Sale 1261 — The Magnolia Collection of U.S. Mail in China and Japan: Part 3

Sale Date — Wednesday, 29 June, 2022

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*A buyer’s premium of 18% of the winning bid was added as part of the total purchase price on all lots in this sale. Buyers were responsible for applicable sales tax, customs duty and any other prescribed charges. By placing a bid, bidders agreed to the terms and conditions in effect at the time of the sale.

Category — 1861 to 1873 Bank Note Issues (including Stampless and French)

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
721
c
Sale 1261, Lot 721, 1861 to 1873 Bank Note Issues (including Stampless and French)10c Green, F. Grill (96). Dark shade, tied by clear strike of negative "20" mirror-image numeral in circle cancel, partly readable strike of "P.O.D. U.S. Con. Genl. Shanghai Mar. 16" (1869) circular datestamp on blue folded cover to L. Kniffler & Co. in Yokohama, Japan, sender's directive "Per New York"--carried on the PMSS branch-line steamer New York, departing Shanghai March 16, 1869, and reported arriving Yokohama March 24--docketing on inside panel indicates March 23 receipt so the sailing data for Yokohama arrival could be incorrect, minor toning along file fold

VERY FINE. ONLY FIVE COVERS WITH 1861-68 ISSUE STAMPS PAYING THE 10-CENT RATE FROM THE U.S. POST OFFICE IN CHINA TO JAPAN ARE RECORDED. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED USE OF THE "20" IN CIRCLE CANCEL ON A COVER TO JAPAN.

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 correspondence, the rate is thought to have been implemented in mid-April 1870 (see Laurence 10c 1869 book, p. 281).

There are five recorded interconsular covers from Shanghai to Japan with the 10c 1861 or 1868 Grilled Issue paying this rate. In addition, there are five 1869 Pictorial covers (at 10c or 6c rates) and a number of Bank Note Issue covers.

The "20" in circle (negative mirror-image of numeral) has been described in the past as having been used exclusively on mail prepared for the March 20, 1869, trip of the PMSS Costa Rica. However, as this cover proves, it was made days earlier and used on the March 16 trip of the PMSS New York, which carried this cover to Yokohama. The confusion probably started with a past description of the cancel on this cover as "16", but it is most definitely the "20" cancel.

Ex Ishikawa. With 1981 P.F. certificate.

E. 5,000-7,500
8,000
722
c
Sale 1261, Lot 722, 1861 to 1873 Bank Note Issues (including Stampless and French)12c Green (117). Rich color and well-centered, tied by Hollow Star fancy cancel, mostly sharp strike of "P.O.D. U.S. Con. Genl. Shanghai Apr. 3" (1873) circular datestamp on cover to Japan, addressed to Midshipman S. Seabury on U.S.S. Iroquoia at "Hiogo or Yokohama", clearly struck "Forwarded by Smith Archer & Co. Shanghai" blue framed handstamp and their "SA&Co" red wax seal on back, sender's directive "(per) New York"--carried on the PMSS branch-line steamer New York, departing Shanghai April 3, 1873, and arriving Yokohama April 11--cover reduced about one-inch at left but all markings are present

VERY FINE. ONE OF FIVE RECORDED COVERS WITH 1869 PICTORIAL ISSUE STAMPS PAYING THE RATE FROM THE UNITED STATES POST OFFICE IN SHANGHAI TO JAPAN, OF WHICH ONLY ONE HAS THE 12-CENT ADRIATIC STAMP. THIS IS ALSO ONE OF ONLY TWO 12-CENT 1869 COVERS USED FROM CHINA--ONLY ONE IS KNOWN USED FROM JAPAN.

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). The earliest use of the 6c rate in either direction between Shanghai and Japan is a cover from Nagasaki to Shanghai dated May 12, 1870. The cover offered here is a double 6c rate.

There are five recorded interconsular covers from Shanghai to Japan with 1869 Pictorial stamps: one with a 10c (April 1, 1870, at 10c rate), one with a 6c (Sale 1248, lot 2061), one with a 3c pair, one with a 2c strip of three (Sale 1248, lot 2060) and the cover with a 12c offered here (ex Brett). In addition, there are three 1869 interconsular covers from Japan to Shanghai, as well as 1869 covers between U.S. post offices in Japan. Only two 12c 1869 covers from China are known (the cover to the U.S. is offered in lot 572). One 12c 1869 cover from Japan is recorded (offered in lot 754).

