Philosateleia
Kevin Blackston
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

Elliott Perry Cover

When Elliott Perry died in 1972, his death was marked with an article in The New York Times, not a common honor for a philatelist.1 A noted expert on classic United States stamps, Perry published numerous works during his lifetime, and was a full-time stamp dealer in Westfield, New Jersey, by the time he was around 30 years old.2

Perry was the recipient of the registered envelope shown here, which bears the return address of the Wall Street firm of McLellan, Righter & Co. of New York, New York, and was postmarked in that city on January 12, 1924. That firm had offices located on Beaver Street.

Front of cover bearing 14-cent American Indian stamp
14¢ American Indian cover mailed to Elliott Perry
Reverse of cover
14¢ American Indian cover mailed to Elliott Perry (reverse)

The 14¢ American Indian stamp on this cover pays for a two-ounce letter at the then-current rate of 2¢ per ounce, plus the 10¢ registration fee that was in effect at the time.3 The impression of a paper clip near the top center of the envelope lends credence to the idea that the cover was heavy enough to require payment of postage for a second ounce.

While it’s posssible that Perry might have had stock dealings, it is just as possible and perhaps more likely that the contents of the envelope were related in some way to his stamp business. In either case, this is a very scarce and relatively early use of the American Indian stamp on a registered cover. The registration fee increased to 15¢ in April 1925, which made further solo usage of the stamp for that particular rate impossible.

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References

  1. Elliott Perry, a Leading Expert On 19th Century Stamps, Dead. The New York Times. 29 Sep. 1972. Accessed 12 Nov. 2020.
  2. Elliott Perry. American Stamp Dealers Association. Accessed 12 Nov. 2020.
  3. Beecher, Henry W., and Anthony S. Wawrukiewicz. U.S. Domestic Postal Rates, 1872–2011. 3rd ed. Bellefonte, Pennsylvania: American Philatelic Society, 2011.

Published 2020-11-12 Last updated 2020-11-15