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Sale 71

Asian Stamps & Postal History


China
 
 
 

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Lot 37 China, 1871 envelope from Peking to Monsieur G. Vapereau in Montauban, France (23.8) via Shanghai (20.6), Hong Kong (4.7), Triest (19.8) and Lyon (22.8) bearing Hong Kong 12c. blue wing margin, cancelled by "S1" barred obliterator in blue, matching "Shanghae/D" British P.O. c.d.s. on reverse, with appropriate transit and arrival c.d.s., the stamp applied over the front and back of the envelope, which has been opened out for display. An important early envelope from this correspondence.
Estimate HK$ 10,000 - 12,000


References: Pingwen Sieh, "Taiwan Customs Covers and Customs Posts", Postal Service Today, No. 280, p. 5.
The Revenue Surcharges China 1897, Vol. II, p. 904.

THIS IS ONE OF THE EARLIEST RECORDED USAGES FROM THE VAPEREAU CORRESPONDENCE FROM PEKING, MAILED PRIOR TO THE INTRODUCTION OF POSTAL MARKINGS BY THE CUSTOMS POST.

The 12 cents rate for ½ ounce letters by British packet via Trieste to Northern Europe.

Mailed during Charles Vapereau's first year in Peking, this envelope was carried by the Customs Post's courier service operating between Peking and Shanghai, which accepted mail from members of the foreign legations and Customs officials in northern China. Vapereau was considered as a member of the Customs service in view of his teaching position at Tung Wen University in Peking. This was seven years prior to the opening of the post offices in China to the public in 1878.

There are other 1871 envelopes from this correspondence :

-- 1871 envelope to Monsieur G. Vapereau in Montauban bearing Hong Kong 2c., 8c. and 12c., cancelled by "S1", with "Shanghae" British P.O. c.d.s. (29.3).
Lee Scamp, Far East Mail Ship Itineraries 1840-1880, Vol. 1 (1997), pp. 356-357.

-- 1871 envelope to Madame L. Garnier in Paris bearing Hong Kong 8c., 12c. and 24c., cancelled by "S1", with "Shanghae" British P.O. c.d.s. (12.4).
Norman Bennett, Cavendish (Derby), 25.5.2002, lot 970

-- 1871 envelope to Madame G. Vapereau in Montauban bearing Hong Kong 2c., 8c. and 12c., cancelled by "S1", with "Shanghae" British P.O. c.d.s. (June).
"Antonia", Robson Lowe (Tokyo), 10.10.1981, lot 276

-- 1871 envelope to Madame L. Garnier in Paris bearing Hong Kong 12c., cancelled by "S1", with "Shanghae" British P.O. c.d.s. (26.10).
Milo C. Rowell, Christie's Swire (Hong Kong), 30.9.1992, lot 1232

-- 1871 envelope to Monsieur Ch. Lévèque c/o M.G. Vapereau in Montauban bearing France Bordeaux 20c. and 80c., cancelled "5104", with "Shang-hai/Bau. Française" c.d.s. (1.11), endorsed "Ch. Vapereau".
Roumet HP (Paris), 26.4.2016, lot 194.
  Realized HK$80,500
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Lot 38 China, 1872 envelope from Peking to Madame Louise Garnier in Paris (12.7), showing on reverse a crisp near perfect strike of the "Custom House/Shanghai Paid" oval d.s. of "25 May 1872" in red, and bearing on front France Ceres 25c. strip of four, cancelled by large figures "5104", matching "Shang-hai/Chine" c.d.s. (25.5) adjacent and red framed "PD", with "Paris" arrival c.d.s. in blue on reverse, endorsed "Ch. Vapereau", the France strip has tiny corner defect at lower left, an extremely fine strike of the Custom House Paid datestamp. A superb and magnificent cover of the highest exhibition calibre.
Estimate HK$ 250,000 - 300,000


AN OUTSTANDING FIRST YEAR USAGE OF THE CUSTOM HOUSE DATER AND THE SECOND EARLIEST RECORDED DATE FOR THIS.

THE FINEST OF THE SIXTEEN RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE CUSTOM HOUSE DATER.

The 1 franc single rate to France. From 1 July 1871, the letter rate to France became 1 franc per 10 grammes by French packet via Marseilles.

Carried on the Messageries Maritimes Steamer "Peiho" which left Shanghai on 26 May and arrived at Marseille around 12 July (the 13 July arrival date given by Salles is now recognised as erroneous).

