London 2020 Private Treaty Sale

Lot 39

China, 1884 (Mar. 10), remarkable combination Large Dragon cover from Peking to Tokyo, written by Saburo Yokata to Kuniomi Yokata, Minister of Justice in Tokyo, endorsed "Tokio Japan" on front, franked with Japan 5s blue New Koban tied by crossroads obliterator along with "Shanghai/19 MAR/1884/I.J.P.A." c.d.s. (Mizuhara type II). Reverse shows China 5ca chrome yellow Large Dragon on thick paper, smooth perforation issue, tied by one complete and one partial strike of Peking seal in blue, with matching "I.G. of Customs/MAR 10/84/Peking" origin c.d.s. alongside the 5ca stamp, which shows a partial second strike where a 1ca stamp was affixed, then lost in transit. Interestingly and quite amazingly as well, is that exactly where the 1ca would have appeared, a Tokyo (Meiji) 17.3.22 double-circle date stamp appears, tying the 5ca Dragon! Two tiny pinholes, which are completely harmless, are noted for accuracy, otherwise Very Fine and choice, a Great Rarity among the Large Dragon covers; 2014 Experts and Consultants Ltd. photo certificate.

The sender paid 6ca for the newly revised international rate to Japan with one 5ca and one 1ca stamp. When the cover reached Shanghai, the Customs P.O. affixed the 5s Japanese Koban and transmitted it to the Japanese P.O. in Shanghai where the crossroads killer and I.J.P.A. c.d.s. were applied. The 1ca was subsequently lost in transit, though since the correct rate of 5s was affixed, the Tokyo P.O. did not treat it as postage due.

This cover is truly remarkable for several reasons. In James B. Whang
A Comprehensive Illustration of the Covers of Chinese Large Dragons, page 329, he notes, "Large Dragons addressed to destinations in Japan are extremely rare, so far only two are known". Secondly, according to Whang on page 443, this cover would now represent the earliest known cover charged according to the new 6ca rate to the U.S. or Japan. Thirdly, under normal circumstances, the loss of a stamp from a cover does not enhance its value. In this case, where the partial Peking seal on the 5ca and the Tokyo receiver, which ties the 5ca stamp, explains this remarkable usage.

Price: $15,000.

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