Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

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Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by Global Administrator »

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Amazing cover SG will auction soon est 40,000-50,000 quid. Might get several times that. TWENTY Anna franking!


https://www.stanleygibbons.com/dispatches/important-malayan-indian-cover


Watch a clueless SG big shot handling a fragile and unique 166 year cover, worth his annual salary, with his bare hands, no white cotton gloves - klutz

https://youtu.be/cKJzK0P_ijc


September 2020

A cover of the highest importance to Malayan and Indian Philately


Our next sale contains a most extraordinary item: A cover which travelled 10,000km around the British empire by sea, from Malaysia to Mauritius in 1854, just four weeks after the first stamps were issued in Malaysia.

It is a cover which is the joint earliest recorded from Penang, which has never before appeared on the philatelic market and can be traced 166 years back to its original recipient.

In any other case, just one or two attributes from the above list would produce an item of enormous philatelic interest- the fact that this item encompasses all of them together elevates the cover to a showpiece of the highest importance and rarity.

The 1854 date of the cover is thirteen years before the Colony of the Straits Settlements received dedicated issues, but the area was under the governance of the East India Company at the time- who sent out a general issue of postage stamps in October that year, for use in Singapore, Penang and Malacca the first three British Settlements in the area. The letter was sent on the 18th November, just four weeks after Malaysia received its first-ever stamp issue, and is the joint earliest stamped cover recorded from the Settlement of Penang.

India Used Abroad material from Malaysia from 1854 is excessively rare, with few recorded items known, and in this case, the combination of stamps used is unique, the high 20 anna rate charged as a result of the extraordinary distance travelled (well over 10,000km), combined with the note which finished the letter “We enclose two letters to Messrs Scott + Co Port Louis, having reference to Captain Panto(?)’s draft on them of £400, which please hand to them”-the two additional letters adding significantly to the weight.

The cover set off on its epic 11,000km journey aboard P&O steamer S.V. Malta, which travelled via Bombay, India, and Galle, Sri Lanka, then onwards to Mauritius, arriving just four weeks later in Mauritius, shortly before Christmas on 20th December.

Remarkably, all the stamps but one were cut from the sheet with large margins on all sides- a very rare occurrence. The cover not only survived its epic journey in fine condition, but the fact that it retains remarkable freshness of colour and extraordinary visual appeal to this day is down to its history.

It can be traced back to its first recipient in 1854 and has been owned by his descendants ever since.

It was almost certainly received by John Gilmer (1821-1897), who sailed to Mauritius in 1842 to operate a Sugar Plantation called “Deux Bras”, near Rose-Belle on the South East of the island. The Gilmer family had close professional and marital ties to the Richardsons, International sugar merchants and traders based in Scotland, who are the addressees of the cover.

John Gilmer’s nephew Arthur Dron Gilmer (b.1853) sailed for Mauritius in 1880, where he managed the Deux Bras plantation for 9 years, before returning to Scotland in 1889, where he started his own confectionery business, before emigrating to Canada in 1925. The cover has remained in the possession of his descendants in Canada ever since, nestled safely in the family archive, and as a result, has never before been offered on the open market.

The Gilmer cover goes under the hammer as part of Stanley Gibbons’ autumn Sale series, from 6th to 7th of October, and is estimated at £40,000 to £50,000.

A once in a lifetime to own this item of the highest importance to both Malayan and Indian Philately.
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Re: Amazing 1854 20R India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by Mitgar62 »

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What a lovely cover.

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Re: Amazing 1854 20R India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by HalfpennyYellow »

So not cancelling stamps on mail was already a thing back in 1854?
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Re: Amazing 1854 20R India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by Global Administrator »

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HalfpennyYellow wrote:
14 Sep 2020 06:23
So not cancelling stamps on mail was already a thing back in 1854?

Yes for a journey that long quite amazing SOMEONE did not get the pen or the transit cds out!
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Re: 1854 Pinang, Melayu–Port Louis, Mauritius Letter

Post by Joy Daschaudhuri »

This was notified in SG's mail of Sep 4.


