STOCKHOLMIA 2019 Private Treaty Sale

Lot 45

Hong Kong, 1865 (Nov. 21), cover to Hong Kong from New York, a lovely blue folded letter cover sheet franked by 5¢ brown Jefferson (Scott #76) and horizontal pair of 24¢ grayish lilac Washingtons (#78a, left stamp with small tear at bottom left), tied by three circle-of-Vs handstamps. The cover bears the sender's "M.C.G. Witte/94 John St/New-York" handstamp in blue with manuscript "Steamer Cuba" and "via Marseille/Paid" at left. Centrally struck New York British Packet PAID handstamp dated Nov. 21. Red London markings of "London/E/PAID/A/4 DE 65" transit, crayon "1", "1d" local fee and "48" credit handstamps. Addressed to Mssrs. Smith Archer & Co., Hong Kong, with "Hong Kong/A/JA 26/66" receiver in blue on reverse.

Witte was an importer in lower Manhattan, and was a supplier of (or at least an applicant to supply) the New York Naval Yards in the late 1890s. Smith, Archer & Co., with headquarters on Praya East and branches in Canton and Yokohama, were general merchants. In 1870, five years following this mailing, the American barque Benefactress left Yokohama for Smith, Archer for New York carrying tea—so perhaps the relationship between the two companies was fruitful (and all the tea in China wasn't enough for Mr. Witte).

The Cuba celebrated her first birthday at sea with this letter aboard. Constructed in Glasgow for the Cunard line, the 7000-ton, 600-horizontal pair screw steamer was delivered to Liverpool in mid-November 1864, with her maiden voyage to New York December 3.

An eye-catching cover, with proper payment of the 53¢ rate via Marseilles (in effect July 1863 to January 1868) and proper docketing from origin to destination.

Accompanied by 2012 PF certificate stating "It is a genuine usage".

Price: $5,000; £3,925; €4,250; 50,000 SEK; HK$39,000.

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