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 — Hiogo (Kobe

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
733
c
Sale 1261, Lot 733, Hiogo (Kobe10c Yellow (116). Two, tied by quartered cork cancels and "San Francisco Cal. Nov. 18" (1870) circular datestamp on cover to Miss Jennie A. Owen, Hartford, Connecticut, magenta "China and Japan Steam Service" oval handstamp at left, pencil docketing on back "4222 m. from S.F., written Sept. 22" and with no indication of origin--carried on the PMSS China, departing Yokohama October 23, 1870, arriving San Francisco November 17--slightly reduced and small tear at left, some minor wear, right 10c stamp flaws at top

VERY FINE. A RARE DOUBLE-RATE COVER FROM JAPAN TO THE UNITED STATES, STRUCK WITH THE "CHINA AND JAPAN STEAM SERVICE" OVAL--FROM THE KEIM CORRESPONDENCE.

This cover does not have a Japanese postmark, but we can deduce its origin and route, based on the docketing and correspondence. This must have missed the sailing of the PMSS Great Republic, which left Hong Kong on September 12 and departed Yokohama on September 23. The sender--De Benneville Randolph Keim--was apparently still at sea when the Great Republic left Yokohama. This and four other covers in the Keim correspondence were carried on the China, which departed Yokohama on October 23, arriving San Francisco November 17. The letters (no longer present) were written by De Benneville Randolph Keim to his future wife, Miss Jennie A. Owen.

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).

E. 5,000-7,500
4,000
734
c
Sale 1261, Lot 734, Hiogo (Kobe2c Brown (113). Vertical strip of three plus half of a fourth stamp which was originally wrapped around the edge, tied by three strikes of "HIOGO JAPAN" double-circle handstamp on cover to Mrs. Leicester Keppel in Hyde Park, London, England, additional small part of Hiogo handstamp on back where four more 2c stamps plus the other half of the stamp on front were affixed to make up the 16c rate (10c to U.S. and 6c to England), sender's directive "Via San Francisco and New York" and "25:12:69" indication of date at lower left with "P.P." to indicate postage paid--carried on the PMSS America, departing Yokohama January 1, 1870, arriving San Francisco January 23--well-struck magenta "2" (cents) handstamp applied in San Francisco as a credit to England on transit mail originating outside the United States, matching magenta "San Francisco Cal. Paid Jan. 25" circular datestamp on back, London receiving backstamp (February 18), vertical folds including one between bottom stamps, few toned spots

FINE. A RARE MULTIPLE OF THE 2-CENT 1869 PICTORIAL ISSUE ON A COVER FROM JAPAN TO ENGLAND WITH THE U.S. POST OFFICE AT HIOGO DOUBLE-CIRCLE HANDSTAMP AND THE

"2" CENTS CREDIT MARKING APPLIED IN SAN FRANCISCO. AN EXHIBITABLE AND IMPORTANT COVER DESPITE THE STAMPS MISSING FROM THE BACK.

Starting January 1, 1869, a new postal convention between the United States and England included an article allowing for 2c credit for letters sent via the U.S. mails (and vice versa). A separate article covered mail to and from Hong Kong and China. The cover offered here is the earliest reported example of the 2c credit marking applied in San Francisco.

Illustrated in Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book (pp. 69 and 174) and 1869 Times (February 1981). Reported in Mekeel's (Oct. 12, 1925) in an article discussing United States stamps "used abroad." The details were provided by Dr. William Evans, who was probably the owner at the time.

Ex Ishikawa.

E. 2,000-3,000
2,500
Back to Top
735
c
Sale 1261, Lot 735, Hiogo (KobeHiogo, October 25, 1869, Prices Current. Folded printed prices current with shipping departures and arrivals through October 25, 1869, to L. B. David in St. Etienne, France, sender's directive "via San Francisco"--carried on PMSS branch-line steamer Costa Rica, arriving Yokohama Oct. 28, 1869, then by PMSS Japan, departing Yokohama Nov. 2, arriving San Francisco Nov. 22--manuscript "Paid 4¢" but no U.S. postal markings, red "Paris 13 Dec. 69" arrival datestamp and matching outline "15" decimes due handstamp, Paris-to-Lyon and St. Etienne backstamps (Dec. 13), Very Fine, an extremely rare printed matter usage from Hiogo to France via Yokohama and San Francisco, illustrated in Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book (p. 172) where described as a "very late usage to have been sent without stamps"

E. 1,000-1,500
1,400
Back to Top
736
c
Sale 1261, Lot 736, Hiogo (Kobe2c Red Brown (146). Two, one with small tear, tied by Hiogo quartered cork cancels on printed prices current with shipping departures and arrivals through May 16, 1872, to L. B. David in St. Etienne, France, sender's directive "via San Francisco & New York"--carried on PMSS branch-line steamer Costa Rica, arriving Yokohama May 20, 1872, then by PMSS Great Republic, departing Yokohama May 25, arriving San Francisco Jun. 17--red "PAID ALL" straightine handstamp applied in New York, red "Paris 2E/10 Juil. 72" arrival datestamp and matching "P.D." in frame handstamp, blurry St. Etienne backstamp, small tears and nick at right, faint toning, still Very Fine, an extremely rare 2c Bank Note printed matter usage from Hiogo to France via Yokohama and San Francisco, ex Spicer

E. 2,000-3,000
2,600
Back to Top
737
c
Sale 1261, Lot 737, Hiogo (Kobe2c Red Brown (146). Two used with strip of three 3c Green (147), tied by five strikes of Hiogo "H" cancel on cover to John Wilkinson, Belfast, Ireland, sender's signature and directive "Via San Francisco"--carried on PMSS Alaska, departing Yokohama May 23, 1873, arriving San Francisco Jun. 13--red "New York Jun. 25" circular datestamp ties 2c, Belfast Jul. 7, 1873 receiving datestamp on back, a fourth 3c stamp is missing from upper right corner, which would make up the 16c rate (10c to U.S., 6c to Ireland), card affixed inside envelope, some edge tears and light staining, still Fine, a significant cover with the rare "H" cancel of Hiogo, illustrated in Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book (p. 180)

E. 1,500-2,000
2,100
Back to Top
738
 
Sale 1261, Lot 738, Hiogo (KobeHiogo Japan Paid. Circular handstamp on front only to Dr. Ruschenberger, Philadelphia--carried on PMSS Colorado, departing Yokohama Jul. 19, 1874, arriving San Francisco Aug. 8--"San Francisco Cal. Aug. 9" (1874) double-circle datestamp, receipt docketing confirms 1874 mailing date, slightly toned, but clear markings and otherwise Very Fine, illustrated in Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book (p. 182), which observes postage was paid in cash and theorizes the postmaster in Hiogo may have run out of stamps as payment by stamps was mandatory, also illustrated on cover of Japanese Philately 181 (October 1971), ex Evans-de Violini

E. 1,500-2,000
1,500
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