Stanley Gibbons wrote: … the high 20 anna rate charged as a result of the extraordinary distance travelled (well over 10,000km), combined with the note which finished the letter “We enclose two letters to Messrs Scott + Co Port Louis, having reference to Captain Panto(?)’s draft on them of £400, which please hand to them”-the two additional letters adding significantly to the weight.
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Setting aside Gibbons' characteristic vague description of the rate and the addendum "We are researching on it", it can be said that there is no logical explanation of the 20A franking.

The postage rate from Straits Settlement of Pinang to Mauritius was 8A per 14.18gm (½oz) or part thereof, from Oct 1,1854–Dec 31,1855.

Moreover there is no indication of the letter being sent registered, the fee for which could only be paid by cash.

After the introduction of Indian postage stamps, Pinang GPO was supplied Proud type K1 rhombic obliterator composed of 90 smaller rhombi (9×10), the earliest recorded date of use of which is Oct 24,1854. This letter sent in Nov 1854 is the only example of an SS cover with 1854–55 Indian stamps, which were not canceled.

Another point is that Mauritius Post Office charged 1s per 14.18gm (½oz) upto 28.35gm (1oz) and 2s for every additional 28.35gm (1oz) or part, on all incoming packet letters, following Article 7 of the Mauritius Postal Ordinance No.1 of 1850 which was in effect from Mar 1,1850.

There is manuscript scribbling in red, entered in Port Louis, over the address but the numbers are not clear, which could help to deduce the original weight of the letter.

The Lowe HS22 (var.)/Proud type PS7 tripartite oblong Pinang Post Paid (all-India type) handstamp in red is recorded used from Jan 16,1849 to Jul 1,1855.

The double elliptical PACKET LETTER MAURITIUS datestamp in black is quite common.
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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by erich »

Nice cover! Also got there faster than some of the mail sent to me this year.

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by David Benson »

I wonder what the cost difference would have been if the three letters were sent separately instead of being enclosed.

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by capetriangle »

Joy and David

Just thinking out loud since you, Joy, said 20 Annas did not compute regarding the rate, could there have been stamps removed?

This, of course, is pure speculation. However, might the cover have had 32 Annas on it, a block of four of the 2A upside down next to the 1A block of eight and 2A pair just underneath it. Would that be the correct rate for a 2oz. letter, assuming that the rate progression was the same as in Great Britain and other British Colonies, as in above 1oz. the increments went up by whole ounces.

There does seem to be some puckering of the fragile paper in the areas suggested which often occurs when stamps are removed from letter-sheets.

I realize the above is pure speculation but your thoughts gentlemen...

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by MJ's pet »

Joy Daschaudhuri wrote:The postage rate from Straits Settlement of Pinang to Mauritius was 8A per 14.18gm (½oz) or part thereof, from Oct 1,1854–Dec 31,1855.


Great post by Joy.

Capetriangle - I had a similar thought. While a mistaken overpayment by a customer is possible, the puckering and the "blank spaces" raise the obvious question. This cover could have been a triple-rate cover: 8A x3 = 24A, thus missing 4A in stamps, possibly from the back. According to the letter there were 2 enclosures, thus 3 sheets of paper.

Penang cover.jpg
Digitally altered image


Capetriangle could be right and the cover weighed even more than 1½oz. There is plenty of room on the face for more stamps- to the left 2A pair and in the bottom-right corner. Customers and post officials did not like to obscure the address in any way when placing stamps which might count against further stamps on the face. (The red Mauritius rate mark might also count against the placement of further stamps near the 2A pair).

Stanley Gibbons wrote:… the high 20 anna rate charged as a result of the extraordinary distance travelled (well over 10,000km)


As far as I can tell the rate has nothing to do with the distance.

Joy Daschaudhuri wrote:Another point is that Mauritius Post Office charged 1s per 14.18gm (½oz) upto 28.35gm (1oz) and 2s for every additional 28.35gm (1oz) or part, on all incoming packet letters, following Article 7 of the Mauritius Postal Ordinance No.1 of 1850 which was in effect from Mar 1,1850.

