InterAsia Auctions



Sale 78

Asian Stamps & Postal History


Early Mail / Customs Mail
 
 
 

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Lot 1 China, Early Mail : 1865 (19 Sept.) entire letter from the Vicar Apostolic of Hunan Province datelined "Heng-tcheou-fou 19 Septembre 1865" to the Director of the Works of the Sainte Enfance in Paris (25.12) posted in Hong Kong and bearing Hong Kong 8c. orange (2), cancelled by "B62" barred obliterator, with accompanying "Hong Kong/C" c.d.s. (14.11) on reverse, fine early missionary letter from China.
Estimate HK$ 4,000 - 5,000
  Realized HK$6,325
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Lot 2 China, Customs Mail : 1877 (11 May) envelope to North Marshfield, Massachusetts, U.S.A. via San Francisco (10.7), showing on reverse "Customs/Kiukiang" double-ring origin d.s. of "May 11 77" in red, and bearing on front U.S. Banknote 10c. (straight edge at left), cancelled by cork, with "U.S. Postal Agcy/Shanghai" c.d.s. (15.5) and "San Francisco Cal/St. Shp." c.d.s. adjacent, very fine and a rare early Customs Post cover sent before the Large Dragon period. From the famous Oakman correspondence.
Estimate HK$ 50,000 - 60,000


Expertisation: Peter Holcombe certificate (1986).

Provenance: "Ming", Corinphila (Zurich), 25.3.1987, lot 4730.

References: Jeffrey S. Schneider, "A Census of the Customs Post Markings in the Pre-Philatelic Period," Journal of China Philately, Vol. 3 (2008), p. 255.

There are approximately twelve such covers known used through the U.S. Postal Agency in Kiukiang.
  Unsold
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Lot 3 China, Customs Mail : 1882 (27 Jan.) envelope to North Marshfield, Massachusetts, U.S.A. via Yokohama (4.2) and San Francisco (1.3), showing on reverse "Customs/Hankow" double-ring origin d.s. of "Jan 27 82" and "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring transit d.s. of "Jan 30 82", and bearing on front Japan Cherry Blossom 10s., cancelled by cork type and showing "I.J. Postal Agency/Shanghai" double-ring d.s. adjacent, envelope opened out for display and a trifle reduced, fine early letter from Hankow. Ex Huang Ming-Jeng collection.
Estimate HK$ 10,000 - 12,000
  Realized HK$18,400
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Lot 4 China, Customs Mail : 1882 (9 Mar.) envelope to Brest, France (25.4) via Paris (24.4), showing on reverse "Paid" framed handstamp applied in Tientsin, with matching "Customs/Tientsin" double-ring origin d.s. of "Mar 9 82" and "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring transit d.s. of "Mar 13 82", and bearing on front France Peace and Commerce 4c. pair and 15c. pair, cancelled by large figures "5104", showing "Shang-hai/Chine" c.d.s. (15.3) and "Modane à Paris" entry c.d.s. (23.4) in red adjacent, the stamps are stained and/or faulty, nevertheless a rare and appealing usage.
Estimate HK$ 30,000 - 40,000


Provenance: Clark Braly, Harmer's (New York), 15.9.1991, lot 36.

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.
  Unsold
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Lot 5 China, Customs Mail : 1891 (22 July) registered envelope to Kingston on Thames, England (24.8) via Hong Kong (23.7), showing an extremely fine strike of the "Customs/Canton" type C double-ring origin d.s. on reverse, and bearing on front Hong Kong 2c. vertical pair and 10c., cancelled by "A/Canton" c.d.s. (22.7), with "Registered/London/A" c.d.s. (24.8) in red and "R" in circle h.s. adjacent, endorsed by the sender "H.R.H.", very fine example of registered mail originating in the Customs Post.
Estimate HK$ 8,000 - 10,000
  Realized HK$12,650
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Lot 6 China, Customs Mail : 1894 (17 June) envelope to Berlin (26.7) "Per S.S. 'Bayern'", showing on reverse "Customs/Chinkiang" double-ring origin d.s. and blue "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring transit d.s. (18.6), and bearing on front France Peace and Commerce 25c., cancelled by "Shang-hai/Chine" c.d.s. (20.6), very fine.
Estimate HK$ 6,000 - 8,000
  Unsold
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Lot 7 China, Customs Mail Matter : 1893 (12 Apr.) envelope to Shanghai (15.4), showing "Wenchow/Customs/Mail Matter" oval h.s. in red, and bearing Small Dragons 1ca. green (3), each cancelled by Wenchow small seal in red, with "Customs/Wenchow" double-ring origin d.s. in red, "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring d.s., and "Shanghai/Local Post" arrival c.d.s. in blue on reverse, with local postman's notation in red crayon. An exceptional usage, the envelope originating in the Customs Postal Department, then passed to the Customs Post and finally delivered by the Shanghai Local Post.
Estimate HK$ 35,000 - 40,000


