Sale 1045 — The Steven C. Walske Collection of Hawaiian Postal History
Sale Date — Tuesday, 25 June, 2013
Category — Second Treaty Period: Stampless Covers
VERY FINE AND EXCEEDINGLY RARE--PERHAPS FIFTEEN COVERS FROM HAWAII ARE KNOWN WITH THE SAN FRANCISCO MARKINGS STRUCK IN BLUE.
The Gregory book (Vol. 1, p. 255) notes that blue ink was introduced in the San Francisco office in September 1852, but that the earliest use on Hawaii-related mail is Dec. 1, when some prepaid covers were marked with blue ink and others in black. From Dec. 15, 1852, to Jan. 15, 1853, prepaid covers from Hawaii were marked in blue, while collect covers were marked in black. The exception is Jan. 15, when both collect and prepaid covers were marked in blue.
This cover was carried on the Zoe, which departed Honolulu Nov. 22, 1852, and arrived in San Francisco Dec. 12. From there it was carried on the PMSC Tennessee, which departed Dec. 16 and arrived in Panama on Dec. 31. It was carried on the USMSC Illinois, which departed Aspinwall Jan. 2, 1853, and arrived in New York Jan. 13.
Ex Van Dyke and Pietsch.
VERY FINE. ONE OF THREE RECORDED COVERS FROM TAHITI THAT WERE SENT VIA THE HONOLULU POST OFFICE, OF WHICH ONLY TWO HAVE BOTH TAHITI AND HONOLULU POSTAL MARKINGS. THE TAHITI “POSTE AUX LETTRES” MARKING IS ALSO EXTREMELY RARE.
This cover and another to Rochefort with similar markings were carried in the same mail packet, so we shall describe their travels together. They were brought from Tahiti to Honolulu on the steamship City of Norfolk en route from Melbourne to San Francisco via Tasmania, Tahiti and Honolulu. The City of Norfolk left Tahiti on Jan. 28, 1855, and arrived in Honolulu on Feb. 16, where she docked until continuing her trip to San Francisco on Feb. 24. The mail from Tahiti entered the Honolulu post office and the covers were datestamped on Feb. 24. The City of Norfolk arrived in San Francisco on March 19, and from there the mail was carried to Panama on the PMSC John L. Stephens, which departed March 31 and arrived April 13. After crossing the isthmus on the new Panama railroad, the covers were carried to New York on the USMSC George Law (renamed Central America in 1857), which departed April 15 and arrived April 24. At New York they were placed on the Collins Line’s Pacific, which departed on May 2 and arrived at Liverpool on May 13. After the channel crossing to Calais, they entered the French mail system and were delivered to the addressees (8 decimes due for ship-letter postage).
Mail between Tahiti and Hawaii was exchanged in accordance with a postal treaty signed on Nov. 24, 1853, and printed in The Polynesian on Dec. 10. The impetus for negotiating a postal treaty between Tahiti and Hawaii was Honolulu Postmaster Whitney’s desire to be reimbursed for U.S. postage he paid to San Francisco on letters and newspapers sent between the U.S. and Tahiti via Honolulu. Accounts were maintained between the three postal entities which facilitated reimbursement.
Three covers from Tahiti to Honolulu are recorded. One is a newspaper wrapper from Tahiti to R. C. Wyllie in Honolulu, which he forwarded to the United States outside the mails, probably by diplomatic pouch (ex Pietsch). Only the two covers to France dated Jan. 27 have both Tahiti and Honolulu postmarks. The other (addressed to Rochefort) was recently offered in our auction of the Golden collection (Siegel Sale 1009, lot 97).
Illustrated and described in the Gregory book (Vol. 1, pp. 316-317). With 2001 Sismondo certificate.