There is manuscript scribbling in red, entered in Port Louis, over the address but the numbers are not clear, which could help to deduce the original weight of the letter.


As Joy observes, the Mauritius arrival rate mark is the key to unlocking the letter weight and the original rate.


This is speculation of course. There are plenty of classic covers around with world on the exhibit circuit with missing stamp/s. Sometimes there are what they are.

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by capetriangle »

MJ's pet

As I understand the British (and Colonial) rate progression at the time, there was no 1½ oz. triple rate so that a 24A rate would not be possible, i.e. it went single, double, quadruple, sextuple, i.e. ½oz., 1oz., under 2oz., under 3oz.

I do admire your computer imaging skills!

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by Global Administrator »

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Seems pretty likely there was another 2A green pair to left of the existing pair.

Clear dust of ages straight band between base of the 1 Anna block and where the 2A pair might have been.

24 Annas - BINGO - we have a valid rate. Triple weight = 24 Annas.

I'll email SG to try and get a decent scan - with them a coin toss as to whether anyone will respond!

Right now they do not appear to even know what day it is offered on. And it is Lot 1263 to save 15 mins of your life looking for it - -- they have no lot indexes of course. :roll: :roll: :roll:

Glen




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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by capetriangle »

Glen

As I understand it there was no triple rate, see my post immediately above yours.

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by Global Administrator »

capetriangle wrote:
15 Sep 2020 23:11
Glen

As I understand it there was no triple rate, see my post immediately above yours.

Kindest regards

Richard

So what did a 1.5 ounce letter cost if not 24 Annas??


"The postage rate from Straits Settlement of Pinang to Mauritius was 8A per 14.18gm (½oz) or part thereof, from Oct 1,1854–Dec 31,1855."
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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by capetriangle »

Glen

As I understand it, as explained in the previous post, it would be 32A. This assumes that they used the so-called British scale.

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by Allanswood »

The areas fit if you add the 4 more 2A (theres a part of one there already) and the block of missing 1A where MJ's pet put them and you have 32A.

Both areas look a little different to the age of the rest of the exposed paper.
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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by capetriangle »

All concerned

We perhaps need to wait for a post from Joy regarding the rate progression, i.e. if the ½oz. increment was recognized above 1oz.

My assumption is that it was not as in Great Britain and at least the Cape of Good Hope in the 1850s (and no doubt others).

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by Allanswood »

The cover folds over and into itself as it's a large sheet of paper, the folds that can be seen don't look very bulky so how large were the 2 other letters to be sealed inside the cover without making it "thick"? The sheet has to be folded in half itself and then folded over 'till it forms the cover. If you imagine the letter folded up again, it's not that bulky looking, beyond its own thickness.
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Re: Weight Slabs for Postage in Straits Settlement of Pinang from Oct 1,1854

Post by Joy Daschaudhuri »

The weight slab was uniform 14.18gm (½oz).

Also, 8A was a widespread fixed rate in SS for every 14.18gm (½oz) to a number of destinations, like Adan, Australian Colonies, CoGH, Gibraltar, Malta, Réunion, Shri Lanka etc. and the same rate was applicable even to nearby countries like Nederlandsch-Indië and Pilipinas.

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Re: Weight Slabs for Postage in Straits Settlement of Pinang from Oct 1,1854

Post by Joy Daschaudhuri »

capetriangle wrote:
15 Sep 2020 22:50
As I understand the British (and Colonial) rate progression at the time, there was no 1½ oz. triple rate so that a 24A rate would not be possible, i.e. it went single, double, quadruple, sextuple, i.e. ½oz., 1oz., under 2oz., under 3oz.

Kindest regards
Richard
It is not that simple when it comes to Indian postal rates.

As the postal services of the Straits Settlements were managed by Indian Post Office, SS followed the basic Indian postal rate model as enforced by Henry Philip Archibald Buchanan Riddell, Director General of Post Offices in India (1854–67) from Oct 1,1854 and the weight step increments differed even for the same destination depending on the routings.

For example, there were 3 different wt. slabs for mail from SS to England from Oct 1,1854.

