Sale 1248 — The Magnolia Collection of U.S. Mail in China and Japan: Part 1

Sale Date — Thursday, 16 December, 2021

Category — Mail to China

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
2007
c
Sale 1248, Lot 2007, Mail to China5c Red Brown (12). Horizontal strip of four, margins touching to slightly in at top right (large margin above lefthand stamp), rich color, slight wrinkling, used with 1c Blue Type IV (9), slightly cut in, tied by three strikes of red "Trenton N.J. Aug. 19, 1856" circular datestamp on small cover to Lieutenant Earl English, Hong Kong, China, addressed to the "U.S. Sloop of War Levant, Care of the U.S. Consul", sender's directive "Via Southampton, England", red "New-York Am. Pkt. Aug. 23" circular datestamp, backstamped with red London datestamp (September 4) and "Hong-Kong 1 DE 1 1856" receiving datestamp, with original 8-page letter enclosure from Lieut. English's wife Elizabeth

VERY FINE. A SPECTACULAR COVER TO HONG KONG WITH A STRIP OF FOUR OF 1856 5-CENT AND 1851 ONE-CENT IMPERFORATE ISSUES PAYING THE 21-CENT RATE VIA SOUTHAMPTON. ONE OF THREE SIMILAR COVERS ADDRESSED TO LIEUTENANT EARL ENGLISH IN HONG KONG, THESE BEING AMONG THE MOST OUTSTANDING OF ALL 5-CENT 1856 COVERS.

The 21c postage paid the American Packet rate to Hong Kong by British Mail via Southampton. An additional 6-pence postage was collected from the recipient, although not marked on the cover. It was carried on the New York & Havre Line Arago, departing New York August 23, 1856, and arriving Southampton September 4. It was then carried on the Peninsular & Oriental Line Indus, departing Southampton September 4 and arriving at Alexandria on September 19. After an overland trip, the letter was carried from Suez on the P&O Oriental, departing September 25 and arriving at Galle, Ceylon, on October 13. It was delayed at Galle and carried on the P&O Norna, departing Galle November 9 and arriving at Hong Kong on December 1, 1856.

Under the command of U.S. Navy officer William N. Smith and with Lieut. Earl English aboard, the U.S.S. Levant sailed on November 13, 1855, for Rio de Janeiro, the Cape of Good Hope, and Hong Kong, where she arrived to join the East India Squadron on May 12, 1856. On July 1 the U.S. Commissioner to China boarded the Levant for transport to Shanghai, arriving on August 1. At the outbreak of hostilities between the British and Chinese, the Levant arrived in Whampoa on October 28. The Levant took part in protecting American interests, and in November 1856 saw action during the American amphibious assault on Chinese fortifications on the Pearl River. The Levant received the major part of the Chinese bombardment, with 22 shot holes in her hull and rigging, one man dead, and six injured. The Levant cruised between Hong Kong and Shanghai until she departed Hong Kong on December 7, 1857, arriving at the Boston Navy Yard on April 6, 1858 (source: Wikipedia).

Illustrated in Mayer-Frajola 5c 1856 book (p. 126) and Robert G. Rose, "Five Cent 1856 Stamp on Covers from New Jersey," New Jersey Postal History Journal, May 2012.

Ex Paul C. Rohloff, Marc Haas, Dr. Leonard Kapiloff and Frederick R. Mayer.

With 1977 P.F. certificate.

E. 20,000-30,000
26,000