Provenance: Po Bian Bian.

Although philatelic, this represents unusual handling of the mail by the Customs Postal Department and then the Customs Post, with the Mail Matter handstamp applied to indicate origin and special handling. According to The Revenue Surcharges China 1897, Vol. II, p. 830, there are only two covers recorded from Wenchow despatched by the Customs Postal Department.
  Realized HK$57,500
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Lot 8 China, "To Pay" handstamps : 1885 (10 Mar.) envelope from Paris to the British Legation in Peking bearing France Peace and Commerce 25c. bistre on straw, cancelled by c.d.s., showing "To Pay" framed h.s. adjacent, and, on reverse "Paris à Modane" c.d.s. (20.3) in red, "Shang-hai/Chine" c.d.s. (29.4) of the French Post Office, and "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring d.s. (3.4), fine. From the O'Conor correspondence.
Estimate HK$ 4,000 - 5,000


Auction Record
Christie's Swire (Hong Kong), 2.11.1994, lot 2169.
  Realized HK$4,600
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Lot 9 China, "To Pay" handstamps : 1892 (31 Oct.) envelope to the Imperial German Legation, Peking (25.12) bearing Switzerland 25c., cancelled by "Avenches" c.d.s., showing "To Pay" framed h.s. in red adjacent, with "Singapore/To Hong Kong/A" marine sorter c.d.s. (29.11), "Customs/Shanghai" transit (10.12) and "I.G. of Customs/Peking" double-ring arrival d.s. of "Dec 25 92", the last two in blue, on reverse, carried on the "Malwa" to Singapore, very fine and scarce origin for mail to North China.
Estimate HK$ 5,000 - 6,000
  Realized HK$6,325
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Lot 10 China, "To Pay" handstamps : 1897 (13 Jan.) envelope to a student interpreter at the French Legation in Peking (27.2) bearing French Indochina 25c., cancelled by "Laokay/Tonkin" c.d.s. and showing "To Pay" framed h.s. in red adjacent, with transits of "Yen-bai/Tonkin" (18.1), "Hanoi/Tonkin" (21.1), "Haiphong/Tonkin" (22.1), British P.O. of "Shanghai" (8.2), "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring d.s. (9.2) in brown, and "I.G. of Customs/Peking" double-ring arrival d.s. in blue, very fine and unusual routing, being carried by the Winter Overland Service from Shanghai to Peking.
Estimate HK$ 10,000 - 12,000


Auction Record
Sotheby's (Hong Kong), 29.4.1996, lot 517.
  Realized HK$40,250
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Lot 11 China, "To Pay" handstamps : 1895 (11 June) red-band envelope to Peking (18.6) via Tientsin (16.6) bearing Shanghai Local Post ½c., cancelled by "Shanghai Local Post/J" c.d.s. in blue, showing "To Pay" unframed h.s. in blue, with "Customs/Tientsin" double-ring d.s. and "I.G. of Customs/Peking" double-ring d.s., both in blue, with "Unclaimed/Return to Sender" framed h.s. in violet, and subsequent "I.G. of Customs/Peking" double-ring d.s. (19.6) and Customs/Tientsin" double-ring d.s. (20.6) for return to Shanghai, with corresponding "Shanghai/Local Post/C" c.d.s. (25.6) for return to the sender, the envelope opened out for display, rare and possibly unique type of "To Pay" handstamp and a highly unusual postal history usage.
Estimate HK$ 50,000 - 60,000
  Unsold
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