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 — United States Post Offices in Japan

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
2072
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2072, United States Post Offices in Japan10c Brown (150). Rich color, cancelled by blue crossroads cancel, matching "Hakodadi Japan May 5" (1874) circular datestamp, underinked mostly readable strike on cover from Flora Best Harris to her uncle, Reverend S. B. Best, in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, sender's directive "P.M. If not in Coatesville, please forward", with original 5-page letter enclosure datelined "Hakodadi, Japan, Apr. 27, 1874" from Flora to her aunt and uncle, chatty content about life in Hakodate and missionary work with her husband, Reverend Merriman Colbert Harris, short directive in letter "Address [your letters] in Care Mr. J. H. Hawes, U.S. Consul" (John Hart Hawes)--carried by PMSS branch-line steamer from Hakodate to Yokohama, then by PMSS Great Republic, departing Yokohama May 22, 1874, and arriving San Francisco June 16--clearly struck "San Francisco Cal. Jun. 16" double-circle datestamp, glue stains around small opening tears along top (could be removed by a paper conservator)

FINE. ONLY THREE COVERS ARE RECORDED WITH THE DATESTAMP USED AT THE UNITED STATES POST OFFICE AT HAKODATE, WHICH HAD A SMALL AMERICAN POPULATION AND LIMITED MAIL SERVICE IN 1874, BEFORE ALL UNITED STATES POST OFFICES IN JAPAN WERE DISCONTINUED AFTER DECEMBER 31, 1874.

Although the 1854 Convention of Kanagawa established Hakodate as one of the two ports open to Americans, the U.S. did not establish a post office there until much later, in 1873, around the time the Pacific Mail Steamship Co. began service between Yokohama and Hakodate. This post office was closed on December 31, 1874, when all U.S. post offices in Japan were discontinued, and the new Japanese Foreign Postal Service took over international mails on January 1, 1875. The short-lived Hakodate office--spelled "Hakodadi" in the datestamp--served a small community of British and American residents. British consular reports cited by Spaulding (Japanese Philately 181) show that in 1875 only 6 Americans and 22 other Western residents lived there, and in 1874 there were just 11 arrivals of a U.S. mail ship.

Illustrated on cover of Japanese Philately 181 (October 1972) and discussed further in June 1978 issue; illustrated in Riddell pamphlet (p. 11) and Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book (p. 199).

Discovered by William O. Bilden in 1961. Ex Robert M. Spaulding, Jr.

Bid on this lot

E. 5,000-7,500
Future Sale
2073
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2073, United States Post Offices in Japan10c Yellow (116). Vertical strip of three, cancelled by three strikes of "HIOGO JAPAN" double-circle handstamp on cover to Miss Jennie A. Owen in Hartford, Connecticut, the strip is also tied by segmented cork cancel and "Yokohama Japan Oct. 23" (1870) circular datestamp, sender's directive "Via Yokohama" at upper left, pencil docketing on back "Hiogo Jeddo Yokohama Sept. 29 to Oct. 4", "San Francisco Cal. Nov. 18" double-circle backstamp, the Yokohama marking strengthened in manuscript (most likely by Jennie Owen, who kept a careful log of the correspondence), few short perfs of little consequence, some slight edgewear

VERY FINE. A RARE MULTIPLE OF THE 10-CENT 1869 PICTORIAL ISSUE ON A TRIPLE-RATE COVER FROM JAPAN TO THE UNITED STATES, POSTMARKED BY THE U.S. POST OFFICES AT HIOGO AND YOKOHAMA. THE HIOGO MARKING IS EXTREMELY RARE ON COVER, AND THE USE OF BOTH OFFICE MARKINGS ON ONE COVER IS EXTRAORDINARY.

This cover originated at Hiogo and was carried on the Pacific Mail Steamship Co. branch-line steamer Golden Age as it traveled from Shanghai to Yokohama, departing Shanghai October 13, 1870, and arriving Yokohama October 21. It was then carried by the PMSS China, departing Yokohama October 23, 1870, and arriving San Francisco November 17. The presence of the Yokohama and Hiogo markings on the same cover is extremely unusual.

De Benneville Randolph Keim, a Pennyslvania native and prominent journalist, covered numerous engagements of the Civil War and Indian wars. In 1870 President Grant sent Keim to China as a special agent to investigate potential corruption in the U.S. consulates. He uncovered fraudulent activity by George F. Seward at the consulate in Singapore and nefarious dealings in the construction of the Woosung railroad. Keim also leaked the story of the Manchu rape of French nuns and massacre of Chinese citizens who converted to Catholicism.

Described and illustrated in Scott R. Trepel, "The Keim-Owen Correspondence: 1869 Covers from the Far East" (Chronicle 233).

Bid on this lot

E. 15,000-20,000
Future Sale
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2074
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2074, United States Post Offices in Japan10c Yellow (116). Used with vertical pair and single of 2c Brown (113), tied by four strikes of "HIOGO JAPAN" double-circle handstamp on mostly complete blue folded cover (intact large panel with backstamps) to Behling & Lamotte, Quebec, Canada, "Kniffler & Co. Hiogo (Japan)" blue oval handstamp and sender's directive "via San Francisco", "San Francisco Cal. Oct. 17" (1870) double-circle datestamp on back, "Montreal O. AM OC 25 70" and "Quebec C.E. OC 26 70" datestamps on back, bottom 2c is reaffixed in position where it originated--a bit of the Hiogo outer rim ties left side of stamp to cover--filing crease slightly affects top two 2c stamps

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. THIS IS THE FAMOUS JUHRING-COULTER COVER FROM HIOGO--THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF A 2-CENT AND 10-CENT 1869 PICTORIAL FRANKING PAYING THE 10-CENT U.S.-JAPAN AND 6-CENT U.S.-CANADA TREATY RATES ON MAIL FROM JAPAN TO CANADA VIA THE UNITED STATES. ONE OF THE MOST OUTSTANDING 1869 PICTORIAL ISSUE COVERS AND AN IMPORTANT COVER IN THE FIELD OF UNITED STATES POST OFFICES IN JAPAN.

