Sale 1248 — The Magnolia Collection of U.S. Mail in China and Japan: Part 1

Sale Date — Thursday, 16 December, 2021

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Category — Mail to China

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
2001
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2001, Mail to ChinaSan Francisco Cal. 25 Sep (ca 1851). Lightly but fully struck circular datestamp on small cover addressed to Reverend Moses C. White in "Fuh chau" (Foochow) China, sender's route directive "Via Hong Kong", red "Forwarded by Nye, Parkin & Co. Canton" script in oval handstamp on backflap which has been torn and reattached, Fine, no rate marking, this unusual cover entered the post office at San Francisco, but was not rated with postage--evidently it was handed to a ship captain sailing for China, who in turn gave it to Nye, Parkin & Co. (Gideon Nye) to forward to Foochow--Reverend White arrived in China in 1848 and left in 1853

Bid on this lot

Sale 1248, Lot 2001, Mail to China
Image 2
E. 400-500
Future Sale
2002
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2002, Mail to ChinaSUPPLEMENTARY MAIL. Full strike of red framed Type A handstamp with matching "New York Paid Nov. 23" (1859) circular datestamp on blue folded letter to Captain Josiah Crocker of the ship Raven in care of Olyphant & Co., Hong Kong, China, sender's directive "Overland Mail via Marseilles", red crayon "24" credit crossed out and re-rated "34" credit for 39c rate via Marseilles--carried on Cunarder Asia, departing New York Nov. 23, 1859, arriving Liverpool Dec. 4--manuscript "1" British Colonial credit, red "London Paid DE 5 59" circular datestamp, blue "Hong Kong JA 30 60" receiving datestamp on back, letter instructs Capt. Crocker to proceed to Singapore if his cargo cannot be sold for $10 per ton in Hong Kong, also requests he return with coffee, some minor splitting along folds, Very Fine, this is an extremely rare use of the New York "Supplementary Mail" marking on mail to China

Bid on this lot

E. 1,000-1,500
Future Sale
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2003
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2003, Mail to ChinaBoston Paid B. Pkt. Feb. 24 (1858). Clearly struck red circular datestamp on Feb. 23, 1858, blue folded letter to Captain Robert H. Waters of the ship Eagle Wing in care of Russell & Co., Hong Kong, China, carried by Prussian Closed Mail, pencil "38" rate and red "15" credit handstamp, sender's directive "pr. Niagara"--carried on the Cunarder Niagara, departing Boston Feb. 24, 1858, arriving Liverpool Mar. 9--pencil "1/" one-shilling debit marking, magenta manuscript "f31/4" silbergroschen rate, red "AACHEN 11/3 FRANCO" framed transit datestamp (Mar. 11), backstamped with clear strikes of "Triest Frno 14/3" (Mar. 14) transit, blue "Alexandria AP [?], 1858" transit and "Hong-Kong 7 MY, 1858" receiving datestamps, receipt docketing on back, Very Fine, a scarce example of mail to China via Prussian Closed Mail, ex Bolton

Bid on this lot

E. 750-1,000
Future Sale
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2004
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2004, Mail to China3c Dull Red, Type II (11A). Horizontal block of twelve (Positions 1-6/11-16L5L) and strip of three (Positions 7-9L5L), affixed to back of cover and cancelled with manuscript lines, manuscript "Elizabethton Tenn May the 3d" (1856) postmark on cover to Lieutenant Samuel P. Carter, U.S.S. San Jacinto, in care of R. P. De Silva, U.S. Naval Storekeeper, Hong Kong, China, sender's directive "via England", red "RETURNED FOR/POSTAGE" two-line handstamp applied in New York, presumably sent back to originating post office--it is unclear if stamps were applied upon return or were originally affixed but not noticed in New York--either way, it was marked "paid by stamp 45", red "New-York Br. Pkt. Dec. 2" (1856) circular datestamp applied on back tying block, magenta manuscript "28" credit for 33c rate via Southampton (prepaid for the old 45c rate)--carried on the Cunarder Niagara, departing Boston Dec. 3, 1856, arriving Liverpool Dec. 15--red "Paid 1856 15DE15" London receiving datestamp, "Hong-Kong 25 FE 1857" receiving backstamp, opened up for display, faults including corner torn off block at bottom left and reattached, small pieces missing from edges of cover--nonetheless an impressive and exhibitable cover

ONE OF TWO BLOCKS OF TWELVE OF THE 3-CENT 1851 ISSUE KNOWN ON COVER--THIS IS THE ONLY BLOCK ON A COVER TO CHINA. A MAGNIFICENT POSTAL HISTORY ARTIFACT.

The other 3c 1851 block of twelve on cover was offered in our sale of the Gordon Eubanks collection (Sale 1242, lot 265). It is addressed to Denmark and has no additional stamps. This cover to China was virtually unknown to specialists and becomes the second "largest recorded multiple" of the 3c 1851 on cover.

The U.S.S. San Jacinto was one of the United States naval ships to participate in the Second Opium War, during which American forces launched attacks against Chinese forts without a formal declaration of war.

Bid on this lot

E. 3,000-4,000
Future Sale
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2005
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2005, Mail to China5c Red Brown (12). Three large margins, slightly in at bottom, rich color, tied by "Washington City D.C. Feb. 22" (1858) circular datestamp on cover to 1st Asst. Engr. Richard C. Potts, U.S.S. Powhatan, in care of U.S. Naval Storekeeper, Hong Kong, China, sender's directive "Open mail via London", "Boston Br. Pkt. 24 Feb." circular datestamp on back--carried on the Cunarder Niagara, departing Boston February 24, 1858, arriving Liverpool March 9--red "London F1 MR 10 58" datestamps on back, manuscript "1/8" 1sh8p debit marking for rate via Marseilles, "Hong-Kong 7 MY 1858" receiving backstamp, May 12 receipt docketing at top, very slightly reduced at left

VERY FINE. AMONG THE TEN RECORDED 5-CENT 1856 ISSUE COVERS TO CHINA, THIS IS THE ONLY ONE ACTUALLY CARRIED ON THE EXPEDITED ROUTE VIA MARSEILLES, WITH THE "1/8" DEBIT MARKING FOR BRITISH POSTAGE COLLECTED FROM THE ADDRESSEE.

In August 1855, the U.S.S. Powhatan assisted the H.M.S. Rattler in a successful attack against Chinese pirates off Kowloon. The U.S.-Japan Treaty of Amity and Commerce was signed on the Powhatan on July 29, 1858, about three months after this cover reached Engineer Potts.

The stamp on this cover prepaid the 5c inland U.S. rate, with 1sh8p (40c) collected from the addressee, for a total of 45c for the rate by British Mail via Marseilles. Our census of 5c 1856 covers contains 10 covers to China (eight to Hong Kong, one to Shanghai and one to Foochow). Of these 10 covers, 8 were sent by British Mail via Southampton, one by British Mail via Marseilles (offered here), and one actually carried by Prussian Closed Mail (one of the covers has a 38c franking for the PCM rate, but was carried by British Mail via Southampton--offered in lot 2006). The other covers with a single 5c 1856 stamp have "1/2" 1sh2p (28c) debit markings for the 33c rate via Southampton. The "1/8" on the cover offered here distinguishes it from the others.

Ex Starnes.

Bid on this lot

E. 5,000-7,500
Future Sale
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2006
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2006, Mail to China5c Red Brown (12). Mostly large margins with right interpane margin and centerline, used with 3c Dull Red, Type III (26) and vertical strip of three 10c Green, Types III/II/III (33/32/33), well-centered, tied by "Boston 2 Feb" (1858) circular datestamps on blue folded cover to Augustine Heard & Co., Hong Kong, China, sender's directive "Steamer via N. York", red "New-York Feb. 3" circular datestamp on back, magenta manuscript "28" credit corresponding to 33c rate to China via Southampton, red "London Paid EX FE 16 58" datestamp, "Hong-Kong 24 AP 1858" receiving backstamp, top of lettersheet originally folded through margin of 5c stamp, 10c strip has some short perfs, 3c straight edge at right and small tear

VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE COMBINATION OF THE 5-CENT 1856 IMPERFORATE AND 1857 PERFORATED ISSUES, INTENDED TO PAY THE 38-CENT PRUSSIAN CLOSED MAIL RATE TO HONG KONG, BUT SENT BY BRITISH MAIL VIA SOUTHAMPTON. ONLY TEN 5-CENT 1856 COVERS TO CHINA ARE RECORDED, OF WHICH JUST TWO HAVE 38-CENT RATE FRANKINGS.