1. by 7.09gm (¼oz) if sent via Marseille
2. by 14.18gm (½oz) if sent via Southampton
3. by 14.18gm (½oz) upto 28.35gm (1oz), then by 28.35gm (1oz) if sent via Trieste

Slabs and rates were even more complex in India.

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by capetriangle »

All concerned

It seems I was wrong to assume a uniform rate progression throughout the British Empire. However the stamps removed hypothesis appears to work well whether the postage might have been 24A or 32A.

My apologies for any confusion caused.

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by erich »

Could there have been one or more 4 Anna stamps on it that someone removed for their collection?

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by MJ's pet »

capetriangle wrote:
15 Sep 2020 22:50
As I understand the British (and Colonial) rate progression at the time, there was no 1½ oz. triple rate so that a 24A rate would not be possible, i.e. it went single, double, quadruple, sextuple, i.e. ½oz., 1oz., under 2oz., under 3oz.


I do understand where you are coming from Capetriangle on the rates question. Sometimes the ½ oz. rates do phase-out at a certain level and 1 oz. postage increments are charged. This is a valid issue to raise

Joy now seems to be saying that 8A per ½ oz. was generally recognised for "foreign" mail.

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by Global Administrator »

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PENANG - NOVEMBER 18 -  POST PAID
PENANG - NOVEMBER 18 - POST PAID
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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by Global Administrator »

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1263_1-002.jpg
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1263_1-003f.jpg
1263_1.jpg
India cover Gibbons 10-20.jpg
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I have changed my mind about any stamps being removed from the cover now that massive rez scans (153 MEGGGGGS!) from SG have arrived to see the areas better.

The old grey tide line I now see was just natural dust from seams of the folded entire.

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by MJ's pet »

Glen Stephens wrote:Seems pretty likely there was another 2A green pair to left of the existing pair.

Clear dust of ages straight band between base of the 1 Anna block and where the 2A pair might have been.


There is a tempting blank space to the left of the 2A green pair. There is a "grimy line" above this blank space. This is open to interpretation and could be grime from the top edge of the entire.

The Mauritius rate marks (red) applied on arrival seem to intrude into this area (green box), that is, underneath the "stamp area".

Mauritius rate marks.jpg

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by Global Administrator »

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It gets even stranger when you look at it carefully. Clearly no stamps were removed.

Here is what the cover looked like going PENANG to Mauritius taking a month.

It was LATER heavily folded horizontally and twice vertically - right through the block 8.

WHY??

Why would anyone do that in the family? Staying as a flat unfolded cover was the go, especially if you did not want to crease the block of 8, which even then no-one would do.


The later folds make no sense.
The later folds make no sense.
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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by MJ's pet »

Glen Stephens wrote:It was LATER heavily folded horizontally and twice vertically - right through the block 8.

WHY?


The later folds are a bit of a "red herring". This is commercial correspondence and was opened flat and dealt with. It was re-folded for filing. It is not unusual for contemporary new filing folds to be created, not along the existing lines, and even through stamps. No consideration was given to creasing the stamps as stamp collecting was not then "a thing".

I have seen the *craziest* filing folds on 19th-century entires so this is normal and not a worry at all.

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by Allanswood »

At least they didn't shove it on a spike.
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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by MJ's pet »

Allanswood wrote:
16 Sep 2020 17:31
At least they didn't shove it on a spike.


So true. It could have been worse. :| :lol:

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by Global Administrator »

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The Block of 8 on back would have been in the spike zone for sure!

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Re: 1854 Pinang, Melayu–Port Louis, Mauritius Letter Routing

Post by Joy Daschaudhuri »

Here are 2 goof-ups in Gibbons' description of lot 1263. ☹️

IMG_20200917_000704.jpg

1. The name of the POSNC screw steamer which carried the letter is SS Malta, not SV Malta.

SS Malta
SS Malta

SS Malta was a 1250GT mail/cargo steamer built by Caird and Company, Greenock, Scotland and engine fitted by Fawcet, Preston and Company Limited, Liverpool, England.

It was in service of POSNC in 1848–76, plying mainly in the Indian Ocean connecting to the Eastern Line.