This cover was carried from Hiogo to Yokohama on the Pacific Mail Steamship Co. branch-line steamer Golden Age, which arrived Yokohama September 20, 1870. It was then carried on the PMSS Great Republic, departing Yokohama September 23, 1870, and arriving San Francisco October 16 (Sunday). It entered the Canadian mails at Montreal on October 26.

When this cover was sold in the 1977 Juhring sale by Sotheby Parke Bernet (lot 795), the bottom 2c stamp was missing. It appeared as an off-cover stamp in the same Juhring sale (lot 369), and eventually the stamp and cover were reunited by Elliott H. Coulter, who was alerted to the off-cover stamp by Richard C. Frajola. The story of this reunion was told by Michael Laurence in his article, "Frog Turns Prince" (Chronicle 109). Elliott Coulter always regarded this as one of his finest 1869 covers.

Illustrated in The 1869 Issue on Cover: A Census and Analysis (color plate 9); Michael Laurence, Ten-Cent 1869 Covers: A Postal Historical Survey (p. 300); and Jeffrey M. Forster, "1869 Covers Showing the Hiogo Double-Circle Marking," Chronicle 251. Photographed and recorded by Stanley B. Ashbrook, who noted Hollowbush's ownership (prior to Juhring)--see online Ashbrook index card archive at The Philatelic Foundation.

Ex Frank A. Hollowbush, John C. Juhring and Elliott H. Coulter. The 1981 P.F. certificate no longer accompanies.

Bid on this lot

E. 30,000-40,000
Future Sale
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2075
 
Sale 1248, Lot 2075, United States Post Offices in Japan10c Green (68). Tied by unusually clear strike of "Forwarded by U.S. Consul, Kanagawa, Japan" double-oval and stars handstamp used as a cancelling device on blue front only addressed to Macondray & Co. in San Francisco, sender's directive "Pr. Colorado", red "San Francisco Cal. Sep. 14 Paid" (1867) circular datestamp applied on arrival, perfect bold "CHINA STEAM" straightline handstamp, side panels added to the address panel

EXTREMELY FINE. A RENOWNED ITEM IN UNITED STATES AND JAPANESE POSTAL HISTORY, WITH BOTH THE U.S. POST OFFICE IN KANAGAWA OVAL AND THE "CHINA STEAM" STRAIGHTLINE. THE OTHER RECORDED EXAMPLE IS IN THE MITSUI COLLECTION AT THE POSTAL MUSEUM JAPAN--THEREFORE, THIS IS THE ONLY ONE IN PRIVATE HANDS.

The Treaty of Amity and Commerce signed July 29, 1858, expanded American access to Japanese ports beyond Hakodate and Shimoda, the two named in the 1854 treaty. The additional ports were Kanagawa/Yokohama and Nagasaki (from July 4, 1859), Niigata (from January 1, 1860), and Hiogo/Kobe (from January 1, 1863). Shimoda was closed to Americans six months after the Kanagawa port was opened, and Americans were allowed to reside in Edo and Osaka for business purposes.

Col. George S. Fisher was the U.S. Consul in Yokohama when the "Forwarded by U.S. Consul, Kanagawa, Japan" handstamp was first used in 1866. Fisher's term began with his arrival in 1862 and ended on December 31, 1866. His replacement was General Julius Stahel, a Hungarian soldier who emigrated to the U.S. and became a Union general in the Civil War. The U.S. Post Office at Yokohama was officially established on July 27, 1867, with the appointment of Stahel as postmaster.

The oval handstamp's first period of use started January 1, 1866. It was applied by Fisher as a forwarding mark on mail sent through the U.S. Consulate (see lot 2076). The device survived the great fire in Kanagawa on November 26, 1866, which destroyed the U.S. Consulate building, furnishings and all of Fisher's personal effects. The second period was from August to December 1867, when it was applied by Stahel as a cancelling device or postmark on mail sent through the U.S. post office. Unlike the 1866 covers, the Kanagawa oval's function on the August 1867 and later covers was to cancel the stamps or indicate the post office origin, not to identify the forwarding agent.

This address panel--to simplify the discussion, it is referred to here as a cover--was carried from Yokohama to San Francisco on the third eastbound (return) trip of the Pacific Mail Steamship Co. Colorado, the same journey that carried the postal agreement between the U.S. and Hong Kong. This was the first trip after the U.S. Consulate in Yokohama was designated an official postal agency. The Colorado departed Yokohama August 24, 1867, and arrived at San Francisco September 14.