This cover was correctly prepaid 38c for the rate to Hong Kong by Prussian Closed Mail, but it was routed via Southampton and the British Mail system. It was carried on the Cunarder Europa, departing New York February 3, 1858, and arriving Liverpool February 15. From Southampton it left on the Peninsular & Oriental Line Colombo, departing February 20 and arriving at Alexandria on March 5. After an overland trip, the letter was carried from Suez on the P&O Nubia, departing March 20 and arriving at Galle, Ceylon, on April 3. From Galle it was carried on the P&O Pottinger, departing April 16 and arriving at Hong Kong on April 24, 1858.

Illustrated in Mayer-Frajola 5c 1856 book (p. 127).

Ex Sir Nicolas Waterhouse, Emmerson C. Krug, Marc Haas and Frederick R. Mayer.

With 1980 Friedl certificate and signed in pencil by Herbert J. Bloch. Signed on back by Stanley B. Ashbrook.

Bid on this lot

E. 30,000-40,000
Future Sale
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2007
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2007, Mail to China5c Red Brown (12). Horizontal strip of four, margins touching to slightly in at top right (large margin above lefthand stamp), rich color, slight wrinkling, used with 1c Blue Type IV (9), slightly cut in, tied by three strikes of red "Trenton N.J. Aug. 19, 1856" circular datestamp on small cover to Lieutenant Earl English, Hong Kong, China, addressed to the "U.S. Sloop of War Levant, Care of the U.S. Consul", sender's directive "Via Southampton, England", red "New-York Am. Pkt. Aug. 23" circular datestamp, backstamped with red London datestamp (September 4) and "Hong-Kong 1 DE 1 1856" receiving datestamp, with original 8-page letter enclosure from Lieut. English's wife Elizabeth

VERY FINE. A SPECTACULAR COVER TO HONG KONG WITH A STRIP OF FOUR OF 1856 5-CENT AND 1851 ONE-CENT IMPERFORATE ISSUES PAYING THE 21-CENT RATE VIA SOUTHAMPTON. ONE OF THREE SIMILAR COVERS ADDRESSED TO LIEUTENANT EARL ENGLISH IN HONG KONG, THESE BEING AMONG THE MOST OUTSTANDING OF ALL 5-CENT 1856 COVERS.

The 21c postage paid the American Packet rate to Hong Kong by British Mail via Southampton. An additional 6-pence postage was collected from the recipient, although not marked on the cover. It was carried on the New York & Havre Line Arago, departing New York August 23, 1856, and arriving Southampton September 4. It was then carried on the Peninsular & Oriental Line Indus, departing Southampton September 4 and arriving at Alexandria on September 19. After an overland trip, the letter was carried from Suez on the P&O Oriental, departing September 25 and arriving at Galle, Ceylon, on October 13. It was delayed at Galle and carried on the P&O Norna, departing Galle November 9 and arriving at Hong Kong on December 1, 1856.

Under the command of U.S. Navy officer William N. Smith and with Lieut. Earl English aboard, the U.S.S. Levant sailed on November 13, 1855, for Rio de Janeiro, the Cape of Good Hope, and Hong Kong, where she arrived to join the East India Squadron on May 12, 1856. On July 1 the U.S. Commissioner to China boarded the Levant for transport to Shanghai, arriving on August 1. At the outbreak of hostilities between the British and Chinese, the Levant arrived in Whampoa on October 28. The Levant took part in protecting American interests, and in November 1856 saw action during the American amphibious assault on Chinese fortifications on the Pearl River. The Levant received the major part of the Chinese bombardment, with 22 shot holes in her hull and rigging, one man dead, and six injured. The Levant cruised between Hong Kong and Shanghai until she departed Hong Kong on December 7, 1857, arriving at the Boston Navy Yard on April 6, 1858 (source: Wikipedia).

Illustrated in Mayer-Frajola 5c 1856 book (p. 126) and Robert G. Rose, "Five Cent 1856 Stamp on Covers from New Jersey," New Jersey Postal History Journal, May 2012.

Ex Paul C. Rohloff, Marc Haas, Dr. Leonard Kapiloff and Frederick R. Mayer.

With 1977 P.F. certificate.

Bid on this lot

E. 20,000-30,000
Future Sale
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2008
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2008, Mail to China10c Green, Type III (15). Positions 85-89R1, horizontal strip of five, Position 87R1 with curl to the right of left "X", large margins all around, beautiful rich color and sharp impression, four stamps at right have small pen cancels which have been lightened (causing trivial scrape on center stamp), tied by "Dry Town Cal. 15 Jun." (1857) circular datestamp on buff cover to Reverend William Aitchison in Shanghai, China, sent from San Francisco by private ship to Hong Kong, red "Paid at Hong-Kong" British crown-circle handstamp and red crayon "4" pence prepaid British rate to Shanghai, "Hong-Kong 13 OC 1857" datestamp on back, pencil receipt docketing on back "Frank A. Gill, Willlow Springs, May 17 57", slightly refolded around edges to improve appearance

EXTREMELY FINE. A SPECTACULAR 10-CENT 1855 IMPERFORATE ISSUE FRANKING USED ON A COVER FROM THE GOLD MINING TOWN OF DRYTOWN, CALIFORNIA, TO SHANGHAI, CHINA, WHICH WAS CARRIED FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO HONG KONG BY PRIVATE SHIP. THIS IS THE EARLIEST RECORDED COVER BEARING STAMPS FROM THE UNITED STATES TO THE FAR EAST THAT WAS CARRIED ACROSS THE PACIFIC OCEAN.

This extraordinary cover originated in Willow Springs, a California gold mining town in Amador County, located about five miles from the Drytown post office. For some reason, the Drytown postmark was applied about one month after the letter was written by Frank A. Gill on May 17, 1857 (based on docketing). It was prepaid 50c with a strip of 10c 1855 Issue stamps, presumably because the sender expected it would be sent to New York for a transatlantic packet and further carriage to China through the British Mail system. The highest rate would have been 50c via Marseilles (45c plus 5c surcharge for mail from California). If sent via Southampton, the rate would have been 38c (33c plus 5c). As it turned out, the San Francisco post office chose an entirely different route.

The cover probably reached San Francisco around June 17, 1857. The next sailing for the East Coast via Panama was on July 4. However, instead of waiting for the Panama departure, the San Francisco post office placed the letter on a private ship bound for China. It was probably the brig Bonito, which cleared San Francisco for Hong Kong on June 29 (Daily Alta California). Someone in Hong Kong, probably the U.S. Consul, received the letter and paid the 4-pence British postage to Shanghai. The British Post Office applied the "Paid at Hong-Kong" crown-circle handstamp and red crayon "4" rate. It was carried on the Peninsular & Oriental Line Lady Mary Wood, departing Hong Kong on October 14 (one day after the Hong Kong backstamp) and arriving at Shanghai on October 20.

The addressee, Reverend William Aitchison, was the subject of a book, Five years in China: or, The factory boy made a missionary. The life and observations of Rev. William Aitchison, late missionary to China, by Reverend Charles P. Bush (available at http://name.umdl.umich.edu/ABA3681.0001.001 ). After the deaths of his new wife and their infant child, the distraught but devoted Reverend Aitchison was ordained for missionary work on his 28th birthday, January 4, 1854. Three months later, he and his Yale classmate, Reverend Henry Blodget (see lots 2009-2010), departed New York for Canton on the bark Candace. On August 4, 1854, Aitchison and Blodget arrived in Hong Kong, and shortly thereafter they embarked for Shanghai, arriving on September 1. At this time Shanghai was the scene of fighting between Imperial and insurgent forces. Reverend Aitchison spent the next five years doing missionary work and traveling throughout eastern China. He died in 1859 from the effects of dysentery.

