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
FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE 38-CENT RATE FRANKING FOR PRUSSIAN CLOSED MAIL SERVICE TO HONG KONG. THIS WAS RECEIVED AT WHAMPOA, CHINA, DURING THE SECOND OPIUM WAR, IN WHICH UNITED STATES NAVAL FORCES ASSISTED IN ATTACKING CHINESE FORTIFICATIONS WITHOUT A FORMAL DECLARATION OF WAR.
In August 1855 the U.S.S. Powhatan assisted the H.M.S. Rattler in a successful attack against Chinese pirates off Kowloon. The U.S.-Japan Treaty of Amity and Commerce was signed on the Powhatan on July 29, 1858, about five months before this cover reached Engineer Potts at Whampoa (Huangpo), near Hong Kong.
This cover was received in Hong Kong during the hiatus in the Second Opium War. The Treaties of Tientsin were signed in June 1858, but not fully ratified by the Chinese government. One year later, in June 1859, hostilities resumed with the British naval attack on the Taku Forts.