The five covers from the August 24, 1867, trip with U.S. stamps cancelled by the Kanagawa oval are:

1 -- 10c No. 68, to Macondray & Co., SF Sep. 14 (1867), "CHINA STEAM", ex Ishikawa, offered here

2 -- 10c No. 68, to Macondray & Co., SF Sep. 14 (1867), "CHINA STEAM", Mitsui (Postal Museum Japan)

3 -- 10c No. 68 five, to Milan, Italy, SF Sep. 14 (1867), via NY and France, Frajola-Perlman-Scamp p. 130

4 -- 5c No. 76 pair, to Boston, SF Sep. 15 (1867), Mitsui (Postal Museum Japan)

5 -- 2c No. 73, Jun. 27, 1867, circular to Macondray & Co., no SF markings, ex Faust (Sale 1181, lot 1631)

Only two of the five above have the "CHINA STEAM" straightline handstamp, and only one is in private hands. They are the cover offered here (no. 1 above) and a nearly identical cover (no. 2, a front with one panel), illustrated in the Riddell pamphlet and formerly in the Baron Mitsui Takaharu collection, now part of the Postal Museum Japan. Following the five listed above (from the August 24 trip) are three other stamped covers with the Kanagawa oval: a 10c 1861 cover carried on the October 25 trip (PMSS Great Republic) and two covers carried on the December 6 trip (PMSS China), each with two 5c 1863 stamps. In total, there are eight stamped covers with the Kanagawa oval, including two in the Postal Museum Japan, leaving six available to collectors.

Illustrated in Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book (p. 130).

Ex Ryohei Ishikawa.

Bid on this lot

E. 40,000-50,000
Future Sale
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2076
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2076, United States Post Offices in JapanForwarded by U.S. Consul, Kanagawa, Japan. Double-oval and stars handstamp perfectly struck on cover to Reverend James B. Ramsay, Lynchburg, Virginia, sender's directive "Per 'Oriflame'"--carried on the California, Oregon and Mexican Steamship Co. Oriflamme, departing Shanghai January 1, 1866, arriving Yokohama January 6, departing Yokohama January 10, and arriving San Francisco February 4; the Oriflamme carried the first news of the new treaty between the U.S. and Japan (https://www.maritimeheritage.org/ships/Oriflamme.html )--bold "San Francisco Cal. Feb. 5" (1866) double-circle datestamp and "SHIP 6" handstamp, sent by overland stage, with original letter enclosure datelined "Yokohama, Japan, Jan. 5th, 1866" from Reverend James H. Ballagh, who writes of the Civil War, life among the Japanese, the diversity of their community, church work, presence of soldiers, departure of the Wyoming in pursuit of the Confederate raider Alabama, and intention of U.S. to send vessels to Yokohama, neat receipt docketing, expertly repaired tears and edge faults at bottom (one small sealed tear just into oval)

EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. THE EARLIEST RECORDED USE OF THE UNITED STATES CONSULATE KANAGAWA OVAL HANDSTAMP ON MAIL FORWARDED BY THE U.S. CONSUL BEFORE THE POST OFFICE WAS ESTABLISHED IN JULY 1867. ONLY THREE KANAGAWA HANDSTAMPED COVERS ARE RECORDED WITH THE SAN FRANCISCO FEBRUARY 5, 1866, ARRIVAL DATESTAMP.

There are three recorded covers with the oval handstamp used as a forwarding marking, originating in Yokohama in January 1866 during Col. George S. Fisher's term as U.S. Consul. Two of the January 1866 covers, including this one, are illustrated in the Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book (p. 40). The third is shown in the Riddell pamphlet (p. 3). Very few covers with the Kanagawa oval are recorded during the rest of Fisher's term, which ended December 31, 1866 (see lot 2077). In August 1867, during General Julius Stahel's term as Consul and the first U.S. postmaster in Yokohama, the first use of the Kanagawa oval as an official U.S. Post Office marking is found on five recorded covers carried on the August 24, 1867, trip of the PMSS Colorado (see lot 2075).

Ex Ishikawa, Kramer and Walske.

Bid on this lot

E. 10,000-15,000
Future Sale
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2077
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2077, United States Post Offices in JapanForwarded by U.S. Consul, Kanagawa, Japan. Double-oval and stars handstamp with every letter and star boldly struck on blue folded letter to Gildemeister Muecke and Co. in San Francisco, stationery with Kniffler & Co. embossed crest, their Yokohama office blue oval handstamp on address side, sender's directive "Pr Ann Sanderson"--and notation "herewith 2 sample parcel w/address"--carried on the British brig Ann Sanderson, departing Yokohama June 7, 1866, and, after a delayed trip, arriving San Francisco September 16; after speculation that she was lost at sea, the September 17 Daily Alta California reported the Ann Sanderson had arrived, 98 days from Yokohama and 31 days from Honolulu--bold "San Francisco Cal. Sep. 16" (1866) double-circle datestamp and blue crayon "8" cents due, the letter is in German, receipt docketing on inside panel, file fold passes through marking without effect, some scattered rust-colored spots

VERY FINE OVERALL AND A MAGNIFICENT STRIKE. AN EXTREMELY RARE USE OF THE UNITED STATES CONSULATE KANAGAWA OVAL HANDSTAMP ON MAIL FORWARDED BY THE U.S. CONSUL BEFORE THE POST OFFICE WAS ESTABLISHED IN JULY 1867.

The earliest recorded use of the Kanagawa U.S. Consulate oval as a mail-forwarding mark is on three covers sent in January 1866 during Col. George S. Fisher's term as U.S. Consul, which have San Francisco February 5, 1866, arrival datestamps (see lot 2076). Very few covers with the Kanagawa oval are recorded during the rest of Fisher's term, which ended December 31, 1866. In August 1867, during General Julius Stahel's term as Consul and the first U.S. postmaster in Yokohama, the first use of the Kanagawa oval as an official U.S. Post Office marking is found on five recorded covers carried on the August 24, 1867, trip of the PMSS Colorado (see lot 2075).