Illustrated in Coburn Letters of Gold (p. 140) and Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book (p. 23).

Ex Emmerson C. Krug (listed in Stanley B. Ashbrook's typewritten inventory of collection, July 1949, item 63, described as a "gorgeous show piece and one of the finest 10c 1855 covers known."), Marc Haas and Michael Perlman.

Bid on this lot

E. 40,000-50,000
Future Sale
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2009
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2009, Mail to China10c Green, Type III (15). Horizontal strip of three, huge margins all around, used with 3c Dull Red, Type I (11), large to huge margins, cancelled or tied by grids and "Greenfield Ms. Mar. 17" (1857) circular datestamp on immaculate cover to Shanghai, China, from the Reverend Henry Blodget correspondence, sender's directive "via New York", red "New-York Br. Pkt. Mar. 18" circular datestamp on back, magenta manuscript "28" credit--carried on the Cunarder Persia, departing New York March 18, 1857, and arriving Liverpool March 29 due to heavy fog, but mails unloaded via steam tug on March 28--red London circular datestamp (March 30), "Hong-Kong 22MY 1857" transit datestamp on back

EXTREMELY FINE. A STUNNING COVER TO SHANGHAI, CHINA, WITH A 3-CENT 1851 AND HUGE-MARGINED STRIP OF THE 10-CENT 1855 ISSUE PAYING THE 33-CENT RATE BY BRITISH MAIL VIA SOUTHAMPTON.

Ex Gross (Sale 1211, lot 268).

For information on the Blodget Corrrespondence: https://siegelauctions.com/2021/1248/blodget.pdf

Bid on this lot

E. 7,500-10,000
Future Sale
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2010
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2010, Mail to China10c Green, Type II (14). Three singles, each with large margins to slightly in, stamp at right has trivial corner crease, used with 1857 3c Dull Red, Type III (26), cancelled or tied by "PAID" straightline handstamp with additional strike and "Greenfield Ms. May. 18" (1858) circular datestamp on buff cover to Reverend Henry Blodget, Shanghai, China, red "New-York Am. Pkt. May. 22" circular datestamp on back, magenta manuscript "12" credit--carried on the Vanderbilt Line Vanderbilt, departing New York May 22, 1858, and arriving Southampton June 2--red "London Paid KN JU 2 58" circular datestamp, "Hong-Kong 20 JY 1858" transit backstamp

EXTREMELY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL COVER TO SHANGHAI, CHINA, WITH THE 10-CENT 1855 IMPERFORATE AND 3-CENT 1857 PERFORATED ISSUES PAYING THE 33-CENT RATE BY BRITISH MAIL VIA SOUTHAMPTON--CARRIED ON THE AMERICAN VANDERBILT LINE RATHER THAN A CUNARD LINE STEAMER.

Ex Haas (his acquisition note "Fox 3/63 200" on back) and Mizuhara.

For information on the Blodget Corrrespondence: https://siegelauctions.com/2021/1248/blodget.pdf

Bid on this lot

E. 5,000-7,500
Future Sale
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2011
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2011, Mail to China5c Red Brown (28). Brilliant shade from 1858 printing, well-centered, scissors separated but perfs intact, tied by "Washington D.C. Sep. 19, 1858" circular datestamp on cover to Richard C. Potts, U.S.S. Powhatan, in care of U.S. Naval Storekeeper, Hong Kong, China, "Boston Br. Pkt. Sep. 22" circular datestamp on back--carried on the Cunarder Asia, departing Boston Sep. 22, 1858, and arriving Liverpool Oct. 4--red "London BA OC 4 58" backstamp, manuscript "1/2" 1sh2p debit marking, "Hong-Kong 24 NO 1858" receiving backstamp, Nov. 24 receipt docketing at top, pressed vertical fold at right clear of stamp, lightly cleaned, Very Fine, the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Amity and Commerce was signed on the Powhatan on July 29, 1858, ex Rohloff and Klein, with 1977 P.F. certificate

Bid on this lot

E. 1,500-2,000
Future Sale
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2012
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2012, Mail to China10c Green, Type V (35). Two horizontal pairs, choice centering and deep shade, used with 5c Brown, Type II (30A), also well-centered, all stamps tied by red grid cancels, "New-York Br. Pkt. Aug. 15" circular datestamp on back of August 10, 1860, folded letter to Augustine Heard & Co., Shanghai, China, sender's directive "Via Marseilles" covered by 5c stamp, magenta manuscript "40" credit for Marseilles route, red "London Paid CB AU 27 60" circular datestamp, manuscript "1" British Colonial credit, "Hong-Kong OC 21 60" receiving backstamp, short perfs on one 10c, cover slightly toned, still Very Fine, an attractive 45c rate franking for British Mail via Marseilles, ex Bolton

Bid on this lot

E. 1,000-1,500
Future Sale
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2013
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2013, Mail to China12c Black, Plate 1 (36). Horizontal strip of three, some perfs scissors-separated causing straight edges, used with horizontal pair of 1c Blue, Type II (20), Plate 2, tied by "Washington D.C. Oct. ?" (1858) circular datestamps on cover to Engineer Richard C. Potts on board the U.S.S. Powhatan in Hong Kong, China, "Boston Br. Pkt. Oct. 20" circular datestamp on back, red "Boston 15" dateless credit handstamp also ties strip--carried on Cunarder Canada, departing Boston October 20, 1858, arriving Liverpool October 31--red framed "AACHEN 2/11 FRANCO" transit datestamp (November 2) ties stamps, lightly struck Alexandria transit backstamp, "Hong-Kong 20 DE 1858" receiving backstamp, pencil "1/" one-shilling debit marking, purple manuscript "f31/4" silbergroschen rate, docketed "Rec'd at Whampoa Decr. 26th/58" and "Prussian Closed Mail" at left, cover torn and repaired at top and affecting top flap, stamps unaffected, slightly reduced at right

FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE 38-CENT RATE FRANKING FOR PRUSSIAN CLOSED MAIL SERVICE TO HONG KONG. THIS WAS RECEIVED AT WHAMPOA, CHINA, DURING THE SECOND OPIUM WAR, IN WHICH UNITED STATES NAVAL FORCES ASSISTED IN ATTACKING CHINESE FORTIFICATIONS WITHOUT A FORMAL DECLARATION OF WAR.

In August 1855 the U.S.S. Powhatan assisted the H.M.S. Rattler in a successful attack against Chinese pirates off Kowloon. The U.S.-Japan Treaty of Amity and Commerce was signed on the Powhatan on July 29, 1858, about five months before this cover reached Engineer Potts at Whampoa (Huangpo), near Hong Kong.

This cover was received in Hong Kong during the hiatus in the Second Opium War. The Treaties of Tientsin were signed in June 1858, but not fully ratified by the Chinese government. One year later, in June 1859, hostilities resumed with the British naval attack on the Taku Forts.

Bid on this lot

E. 4,000-5,000
Future Sale
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2014
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2014, Mail to China24c Gray Lilac (37). Used in a four-color franking with 1c Blue, Type V (24) pair, 3c Dull Red, Type III (26) and 10c Green, Type V (35), tied by multiple strikes of red grid cancel, red "New-York Oct. 2" (1860) circular datestamp on cover addressed to Captain B. W. Crocker of the ship Edwin Forrest, care of DeSilver & Co., Hong Kong, China, with sender's directive "Via Marseilles", although prepaid 39c, this rate was subject to quarter-ounce weight increments and was over the limit, thus marked in red manuscript "over 1/4 oz", routed via Southampton and credited "28" cents in matching manuscript, red "London Paid DT OC 15 60" datestamp, red "1d" British Colonial credit handstamp, "Hong-Kong DE 11 60" receiving backstamp, embossed oval corner card of Crocker, Wood & Co., the ship brokers who operated the Edwin Forrest, manuscript "Sept. 28 1860" refers to origin date of letter, since Captain Crocker perished at sea, this notation must have been written at the office of DeSilver & Co., opening tear along top with small mend affecting 3c (which has a small piece out of lower left), other stamps have a few minor flaws

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A REMARKABLE COVER WITH A MULTICOLORED 1857 ISSUE FRANKING FOR THE RATE TO HONG KONG BY BRITISH MAIL VIA MARSEILLES--THE ADDRESSEE WENT DOWN WITH HIS SHIP AROUND THE TIME THIS COVER TRAVELED TO CHINA.

