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 — 1869 Pictorial Issue

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
538
c
Sale 1261, Lot 538, 1869 Pictorial Issue30c Orange, F. Grill (100). Used with 12c Green (117), tied by circle of wedges cancels on blue folded letter from Chas. F. Wyman in Cambridge Mass. to George H. Peirce, care of Peele, Hubbell & Co., Manila, Philippines, Robt. B. Storer blue oval forwarder handstamp, sender's directive "Via Marseilles", red "Boston Paid Nov. 5" (1869) circular datestamp ties 12c, red crayon "32" credit marking--carried on Inman City of Paris, departing New York November 6, 1869, arriving Queenstown November 15, then by P&O route--red "London Paid KA 17 NO 69" circular datestamp and "1d" British Colonial credit handstamp re-rated "2" in red crayon, "Hong-Kong Marine-Sorter Singapore-to Hong-Kong, DE 2-2 69" backstamp (Webb Ty. B-2), "Hong-Kong C JA 1 70" transit backstamp, "2" handstamped due marking applied in Manila

VERY FINE AND ATTRACTIVE COMBINATION OF THE 12-CENT 1869 PICTORIAL ISSUE AND 30-CENT 1868 F GRILL. THIS IS ONE OF TWO RECORDED 1869 COVERS TO THE PHILIPPINES WITH THE RARE HONG KONG-SINGAPORE MARINE SORTER HANDSTAMP. A SPECTACULAR AND COLORFUL 1869 COVER FROM THE PEIRCE CORRESPONDENCE.

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.

Ex Coulter.

Sale 1261, Lot 538, 1869 Pictorial Issue
Image 2
E. 10,000-15,000
7,500
539
c
Sale 1261, Lot 539, 1869 Pictorial Issue24c Green & Violet (120). Centered to upper left, trivial corner crease, used with 10c Yellow (116), intense shade, tied by lightly struck circle of wedges cancels, red "New York Paid All Br. Transit Apr. 24" (1869) circular datestamp on back of cover to J. F. Bingham, 2nd Assistant Engineer, U.S.S. Piscataqua (later Delaware), care of U.S. Consul, Hong Kong, China, sender's directive "Via Southampton", red "32" credit handstamp--carried on Inman Line City of Antwerp, departing New York April 24, 1869, arriving Queenstown May 5--red "London Paid KA (6-7?) MY 69" circular datestamp, red crayon "1" British Colonial credit, clearly struck and "1d" British Colonial credit handstamp re-rated "2" in red crayon, "Hong-Kong Marine-Sorter Singapore-to Hong-Kong, JU 10-17 69" backstamp (Webb Ty. B-2), docketing indicates addressee did not receive the letter until months later on December 25, 1869

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, BUT CREDITED FOR THE FASTER AND MORE EXPENSIVE ROUTE VIA MARSEILLES--MOST DEFINITELY CARRIED BY THAT ROUTE AND POSTMARKED WITH THE SCARCE HONG KONG MARINE SORTER DATESTAMP.

Only three 24c 1869 covers to China are recorded in the 1869 Pictorial cover census, and no others have been added to the record, to the best of our knowledge. This cover is the third earliest of all known 24c 1869 covers, preceded by an April 7 cover to Shanghai (Magnolia Part 1, Sale 1248, lot 2034) and an April 23 cover from New York to Mobile.

The Hong Kong Marine Sorter backstamp is quite scarce on United States covers. 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.

Comparing this cover with the April 7 cover to Shanghai cited above is instructive. Both covers were prepaid 34c and marked by the sender to go via Southampton. The April 7 cover did travel on the slower Southampton route and took 37 days from London to the Hong Kong transit ship (NY 4/7, London 4/17, Hong Kong Marine Sorter 6/3-8, the split dates referring to departure and scheduled arrival dates). The cover offered here, contrary to the sender's directive, was bagged for the British route via Marseilles and correctly credited 32c, not 24c. The 32c credit comprises 24c for British overseas postage and 8c extra for transit via Marseilles. It was received by the Hong Kong transit ship no more than 35 days after departing London (NY 4/24, London 5/6, Hong Kong Marine Sorter 6/10-17).

Ex Elliott H. Coulter.

With 2006 P.F. certificate.

Sale 1261, Lot 539, 1869 Pictorial Issue
Image 2
E. 50,000-75,000
40,000
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