One other cover from this voyage of the British brig Ann Sanderson is recorded (Sale 966, lot 2139). That cover is addressed to Elmira, New York, and postmarked in San Francisco with a September 17 datestamp, the day of the eastbound mail departure. It is correctly rated "SHIP 6." The 4c rate for a ship letter addressed to the port of entry was free of any weight calculation. This letter to San Francisco was rated 8c due, twice the rate, which presumably was for two letters as noted at lower left.

Ex Lois Evans-de Violini.

Bid on this lot

E. 7,500-10,000
Future Sale
Back to Top
2078
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2078, United States Post Offices in Japan30c Orange (71). Used with 5c Brown (76) and 10c Green (68), tied by two strikes of large circle of V's cancel--either an unrecorded type of Yokohama killer or applied at San Francisco--on part-printed folded letter and export prices current list from Aymonin & Co., Yokohama, Japan, to Lyons, France, addressed to Chavanne & Co., part-printed dateline "Yokohama, 31 Mars 1869", sender's blue oval handstamp, red manuscript directive "Overland Mail"--carried on the PMSS Japan, departing Yokohama April 1, 1869, and arriving San Francisco April 24--partly bold strike of red "China and Japan Steam Service" oval handstamp, "San Francisco Cal. Apr. 26" circular datestamp ties 5c--sent to New York, then on Inman City of Baltimore, departing May 8 and arriving Queenstown May 17--no New York markings, small red "PD" framed handstamp tying 5c, blue "Etats-Unis Serv. Am. Calais 6E/19 Mai 69" arrival datestamp ties 10c and 30c stamps, Paris-to-Lyon (May 19) and Lyon (May 20) backstamps, file folds in two directions clear of stamps, slight wear along horizontal fold

VERY FINE. A TRULY REMARKABLE COVER WITH THE SUPERFICIAL APPEARANCE OF A STANDARD 45-CENT RATE COVER FROM THE UNITED STATES TO FRANCE, BUT THE YOKOHAMA EXPORTER'S BLUE OVAL, RED "CHINA AND JAPAN STEAM SERVICE" OVAL AND SAN FRANCISCO DATESTAMP REVEAL THE TRUE NATURE OF THIS COVER--SENT FROM JAPAN TO FRANCE VIA THE UNITED STATES WITH THE 10-CENT TRANSPACIFIC AND 30-CENT TRANSATLANTIC RATES PREPAID.

The 15c U.S.-France treaty rate for mail sent via England was calibrated in 7.5 gram increments (or quarter-ounce in the U.S.), but the 10c U.S.-Japan rate advanced in half-ounce increments. For every step, the credit to Great Britain for transit on mail to France was 6c. Therefore, the correct postage for a letter from Japan to France via the U.S. and Great Britain was as follows:

0.25 and =0.50 ounce = 40c (2 x 15c=30c plus 10c), credit 12c (2 x 6c)

0.50 and =0.75 ounce = 65c (3 x 15c=45c plus 2 x 10c=20c), credit 18c (3 x 6c)

0.75 and =1.00 ounce = 80c (4 x 15c=60c plus 2 x 10c=20c), credit 24c (4 x 6c)

If this seems confusing from the vantage point of a modern-day collector, imagine how a clerk in a bustling mid-19th century New York foreign mail exchange office felt. In the case of this cover, which was probably overpaid 5c for the 40c combined rate, the clerk in New York did not even bother to mark a credit to Great Britain. It was treated as fully paid ("PD") in England and France.

Ex Bolton.

Bid on this lot

E. 15,000-20,000
Future Sale
Back to Top
2079
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2079, United States Post Offices in Japan10c Green, F. Grill (96). Pair and single with three strikes of Yokohama "X" chop cancel on folded letter from G. Bolmida, Yokohama, Japan, to Milan, Italy, addressed to Francesco Paganini, datelined "Yokohama 28 Septembre 1869" and "Via America", sender's red "OVERLAND ROUTE" straightline handstamp with manuscript directive which is difficult to read--carried on the PMSS America, departing Yokohama September 29, 1869, and arriving San Francisco October 20--clear strike of magenta "China and Japan Steam Service" oval handstamp, matching "San Francisco Paid All Oct. 21" circular datestamp on back, red "New York Paid all Br. Transit Oct. 25" circular datestamp--carried on HAPAG Holsatia, departing October 26, 1869, arriving Plymouth November 4--blurry Italian arrival datestamp (November 11) and Milan receiving datestamp (also November 11) on back, short tear at top was previously sealed with tape, since removed and resealed with archivally safe Japanese tissue, leaving only a faint stain

VERY FINE. ONE OF THE FEW EXTANT COVERS FROM A UNITED STATES POST OFFICE IN JAPAN TO A EUROPEAN DESTINATION BEFORE THE BANK NOTE ISSUE PERIOD--ESPECIALLY RARE WITH THE "X" CHOP CANCELS, "CHINA AND JAPAN STEAM SERVICE" OVAL AND ITALY AS THE DESTINATION.

The two rates involved in sending this letter from Japan to Italy via the United States and Great Britain are 10c for the U.S.-Japan treaty rate and 15c for the treaty rate to Italy by Closed Mail. The 30c postage on this cover overpays the required combination rate, either through a change in the originally intended route, as Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book suggests (p. 143), or simply because the sender had 10c stamps and overpaid rather than underpaid the postage.

Illustrated in Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book (p. 143).

Ex Ishikawa and Risvold.