The Edwin Forrest, built in 1853 and named after a prominent American Shakespearean actor, was operated by Crocker, Wood & Co. and made regular trips to Hong Kong. It left New York on August 1, 1860, bound for Hong Kong, but was never heard from again. The loss was reported nine months later in various newspapers and maritime journals.

This cover from Crocker, Wood & Co. in New York was addressed to Captain Crocker in Hong Kong and contained a letter dated September 28, 1860. The sender had no way of knowing that the Edwin Forrest, along with its captain, crew, passengers and cargo, would never reach Hong Kong.

Ex Dr. Chase, Ward, Gibson, Dr. Kapiloff and Perlman. Signed by Stanley B. Ashbrook.

Bid on this lot

E. 7,500-10,000
Future Sale
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2015
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2015, Mail to China24c Gray Lilac (37). Used with 3c Dull Red, Ty. III (26) and 12c Black, Plate 3 (36B), well-centered, tied by three clear strikes of Boston large "Paid" grid cancel on blue folded cover to Augustine Heard & Co., Hong Kong, China, red "New York Am. Pkt. Paid Sep. 8" (1860) circular datestamp on back, magenta manuscript "18" credit--carried on the Vanderbilt Line Vanderbilt, departing New York September 8, 1860, and arriving Southampton September 19--red "London Paid EM SP 19 60" datestamp, manuscript "1d" British Colonial credit, "Hong-Kong NO 14 60" receiving backstamp, horizontal file fold thru 3c stamp, small scattered bleached spots in cover

VERY FINE COVER AND EXTREMELY RARE COMBINATION OF 1857-60 ISSUE STAMPS TO PAY THE 39-CENT RATE TO HONG KONG BY BRITISH MAIL VIA MARSEILLES.

This cover was sent by British Mail via Marseilles, following the Peninsular & Oriental Line route via Alexandria, Suez and Galle. It was carried to Hong Kong on the P&O Ganges, departing Galle October 23, 1860, and, after an unusually long trip, it arrived at Hong Kong on November 14.

Ex Starnes.

Bid on this lot

E. 5,000-7,500
Future Sale
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2016
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2016, Mail to China5c Buff (67). Beautiful golden mustard-like shade, choice centering, negligible short perfs at top, used with 10c Green (68) and 30c Orange (71), 30c interpane straight edge at left, bright early shade, 10c superb with deep rich color, tied by two clear strikes of blue "Baltimore Md. Feb. 25" (1862) circular datestamp on cover to Reverend Rosewell H. Graves, Baptist Mission, care of Russell & Co., Canton, China, sender's directive "via Southampton", red "N. York Br. Pkt Paid Feb. 6" circular datestamp on back, magenta manuscript "40" credit--carried on the Cunarder Asia, departing New York February 24, 1862, and arriving Queenstown March 10--red "London Paid HY MR 11 62" datestamp and "1d" British Colonial credit handstamp, "Hong Kong C MY 4 62" transit backstamp, receipt docketing "Mother & Annie, Answered", light horizontal bend or fold at bottom, small piece out of backflap

VERY FINE. A SPECTACULAR THREE-COLOR COMBINATION OF 1861 ISSUES IN EARLY SHADES, USED TO PAY THE 45-CENT RATE TO CHINA BY BRITISH MAIL VIA SOUTHAMPTON.

Dr. Rosewell H. Graves, a medical professional from a prominent Baltimore family, spent 57 years in China as a missionary, from 1855 until his death in 1912. He was particularly determined to spread the gospel to Chinese women and developed a strategy of having female missionaries travel house to house with bible in hand. Dr. Graves also performed valuable medical service by vaccinating hundreds of children and treating thousands of Chinese. Details of his life may be found at http://bdcconline.net/en/stories/r-h-graves.

Ex

Seybold (with his handstamp on back) and Starnes.

Bid on this lot

E. 10,000-15,000
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2017
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2017, Mail to China24c Brown Lilac (70a). Horizontal pair and two singles neatly aligned to appear as a strip, crisp shade, used with two pairs of 3c Rose (65), each with interpane straight edge at right, tied by multiple strikes of grid cancel, 3c pair at bottom tied by red "N. York Br. Pkt. Paid Aug. 19" (1862) circular datestamp on blue folded letter datelined August 5 and addressed to Augustine Heard & Co. in Hong Kong, China, magenta manuscript "98" credit--carried on Cunarder Arabia from Boston Aug. 20, 1862, arriving Queenstown Aug. 29, then by P&O route--red "London Paid AU 30 62" datestamp, red crayon "2" double-rate British Colonial credit marking, blue "Hong Kong C OC 23 62" receiving backstamp, one 24c has tiny tear at top, still Extremely Fine, an impressive franking for the scarce $1.08 rate via Marseilles by British Packet for a 1/2 to 3/4 ounce letter with 98c credit, effective December 1861 to June 1863, with 1996 P.F. certificate

Bid on this lot

E. 3,000-4,000
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2018
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2018, Mail to China30c Orange (71). Bright early shade, used with 1c Blue (63) and pairs of 3c Rose (65) and 10c Green (68), 10c straight edge at right, tied by multiple strikes of grid cancel, red "N. York Am. Pkt. Paid Jun. 28" (1862) circular datestamp on blue folded letter to Augustine Heard & Co. in Hong Kong, China, sender's directive "pr. 'Bavaria' Overland via Marseilles", magenta manuscript "36" credit--carried on HAPAG Bavaria from New York Jun. 28, 1862, arriving Southampton Jul. 10, then by P&O route--red "London Paid JY 11 62" datestamp, red crayon "1" British Colonial credit, blue "Hong Kong C [inverted] SP 3 62" receiving backstamp, file fold slightly creases 3c pair, otherwise Very Fine, a colorful franking for the scarce 57c rate via Marseilles, effective December 1861 to June 1863, ex Baker, Weismann and Perlman

Bid on this lot

E. 3,000-4,000
Future Sale
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2019
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2019, Mail to China30c Orange (71). Pair and single, used with two 3c Rose (65) and 10c Green (68), tied by circle of wedges cancels, faint blurry red "N. York Br. Pkt. Paid Feb. [26]" (1866) circular datestamp on blue folded letter to Smith, Archer & Co. in Hong Kong, China, sender's blue handstamp and manuscript directive "Steamer Canada" and "via Marseilles", magenta manuscript "96" credit--carried on Cunarder Europa from Boston Feb. 28 (last voyage), arriving Queentown Mar. 12, then by P&O route--red "London N Paid 13 MR 66" datestamp, red "2" British Colonial credit handstamp, "Hong Kong C MY 8 66" receiving backstamp, file creases slightly affect stamps at right, minor perf flaws, refolded around edges to improve appearance, still Fine, an impressive franking for double 53c rate via Marseilles, ex "Patrick Henry" and DuPuy

Bid on this lot

E. 2,000-3,000
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2020
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2020, Mail to China30c Orange (71). Bright color, used with two 12c Black (69), tied by cork grid cancels on buff cover to John M. Nixon Jr., care of Blair, Tate & Co. in Shanghai, China, sender's directive "Via Marseilles" and "Stmr China", "New-York Br. Pkt. Feb. 23" (1864) circular datestamp on back, magenta "48" manuscript credit--carried on Cunarder China, departing New York Feb. 24, 1864, arriving Queenstown Mar. 7, then by P&O route--red "London Paid KZ MR 8 64" datestamp also ties 12c stamps, red "1d" British Colonial credit handstamp, "Hong Kong C AP 22 64" receiving backstamp, fresh and Very Fine, unusual combination overpaying 53c rate via Marseilles by 1c, ex Canman and Vogel