Auction Record
Cavendish (Derby), 11.9.1999, lot 368.
  Realized HK$368,000
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Lot 39 China, 1873 envelope to Madame Louise Garnier in Paris (7.7) via Hong Kong (22.5), showing "Custom House/Shanghai Paid" oval d.s. of "17 May 1873" in red on reverse, and bearing on front Hong Kong 6c. and 12c., cancelled by "S1" barred obliterator in blue, matching "Shanghae/A" c.d.s. (17.5, on reverse), "P.D." unframed h.s. and "Poss. Ang. V. Brind/A. Mod." French entry c.d.s. (7.7) in red adjacent, with appropriate transit and arrival c.d.s. on reverse, fine.
Estimate HK$ 120,000 - 150,000


Provenance: Milo D. Rowell, Christie's Swire (Hong Kong), 30.9.1992, lot 1234.

The 18 cents single rate per ¼ ounce to France by British packet via Brindisi, in effect from 20 December1871 to 27 January 1876.

Carried on the P & O Steamer "Malacca" which left Shanghai on 18 May and arrived at Hong Kong on the 22nd, then transferred to the "Travancore" which left on the 24th, arriving at Galle on 11 June, where transferred to the "Ellora" (13.6) for Suez (1.7). The mail was then offloaded for overland carriage to Alexandria, where it left on the "Pera" on 2 July and arrived at Brindisi on 5 July.
  Unsold
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Lot 40 China, 1874 envelope to Monsieur G. Vapereau in Paris (24.10) endorsed "Via Brindisi" and sent via Hong Kong (9.9), showing on reverse "Custom House/Shanghai Paid" oval d.s. of "5 September 1874" in red, with offset of another strike on front, and bearing on front Hong Kong 30c. mauve, cancelled by "S1" barred obliterator in blue, matching "Shanghae/A" c.d.s. (5.9, on reverse), "P.D." unframed h.s. and "Poss. Ang. V. Brind/A. Mod." French entry c.d.s. (23.10) in red adjacent, with appropriate transit and arrival c.d.s. on reverse, stamp damaged at top, very fine strike of the Custom House dater. A splendid cover of the utmost appeal.
Estimate HK$ 250,000 - 300,000


Expertisation: B.P.A. certificate (2016).

Provenance: Dr. Warren G. Kauder, Robson Lowe (London), 2.5.1972, lot 10
Mizuhara Meiso, Spink (Hong Kong), 17.1.2016, lot 1509.

References: Customs Dater (1875-1913), Taipei : Philatelic Writers' Club, 2008, p. 180.

The 30 cents premium rate per ½ ounce to France by British packet via Brindisi, introduced on 29 April 1872.

Carried on the P & O Steamer "Mirzapore" which left Shanghai on 6 September, stopping at Hong Kong from 9-12 September and arriving at Suez on 16 October. The mail was then offloaded for overland carriage to Alexandria, where it left on the "Malta" on 19 October and arrived at Brindisi on 22 October.
  Unsold
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Lot 41 China, 1874 envelope to Mademoiselle H. Vapereau in Paris (28.11), showing on reverse "Custom House/Shanghai Paid" oval d.s. of "15 October 1874" in red, and bearing on front France Ceres 10c. (2) and 80c., cancelled by large figures "5104" and additionally tied by "Shang-hai/Chine" c.d.s. (15.10), with "PD" unframed h.s. in red adjacent and "Paris Etranger" arrival c.d.s. in blue on reverse, stamps have perf. faults due to application over top of envelope which is aged and opened out for display with splitting/reinforcing at join, fine strike of the Customs dater.
Estimate HK$ 80,000 - 100,000


The 1 franc single rate to France.

Carried on the Messageries Maritimes Steamer "Ava" which left Shanghai on 16 October and arrived at Marseille on 27 November.
  Unsold
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Lot 42 China, 1875 envelope to Madame Louise Garnier in Paris (19.7) and redirected domestically to Treport (20.7), showing on reverse "Custom House/Shanghai Paid" oval d.s. of "29 May 1875" in red, and bearing on front Hong Kong 6c. and 12c., cancelled by "B62", matching "Hong Kong" c.d.s. (2.6, on reverse) and the 12c. additionally tied by "P.D." unframed h.s. in red, with "Poss. Ang. V. Brind/A. Mod." French entry c.d.s. (17.7) in red adjacent, and arrival c.d.s. on reverse, the envelope opened out for display, very fine strike of the Customs dater.
Estimate HK$ 150,000 - 200,000


Provenance: Major Adrian Hopkins, Robson Lowe (London), 25.1.1956, lot 81
L.Y. Woo.

