InterAsia Auctions



Sale 23

Asian Stamps & Postal History


China (Ching Dynasty): Early Mail and Customs Mail
 
 
 

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Lot 1501 China, 1875 (Kuang Hsu 1st Year, 4th Month, 10th Day) large official envelope (200 x 350mm.) from the Military Governor of Anhwei to the Commander-in-Chief of the Fujian Jianning Army, containing important military documents, to be carried 400 miles each day by two couriers traveling day and night, with original waybill/routing slip still attached recording the arrival date and hour of the document at each I-Chan Station, very fine and important letter illustrating the workings of this official mail system and exceptionally rare and possibly unique with the original documentary routing slip still attached.
Estimate HK$ 80,000 - 100,000
  Realized HK$149,500
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Lot 1502 China, 1907 official red-band envelope from Shanghai to Peking showing unframed h.s. "From the Wen Pao Head Office at the South of the Imperial Palace, Shanghai Received Kuang Hsu 32nd Year 7th Month 12th Day" and two different for "Pei Yang Wen Pao Office in the Capital Forwarded Received on 7th Month 18th Day", very fine example of this branch of the I-Chan, which was formed in 1876 to transmit despatches from Chinese envoys overseas utilising Shanghai as its hub.
Estimate HK$ 2,500 - 3,000


Provenance: Ex Beckemans.

The Wen Pao Chu (Despatch Office) was formed in 1876 as a branch of the I-Chan, and its main function was to transmit to Shanghai despatches destined to go overseas to one of the various Chinese Envoys abroad. Similarly despatches reaching Shanghai from Envoys were delivered to their destination by the Wen Pao Chu.

In later years (probably from about 1898) the duties of the Wen Pao Chu dwindled away until all the work of the I-Chan and its branches was taken over by the Chinese Post Office in July 1912. In the North Eastern Provinces of Kirin and Heilungkiang however the Wen Pao Chu continued to operate for a further two years.

See also lot 3230.
  Realized HK$23,000
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Lot 1503 China, 1876 (21 Aug.) envelope to "W. Hancock Esq, Inspectorate General of Customs, Peking, China" bearing Great Britain 2d. plate 14 and 1/- plate 12 (small corner crease), cancelled by "Lurgan/316" duplex, showing on reverse "Hong Kong/A" c.d.s. (5.10), fine and early Customs mail cover.
Estimate HK$ 15,000 - 20,000
  Unsold
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Lot 1504 China, 1879 (9 Sept.) envelope with "Legation de Espana/en/China" sender's cachet to Madrid (23.10) via Marseille (21.10) and Bordeaux (22.10) bearing Peace and Commerce 35c., cancelled by large figures "5104" and showing "Shang-hai/Chine" c.d.s. adjacent, very fine and attractive envelope to this rare destination originating from the Spanish Legation.
Estimate HK$ 6,000 - 8,000
  Unsold
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Lot 1505 China, 1882 (3 Feb.) soldier's envelope to Brest, France (2.4) via Marseilles, showing on reverse "Paid" framed handstamp applied in Tientsin, with matching "Customs/Tientsin" origin (3.2) and "Customs/Shanghai" transit (17.2) double-ring d.s., and bearing on front France Peace and Commerce 15c. pair cancelled by large figures "5104", showing "Corr. d'Armées/Shanghai" c.d.s. adjacent, endorsed on reverse "La Canonnière (gunboat) le Lutin" and countersigned "Le Vaguemestre", fine, light age spotting and a few non-contemporary arrows drawn in ink on the cover.
Estimate HK$ 35,000 - 40,000


Provenance: Clark Braley, Harmer's (New York), 15.9.91, lot 36
Christie's Swire (Hong Kong), 26.10.93, lot 2471.

Employed as an instructional marking on prepaid mail from Peking (handstamp in blue) and Tientsin (handstamp in black), we record seven examples of this "Paid" handstamp used in Tientsin between 8 November 1881 and 13 May 1882.
  Realized HK$92,000
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Lot 1506 China, 1882 (26 Apr.) Hong Kong "One cent" on 4c. postal stationery card from Shanghai to the Netherlands Legation, Peking, cancelled by "Shanghae/A" (British P.O.) c.d.s., showing "Paid" framed handstamp applied in Tientsin adjacent, with matching "Customs/Tientsin" double-ring d.s. (2.5) on reverse, fine and scarce internal card usage originating in the British Post Office in Shanghai and passed to the Customs Post Office at Tientsin; the card acknowledges that the sender had forwarded two letters to Holland by French mail.
Estimate HK$ 40,000 - 50,000