Bid on this lot

E. 3,000-4,000
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2021
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2021, Mail to China30c Orange (71). Used with 3c Rose (65) and pair of 10c Green (68), tied by "Syracuse N.Y. May 16" (1865) duplex datestamp and target cancels on yellow cover to Commander Robert Townsend aboard the U.S.S. Wachusett in Macau, China, sender's directive "Via Marseilles", red "N. York Am. Pkt. Paid 1863 [error] May 20" (1865) circular datestamp, red "32" credit handstamp--carried on NGL America, departing New York May 20, 1865, arriving Southampton May 31, then by P&O route--red "London Paid EM JU 1 65" datestamp, red "1d" British Colonial credit handstamp, blue "Hong-Kong C JY 23 65" transit backstamp, Extremely Fine, a rare three-color franking to Macau, the Wachusett sailed in March 1865 to pursue the Confederate raider Shenandoah--in August, during a mission to track down pirates in China, Commander Townsend sailed up the Yangtze River and died of heat stroke

Bid on this lot

E. 3,000-4,000
Future Sale
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2022
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2022, Mail to China30c Orange (71). Pair and two singles used with 5c Brown (76) and 10c Green (68), 10c interpane straight edge at right, tied by "East New York N.Y. Feb. 15" (1867) duplex datestamps and segmented cork cancels on buff cover to Rev. L. W. Kip in Amoy, China, sender's directive "Via Southampton", blurry red "N. York Am. Pkt. Paid Feb. 16" circular datestamp, red crayon "96" triple-rate credit--carried on Inman City of Baltimore, departing New York Feb. 16, 1867, arriving Queenstown Feb. 25--red "London Paid 27 FE 67" datestamp, red crayon "3" British Colonial credit, "Hong-Kong C AP 9 67" transit backstamp, 30c at right with small tear, cover has small corner mend, still Very Fine, Amoy is a rare destination and this triple 45c rate franking is spectacular, Rev. Leonard W. Kip served for 37 years as a missionary in Amoy, ex Brandebury, Krug, Shierson and "Patrick Henry"

Bid on this lot

E. 3,000-4,000
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2023
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2023, Mail to China30c Orange (71). Used with 3c Rose (65) and 24c Lilac (78), 24c dark shade, tied by three wonderfully bold strikes of New York Foreign Mail "Sunburst" fancy cancel (14 rays around circle), red "N. York Br. Pkt. Paid May 10" (1864) circular datestamp on folded letter to Augustine Heard & Co. in Shanghai, China, sender's red oval backstamp, manuscript directive "Via Marseilles" and "pr Europa via Boston", magenta "48" manuscript credit--carried on Cunarder Europa, departing Boston May 11, 1864, arriving Queenstown May 22, then by P&O route--red "London Paid HN MY 23 64" datestamp, red "1d" British Colonial credit handstamp, blue "Hong Kong C JY [15?] 64" transit backstamp, horizontal fold at bottom, Extremely Fine, scarce usage and striking fancy cancel, prepaid for the old 57c rate, which was superseded by the 53c rate in June 1863, with 1990 P.F. certificate

Bid on this lot

E. 3,000-4,000
Future Sale
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2024
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2024, Mail to China24c Lilac (78). Horizontal pair with interpane margin and centerline at right, crisp shade, used with 5c Brown (76), tied by three bold strikes of New York Foreign Mail "Sunburst" fancy cancel (14 rays around circle), red "N. York Am. Pkt. Paid Apr. 30" (1864) circular datestamp on buff cover to Edward T. Hjousbery, care of Drake & Co. in Shanghai, China, Kemble & Warner embossed seal on flap, manuscript directive "Via Marseilles", magenta "32" manuscript credit--carried on Inman City of Baltimore, departing New York Apr. 30, 1864, arriving Queenstown May 10, then by P&O route--red "London Paid HF MY 11 64" datestamp, red "1d" British Colonial credit handstamp, blue "Hong Kong C JY 6 64" transit backstamp, blue "Shanghae C JY 11 64" receiving backstamp, Extremely Fine, a beautiful cover with the New York "Sunburst" fancy cancel, ex White

Bid on this lot

E. 1,500-2,000
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2025
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2025, Mail to China24c Grayish Lilac (78a). Horizontal pair with interpane straight edge at right, used with 5c Brown (76), dark shade, choice centering, tied by three bold strikes of New York Foreign Mail "Windmill" fancy cancel, red "N. York Am. Pkt. Paid Apr. 28" (1865) circular datestamp on buff cover to Edward T. Hjousbery, care of Drake & Co. in Shanghai, China, Kemble & Warner embossed seal on flap, manuscript directive "Via Marseilles", red "32" credit handstamp--carried on Inman City of Baltimore, departing New York Apr. 29, 1864, arriving Queenstown May 10, then by P&O route--red "London Paid GV MY 11 65" datestamp, red "1d" British Colonial credit handstamp, no receiving backstamp, Very Fine, attractive cover with the New York "Windmill" fancy cancel, ex Mason, Ackerman and Gibson, with 1983 P.F. certificate

Bid on this lot

E. 1,000-1,500
Future Sale
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2026
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2026, Mail to China30c Orange (71). Used with 15c Black (77), tied by three strikes of target cancel, "Winchester Mass. Jan. 17" double-circle datestamp on cover to Capt. Ambrose D. Cobb on the bark Nabob, care of Olyphant & Co. in Shanghai, China, red "Boston Am. Pkt. Paid Jan. [17?]" (1868) circular datestamp, red crayon "32" manuscript credit, sender's directive "Via Southampton"--carried on Inman City of Baltimore, departing New York Jan. 18, 1868, arriving Liverpool Jan. 29--red "London Paid MY 11 64" datestamp, red "1d" British Colonial credit handstamp, "Shanghae C MR 27 68" receiving backstamp, 15c clipped corner at bottom left, otherwise Very Fine, with 2016 P.F. certificate

Bid on this lot

E. 1,000-1,500
Future Sale
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2027
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2027, Mail to China24c Grayish Lilac (78a). Deep rich color, used with 12c Black (69), tied by strikes of "Meadville Pa. Sep. 7, '64" double-circle datestamp and duplex target cancel on cover to Charles Powell on board the U.S.S. Jamestown, care of Thomas Hunt & Co., Hong Kong, China, sender's directive "via Prussian Closed Mail", red "N. York Am. Pkt. 7 Paid Sep. 10" (1864) 7c credit datestamp crossed out in pencil and struck with red "N. York Am. Pkt. Paid Sep. 10" circular datestamp, magenta manuscript "15" credit, magenta framed "AACHEN 23 9 FRANCO" transit datestamp (September 23), pencil "1/" one-shilling debit marking, blue manuscript "f3" silbergroschen rate, backstamped with "Triest 26/9" (September 26) transit, "Alexandria OC 4 64" transit and blue "Hong Kong C NO 19 64" receiving datestamp, slightly reduced at left but the crossed-out word "Francisco" of route directive "San Francisco" is intact

VERY FINE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE COVER TO HONG KONG BY PRUSSIAN CLOSED MAIL WITH CORRECT FRANKING FOR 36-CENT RATE.

The U.S.S. Jamestown patrolled the Pacific during the Civil War to protect American commerce from Confederate privateers. This cover to Charles Powell on board the Jamestown is an extremely rare example of mail sent to Hong Kong by Prussian Closed Mail. Two ships departed from New York on September 10, 1864: the Inman Edinburgh, which arrived at Queenstown on September 22, and the NGL New York, which arrived at Southampton, also on September 22.

The 36c rate to Hong Kong by Prussian Closed Mail was in effect from May 1863 to March 1867. In general, covers to Hong Kong by this route are rare, but this correctly prepaid 36c rate is of even greater rarity.

Ex Vogel.

