【Special Features: Customs Mail – State Mourning of Emperor Tongzhi】
Incoming oval bilingual “CUSTOMS HOUSE * SHANGHAI” in blue, 1875 (13 Jan) Belfast to Shanghai. Printed envelope via “French Mail packet” bearing GB 1873-80 3d rose and 2x 6d grey tied by Belfast duplex.The reverse with Cliftonville despatch cds, a fine strike of the very rare “HONG KONG TO SHANGHAI” marine sorter type 6 dated 1875 (28/4 Feb). Most mail sorted at sea from the United Kingdom received the Singapore to Hong Kong marine soter. This cover, conveyed by French Mail, was not sorted until it reached Hong Kong. On arrival, it received a faint but clear strike of oval bilingual “CUSTOMS HOUSE * SHANGHAI” in blue during the state mourning period of the late emperor, being the only recorded example. The cover is exceptionally fresh and fine, showing an extraordinary combination of postmarks. Original letter within. BPA Cert.