VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A SPECTACULAR DOUBLE-RATE MIXED-FRANKING WITH THE "HAWAIIAN STEAM SERVICE" OVAL, APPLIED BY THE SAN FRANCISCO POST OFFICE TO CONTRACT STEAMSHIP MAIL FROM HAWAII.
According to www.hawaiianstamps.com, the "Hawaiian Steam Service" oval was applied regularly to contract letters from November 1867 to August 1869 (there is one recorded later, irregular use of the marking). This cover was carried on the COMSS Idaho, departing Honolulu on Jan. 20, 1868, and arriving in San Francisco on Feb. 2.
Ex Gibson, Harris, Middendorf, Pietsch and Twigg-Smith.
VERY FINE. AN ATTRACTIVE THREE-COLOR FRANKING FROM VANCOUVER ISLAND TO CANADA, CARRIED ENTIRELY THRU THE MAILS.
The oval marking represents payment of Colonial postage (2-1/2p). It then went via contract steamer from Victoria to San Francisco, and then overland to an exchange office, possibly Detroit. The rate from San Francisco to Canada West was 15c prior to March 1, 1864, at which time it was reduced to 10c. This was overpaid by 5c, but the sender was unaware of the rate change because notice of the change had not yet been received in Victoria.
Ex Cole and Metzger.