Bid on this lot

E. 15,000-20,000
Future Sale
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2028
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2028, Mail to China90c Blue (72). Wide interpane straight edge at left, deep shade, used with 24c Brown Lilac (70a), crisp shade and impression, both stamps lightly cancelled by grids, red "N. York Br. Pkt. Paid Sep. 10" (1862) circular datestamp on folded letter to Augustine Heard & Co. in Shanghai, China, magenta manuscript "1.04" credit--carried on Cunarder Persia, departing New York September 10, 1862, arriving Queenstown September 20, then by P&O route--red "London Paid AT SP 22 62" circular datestamp, red crayon "2" double-rate British Colonial credit, "Hong Kong C NO 12 62" transit backstamp, light vertical crease clear of stamps

VERY FINE. AN ATTRACTIVE EXAMPLE OF THE 24-CENT AND 90-CENT 1861 ISSUES USED TO PAY THE DOUBLE 57-CENT RATE TO CHINA BY BRITISH MAIL VIA MARSEILLES.

The 57c rate to China by British Mail via Marseilles was effective from December 1861 to June 1863, then reduced to 53c. This cover was rated $1.14 according to the quarter-ounce increments (3/4 to one-ounce letter) and $1.04 was credited to Great Britain because it was carried by British Packet.

Ex Steinmetz and DuPuy. Signed in pencil by Stanley B. Ashbrook with typed and signed letter explaining rate and expressing his opinion that the cover is genuine.

Herzog-Starnes census no. 7 ("Cover Usages of the 90c 1861 and 1868 Issues", Chronicle 140).

With 1981 P.F. certificate.

Bid on this lot

E. 15,000-20,000
Future Sale
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2029
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2029, Mail to China2c Black (73). 21 stamps including a block of thirteen and strip of four, used with 3c Rose (65), all pen-cancelled on front and back of yellow cover to William Stubbs, care of American Consul, U.S.S. Relief, Macau, China, "Milo Me. Nov. 17" (1864) circular datestamp, additional "Milo, Maine, Nov. 17, 1864" manuscript postmark on block and blue grid cancel on one stamp (one wonders if the clerk started to use a handstamp and switched to a pen to speed up cancelling 22 stamps), red "Boston Br. Pkt. Paid Nov. 20" circular datestamp--carried on Cunarder Africa, departing Boston November 23, 1864, arriving Queenstown December 3, then by P&O route--there is no 40c credit marking, red "London Paid BI DE 5 64" circular datestamp struck twice, red crayon "1" British Colonial credit, blue Hong Kong transit datestamp struck on stamps on back (difficult to read date), as is to be expected there are some creases and small tears in the stamps, opened for display

A REMARKABLE BLACK JACK FRANKING PAYING THE 45-CENT RATE TO MACAU, CHINA, BY BRITISH MAIL VIA SOUTHAMPTON. ONE OF THE MOST SPECTACULAR COVERS FROM THE STUBBS CORRESPONDENCE.

There are at least three covers from the Stubbs correspondence with the 45c rate to Macau made up almost entirely by Black Jack stamps. This is the finer of the two with 21 Black Jack stamps. It is unlikely that another cover has more than 21 Black Jacks.

Ex Atherton and Knapp.

Bid on this lot

E. 5,000-7,500
Future Sale
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2030
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2030, Mail to China2c Black (73). Used with 3c Rose (65) and horizontal strip of four of 10c Yellow Green (68), tied by target cancels and "Stratham N.H. Nov. 3" (1866) circular datestamp on cover to J. C. A. Wingate, U.S. Consul, Swatow, China, sender's directive "Overland via Southampton", red "Boston Br. Pkt. 40 7 Nov." 40c credit datestamp (additional backstamp without the integral credit)--carried on Cunarder China, departing Boston Nov. 7, 1866, arriving Queenstown Nov. 16, then by P&O route--red "London Paid 17 NO 66" circular datestamp, red crayon "1" British Colonial credit, "Hong-Kong C JA 8 67" transit and "A Swatow JA 10 67" receiving backstamps, reduced at left, right 10c crease and tiny tear, 2c diagonal crease, still Very Fine, with 2002 P.F. certificate

Bid on this lot

E. 1,000-1,500
Future Sale
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2031
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2031, Mail to China30c Orange, F. Grill (100). Used with 12c Black, F. Grill (97), cancelled by segmented cork and tied between stamps, "New Haven Ct. May 10" (1869) double-circle datestamp on yellow cover to Dr. V. D. Collins, Hong Kong, China, sender's directive "Via Marseilles, France", red "New York Paid All Br. Transit May 11" backstamp, red "32" credit handstamp--there were Cunard and HAPAG sailings that reached Great Britain on May 21, 1869--red "London Paid 21 MY 69" circular datestamp, "Hong-Kong Marine-Sorter Singapore-to Hong-Kong, JU 24/1 69" backstamp (Webb Ty. B-2e, "rare"), pencil receipt docketing "Recd in Hong Kong June 30, 1869"

VERY FINE. A COLORFUL 1868 GRILLED ISSUE COVER TO HONG KONG, SENT BY BRITISH MAIL VIA MARSEILLES AND BEARING A RARE HONG KONG MARINE SORTER BACKSTAMP.

According to the Webb book, the sorting of mail on board ship was first tried in 1857 and was found to speed the delivery of the mails on arrival in Hong Kong. The Governor of Hong Kong petitioned to make this a permanent position, but the scheme was not implemented. Seven years later, after the GPO decided that Hong Kong should assume greater responsibilities, the sorting plan was green-lighted. An official from the Hong Kong post office would meet the P&O steamer in Singapore and sort the mails during the trip to Hong Kong. The mails could then be delivered immediately on arrival or forwarded faster to their final destination outside of Hong Kong. The new service started with the arrival of mails at the end of July 1868. Mails were sorted between Singapore and Hong Kong, and another line was also established to sort mails between Hong Kong and Shanghai. There are five sub-types of Webb's Type B-2 Marine Sorter marking showing the date of trip. The Webb book describes them, and considers this sub-type "e" to be rare.

Bid on this lot

Sale 1248, Lot 2031, Mail to China
Image 2
E. 5,000-7,500
Future Sale
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2032
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2032, Mail to China2c Brown (113). Rich color, used with block of ten of 3c Ultramarine (114) and 10c Yellow Green, F. Grill (96), tied by target cancels, "Collington Md. Jul. 13" (1869) circular datestamp on cover addressed in violet to Dr. V. D. Collins, Hong Kong, China, sender's directive "Via Marseilles, France", red "New York Paid All Jul. 15" circular datestamp on back, red "32" credit handstamp--carried on Cunarder Malta, departing New York July 15, 1869, arriving Queenstown July 26, then by P&O route--red "London Paid 26 JY 69" circular datestamp, "Hong-Kong Marine•Sorter Singapore-to Hong-Kong, SP 2/9 69" backstamp (Webb Ty. B-2b), receipt docketing "Recd Sep. 8th/69", Chinese characters on back, opened for display, position 4 of block with surface scrape, bottom left stamp of block missing corner, some expert cover repairs mostly on back and not affecting stamps

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A UNIQUE FRANKING PAYING THE 42-CENT RATE TO HONG KONG BY BRITISH MAIL VIA MARSEILLES. ESPECIALLY DESIRABLE WITH THE BLOCK OF 3-CENT 1869 STAMPS AND WITH THE HONG KONG MARINE SORTER BACKSTAMP.

According to the Webb book, the sorting of mail on board ship was first tried in 1857 and was found to speed the delivery of the mails on arrival in Hong Kong. The Governor of Hong Kong petitioned to make this a permanent position, but the scheme was not implemented. Seven years later, after the GPO decided that Hong Kong should assume greater responsibilities, the sorting plan was green-lighted. An official from the Hong Kong post office would meet the P&O steamer in Singapore and sort the mails during the trip to Hong Kong. The mails could then be delivered immediately on arrival or forwarded faster to their final destination outside of Hong Kong. The new service started with the arrival of mails at the end of July 1868. Mails were sorted between Singapore and Hong Kong, and another line was also established to sort mails between Hong Kong and Shanghai. There are five sub-types of Webb's Type B-2 Marine Sorter marking showing the date of trip. The example offered here is easily identifiable because it is the only one with a dot instead of a dash between the words "Marine" and "Sorter."