Bid on this lot

E. 15,000-20,000
Future Sale
Back to Top
2080
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2080, United States Post Offices in Japan10c Green (68). Horizontal strip of four, well-centered, rich color, tied by four strikes of quartered cork cancel with duplex "San Francisco Cal. Dec. 23" (1868) circular datestamp on cover from Francis Hall in Yokohama, Japan, to Frank Hall, Elmira, New York, sender's directive "Per P.M..." (Pacific Mail steamer) partly covered by strip--carried on the PMSS Great Republic, departing Yokohama November 29, 1868, and arriving San Francisco December 22--clear strike of pinkish red "China and Japan Steam Service" oval handstamp, slight wrinkling around edges which is evidence of two ounces of enclosures requiring quadruple 10c rate

EXTREMELY FINE. THE 10-CENT 1861 STRIP OF FOUR ON THIS COVER IS ONE OF THE LARGEST EXTANT MULTIPLES OF THE UNITED STATES 1861-68 ISSUE USED FROM JAPAN.

The only comparable 1861-68 Issue frankings from U.S. post offices in China and Japan known to us are found on covers from Shanghai to New York City (four 10c 1861 singles) and Kanagawa-Yokohama to Italy (10c 1861 strip of three and two singles), shown in the Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book (pp. 96 and 130, respectively). Covers with large frankings of the 1869 Pictorial and 1870 Bank Note Issues are known.

Illustrated in Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book (p. 137).

Ex Perlman.

Bid on this lot

E. 5,000-7,500
Future Sale
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2081
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2081, United States Post Offices in Japan2c Black (73). Five, including one pair and one with wide interpane centerline margin, tied together and at left by five strikes of Yokohama "X" chop cancel on blue folded letter datelined "Yokohama, April 25 1868" from Thorel & Co. to H. Hastings & Co. in Boston, sender's ship-name directive "pr. New-York"--carried on the PMSS New York, departing Yokohama April 28, 1868, and arriving San Francisco May 18--blurry strike of red "China and Japan Steam Service" oval handstamp, "San Francisco Cal. May 19" (1868) circular datestamp

VERY FINE. ONE OF TWO RECORDED COVERS FROM THE FAR EAST WITH FIVE 2-CENT BLACK JACK STAMPS PAYING THE 10-CENT RATE--THESE TWO ARE THE ONLY RECORDED BLACK JACK COVERS WITH THE "CHINA AND JAPAN STEAM SERVICE" OVAL HANDSTAMP. ONLY SEVEN COVERS ARE KNOWN FROM JAPAN WITH ANY FORM OF BLACK JACK FRANKING. A TRULY SPECTACULAR ARTIFACT OF FAR EAST POSTAL HISTORY INVOLVING THE UNITED STATES MAILS.

A review of past auctions and The Philatelic Foundation records located only seven 2c Black Jack covers originating in Japan. Two have the "Hiogo, Japan" double-circle handstamp, and on each the 2c stamp is used with two 10c stamps for the combined 10c steamship rate and 12c treaty rate to England. Three others are printed matter rates with one or two 2c Black Jack stamps (one is offered as lot 2082 in this sale). In addition to the cover offered here, we located only one other from Japan or China with five Black Jack stamps paying the 10c rate (ex Faust, Sale 1181, lot 1630). In fact, these two covers from Japan are the only examples of the Black Jack used by itself to pay the 10c rate on a cover from China or Japan, and they are the only two Black Jack covers with the "China and Japan Steam Service" oval.

Ex Dr. Rorke and Fosdyke-Ray. With 1978 P.F. certificate.

Bid on this lot

E. 15,000-20,000
Future Sale
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2082
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2082, United States Post Offices in Japan2c Black, F. Grill (93). Two, each cancelled by Yokohama "X" chop, stamp at lower left tied on printed Hiogo and Osaka Prices Current and Market Report datelined at Hiogo-Osaka July 24, 1869, imprint "Forwaded [sic] Textor & Co.", addressed to J. B. David in St. Etienne, France, sender's directive "via San Francisco"--carried on the PMSS China, departing Yokohama August 2, 1869, and arriving San Francisco August 19--no United States transit markings applied as this was printed matter, red "15" decimes due handstamp, Paris-to-Clermont (September 8, 1869) and St. Etienne (September 9) backstamps, very fresh and pristine condition

EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF THREE RECORDED COVERS FROM JAPAN WITH 2-CENT BLACK JACK STAMPS PAYING THE PRINTED MATTER RATE AND ONE OF THREE BLACK JACK COVERS FROM JAPAN TO A DESTINATION BEYOND THE UNITED STATES--THIS IS THE ONLY ONE TO FRANCE.

A review of past auctions and The Philatelic Foundation records located only seven 2c Black Jack covers originating in Japan. Two have the "Hiogo, Japan" double-circle handstamp, and on each the 2c stamp is used with two 10c stamps for the combined 10c steamship rate and 12c treaty rate to England. Two have five 2c stamps paying the 10c rate and the "China and Japan Steam Service" oval (one is offered in lot 2081). Three are printed matter rates with one or two 2c Black Jack stamps, and of the three this is the only one addressed to a destination beyond the United States. It is also one of only three Black Jack covers from Japan to a destination beyond the U.S., and the only one to France. We have not factored the grilled-issue aspect into our statistics.

Illustrated in Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book (p. 142). This cover appears to have been unknown to American postal historians until it appeared in a Lahitte-Marsanoux auction in Lyon, France, in 2005.