Image

2. The date of the PACKET LETTER MAURITIUS mark is DE 26 1854, not DE 20 1854.

Routing: SS Malta reached Galla on Nov 27,1854, from where the letter could not be sent further to Port Louis in POSNC mail steamer as then there was no POSNC service to/from Mauritius.

The first POSNC service to Mauritius began only in Apr 1857 when a POSNC feeder line was opened between Adan and Saint-Dénis, Réunion via Port Louis, Mauritius (the service wrapped up in Jul 1866).

So, the letter was transferred to a Fr. goélette SS l'Elgè which departed from Galla on Nov 30 and reached Port Louis on Dec 26 which corroborates perfectly with the Packet Letter Mauritius postmark.
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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by Global Administrator »

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Great detective work Joy. :)
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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by MJ's pet »

Joy Daschaudhuri wrote:The date of the PACKET LETTER MAURITIUS mark is DE 26 1854, not DE 20 1854.


Joy is correct of course. (It is easy to see how they arrived at "20" so let's not be too hard on them).

The unanswered question is the Mauritius arrival rate mark in red crayon. I have seen the *craziest* rate marks which sometimes look they were written in an alien script and defy explanation - yet strangely seem perfectly intelligible to those who work in post offices. :ugeek:

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by MJ's pet »

Back to filing folds for a second. Here are crossed filing folds on a $100,000-type Mauritus cover:

Mauritius filing folds.jpg

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Re: Port Louis Manuscript Rate Notation on 1854 Pinang, Melayu–Port Louis, Mauritius Letter

Post by Joy Daschaudhuri »

IMG_20200917_234018.jpg

The Mauritius manuscript notation in red crayon appears to be 1/- which further convolutes the rate calculation.

1s charge for incoming packet letter in Port Louis, could only be levied on letter weighing less than 14.18gm (½oz).
Joy Daschaudhuri wrote:
15 Sep 2020 06:19

Mauritius Post Office charged 1s per 14.18gm (½oz) upto 28.35gm (1oz) and 2s for every additional 28.35gm (1oz) or part, on all incoming packet letters, following Article 7 of the Mauritius Postal Ordinance No.1 of 1850 which was in effect from Mar 1,1850.
For packet letters in the 2nd wt. step, the charge would have been 2s, though Port Louis manuscript 2/- is rarely found on either packet or ship letters.

One explanation could be that the charge was (erroneously) calculated following the rate chart for incoming ship letters, rather than packet letters.

Under Article 5 of the Mauritius Postal Ordinance No.1 of 1850, 6d was charged per 14.18gm (½oz) upto 28.35gm (1oz) and 1s for every additional 28.35gm (1oz) or part, on all incoming ship letters.

In that case, a double wt. letter would attract 1s charge.

What is clear from the manuscript marking is that the letter was under the double wt., for which the correct rate in Pinang was 16A.

So there was no need to affix the two Br. India 1854 2A SG 31 on the obverse side.

One point must be added that, sealing wax often contributed most of the weight of the pre-stamp entires.


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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

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Joy Daschaudhuri wrote:The Mauritius manuscript notation in red crayon appears to be 1/- which further convolutes the rate calculation.


Joy, the Mauritius mark/s is open to multiple interpretations. Can you find and post comparable examples of Mauritius 1/- rate marks (or other marks?) from around this time.

There appears clearly at least three numbers or symbols. The last two could be "1" and "/-". Conceivably, the final symbol alone could be "1/-". What is the first symbol?

mauritius rate marks.jpg

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by Allanswood »

And what's the upside down 3 or 8 to the left also in faded red?
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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

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Joy Daschaudhuri wrote:Mauritius Post Office charged 1s per 14.18gm (½oz) upto 28.35gm (1oz) and 2s for every additional 28.35gm (1oz) or part, on all incoming packet letters, following Article 7 of the Mauritius Postal Ordinance No.1 of 1850 which was in effect from Mar 1,1850.

For packet letters in the 2nd wt. step, the charge would have been 2s


If it is agreed that there are 3 x weight steps present (up to 24A) for a total weight of under 1½oz, is not the calculation: 1s (½oz) + 1s (½oz) + 2s (next part oz.) = 4/-.

