Bogus Western Express In Siegel Auction

This cover, offered in the Siegel Auction Sale #825, June 27, 2000, as lot #1793 is described there as being genuine. The estimate is $1,000. to $1,500. and the last line of the description says "Very Fine, believed to be the only combination of this local post and western express frank, ex Polland, Haas, Edwards". The cover was sold, according to the Siegel prices realized, for $3,500. (plus 10% buyers premium).

The cover is, in fact, a genuine used Truman & Chapman's Express franked 3c pink entire with a bogus "Hoogs & Madison" imprint and fake double circle hand stamped cancel. It was purchased by Dick Schwartz from the "Edwards" collection (the collection formed by Edward Grombacher) when sold while Scott Trepel was with Christie's in October, 1991.

I worked with Dick Schwartz in publishing a three page article on the cover in the January, 1992 issue of The Penny Post. In that article several other bogus Hoogs & Madison stamps and this cover were discussed. An article by Coster written in "Collectors World, March 1879" warned that Hoogs & Madison stamps were being offered by "Wuesthoff, the Canal Street dealer" who was representing a "gang of scamps".  Other items by the same manufacturer include a New Haven Pony Express stamp on cover and several Albany Letter Express items. All of the above, including the Hoogs & Madison are correctly listed as bogus items in Larry Lyons book "The Identifier For Carriers, Locals, Fakes, Forgeries And Bogus Posts Of The United States" published in 1998.

I guess some bogus items die a hard death.

Compiled by Richard Frajola (June 16, 2000) and price realized added subsequent to auction.