Sale 1248 — The Magnolia Collection of U.S. Mail in China and Japan: Part 1
Sale Date — Thursday, 16 December, 2021
Category — Mail From China to U.S. Post Offices in Japan
EXTREMELY FINE. A TRULY REMARKABLE MIXED-FRANKING COVER--ORIGINATING IN GERMANY WITH THE 1872 LARGE SHIELD ISSUE PAYING POSTAGE TO SHANGHAI VIA MARSEILLES, AND SENT FROM U.S. POSTAL AGENCY IN SHANGHAI TO NAGASAKI WITH TWO 6-CENT BANK NOTE ISSUE STAMPS PAYING THE DOUBLE INTERCONSULAR RATE. THIS BEAUTIFUL COVER IS WITHOUT QUESTION ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AND IMPRESSIVE ARTIFACTS OF THE POSTAL HISTORY OF CHINA AND JAPAN.
This cover from Germany to Nagasaki, Japan, was mailed in 1874, the last year of the foreign post offices in Japan. Beginning January 1, 1875, the new Japanese Foreign Postal Service took over international mails, and the U.S. post offices in Yokohama, Nagasaki, Hiogo and Hakodate closed.
Once this cover reached Marseilles, it entered the French postal system and was transported to the French post office in Shanghai. Since France had no postal service from Shanghai to Nagasaki in 1874, the correspondent's agent in Shanghai gave the cover to the United States Postal Agency, and an additional 12c for the double 6c interconsular rate was paid with the two Bank Note stamps--it must have weighed just over the half-ounce limit. The German 16 groschen postage was sufficient for the single rate. There is one other similar cover from the same correspondence. They are the only German-U.S. mixed frankings through the U.S. Postal Agency in Shanghai known to us.
Illustrated in Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book (p. 123).