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by MJ's pet »

Allanswood wrote:
18 Sep 2020 13:19
And what's the upside down 3 or 8 to the left also in faded red?


Yes, exactly. It is hard to tell what is on the face and what is show-through from the inside, but that looks like it is on the face also.

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by MJ's pet »

A couple of other random thoughts.

There is a space on the back where a block of four stamps may have once appeared. The Post Office appears concerned to plaster the reverse with stamps, as they sometimes did. Why apply a 2A pair to the face (noting it is tied by a red crayon mark) when there was still ample space on the back for that pair?

Postage prepaid was usually written in red and postage due written in black. If the postage due was written on at Mauritius, that seems a little unusual - the reverse of what one would expect. Perhaps conventions were different in Mauritius.

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

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Here is a definite Mauritius "1/-" rate mark from 1845 in black.

mauritius rate marks.jpg


MAURITIUS 1845 (19 MAY) INCOMING ENTIRE LETTER FROM CALCUTTA, INDIA WITH GOOD CONTENTS CARRIED ON THE "Mermaid". GOOD STRIKE OF RED BOXED "CALCUTTA/G.P.O./SHIP LETTER" REVERSE. MANUSCRIPT "1/-" CHARGE MARK ON FACE IN COMPANY WITH LARGELY COMPLETE RED DOUBLE RING "MAURITIUS./JY 23/1845/POST OFFICE." RECEIVING MARK.

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

Post by 32_seeker »

MJ's pet wrote:
18 Sep 2020 13:13
Joy Daschaudhuri wrote:The Mauritius manuscript notation in red crayon appears to be 1/- which further convolutes the rate calculation.


Joy, the Mauritius mark/s is open to multiple interpretations. Can you find and post comparable examples of Mauritius 1/- rate marks (or other marks?) from around this time.

There appears clearly at least three numbers or symbols. The last two could be "1" and "/-". Conceivably, the final symbol alone could be "1/-". What is the first symbol?


Image
Not my research project, but I clearly see a script 2 in crayon joined to the upward point stroke identified as "?" and wonder if this was meant to denote 2 shillings paid (i.e. 2N) plus whatever follows.

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Re: Port Louis Manuscript Rate Notation on 1854 Pinang, Melayu–Port Louis, Mauritius Letter

Post by Joy Daschaudhuri »

32_seeker wrote:
18 Sep 2020 21:49
MJ's pet wrote:
18 Sep 2020 13:13
Image
Not my research project, but I clearly see a script 2 in crayon joined to the upward point stroke identified as "?" and wonder if this was meant to denote 2 shillings paid (i.e. 2N) plus whatever follows.
I don't see any manuscript 2 in red crayon. ☹️

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Re: Port Louis Manuscript 1/- Marking on 1852 Kolkata–Port Louis, Mauritius Packet Letter

Post by Joy Daschaudhuri »

MJ's pet wrote:
18 Sep 2020 13:13
Can you find and post comparable examples of Mauritius 1/- rate marks (or other marks?) from around this time.
Port Louis Manuscript 1/- Marking on 1852 Kolkata–Port Louis, Mauritius Packet Letter
Port Louis Manuscript 1/- Marking on 1852 Kolkata–Port Louis, Mauritius Packet Letter

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Re: Manuscript 1/- Marking on 1855 Packet Letter from Kolkata

Post by Joy Daschaudhuri »

MJ's pet wrote:
18 Sep 2020 13:13
There appears clearly at least three numbers or symbols. The last two could be "1" and "/-". Conceivably, the final symbol alone could be "1/-". What is the first symbol?


Image
I don't know what the first Λ mark is.
It could be a stylized S as it appears before 1/- on an 1855 packet letter from Kolkata.