Ex Eubanks. With 2001 P.F. certificate.

Bid on this lot

Sale 1248, Lot 2032, Mail to China
Image 2
E. 10,000-15,000
Future Sale
Back to Top
2033
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2033, Mail to China30c Orange, F. Grill (100). Superb centering, used with 12c Green (117), tied by segmented cork cancels on buff cover addressed in violet to Dr. V. D. Collins, Hong Kong, China, sender's directive "Via Marseilles", red "New York Paid All Sep. 4" (1869) circular datestamp on back, red "32" credit handstamp--carried on Inman City of Brooklyn, departing New York September 4, 1869, arriving Queenstown September 13, then by P&O route--red "London Paid 14 SP 69" circular datestamp, "Hong-Kong Marine•Sorter Singapore-to Hong-Kong, OC [?] 69" backstamp (appears to be Webb Ty. B-2b), docketing with November 5 receipt date

VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE COMBINATION OF THE 30-CENT 1868 F GRILL AND 12-CENT 1869 PICTORIAL ISSUE TO PAY THE 42-CENT RATE TO HONG KONG BY BRITISH MAIL VIA MARSEILLES. ESPECIALLY DESIRABLE WITH THE HONG KONG MARINE SORTER BACKSTAMP.

According to the Webb book, the sorting of mail on board ship was first tried in 1857 and was found to speed the delivery of the mails on arrival in Hong Kong. The Governor of Hong Kong petitioned to make this a permanent position, but the scheme was not implemented. Seven years later, after the GPO decided that Hong Kong should assume greater responsibilities, the sorting plan was green-lighted. An official from the Hong Kong post office would meet the P&O steamer in Singapore and sort the mails during the trip to Hong Kong. The mails could then be delivered immediately on arrival or forwarded faster to their final destination outside of Hong Kong. The new service started with the arrival of mails at the end of July 1868. Mails were sorted between Singapore and Hong Kong, and another line was also established to sort mails between Hong Kong and Shanghai. There are five sub-types of Webb's Type B-2 Marine Sorter marking showing the date of trip. The example offered here is lightly struck, but appears to have the dot instead of a dash between the words "Marine" and "Sorter."

Ex DuPuy.

Bid on this lot

Sale 1248, Lot 2033, Mail to China
Image 2
E. 7,500-10,000
Future Sale
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2034
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2034, Mail to China24c Green & Violet (120). Rich colors, used with 10c Yellow (116), intense shade, both slightly creased at top from placement near edge, cancelled by square quartered cork of New York City, red "New York Paid All Br. Transit Apr. 7" (1869) circular datestamp on back of cover to John M. Nixon, Shanghai, China, sender's directive "Via Southampton", red "24" credit handstamp--carried on Cunarder Scotia, departing New York April 7, 1869, arriving Queenstown April 16--red "London Paid 17 MY 69" circular datestamp, red crayon "1" British Colonial credit, clearly struck "Hong-Kong Marine-Sorter Hong-Kong to Shanghae JU 3/8 69" circular datestamp on back (Webb Ty. B-6, RRR), small piece of cover missing from under 10c

VERY FINE. A MAGNIFICENT 1869 PICTORIAL COVER, COMBINING THE 10-CENT AND 24-CENT VALUES FOR THE 34-CENT RATE TO CHINA BY BRITISH MAIL VIA SOUTHAMPTON. THE APRIL 7, 1869, ORIGIN DATE IS THE EARLIEST DOCUMENTED USE OF THE 24-CENT 1869 PICTORIAL ISSUE, AND THE HONG KONG-TO-SHANGHAI MARINE SORTER DATESTAMP IS A GREAT RARITY OF CHINESE MARITIME POSTAL HISTORY.

Only three 24c 1869 covers to China are recorded in the 1869 Pictorial cover census. This cover from the John M. Nixon, Jr. correspondence is the earliest of all 24c 1869 covers, followed by an April 23 use from New York to Mobile. It is also the earliest 10c 1869 cover in private hands. The April 1, 1869, 10c cover to Spain is part of the Charles A. Hirzel collection, which is permanently housed in the Swiss Museum of Communications.

According to the Webb book, the sorting of mail on board ship was first tried in 1857 and was found to speed the delivery of the mails on arrival in Hong Kong. The Governor of Hong Kong petitioned to make this a permanent position, but the scheme was not implemented. Seven years later, after the GPO decided that Hong Kong should assume greater responsibilities, the sorting plan was green-lighted. An official from the Hong Kong post office would meet the P&O steamer in Singapore and sort the mails during the trip to Hong Kong. The mails could then be delivered immediately on arrival or forwarded faster to their final destination outside of Hong Kong. The new service started with the arrival of mails at the end of July 1868. Mails were sorted between Singapore and Hong Kong, and another line was also established to sort mails between Hong Kong and Shanghai. Webb states that the Hong Kong-to-Shanghai Marine Sorter Type 6 marking is rare (page 351). At the time he wrote his book, Webb was aware of only one example from the first period, dated 13/19 March 1870. The marking was apparently reintroduced in 1874 and used until 1876.

Illustrated in The 1869 Issue on Cover: A Census and Analysis (color plate 10); Michael Laurence, "British Mail Covers to the Orient during the 1869 Period," Chronicle 87, and Laurence's book, Ten-Cent 1869 Covers: A Postal Historical Survey (p. 106).

Ex Millard C. Mack and Alan Berkun. Signed in pencil by J. Murray Bartels with his note "Found II.8.32" and "Guaranteed OK." Also signed Stanley B. Ashbrook with his notation "Earliest Known Use of The 24c 1869"."

With 1949 P.F. certificate.

Bid on this lot

Sale 1248, Lot 2034, Mail to China
Image 2
E. 50,000-75,000
Future Sale
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2035
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2035, Mail to China24c Green & Violet (120). Used with pair of 2c Brown (113), straight edge at left, tied by large circle of wedges cancels, red "Boston Paid Mar. 11" (1870) circular datestamp on small cover addressed to Miss C. B. Downing, Chefoo, China, sender's directive "via P.M.S.S. Co." crossed out and redirected via "London", red crayon "24" credit at lower right--there were sailings on three different lines in proximity to the departure and arrival dates--red "London Paid [23?] MR 70" circular datestamp, "C Malta MY 28 70" and "Hong-Kong C JY 4 70" transit datestamps on back, "Forwarded by Wilson, Cornabe & Co. Chefoo" forwarder's oval handstamp, small lot number label "1775" from the Knapp sale still affixed at right

VERY FINE. AN EXTRAORDINARY 1869 PICTORIAL ISSUE COVER TO CHEFOO, CHINA, VIA HONG KONG. ONLY THREE 24-CENT PICTORIAL COVERS ARE RECORDED TO CHINA--ONE EACH TO CHEFOO, HONG KONG AND SHANGHAI. AN OUTSTANDING USAGE MADE MORE DESIRABLE BY THE CHEFOO FORWARDER'S OVAL HANDSTAMP.

The 2c and 24c 1869 Pictorial stamps on this cover to Chefoo, China, pay the 28c rate by British Mail via Southampton, which superseded the 34c rate in January 1870. The United States retained 4c and credited Great Britain with 24c (one-shilling) for British service to Hong Kong. Because the 1869 Pictorial Issue was replaced by the Bank Note (Portrait) series in March 1870, few examples of the 28c rate to China are known with 1869 stamps. The forwarding agent, Wilson, Cornabe & Co., arranged to transport this cover from Hong Kong to the northern port of Chefoo.

The addressee, Calista B. Downing, appears in the List of Protestant Missionaries in China, Japan and Siam as arriving in Chefoo in 1866. She later joined the Watch Tower (Jehovah's Witness) missionaries, one of the first in China (see https://truthhistory.blogspot.com/2008/ ).

