Roessler-Melville Cover

Discussion in 'United States Stamps' started by Molokai, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. Molokai

    Molokai Moderator Moderator

    Here’s a cover I picked up for a song. Stamp dealer A.C. Roessler to famous stamp author Fred Melville.

    Nice Return cachet.

    Sent to England for 2c versus the 5c rate at that time.
    (See Don's correction on this, below.)

    Opened by Censor sticker.

    Nice fresh-looking stamp. Any of our Washington-Franklin experts able to tell us the Scott # on this one?

    Fred Melville wrote over 100 books on stamp collecting and a few other topics. Here is a little about him:

    Here is a little on Mr. Roessler. He apparently did many nice cachets. We’ll look to our historian <DonSellos> for more on that aspect.

    Just for fun - here is where Mr. Melville was staying:,-0.1236527,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sy3oa1SP1ujOD5faf1OMiAA!6s//!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

    Melville1.jpg Melville2.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
    DonSellos likes this.
  2. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator


    Congratulations!. A nice item, for sure.

    I was at first doubtful about this cover because of the 2c postage rate and put up a somewhat lengthy post about the rate and other features. I deleted it as most of the post was just wrong.

    With a little further research it appears that there was a "treaty rate" in effect for postage from the U.S. to England in 1916 that was 2 cents, so this is a valid rate. Also, correspondence from the U.S. to England was censored upon arrival in England.

    The lack of auxiliary markings (i.e. arrival postmark) still seems odd, but I'm not an expert on these.

    Surely, an very interesting association cover from an interesting person to an interesting person. It will make a nice addition to your cover collection.

    James2489 and Molokai like this.
  3. Molokai

    Molokai Moderator Moderator

    Hi, Don -

    I caught your earlier post; no wonder you are the StampExchange historian! :happy: I actually thought the Censor sticker seemed a bit odd, but know nothing about such things.

    The seller had this to say in his description:

    Roessler mails a 5c letter to Fred Melville in London for only 2c & it is delivered. The censor did not check the rate, neither the postal clerk!
    Nice job, as usual. Albert - you got away with it again!

    Here's the other cover I purchased from him. C.F. Richards was apparently a well-know dealer in Hawaii material with offices in NYC:

    DonSellos likes this.
  4. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator


    Nice stamp dealer cover! I especially like the 10c Columbian for paying the registry fee, and the 90 Nassau St. return address. Good period stuff.

    Charles Foster Richards has entries in both of the Blue Books I have. The entries confirm his Hawaii specialty. It appears that he was only about 27 years old when this cover was mailed to him. Must have carried something of above average value.

    Do you have his book mentioned in the entry?


    Richards entry.jpg
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  5. Molokai

    Molokai Moderator Moderator

    Hi, Don -


    I don't have that book (only have two on Hawaii plus the Honolulu Advertiser auction catalogs). Here's my Hawaii list, there are others, I'm sure. I've also started compiling auction catalog lists for specific U.S. specialties, ugh...:nailbiting:


    Ashbrook – The Grinnell Hawaiian Missionary Stamps

    Burt – Adhesive Revenue Stamps of Hawaii

    Cahill – Hawaiian Stamps: An Illustrated History
    Crampton - Aerophilatelic Flights: Hawaii and Central Pacific 1913-1946

    Crocker – Hawaiian Numerals

    Giffard – Descriptive Catalogue of the Postage Stamps of Hawaii

    Gregory – Hawaii Foreign Mails to 1870

    Hogan – A History of the Stamps of Hawaii 1851-1900

    Inklebarger – Hawaiian Town Postmarks 1859-1900

    Kenyon – History of the Postal Issues of Hawaii

    Luff/Howes/Richards – Postage Stamps and Stationary of the Hawaiian Islands

    Meyer – Hawaii: Its Stamps and Postal History

    Nettles - Hawaii (Exhibits)

    Postilion – Hawaii Its Stamps and Postal History

    Richards – Additions to the Check List of the Stamps of Hawaii

    Richards – Check List of the Stamps of Hawaii

    Siegel – David Golden Collection of Hawaiian Stamps (Auction Catalog)

    Siegel – Honolulu Advertiser Collection (3 Volumes, Auction Catalog)

    Sotheby – Isikawa Collection of the Postage Stamps of the Hawaiian Islands (Auction Catalog)

    Foster – A Check List of the Stamps of Hawaii (2 Volumes)

    Pelander – Hawaii Towes Collection 1948 (Auction Catalog)
    DonSellos likes this.
  6. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator


    You may have it. Richards – Check List of the Stamps of Hawaii, may be it. My impression is that the entries for the Blue Books was sharply limited as to length. Richards or the editors may have shortened the title to save space. The APRL online catalog may be able to confirm it.

    I am amazed at the number of books you list about Hawaiian philately. Hawaii is a very nice place, but it's not one of my favorite stamp issuing entities. There are, however, some very interesting Clipper covers from Hawaii, although most of the ones I have are Navy-related.

    There is an example below. A three-page letter came with this cover. It is from a sailor on U.S.S. Nashville. I collect airmail covers with variant airmail borders. This one with U.S. warships as the airmail border is one of my favorites. I have only seen it used between 1939 and 1941. It disappeared after Pearl Harbor and I have a theory about its disappearance, but I'll save that for another time and thread.

    As an aside, would you care to share what your user name connection is? Isn't Molokai one of the Hawaiian Islands southeast of Oahu. Wasn't it the home of Father Damian and the famous leper colony?


    ship cover.jpg
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  7. Molokai

    Molokai Moderator Moderator

    Hi, Don -

    What a fascinating cover (and story). The warships border is very neat. Can you identify each of them? o_O Amazing, the information to be gleaned from covers!

    Molokai - I lived in Honolulu from 1979-1984, co-owned a brokerage house, met my wife there (left behind Navy brat) and honeymooned on Molokai. Still my favorite island, seems the tourist boom passed it by. The locals are very protective of their lifestyle on Molokai. One of the few haoles to make it there is Jonathan Socher of Big Wind Kite. I came close to buying a little land there, didn't but now wish I did.
    DonSellos and James2489 like this.
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