook, ex Krug and Haas…

Please note that we are still working on adding images for the lots. If the lot you are interested in does not have images available yet, we invite you to check again in a few days.

If you still cannot find the images you are looking for in a few days, please send us a message. Important: don’t forget to mention the lot number(s).

Thank you for your understanding.