China 1882, letter to USA via London with Dragons - is it genuine??

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bowulf
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China 1882, letter to USA via London with Dragons - is it genuine??

Post by bowulf »

Hello all,

Is there any possibility that this cover and stamps could be genuine? Nov. 28 1881 to US, with the dragon stamps on front. Any help and comments appreciated.
34F64ED1-CA1B-4FBB-BC1F-BCB38F1F8FC0.jpeg
1500F17A-F63D-4C04-89E8-7E3F7015F68E.jpeg
Last edited by Global Admin on 14 Jun 2024 18:41, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Expanded extremely vague heading, to make more sense to members
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Re: China 1882, letter with dragons - genuine?

Post by phrag99 »

Why do you think it may not be genuine?
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Re: China 1882, letter with dragons - genuine ?

Post by Ubobo.R.O. »

Always assume something is fake until proven otherwise.
Avoids disappointment.
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Re: China 1882, letter with dragons - genuine?

Post by Allanswood »

Maybe its the image scan, but the stamps are very white to my eyes, for stamps that are so old.

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Re: China 1882, letter with dragons - genuine?

Post by BigSaint »


Screenshot 2024-06-14 105534.png
Not an expert with Chinese stamps but with the toning that is on the cover around the stamps I would have expected more toning on the stamps themselves.
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Re: China 1882, letter with dragons - genuine?

Post by bowulf »

phrag99 wrote: 14 Jun 2024 10:12 Why do you think it may not be genuine?
I thought it couldn't be genuine because

1 looks too good to be true with a complete set on cover and I'm doubtful there was a 9 candarin rate
2 the stamps look too tidy considering the damage and tears to the cover
3 the postmarks look fabricated to me, especially the large "R". The marks on back look fine though.

Now I'm not so sure...
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Re: China 1882, letter with dragons - genuine?

Post by billw2 »

I don’t like it at all.

First off, I know next to nothing about Chinese philately from this period but I DO extensively collect US covers of this period.

First off, I don’t love the look of the red London transit mark on the reverse, they’re usually much sharper

Second, I don’t see a single US transit mark on this cover anywhere. It would have almost certainly transited the NY foreign mail office

Third, the Chinese postmarks have a smearing on them outside the rims that is similar and yet they’re from different cities. That also doesn’t look right, almost as if the same person applied the marks in the same manner

Fourth, and the most glaring to me, is that there’s docketing on the left side of the cover indicating that the letter was answered with a date of 1870.

I suspect someone took a domestic US cover probably franked with a 3c green “large banknote” used in 1870 and created this cover as a total fabrication.
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Re: China 1882, letter with dragons - genuine?

Post by Global Admin »

ALL the cancels and markings on face are clearly laughable 'zinco' fakes.

The red London arrival appears genuine in itself, but that someone has very crudely altered the day/month date on it - to tie up with the fake marks on face.

Likely a real cover of very low value from somewhere, that the original stamp/s have been soaked off, and fake Dragons and markings added.

The fake 'R' marking is very clearly bogus, and there is NO registered number on face!

And I'd suspect a China to USA letter never went anywhere near Britain in 1880. :lol: :lol: :lol:

My score is 2 out of 100 as a fake, and it would not even fool most ebay Bunnies is my guess.

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Re: China 1882, letter to USA via London with Dragons - is it genuine??

Post by billw2 »

On closer inspection I believe that the London mark on the reverse is absolutely fake, I think you’re on the mark Glen when you said they appear to be made from zinc cast counterfeit cancellation devices.

Are you familiar with the John Fox fakes? Those were all cast zinc fake devices and they have the same crude look to them.

Good point that mail from China to the USA during this period probably didn’t transit London as it would have almost certainly transited San Francisco.

Another dead giveaway is that the letter is addressed to “Louisville, Ky” and not “Louisville, Ky USA”. I’ll just about bet money that this cover was originally a domestic use.

Here’s a cover from a bit later that I own sent from the US postal agency in Shanghai and despite using a US stamp and being sent by the US postal agency to the US was still addressed to “Seattle, Washington USA”.
DECEA6F0-A51B-434C-BB20-67C6B168CC5A.jpeg
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Re: China 1882, letter to USA via London with Dragons - is it genuine??

Post by Global Admin »

Yes, good point - 'KY' to China Post, probably non-English speakers/readers in 1880 would be totally meaningless!
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Re: China 1882, letter to USA via London with Dragons - is it genuine??

Post by librarianc »

Good on Bowulf for asking in the first place.

Something obviously didn’t look right and this is the place to get answers.

It is a real treat to read the dissection of a cover like this from those who have handled postal history extensively.

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Re: China 1882, letter to USA via London with Dragons - is it genuine??

Post by bowulf »

Excellent feedback here and a great lesson to be had. Thanks for this.

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