The following statistics do not demand any right for giving a complete picture. Even when you think that this is probably the profoundest study of these issues, which has been ever gathered in the world. The data have been put together by me over 40 years and contain information of auction sales since 1920 up to now. But today you see often items offered, which are not recorded because they were never entrusted directly to bigger auction houses. The registration is more and more taking more time because you have to study painstakingly the item and find out whether it was recorded before. You are finding the so-called” wandering lots” especially in certain foreign auction sales (mainly lately) Without explanation reappear within two to three years up to ten times. In other words they wander from one sale to sale. This is unsatisfying for the market because such lots give the wrong impression to lesser known philatelists that they are pure mass production lots (since they appear without interruption again and again). Naturally we only record all covers once.
We define the items in the following categories:
a.) all covers
b.) all fronts
c.) all cover parts, if they show a clear and dated second cancellation/postmark.
Cover parts without second cancellation are thus not recorded, also no off-cover multiples or singles. We also abstain to record dubious covers, where the genuine usage of the stamps is questionable.
Let me point out some facts which strike you immediately.
While we were taking into account in the existing lists (in our own catalogues or in the Swiss Stamps Catalogue issued by the Swiss Dealers Association) the basic value of stamps and valued the multiples in more or less in the way, we have now the new valuations more preciously by taking into account the exact number of all recorded pieces. This has lead to some big surprises, which we have to respect pricewise because they have recently been proven.
Single frankings of Orts-Post with a frame around cross:
These are in fact rarer as covers with pairs of 13I. Covers with mixed frankings or multicolour frankings with the most common values (17II, 15II, 15II) are found more often than frankings of three or more of 13I.
Single frankings Orts-Post without frame around cross:
These are much more frequent as covers with two stamps of 13II.
Mixed frankings with Rayons are rarities. Even the most frequent (with 15II) is considered rare. All others are great rarities.
Covers with four stamps (10 copies known) are very rare. It is interesting that we have to grade covers with three stamps 13II (only four known) still much rarer.
Single frankings Poste Locales with frame around cross: These are certainly more frequent than covers with a pair (or two singles) 14I.
We have recorded 235 covers with single frankings and 175 covers with two stamps. Therefore it is right to value the single franking lower than covers with two stamps. At a glance at the towns of departure, it is striking that most single frankings 14I come from Geneva.
Sure and this is very important! There are in total 40 covers known, which were cancelled in Geneva with the lozenge of Geneva. The catalogue value of 6,000 is surely enough. However, there are only 13 covers known with the Geneva grid until now (from 8th August 1851).The last one should be worth certainly the double price of the cover with the lozenge and quoted. We made further studies and found out that among the 235 single frankings the majority came from the Welschland. Therefore we have found about 30 covers from Neuchatel, 13 covers from Vevey and 10 covers from Lausanne, also numerous from the Jura area. If you deduct the most frequent cities, you would have thought that single frankings mainly from small town and villages should surely be worth more. Suddenly you will realise that these are rarer and therefore should cost more than covers with a pair. An interesting remark for the usage of the 14I in Geneva:
1.) There is no cover known of 1850 because Geneva returned the first delivery Poste Locale to Bern. The two loose copies with the red rosette no.3 (used until 31st Dec.1850) were surely brought to Geneva from outside and then were used in Geneva.
2.) We know one cover with a black rosette no.3 (usage from 1st Jan 51 to 16th Jan. 51, which stamp was surely also brought to Geneva.
3.) There is not a single cover from Geneva itself known with two or more Poste Locales.
Poste Locales without frame around cross:
All covers here with all combinations should be described as great classic Switzerland rarities, which will be always sold at “collector’s price”. Don’t forget and remember that due to the few available cover, there are also covers in bad condition. If somebody demands here high quality covers, he sometimes has to wait a whole life long to find such a piece.
Mixed frankings with Rayon I darkblue, 15I: A little secret advice: All Combinations of Orts-Post and Poste Locales with 15I are extremely difficult to find. There are until this dates none known of 14II.
Fixing the price only with one of three known covers:
It does not make much sense, to want to fix here values because in these cases it was absolutely only for condition and the beauty. All suggested prices were only for very fine stamps on exceptional documents/covers. Due to the few existing documents and impossibility to compare them with neither others in similar excellent quality nor the experience of knowing only the approximate existence, the price value is difficult. Example: There is only a horizontal Zurich 4 and one Poste Locale with a framed cross on piece. How to fix here a catalogue price (even in exceptional quality), if you have even no cover? Such pieces have always to be estimated as the only known piece and fetch at auction – according to the market situation- anyway a collector’s price.