Sale 1261 — The Magnolia Collection of U.S. Mail in China and Japan: Part 3
Sale Date — Wednesday, 29 June, 2022
Category — Hiogo (Kobe
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).
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.