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Sale 30

China, Hong Kong, Japan and Other Asian Stamps and Postal History

Postal History
Lot Photo Description
Lot 589

Japan, 1875 (Feb. 1), rare Degron-kun cover from Col. Munier, sent Yokohama to Versailles, a remarkable, eye-catching cover despite its flaws; addressed to Madame Munier at Impasse des gendarmes, 15 (one of her four addresses during the Colonel's time in Japan), the cover bears the civilian pre-paid letter rate of 1F, paid by a tricolor Cérès franking—5c yellow green on pale blue (Scott #53), large-figure 15c bister (#61) and large-figure 80c rose on pinkish (#63), each receiving a tying Yokohama "5118" dotted-diamond cancel; front also bears a partial, blurred Japanese Post Office Yokohama cancel at upper left, plus Roman-letter "Yokohama/1/FVR/75/Japon" dater and French red boxed "PF" handstamp below; reverse with a beautiful strike of the Type I Degron-kun handstamp (originally in black, here faded to a near gold), with boxed red Shimbashi chop below (as the Japanese would read it), along with French "Marseille a Lyon/20/MARS/75/Special" transit and Versailles 21 MARS 75 receiver; cover with various faults and repairs, including missing the part of the front panel that bore the 2s Japanese adhesive to pay the Tokyo-to-Yokohama inter-city rate (rim of cancel still visible above "Versailles"), but a very scarce and important piece of postal history nonetheless, Fine.
Estimate HK$ 12,000 - 16,000

The rarity of this cover cannot be overstated. According to Jun Ichi Matsumoto (
The French Post Office in Yokohama), there are only about 20-30 surviving Munier covers, of which roughly ten are Franco-Japanese combinations. The franking here is very rare, with Matsumoto noting only 4-10 covers known bearing the large-figure 15c issue (whereas 11-20 are known with the 5c, and 21-40 with the large-figure 80c). And for the Japanese postal markings collector, the Shimbashi Railway Station chop was introduced "from the beginning of 1875" (p. 142), making this surely one of the earliest possible examples.
Realized HK$8,500.
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Lot 590

Japan, 1927 (Aug. 21), scarce mixed-franking paquebot/airmail cover, sent from Yokohama to New York, an oversized business envelope (260 x 117 mm), franked 22s Japanese postage, plus 75¢ US; "Silk Documents" sent from the Yokohama branch of the National City Bank of New York (company name pre-printed on backflap, plus three white-on-black paper wafers and a nearly intact red wax seal); endorsed by straightline violet "Paquebot" handstamp at center and by "S.S. 'Emp. of Canada'" at lower left, with "Via Air Mail" in manuscript alongside stamps, and "via AIR MAIL from SEATTLE/to NEW YORK." and "VIA Aircraft from Victoria" handstamps at left; Japanese postage plus 50¢ US tied by Seattle 17 duplexes, the additional 2¢ pair and 1¢ single on front tied by mute "Seattle/Wash." ovals, the remaining 20¢ postage on reverse tied by multiple, zealous strikes of "City Hall Sta./Paid/New York" ovals, with "New York, NY/AUG 24/1927" meter slogan cancel alongside; all adhesives and handstamps applied aboard the Empress of Canada, the 22s paying the sea rate to Seattle, the 75¢ prepaying Airmail service from Seattle to New York; heavy vertical file fold at center affects two stamps on reverse, Fine to Very Fine+, an uncommon two-country franking, with mixed sea-and-air service as well.
Estimate HK$ 2,400 - 2,800.
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Lot 591

Japan, 1933, sea-to-summit selection of 6 Karl Lewis covers, a lovely introduction to Lewis' covers, comprising five ship covers plus one mailed from Mt. Fuji's Summit Post Office; the Fujiyama cover bears a Type V cachet, with the mountain depicted at lower left, a less common Type 2 inscription, and the four definitives tied by two strikes of the Mt. Fuji Scenic Datestamp dated 8.7.29 (July 29, 1933); the ship covers hail from the Asama-Maru, Heian-Maru, Hiye-Maru (2) and Tatsuta-Maru; four, posted between June 8 and Sept. 14, predate Lewis' introduction of cachets for these covers, and each bears two strikes of the ship's I.J. Sea Post Scenic Datestamp tying the postage; the second Hiye-Maru cover is dated Nov. 14 and boasts one of the earliest cachets known (the earliest recorded is Nov. 9; Lewis' artist was still painting cachets when this cover was sent!)—and one of the prettiest in our view; all with blue Beikokuyuki ("To US") handstamp on front and combination noted on back (Fujiyama C-3, Asama-Maru C-7, Heian-Maru C-4, uncacheted Hiye-Maru C-1, Tatsuta-Maru C-5, cacheted Hiye-Maru C-14), Very Fine despite some slight toning almost always found on these earliest covers, all imaged online.
Estimate HK$ 3,000 - 4,000.
Realized HK$3,400.
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Lot 592

Japan, 1939 (Aug. 8), set of 6 Karl Lewis Fujiyama covers, each dated 8.8.14 by Mt. Fuji Scenic Datestamp and addressed to a Myer Greenbaum in Toledo; set consists of two examples each of the Bridge-over-Water design (C-6 and C-22), Gate-on-Road design (C-5 and C-4) and House-above-Shoreline design (C-3 and C-1); all fresh and clean, with a different handstamp sealing the backflap, Very Fine, a pretty group of late Fujiyama covers; imaged in full online.
Estimate HK$ 1,800 - 2,200.
Realized HK$5,000.
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Lot 593
Japan, 1945 (Sept. 2), autograph, in both Japanese and English, of General Tomoyuki Yamashita, the infamous "Tiger of Malaya", size 10 envelope franked by Scott Philippines #485-494 and E10a "Victory" overprints, obtained by Eriberto B. Misa, Jr., former Director of the Bureau of Prisons in the Philippines; Mr. Misa had Gen. Yamashita sign two similar envelopes, one still remaining with the Misa family; cover shows bold signatures in brown ink across numerous stamps; minor tropical toning, still Fine-Very Fine and rare.
Estimate HK$ 16,000 - 20,000

Gen. Yamashita surrendered in the Philippines to Gen. MacArthur and was imprisoned at Muntinlupa. Yamashita was a hero during the Battle of Singapore and the invasion of Malaya, before being sent to defend the Philippines. He was convicted of atrocities in a very controversial trial, whose impact remains to this day, and was hanged at Los Baños on Feb. 23, 1946
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