Bid on this lot

E. 7,500-10,000
Future Sale
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2083
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2083, United States Post Offices in Japan2c Brown (113). Horizontal pair, each cancelled by Yokohama "X" chop, used on folded prices current and shipping table (departures listed up to August 24, 1869) printed at the Hiogo News Office, addressed to J. B. David in St. Etienne, France, "Forwarded by Textor & Co. Kanagawa" blue oval handstamp on back, sender's directive "via San Francisco", "SHORT PAID" framed handstamp applied at New York exchange office, blue crayon "2" and "3" crossed out, magenta manuscript "70c" (7 decimes) due marking applied in France, partly readable St. Etienne receiving backstamp (October 1869), piece torn from top has been repaired and refolded to hide most of the missing piece (stamps appear to be in their original position)

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXTREMELY RARE USE OF THE 2-CENT 1869 PICTORIAL ON PRINTED MATTER FROM KANAGAWA (YOKOHAMA) TO FRANCE. THIS IS THE EARLIEST RECORDED COVER WITH THE 2-CENT 1869 USED FROM CHINA OR JAPAN.

This printed market and shipping report is one of several known pieces of mail sent to J. B. David in St. Etienne, France, through the U.S. or French post offices in Yokohama. This cover, listing an August 24, 1869, sailing in the shipping table, was carried on the PMSS Great Republic, departing Yokohama August 30, 1869, and arriving San Francisco September 18. The "X" cancel is one of a series of Japanese "chops" used on mail carried by PMSS steamers between San Francisco and Japan. This particular chop is identical to the one used to cancel stamps on the cover offered in Sale 911, lot 331, which was definitely carried on the Great Republic August 30 sailing. The pair of 2c 1869 stamps underpaid the required postage on this printed circular from Japan to France, perhaps because there was a handwritten letter attached at one point.

The earliest recorded cover with 1869 stamps used in China or Japan is the "Miro" cover with 10c and 30c 1869 pairs, which was carried on the PMSS Japan, departing Yokohama July 1, 1869, and arriving San Francisco July 20. The next sequential usage of 1869 stamps from Japan are three covers carried on the same August 30, 1869, trip of the Great Republic from Yokohama: the 2c cover offered in this lot, a cover with two 10c stamps and the "China and Japan Steam Service" oval (Sale 911, lot 331) and a single 10c on cover to Rev. Bingham in Ridgefield, Connecticut, also with the "China and Japan Steam Service" oval (Laurence book, p. 286).

Ex Coulter.

Bid on this lot

E. 10,000-15,000
Future Sale
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2084
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2084, United States Post Offices in Japan10c Yellow (116). L-shaped strip of three with one stamp folded over top edge, tied by Yokohama quartered cork cancels, "Yokohama Japan Nov. 24" (1870) circular datestamp on cover with "United States Consulate at" imprint and manuscript "Yedo, Japan" in distinctive hand also used for address to Mrs. James B. Parke, Buffalo, New York, sender's directive "Per Stm 'Japan'"--carried on the PMSS Japan, departing Yokohama November 25, 1870, and arriving San Francisco December 20--magenta "San Francisco Paid All Dec. 20" circular datestamp on back, stamps have minor gum stains and short perfs, slightly reduced at right and small sealed tear in bottom right edge

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF THE FEW KNOWN COVERS FROM JAPAN WITH THE UNITED STATES CONSULATE IMPRINT--ESPECIALLY DESIRABLE WITH THE TRIPLE-RATE 10-CENT 1869 PICTORIAL ISSUE FRANKING AND YOKOHAMA DATESTAMP.

This cover was sent from Charles O. Shepard, a resident of Buffalo, New York, who served as the first U.S. Consul at Edo (Tokyo), U.S. Consul at Yokohama and Acting Minister (Chargé d'Affaires) in Japan successively from 1868 to 1874. It is addressed to his only daughter, Mary, who was married to James B. Parke and lived in Buffalo in 1870. Shepard's autobiographic account of his time in Japan was published in The American Foreign Service Journal (July 1925, available online).

Illustrated in Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book (p. 149)--another cover from the same correspondence, with the U.S. Consulate imprint and one 10c 1869 stamp, is shown on page 146.

Ex Dr. LeBow. With 1985 P.F. certificate.

Bid on this lot

E. 5,000-7,500
Future Sale
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2085
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2085, United States Post Offices in Japan2c Red Brown (146). 25 stamps for 5-times 10c rate, including a block of 20 affixed over front and back, tied by Yokohama circle of wedges cancels, partly struck "Yokohama Japan Nov. [23?]" (1874) circular datestamp on cover to Mrs. Allethere S. Gray, Yarmouth, Maine--probably carried on the PMSS Great Republic, departing Yokohama November 23, 1874, and arriving San Francisco December 18--the bottom row of block covers half of red "PAID" in frame handstamp which must have been struck in Japan before the stamps were affixed, blue crayon "50c" (and same crayon visible under the stamps), another pencil "50c" below that rate notation, opened for display, some creasing and minor faults as is to be expected

FINE APPEARANCE. A PHENOMENAL BANK NOTE ISSUE FRANKING ON A COVER FROM THE UNITED STATES POST OFFICE IN YOKOHAMA--THE LARGEST BLOCK KNOWN FROM CHINA OR JAPAN.

The addressee, Mrs. Allethere S. Gray, died in Yarmouth, Maine, in 1883. No additional information about her or the family has been located, but it seems likely that this was written by a family member who was in Japan on a sailing voyage. The presence of the red "Paid" marking is significant. A reasonable scenario is the sender did not posssess any stamps and paid 50c postage (2.5 ounce rate) in cash. The "Paid" must have been applied by a forwarder or possibly by a consular/postal agent, and the "50c" notations indicated how much was received. The 25 2c stamps came from the Yokohama post office and were affixed partly over the "Paid." We could not find another example of this marking in any of the references consulted.

Ex Ishikawa and Albert.