The 18 cents single rate per ¼ ounce to France by British packet via Brindisi, in effect from 20 December 1871 to 27 January 1876.

Carried on the P & O Steamer "Hindostan" which left Shanghai on 30 May, stopping at Hong Kong from 2-5 June and arriving at Suez on 10 July. The mail was then offloaded for overland carriage to Alexandria, where it left on the "Baroda" on 12 July and arrived at Brindisi on 16 July.
  Unsold
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Lot 43 China, 1874 (27 Aug.) envelope from Lurgan to William Hancock, care of Commissioner of Customs, Shanghai bearing Great Britain 3d. and 1/-, cancelled by "Lurgan/316" duplex, showing "Hong-Kong/Marine-Sorter/Hong-Kong to Shanghae" double-ring d.s. of "Oc 7/2 74" in black and "Custom House/Shanghai" oval bilingual h.s. in red on reverse, the top of the cover and stamps trimmed, extremely fine and choice example of this rare early Customs handstamp.
Estimate HK$ 150,000 - 200,000


ONE OF SEVEN RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE CUSTOM HOUSE BILINGUAL HANDSTAMP. OF THESE, TWO ENVELOPES ARE TRIMMED AT TOP AFFECTING THE STAMPS, AND ONE OTHER HAS A STAMP MISSING.

The 1s/3d rate per ½ ounce rate via Marseille or Brindisi.

Although the top of the envelope, which contained the manuscript routing notation, was trimmed away, it appears likely from the traces of writing which remain that it was marked "via Marseilles". If this, indeed, is the case, then the letter would have been carried by the French packet "Iraouaddy". This is similar to the 9 September 1874 envelope in the accompanying census, which was carried by French packet, a very rare occurrence since such onboard sorting only occurred a few times during the year (Lee Scamp, "Far East Mail Itineraries. Vol. 2", pp. 276-277).
  Realized HK$345,000
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Lot 44 China, 1877 (15 Sept.) envelope to Monsieur Henri Gravier in Paris (5.11) redirected domestically to Le Mêsle sur Sarthe (6.11), showing on reverse "I.G. of Customs/Peking" double-ring origin d.s. of "Sep 15 77" in blue, and bearing on front France Ceres 30c. and Peace and Commerce 10c., cancelled by large figures "5104", matching "Shang-hai/Hai/Chine" c.d.s. (23.9) alongside, with "Marseille à Lyon" transit (4.11) and appropriate arrival c.d.s. on reverse, envelope roughly opened at top and also opened out for display, very fine strike of the Customs dater.
Estimate HK$ 50,000 - 60,000


Provenance: Sir Percival David, Robson Lowe (Basel), 16.10.1974, lot 1260 (part)
George Alevizos (Santa Monica), 8-9.2.1979, lot 2093.

A VERY EARLY, IF NOT THE EARLIEST, EXAMPLE OF THE CUSTOMS DATER FOR PEKING.

The 40 centimes single rate to France from 1 April 1877.

Transported by the Customs Post from Peking to Shanghai, and then carried on the Messageries Maritimes Steamer "Sindh" from Shanghai to Marseille.

We record five covers originating in the Customs Post in Peking prior to the issue of the Large Dragons stamps. The first is addressed to Henri Gravier and the other four to Léon Garnier or G. Vapereau in Paris. All were sent through the French Post Office in Shanghai. The dates of the "I.G. of Customs/Peking" double-ring origin d.s. are :

-- 15 September 1877
The above envelope

-- 30 November 1877
From the records of Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman

-- 15 December 1877
Sir Percival David, Robson Lowe (Basel), 16.10.1974, lot 1260 (part)
Christie's Swire (Hong Kong), 26.10.1993, lot 1884

--24 May 1878
Christie's Robson Lowe (Zurich), 27.3.1996, lot 2067
Sotheby's and Corinphila (Hong Kong), 7.10.1997, lot 395

-- 30 August 1878
Treasures Hunters (Hong Kong), 19.1.2002, lot 188

In addition, Lee Scamp in his "Far East Ship Mail Itineraries", Vol. 2, p. 346, cites and illustrates a defective 1877 envelope with the "I.G. of Customs/Peking" double-ring origin d.s. of 17 Jan. 1877, which was sent to Madame Edith Weber in Falaise (Calvados) through the French P.O. in Shanghai at the 1 franc rate (Philachina, June 2008, lot 475).
  Realized HK$195,500
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