The PMSS New York was used to carry mail between Shanghai and Japan if the mail was not connecting with a PMSS steamer at Yokohama for outbound eastbound trips. For all connecting mail, the PMSS Great Republic was used (Frajola-Perlman-Scamp, p. 106).

Ex Brett.

E. 7,500-10,000
5,250
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723
c
Sale 1261, Lot 723, 1861 to 1873 Bank Note Issues (including Stampless and French)6c Carmine (148). Two, rich color, each cancelled by circle of wedges cancel, "U.S. Postal Ag'cy Shanghai Jan. 18" (1871) circular datestamp on blue cover to N. J. Hannen in Yokohama, Japan, Geo. Smith & Co. embossed seal on backflap, sender's directive "Per 'Costa Rica'", pencil notation on back stating that letter enclosure was dated Jan. 17, 1872 (no sailing data available)

VERY FINE. A COLORFUL INTERCONSULAR COVER FROM SHANGHAI TO YOKOHAMA WITH TWO 6-CENT 1870 NATIONAL BANK NOTE ISSUE STAMPS PAYING THE DOUBLE RATE.

Ex Landau.

E. 2,000-3,000
1,600
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724
c
Sale 1261, Lot 724, 1861 to 1873 Bank Note Issues (including Stampless and French)6c Dull Pink (159). Horizontal pair, tied by two bold jet-black strikes of circle of wedges cancel, "U.S. Postal Ag'cy Shanghai Oct. 27" (1874) circular datestamp on cover to Mrs. Edward Steele, Yeddo (Tokyo), care of Walsh Hall & Co. in Yokohama, Japan, Adolphe Low & Co. San Francisco embossed seal on flap, blue "Forwarded by Russell & Co. Shanghai Oct. 26, 1874" double-oval ribbon-marker datestamp on back, sender's directive "Pr Golden Age"--carried on PMSS branch-line steamer Golden Age, departing Shanghai October 27, 1874, arriving Yokohama November 3--slightly reduced at left, pair has tear at top left and corner crease at top right

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A BEAUTIFUL DOUBLE-RATE INTERCONSULAR COVER FROM SHANGHAI TO YOKOHAMA WITH THE 6-CENT 1870 NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY ISSUE.

Ex Ishikawa and Spicer.

E. 2,000-3,000
2,000
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725
c
Sale 1261, Lot 725, 1861 to 1873 Bank Note Issues (including Stampless and French)6c Carmine (148). Used as forwarding postage with Germany 1872 1gr Rose, Large Shield (17) and three 5gr Bister, Large Shield (20), tied by "Bremen 8 6 74" (June 8, 1874) circular datestamps on cover to J. L. Ruyter Jr., a clerk in the firm of Schmidt, Westphal & Co., Nagasaki, Japan, sender's directive "Via Marseille", blue "Allemagne Paq. Paris 1E/10 Juin 74" arrival datestamp, red "P.P." handstamp, Lyon-to-Marseilles and Marseilles (June 11) backstamps--carried on the French Ligne N Sindh, departing Marseilles June 11, arriving Hong Kong July 25, then by Ligne S Menzaleh--"Shang-Hai Chine" French Post Office double-circle datestamp on back (date unreadable), the cover was handed to the U.S. Postal Agency, U.S. stamp was affixed to pay the 6c interconsular rate and tied by circle of wedges cancel, "U.S. Postal Ag'cy Shanghai Jul. 29" circular datestamp--carried on the Pacific Mail Steamship Co. branch-line steamer Costa Rica, departing Shanghai July 29, 1874, and arriving Nagasaki days later--docketing on back indicates August 2 receipt date, U.S. stamp has gum soaks and corner crease

VERY FINE. A TRULY REMARKABLE MIXED-FRANKING COVER--ORIGINATING IN GERMANY WITH THE 1872 LARGE SHIELD ISSUE PAYING POSTAGE TO SHANGHAI VIA MARSEILLES, AND SENT FROM U.S. POSTAL AGENCY IN SHANGHAI TO NAGASAKI WITH A 6-CENT BANK NOTE ISSUE STAMP PAYING THE INTERCONSULAR RATE. THIS COVER IS WITHOUT QUESTION ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AND IMPRESSIVE ARTIFACTS OF THE POSTAL HISTORY OF CHINA AND JAPAN.