Bid on this lot

E. 5,000-7,500
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2086
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2086, United States Post Offices in Japan2c Red Brown (146). Vertical strip of three and horizontal pair on front and another horizontal strip of three on backflap, cancelled by quartered cork cancels, pair tied by clearly struck "Yokohama Japan Sep. 7" (1873) circular datestamp on cover to John Wilkinson, Belfast, Ireland, sender's directive "via San Francisco"--carried on PMSS China, departing Yokohama Sep. 7, 1873, arriving San Francisco Sep. 30--magenta "San Francisco Cal. Oct. 1 Paid" circular datestamp, Dublin (Oct. 21) and Belfast (Oct. 22) backstamps, some trivial perf faults, Very Fine, a remarkable franking for the 10c and 6c combined treaty rates, Ireland is a very rare destination for mail from Japan--this cover might have originated in Hiogo (see Frajola-Perlman-Scamp, p. 181, where illustrated and discussed)--ex Kramer

Bid on this lot

Sale 1248, Lot 2086, United States Post Offices in Japan
Image 2
E. 2,000-3,000
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2087
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2087, United States Post Offices in Japan6c Carmine (148), 10c Brown (150). Cancelled or tied by Yokohama circular cork, "Yokohama Japan Feb. 28" (1872) circular datestamp on cover to Mrs. Burton, Gravesend, England, sender's directive "Via San Francisco"--carried on PMSS Great Republic, departing Yokohama Feb. 28, 1872, arriving San Francisco Mar. 23--red "New York Apr. 3" circular datestamp, Gravesend receiving backstamp (Apr. 17), some slight edgewear causing small tears in 10c, still Very Fine, scarce franking paying the 10c rate to U.S. plus 6c rate to England, with 1986 P.F. certificate

Bid on this lot

E. 1,500-2,000
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2088
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2088, United States Post Offices in Japan7c Vermilion (160). Used with 1c Ultramarine (156) and pair of 6c Dull Pink (159), 6c straight edge, tied by Yokohama circle of wedges cancel, 6c pair tied by boldly struck "Yokohama Japan Jun. 23" (1874) circular datestamp on small cover to Paul Ozier, St. Etienne, France--carried on either PMSS Granada, departing Yokohama Jun. 23, 1874, arriving San Francisco Jul. 10, or PMSS-chartered Vasco de Gama, departing Jun. 25 and arriving Jul. 11--"San Francisco Cal. Jul. 11" circular datestamp, red "New York P.D. 6 Jul. 18" 6c credit datestamp--probably carried on Inman City of Brooklyn, departing New York Jul. 18, 1874, arriving Queenstown Jul. 28--red "London Paid 29 JY 74" datestamp and matching "PD" oval handstamp, Calais arrival datestamp (Jul. 30), Paris and St. Etienne backstamps (Jul. 30), minor stain spots around edges, still Very Fine, a rare and colorful franking with 7c Bank Note stamp, 20c postage includes 10c U.S.-Japan and 10c British Mail rate to France, illustrated in Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book (p. 164), ex Ishikawa, Albert and Landau, with 1981 P.F. certificate

Bid on this lot

E. 2,000-3,000
Future Sale
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2089
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2089, United States Post Offices in Japan12c Blackish Violet (162). Used with 2c Brown (157) and 6c Dull Pink (159), 2c straight edge, tied by Yokohama circle of wedges cancel, clear "Yokohama Japan Mar. 10" (1874) circular datestamp on cover to Paul Ozier, St. Etienne, France, Wachtels & Co. imprint on flap, sender's directive "via San Francisco Per Overland Route"--carried on PMSS Alaska, departing Yokohama Mar. 10, 1874, arriving San Francisco Apr. 3--"San Francisco Cal. Apr. 4" double-circle datestamp on back, red "New York Paid to England Apr. 11" datestamp ties 12c, Calais arrival datestamp (Apr. 23) ties 2c, "10" decimes due and "GB/40c" Anglo-French accountancy handstamps, Paris and St. Etienne backstamps, prepaid for 10c U.S.-Japan and 10c British Mail rates to France, but sent by British Open Mail at the 4c rate, small nick at top, otherwise Very Fine, with Holcombe and Eichhorn certificates

Bid on this lot

E. 2,000-3,000
Future Sale
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2090
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2090, United States Post Offices in Japan10c Brown (150). Horizontal pair, dark shade, Yokohama circular cork cancels, clearly struck "Yokohama Japan Mar. 23" (1873) circular datestamp on folded cover to Duplay Balay, Lyons, France, purple G. Bolmida handstamp--carried on PMSS Colorado, departing Yokohama Mar. 23, 1873, arriving San Francisco Apr. 13--"San Francisco Cal. Apr. 14" double-circle datestamp ties pair, red "New York Paid 6 Apr. 23" 6c credit datestamp, red "London Paid 6 MY 73" datestamp and matching "PD" oval handstamp, Calais arrival datestamp (May 7), Paris and Lyons (May 8) backstamps, Extremely Fine, the pair pays 10c U.S.-Japan and 10c British Mail rates to France

Bid on this lot

E. 1,500-2,000
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2091
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2091, United States Post Offices in Japan10c Brown (150). Horizontal pair, tied by Yokohama quartered cork cancels, clearly struck "Yokohama Japan Aug. 7" (1872) circular datestamp on folded cover to Karl Vigelius, Hamburg, Germany, blue Kniffler & Co. Jul. 30 backstamp, sender's directive "via San Francisco and Overland p first Str."--carried on PMSS Alaska, departing Yokohama Aug. 8, arriving San Francisco Sep. 1, then from New York on Guion Wyoming, departing Sep. 11, arriving Queenstown Sep. 23--"San Francisco Cal. Sep. 1" double-circle datestamp, red "New York Paid All Br. Transit Sep. 11" datestamp, Hamburg receiving backstamp (Sep. 26), few toned perfs, Very Fine, 10c U.S.-Japan and 10c Closed Mail rates to Germany