IMG_20200919_000313.jpg

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Re: Port Louis Manuscript Rate Notation on 1854 Pinang, Melayu–Port Louis, Mauritius Letter

Post by 32_seeker »

Joy Daschaudhuri wrote:
19 Sep 2020 05:47
32_seeker wrote:
18 Sep 2020 21:49
MJ's pet wrote:
18 Sep 2020 13:13
Image
Not my research project, but I clearly see a script 2 in crayon joined to the upward point stroke identified as "?" and wonder if this was meant to denote 2 shillings paid (i.e. 2N) plus whatever follows.
I don't see any manuscript 2 in red crayon. ☹️
IMG_20200917_234018 - Edited (1).jpg
I traced crudely in orange with an editing tool but it's easily spotted.

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

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32_seeker wrote:Not my research project, but I clearly see a script 2 in crayon joined to the upward point stroke identified as "?" and wonder if this was meant to denote 2 shillings paid (i.e. 2N) plus whatever follows.

I traced crudely in orange with an editing tool but it's easily spotted.


We have a winner! (sort of).

The first numeral looks like "2/". What follows is confusing: "1" and then "/-" ? Put together as a £sd string is more confusing.

32_seeker, I do like your "2N" theory, where "N" represents a stylized "/-" (shilling) sign/abbreviation. It is hard to make sense of but worth exploring.

Mauritius rate mark retro.jpg

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

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There are some amazing Indian imperf frankings in existence. The low face value (under 4A) combined with the need to send weighty business correspondence from business houses on the Subcontinent is good for philatelists. I wondered what the largest/larger multiples on cover were. Here are a few contenders.

India block on cover.jpg
Block of eight 1A on reverse of 1854 cover

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

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India gross.jpg
Block of eight on cover from PENANG ex. Bill Gross



William H. Gross Collection of Important Postage Stamps and Postal History of the British Empire
Spink, New York, 3 October 2008, Lot 122 Est. $40,000-50,000 SOLD for $42,500.00

November 1854* folded letter from Penang to Marseilles via Alexandria bearing on the reverse a lovely India 1854 1a Red, Die I, "A" Stone block of eight (4x2, positions 17-20/25-28; S.G. #12), with large margins all around, cancelled and tied by diamond of dots, and showing alongside a marvelous clear strike of framed "Penang/Post Paid" handstamp in red, light strike of blue Alexandria transit c.d.s. also in reverse, front of cover has manuscript "Overland via Suez" endorsement and French arrival c.d.s., very fine and exceedingly choice. A very rare and magnificent franking. One of the finest quality covers extant bearing classic Indian imperforates used from Penang. In addition to being one of the earliest recorded covers bearing the 1 anna value. A great postal history rarity for the finest collection; ex-Dr. Chan Chin Cheung (1961), Donald C. Gray (1962), Charles S. Taylor (1981) and Howard Selzer (1986)

[*the day date is not readily apparent - could be 18 Nov. The Gibbons Penang cover is dated 18 Nov 1854].

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Re: Amazing 1854 India/Penang cover to Mauritius FIRST surfaces!

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Anything from Straits Settlements area gets big bucks. These following covers from the same Bill Gross sale as above.

gross sydney.jpg
1854 (Oct 30) Manila to Sydney.

Lot 121 Est. $50,000-75,000 SOLD for $55,000.00

The remarkable and highly important October 30, 1854 folded cover from Manila, Philippines to Sydney, Australia and carried privately to Singapore, bearing India 1854 1a Deep red, Die II, horizontal strip of four (S.G. #13) with ample to mostly very large margins, along with single 4a Indigo and pale red, first printing (S.G. #18) with three margins (just cutting at top), both tied by diamonds of dots of Singapore, the 1a strip also tied by large "3" handstamp, and red crayon "1/-" below, reverse bears portion of framed "Singapore/Paid" in red boxed handstamp, as well as large part of fancy "Ship Letter/Sydney" arrival c.d.s., the 4a single with some minor toned spots and part of recipient's manuscript endorsement carrying over to front of cover, overall very fine. A stunning and enormously rare cover. Its importance is two fold - it is not only the earliest recorded cover from the Far East bearing stamps, but it is also the earliest recorded use of Indian stamps from this exotic locale. In addition, it is one of only two known 1854 issue covers. An absolutely essential cover for a truly world class collection or exhibit of this area.

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