Provenance: Ex "Ming", Corinphila (Zurich), 29.9.98, lot 4424
Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman, Zurich Asia (Hong Kong), 16.11.00, lot A26.
  Realized HK$149,500
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Lot 1507 China, 1883 (20 Jan.) envelope to Newburyport, Massachusetts via San Francisco (22.2), showing on reverse "Customs/Hankow" double-ring origin d.s. and "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring transit d.s. (23.1), both in red, and bearing on front U.S. 5c. cancelled by cork type, showing "U.S. Postal Agy/Shanghai" c.d.s. (24.1) adjacent, small cover tear at left, extremely fine strikes, an outstanding early cover sent through the Customs Post.
Estimate HK$ 80,000 - 100,000


Although this c.d.s. is known used on the Large Dragon 1878 thin paper issue, we have not ascertained its use as a canceller prior to December, 1880. The earliest recorded use of the Customs dater on cover is an envelope dated 30 July 1881, the dater applied as an indication of pre-payment in cash or official mail.
  Realized HK$184,000
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Lot 1508 China, 1888 (18 Oct.) Hong Kong 1c. stationery card to Berlin (26.11), showing on reverse "Customs/Ningpo" double-ring origin d.s. in blue, uprated (on front) with Hong Kong 2c., cancelled by "Shanghae/C" c.d.s. (19.10), with "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring d.s. (19.10) and "Hong Kong/C" c.d.s (22.10) on reverse, small central internal card crease, very fine.
Estimate HK$ 12,000 - 15,000
  Realized HK$80,500
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Lot 1509 China, 1892 (19 Sept.) envelope to the Imperial German Legation, Peking bearing Switzerland 25c., cancelled by "Avenches" c.d.s., showing alongside "Customs/Tientsin" double-ring d.s. (2.11) in red representing postage due on domestic carriage to North China after foreign entry at Shanghai, with "Singapore/to Hong Kong" marine sorter c.d.s. (17.10) on reverse, fine.
Estimate HK$ 5,000 - 6,000
  Realized HK$5,520
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Lot 1510 China, 1892 (21 Nov.) envelope to the Imperial German Legation, Peking (21.1.93) via Marseille (22.11) bearing Switzerland 25c., cancelled by "Avenches" c.d.s., with "To Pay" framed h.s. in red adjacent, showing on reverse "Shang-hai/Chine" French P.O. entry c.d.s. (1.1.93), "Customs/Shanghai" (1.1.93) and "I.G. of Customs/Peking" double-ring arrival d.s., the last two in blue, fine cover carried by the winter overland service from Shanghai to North China.
Estimate HK$ 7,000 - 9,000
  Realized HK$6,900
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Lot 1511 China, 1894 (9 Aug.) envelope to Bergues, France (16.9) redirected to Lille (17.9), bearing France "Chine" 25c., cancelled by "Shang-hai/Chine" c.d.s. (10.8), showing on reverse "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring origin d.s. in blue, part of flap at back missing, fine.
Estimate HK$ 2,000 - 2,500
  Realized HK$2,760
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Lot 1512 China, 1895 (21 Dec.) envelope to Tientsin (19.1.96) via British and Customs Post Offices in Shanghai (4.1.96), bearing Hong Kong 5c., cancelled by "Amoy/C" c.d.s. and unusually tied by "To Pay" h.s. in red, with "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring d.s., British "Shanghai/C" transit c.d.s. and "Customs/Tientsin" double-ring arrival d.s. in blue, extremely fine and astonishingly rare usage of this handstruck marking in combination with a Treaty Port usage.
Estimate HK$ 10,000 - 12,000
  Realized HK$43,700
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Lot 1513 China, Chinkiang : 1890 (7 Mar.) neat envelope to Wuhu, showing "Chinkiang Customs/Mail Matter" oval unframed h.s., with matching "Customs/Chinkiang" double-ring d.s. on reverse, small tear at top just crossing handstamp and part of flap at back missing, very fine strike for this difficult Customs Mail Matter handstamp.
Estimate HK$ 6,000 - 8,000
  Realized HK$6,900
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Lot 1514 China, Hankow : 1883 (17 Feb.) envelope to London (2.4), showing "Hankow Customs/Mail Matter" large unframed oval h.s. with seriffed letters (type I) in red, matching "Customs/Hankow" origin and "Customs/Shanghai" transit (20.2) double-ring d.s., both on reverse, and bearing on front France 25c. bistre on straw cancelled by "Shang-hai/Chine" c.d.s. (21.2), extremely fine and a rarity.
Estimate HK$ 50,000 - 60,000


Provenance: Ex Sir Percival David, Robson Lowe (Basel), 16.10.74, lot 1271.