Bid on this lot

E. 1,500-2,000
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2092
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2092, United States Post Offices in Japan30c Black (154). Used with 2c Red Brown (157) and pair and single of 6c Carmine (148), stamps tied together by Yokohama segmented cork cancels, partly clear "Yokohama Japan Nov. 3" (1871) circular datestamp on legal-size cover to Stuart Eldridge, Chicago, Illinois--carried on PMSS Alaska, departing Yokohama November 3, 1871, arriving San Francisco November 29--"San Francisco Cal. Nov. 30" double-circle datestamp on back, cover reduced about 11/4 inch at left with small edge tear and a piece out of side flap, stamps have some minor gum toning, 2c small scuff at top

FINE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE USE OF THE 30-CENT 1870 NATIONAL BANK NOTE ISSUE FROM A UNITED STATES POST OFFICE IN JAPAN--THE COMBINATION PAYS THE 5-TIMES 10-CENT RATE.

The United States offices in Japan seem to have been well-supplied with 2c, 6c and 10c stamps, but any of the higher denominations are extremely rare with Japanese markings, on or off cover. This is one of four covers from Japan with a 30c 1870 or 1873 large Bank Note stamp known to us. Three have a Yokohama datestamp (other two ex Ishikawa U.S.P.O. in Japan, lots 58 and 64). The fourth has a "United States Naval Depot Nagasaki" imprint on the large-size envelope, but no datestamp (Sale 845, lot 650).

Ex Ainsworth.

Bid on this lot

E. 5,000-7,500
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2093
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2093, United States Post Offices in Japan10c Green, F. Grill (96). Cancelled by Nagasaki "X" chop, used on folded letter in French datelined Nagasaki, January 25, 1870, to "Monsieur le Directeur du Comptoir d'Escompte de Paris" Comptoir banking house in Shanghai, China, "Pignatel & Co. Nagasaki (Japon)" double-oval handstamp, sender's directive "Per Oregonian"--although directed to go by the Oregonian, it was carried on the PMSS branch-line steamer New York, departing Yokohama January 27, 1870, and arriving Shanghai February 8, picking up mail at Nagasaki on the route--receipt docketing on inside panel, minor toning along file fold

VERY FINE. ONLY FOUR COVERS FROM THE U.S. POST OFFICE IN JAPAN TO CHINA WITH 1861-68 ISSUE STAMPS PAYING THE 10-CENT RATE ARE RECORDED.

Letters between U.S. post offices in China and Japan were carried under the blanket 10c rate until the 6c interconsular rate was introduced. Based on archival correspendence, the rate is thought to have been implemented in mid-April 1870 (see Laurence 10c 1869 book, p. 281).

There are four recorded interconsular covers from Japan to Shanghai with the 10c 1861 or 1868 Grilled Issue paying this rate. In addition, there are two 1869 Pictorial covers (both 6c rates--one offered in lot 2094) and a number of Bank Note Issue covers. One of the four 10c 1861-68 covers is in the Kanai collection of Japan, which is now part of a museum display and might never be sold.

Bid on this lot

E. 10,000-15,000
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2094
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2094, United States Post Offices in Japan3c Ultramarine (114). Horizontal pair, natural straight edge at left, tied by Nagasaki 4-Petals cancel on folded letter in French datelined Nagasaki, July 3, 1870, to "Monsieur le Directeur du Comptoir d'Escompte de Paris" Comptoir banking house in Shanghai, China, "Pignatel & Co. Nagasaki (Japon)" double-oval handstamp, sender's directive "Golden Age"--the PMSS branch-line steamer Golden Age departed Yokohama June 26, 1870, and arrived Shanghai July 4, so it seems unlikely this could have been picked up at Nagasaki on that trip; the more likely transport was on the Oregonian, departing Yokohama July 16 and arriving Shanghai July 24--docketing on inside panel (no receipt date), minor splits along interior folds

EXTREMELY FINE. ONLY TWO COVERS FROM THE U.S. POST OFFICE IN JAPAN TO CHINA WITH 1869 PICTORIAL ISSUE STAMPS ARE RECORDED. THIS COVER WITH THE 3-CENT PAIR PAYING THE 6-CENT INTERCONSULAR RATE AND "FLOWER PETALS" CANCELLATION IS THE MORE BEAUTIFUL OF THE TWO.

Letters between U.S. post offices in China and Japan were carried under the blanket 10c rate until the 6c interconsular rate was introduced. Based on archival correspendence, the rate is thought to have been implemented in mid-April 1870 (see Laurence 10c 1869 book, p. 281). This cover has the correct 6c interconsular rate.

In addition to the four recorded interconsular covers from Japan to Shanghai with 10c 1861 or 1868 Grilled Issue frankings, there are two 1869 Pictorial covers and a number of Bank Note Issue covers. This 3c 1869 cover is arguably the most beautiful of all known interconsular covers.

Illustrated in Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book (p. 188); The 1869 Issue on Cover: A Census and Analysis (color plate 6); and Jonathan W. Rose, United States Postage Stamps of 1869 (p. 55).

Ex Knapp, Juhring, Carnahan, Watt C. White and Walske

Bid on this lot

E. 15,000-20,000
Future Sale
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