This cover from Germany to Nagasaki, Japan, was mailed in 1874, the last year of the foreign post offices in Japan. Beginning January 1, 1875, the new Japanese Foreign Postal Service took over international mails, and the U.S. post offices in Yokohama, Nagasaki, Hiogo and Hakodate closed.

Once this cover reached Marseilles, it entered the French postal system and was transported to the French post office in Shanghai. Since France had no postal service from Shanghai to Nagasaki in 1874, the correspondent's agent in Shanghai gave the cover to the United States Postal Agency, and an additional 6c for the interconsular rate was paid with a Bank Note stamp. The German 16 groschen paid double the 8-groschen per 10 grams rate to Japan. There is one other similar cover from the same correspondence, which was sold in Magnolia Part 1 (Sale 1248, lot 2062). They are the only German-U.S. mixed frankings through the U.S. Postal Agency in Shanghai known to us.

Illustrated in Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book (p. 123) and Hansmichael Krug, "Postverkehr mit Australien und Japan." Ex Gibson, Burrus and Ichida.

E. 10,000-15,000
8,000
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726
c
Sale 1261, Lot 726, 1861 to 1873 Bank Note Issues (including Stampless and French)France, 1871-72, 25c Blue (58) pair and 80c Rose (63). Tied by diamond of dots cancel, "Bordeaux a Paris C 15 Oct. 73" double-circle datestamp on folded letter to Pignatel & Co., Nagasaki, Japan, sender's directive "Par Brindisi, outre Steamer", blue Paris (Oct. 16) and red "Paris a Modane 16 Oct 73" datestamps on back, matching red "P.P." framed handstamp, sent from Modane to Shanghai via Brindisi route, "Shang-Hai Chine 2 Dec. 73" double-circle datestamp on back, blue "Nachtrieb, Leroy & Co. Shanghai, China" double-oval forwarder's handstamp ties stamps, turned over to the U.S. Postal Agency with clear strike of "U.S. Postal Ag'cy Dec. 3" circular datestamp, sender's route directive crossed out and changed to "P. Str. Costa Rica"--carried on PMSS branch-line steamer Costa Rica, departing Shanghai Dec. 3, arriving Nagasaki two days later--docketed with Dec. 5 receipt date, letter discusses wine trade, at one point there was a 6c U.S. Bank Note Issue stamp affixed over French stamps, which was moved and hinged to the right (as shown in Ishikawa catalogue), then removed and lost, French stamps creased, still presentable and Fine appearance, extremely rare--we record five covers with French and U.S. stamps used together to pay postage to or from China and Japan, including four sent through the U.S. office in Shanghai--ex Ishikawa

E. 2,000-3,000
1,000
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727
c
Sale 1261, Lot 727, 1861 to 1873 Bank Note Issues (including Stampless and French)U.S. Postal Ag'cy Shanghai Aug. 28 (1875). Perfect strike of circular datestamp with matching "DUE" in circle handstamp and manuscript "6" cents interconsular rate on cover originating in Foochow, addressed to James Bassel, care of U.S. Consulate in Shanghai, with original letter on "United States Consulate, Foochow" stationery with manuscript June 4, 1875 dateline, interesting letter from M. M. DeLaw regarding "Col Lay's system of Torpedo Coast defence", forwarded to Yokohama, red manuscript line through "Shanghai" and "Try Yokohama" written in Shanghai, "Yokohama Japan Sep. 5 6 A.M." receiving backstamp, Extremely Fine, addressed to one of 50 or so American military officers who went to Egypt in the 1870s to train and direct the army of the Khedive Ismail, Lieutenant-Colonel James Bassel served in Egypt for about one year before leaving for the Far East, this was marked 6c due for the interconsular rate between Shanghai and Yokohama, an extremely rare marking, ex Brett

E. 2,000-3,000
2,400
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