ONLY FOUR EXAMPLES OF THE LARGE TYPE I HANKOW CUSTOMS MAIL MATTER HANDSTAMP ARE RECORDED ON COVER. THE OTHER THREE ENVELOPES WERE SENT TO THE UNITED STATES.
  Realized HK$138,000
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Lot 1515 China, Peking : 1886 (13 June) envelope to Germany (arrival d.s.), showing "I.G./Mail Matter" oval h.s. in blue, matching "I.G. of Customs/Peking" origin and black "Customs/Shanghai" transit double-ring d.s. on reverse, and bearing on front France 25c. bistre on straw applied over the Customs Mail Matter h.s. and cancelled by "Shang-hai/Chine" c.d.s. (25.6), very fine.
Estimate HK$ 5,000 - 6,000
  Realized HK$8,050
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Lot 1516 China, Peking : 1887 (9 Dec.) envelope to Paris, showing "I.G./Mail Matter" oval h.s. in blue, matching "I.G. of Customs/Peking" origin and "Customs/Shanghai" transit (15.12) double-ring d.s. on reverse, and bearing on front France 25c. applied over the Customs Mail Matter h.s. and cancelled by "Shang-hai/Chine" c.d.s. (21.12), very fine.
Estimate HK$ 4,000 - 5,000
  Realized HK$6,325
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Lot 1517 China, Peking : 1895 (19 Apr.) envelope to Germany (30.5), showing "I.G./Mail Matter" oval h.s. in blue, matching "I.G. of Customs/Peking" origin and "Customs/Shanghai" transit (25.4) double-ring d.s. on reverse, and bearing on front France "Chine" 25c. applied over the Customs Mail Matter h.s. and cancelled by "Shang-hai/Chine" c.d.s. (26.4), with "Ligne N/Paq. Fr. No. 2" c.d.s. (27.4) in red on reverse, very fine.
Estimate HK$ 4,000 - 5,000
  Realized HK$7,475
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Lot 1518 China, Shanghai : 1893 (26 Dec.) envelope to Peking (10.1.94), showing "Shanghai Customs/Mail Matter" unframed oval h.s. in red, with "Customs/Shanghai" and "I.G. of Customs/Peking" double-ring d.s., both in blue, on reverse, sealed opening tear on reverse, very fine.
Estimate HK$ 10,000 - 12,000
  Realized HK$17,250
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Lot 1519 China, Tientsin : 1894 (6 Mar.) envelope to Graz, Austria (20.4), showing light strike of "Tientsin Customs/Mail Matter" oval h.s. in blue, with "Customs/Tientsin" double-ring origin d.s. in black as well as "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring transit d.s. (10.3) in blue on reverse, and bearing on front France 50c. applied over the Customs Mail Matter handstamp and cancelled by "Shang-hai/Chine" c.d.s. (12.3), with "Ligne N/Paq. Fr. No. 5" octagonal d.s. (13.3) on reverse, fine double rate.
Estimate HK$ 6,000 - 8,000
  Realized HK$12,650
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Lot 1520 China, Tientsin : 1895 (30 Jan.) envelope to Germany, showing "Tientsin Customs/Mail Matter" oval h.s. in blue and on reverse matching "Customs/Tientsin" double-ring origin d.s. as well as "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring transit d.s. (12.2), both in blue, and bearing on front France "Chine" 5c. cancelled by "Shang-hai/Chine" c.d.s. (13.2), very fine, mailed overseas at the printed matter rate.
Estimate HK$ 10,000 - 12,000
  Realized HK$19,550
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Lot 1521 China, Tientsin : 1895 (6 Feb.) envelope to Germany (1.4), showing "Tientsin Customs/Mail Matter" oval h.s. in blue, with matching "Customs/Tientsin" double-ring origin d.s. as well as "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring transit d.s. (19.2) in blue on reverse, and bearing on front France "Chine" 25c. cancelled by "Shang-hai/Chine" c.d.s. (22.2), fine.
Estimate HK$ 8,000 - 10,000
  Realized HK$17,250
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Lot 1522 China, Tientsin : 1895 (13 Feb.) registered envelope to Weilheim, Germany (4.4), showing "Tientsin Customs/Mail Matter" oval h.s. in blue, with matching "Customs/Tientsin" double-ring origin d.s. as well as "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring transit d.s. (1.3) also in blue on reverse, and bearing on front France "Chine" 75c. cancelled by "Shang-hai/Chine" c.d.s. (1.3), with two different handstruck "R" in red adjacent and "Ligne N/Fr. No. 4" octagonal d.s. (2.3) on reverse, flap at back missing, very fine registered double rate usage.
Estimate HK$ 10,000 - 12,000
  Realized HK$34,500
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Lot 1523 China, Wuhu : 1893 (18 July) envelope to Prague, Bohemia (28.8) redirected to Königsberg, Prussia (31.8), showing "Wuhu Customs/Mail Matter" unframed oval h.s. in red, with matching "Customs/Wuhu" double-ring origin d.s. and black "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring transit d.s. (20.7) on reverse, and bearing on front France 25c. just applied over the Customs Mail Matter handstamp and cancelled by "Shang-hai/Chine" c.d.s. (21.7), with "Ligne N/Paq. Fr. No. 1" octagonal d.s. (22.7) on reverse, very fine and rare.
Estimate HK$ 25,000 - 30,000
  Realized HK$34,500
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