Illustrated in Jeffrey M. Forster's article, "2c 1869 Cover to Chefoo, China," Chronicle 222.

Ex Rep. Ernest R. Ackerman and Edward S. Knapp (Ashbrook file notes it was sold to Y. Souren in the Knapp sale).

Bid on this lot

E. 40,000-50,000
Future Sale
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2036
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2036, Mail to China30c Ultramarine & Carmine (121). Bright colors, used with 12c Green (117), both superb with wide margins, tied by circle of V's cancels on cover addressed in violet to Dr. V. D. Collins, Hong Kong, China, red "New York Paid All Br. Transit Jul. 31" (1869) circular datestamp on back, sender's directive "Via Marseilles", red "London Paid 10 AU 69" circular datestamp, red crayon "1" British Colonial credit at left is faint, clearly struck "Hong-Kong Marine-Sorter Singapore-to Hong-Kong, SP 16/23 69" backstamp (Webb Type B-2e, "rare"), receipt docketing at left indicating arrival on September 21, with contemporary manuscript calculation showing that sending via San Francisco would have resulted in its delivery 17 days earlier, manuscript "Please send the enclosed letter on to Canton" written in same ink as the address on top flap as well as "enclose it in an envelope & address it please" in pencil, small mended tears in top flap and slightly along top edge are not mentioned on accompanying certificate and do not affect stamps or Marine Sorter marking

EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF ONLY FOUR RECORDED COVERS TO HONG KONG OR CHINA WITH THE 30-CENT 1869 PICTORIAL ISSUE. ESPECIALLY DESIRABLE WITH THE RARE HONG KONG MARINE SORTER BACKSTAMP. A POSTAL HISTORY RARITY OF THE HIGHEST ORDER.

The 12c and 30c 1869 Pictorial stamps pay the 42c rate to China by British Mail via Marseilles. The cover was carried on the Inman City of Brooklyn, departing New York July 31, 1869, and arriving at Queenstown August 9. It was then carried aboard the Peninsular & Oriental Massilia, departing Marseilles August 15 and arriving at Alexandria August 21. After traveling overland to Suez, it was carried on the P&O Deccan, departing August 22 and arriving at Galle September 6. It left Galle on September 8 on the P&O Travancore, arriving in Hong Kong on September 21 after a stop in Singapore on September 15. The mail on board the Travancore was sorted and datestamped with the Hong Kong Marine Sorter marking.

The total number of days for the journey was 57. The recipient carefully recorded the length of time this cover took to reach him, as well as calculating how long it would have taken if sent by the Pacific Mail Steamship Co. route via San Francisco and Yokohama. His calculation shows that 17 days would have been saved (a third less time) had it been sent by the Pacific route. The shorter journey was facilitated by the opening of the transcontinental railroad just over two months earlier on May 10, 1869.

According to the Webb book, the sorting of mail on board ship was first tried in 1857 and was found to speed the delivery of the mails on arrival in Hong Kong. The Governor of Hong Kong petitioned to make this a permanent position, but the scheme was not implemented. Seven years later, after the GPO decided that Hong Kong should assume greater responsibilities, the sorting plan was green-lighted. An official from the Hong Kong post office would meet the P&O steamer in Singapore and sort the mails during the trip to Hong Kong. The mails could then be delivered immediately on arrival or forwarded faster to their final destination outside of Hong Kong. The new service started with the arrival of mails at the end of July 1868. Mails were sorted between Singapore and Hong Kong, and another line was also established to sort mails between Hong Kong and Shanghai. There are five sub-types of Webb's Type B-2 Marine Sorter marking showing the date of trip. This is the sub-type 2e marking, described by Webb as rare.

There are four recorded 30c 1869 covers to China, only one of which is listed in the 1869 Census book. All bear the same franking. The cover offered here is part of the Collins correspondence, which came to light in 1991 (Frajola sale 47). The Collins correspondence produced another 30c/12c 1869 cover, which is extensively restored along the left edge. A third cover to a different addressee was offered in the 1987 Rarities sale (lot 238). The fourth was sent to Hong Kong and forwarded to Yokohama.

Ex Gordon Eubanks. With 1999 P.F. certificate.

Bid on this lot

Sale 1248, Lot 2036, Mail to China
Image 2
E. 75,000-100,000
Future Sale
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2037
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2037, Mail to China10c Green (68). Dark shade, tied by quartered cork cancel on folded cover to Carlowitz & Co., Canton, China, "M. C. G. Witte, 94 John St., New-York" blue oval handstamp and manuscript ship-name directive "Steamer Henry Chauncey", manuscript "4" pence due rate, "Hong-Kong JA 31 67" circular datestamp on back, manuscript docketing "1867, M. C. G. Witte, New York, 10 December 1866, Recd 31 Decbr [sic] Answd." (the correct month of receipt was January)

VERY FINE. AN IMPORTANT POSTAL HISTORY ARTIFACT--A COVER CARRIED TO CHINA ABOARD THE COLORADO ON THE INAUGURAL TRIP OF THE PACIFIC MAIL STEAMSHIP COMPANY CONTRACT MAIL ROUTE.

This cover was carried from New York to Panama on the Henry Chauncey, a Pacific Mail Steamship Co. steamer launched in 1864 and operated on the New York-Aspinwall route from November 1, 1865, until 1869. It left New York December 11, 1866, and arrived in Aspinwall December 18. After the trans-isthmian railroad trip, the PMSS Golden City carried it from Panama City to San Francisco, departing December 18 and arriving December 31. It arrived in time to be carried to Hong Kong on the first contract sailing of the PMSS Colorado, departing January 1, 1867, and stopping at Yokohama on January 24. It continued on its westbound voyage the next day and arrived in Hong Kong on January 31. An additional 4-pence was charged to the addressee for postage to Canton.

Illustrated in Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book (p. 56).

Bid on this lot

E. 5,000-7,500
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2038
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2038, Mail to China2c Black, F. Grill (93). Horizontal pair used with pair of 3c Red, F. Grill (94), cancelled or tied by targets, "Bristol N.H. Apr. 19" (1869) circular datestamp on cover to J. C. A. Wingate, U.S. Consul, Swatow, China, sender's directive "By Pacific Mail", red "New York Paid All May 8" circular datestamp--carried on PMSS China, departing San Francisco Jun. 4, 1869, arriving Hong Kong Jul. 6--Hong Kong (Jul. 6) transit and Swatow (Jul. 8) receiving backstamps, faint toning, one 2c corner rounded, still Very Fine, attractive Black Jack use on 10c treaty rate cover to China

Bid on this lot

E. 750-1,000
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2039
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2039, Mail to China2c Brown (113). Two singles, rich color, used with two 3c Ultramarine (114), cancelled or tied by quartered corks with duplex "Boston Mass. Aug. 10 2 P.M." (1869) circular datestamp on cover to Sergeant J. F. Dumphy, Royal Artillery, Hong Kong, China, magenta San Francisco "Paid All" in large double-line circle handstamp--carried on PMSS Japan, departing San Francisco Sep. 4, 1869, arriving Hong Kong Oct. 5--"Hong-Kong C OC 6 69" receiving backstamp, top backflap replaced

VERY FINE. A RARE USE OF THE 2-CENT AND 3-CENT 1869 PICTORIAL ISSUES ON A COVER TO HONG KONG. THIS IS THE ONLY SUCH FRANKING WE HAVE OFFERED SINCE KEEPING COMPUTERIZED RECORDS. ESPECIALLY RARE WITH THE SAN FRANCISCO "PAID ALL" MARKING, WHICH WAS USED BRIEFLY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE TREATY RATE PERIOD.

The 2c and 3c stamps pay the 10c treaty rate via San Francisco and Yokohama--most covers sent this way were franked with single 10c stamps. The "Paid All" marking was applied in San Francisco on outbound treaty mail. According to the Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book, this large circle is rare.

Ex Eubanks. With 2002 P.F. certificate.

Bid on this lot

E. 5,000-7,500
Future Sale
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