VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE 1861 5-CENT BUFF FRANKING TO INDIA.
From the Goddard correspondence
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A SPECTACULAR FIVE-COLOR FRANKING OF THE 1861 ISSUE TO HONG KONG AND FORWARDED TO LONDON.
At the time of mailing, there was a 45c rate via Southampton and a 53c rate via Marseilles. The 45c franking indicates the cover was fully paid for the route via Southampton, but the magenta "48" credit indicates that the cover was treated as fully prepaid for the route via Marseilles. The best explanation is that the New York exchange office sent the cover to Boston to make the Cunard sailing on December 23, 1863, and the mis-rating was overlooked. The cover offered in lot 868 shows a 48c credit re-rated 40c at Boston.