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Asia/China : Hong Kong Revenue postal usage

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cocollectibles
11 Mar 2015
07:00:06am
Ningpo has inspired me to get out my HK collections and to take a closer look at some of them. In doing so, I noticed among my revenue stamps I have these two that raise some questions; I'm hoping someone can give me further information.

The first is a $1 Stamp Duty, which is not listed in Scott as a revenue stamp used for postage. Does the Paid All cancel mean it WAS used as a revenue stamp, or for postage? I recall a cover in Webb's book showing a Paid All CDS cancel with a regular QV postage stamp on cover.

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The $5 red stamp is Scott #60, but it also has a pen cancel. Would that not mean this was more likely revenue usage than postal usage?

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By comparison, here are three $2 stamps (Scott #26) that WERE used for postage. The first two have B62 killer cancels (one with a Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Corporation perfin too) and the third has a treaty port Shanghai CDS cancel.

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cocollectibles
11 Mar 2015
08:26:56am
re: Hong Kong Revenue postal usage

Thanks; what is the reference please?

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Ningpo
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11 Mar 2015
10:36:33am
re: Hong Kong Revenue postal usage

I'll have a look later for such references in my books. However, the quoted passage is quite correct.

This type of 'HONG-KONG PAID-ALL' cancel is sometimes found with the 'PAID-ALL' part doctored to read 'POSTAGE'. This was obviously done to (try to) fool collectors. Annoyingly, I forgot to place a bid on one of these just the other day. It was one of the best examples I have seen.

I'll post an image when I can find it.

This cancel, (Webb Type C, single ring 23mm) was used in red on covers sent to the USA, between 1867 and 1877 under the Anglo-American Postal Convention. The purpose of this type of wording, was to indicate 'no additional fee for inland delivery'. Its use as a postal cancel ceased when Hong Kong became a member of the UPU.

This red CDS was applied to the cover and not the adhesive, which was usually obliterated with a 'killer' cancel; B62, S1 etc. Index letters A and C were used.

This cancel type was then adopted for use for fiscal purposes some years later, but in black with index letter B.

Coincidentally, I recently bought these two pieces primarily as a colour reference (these are in 'as issued colours and condition'). However, they fit this particular topic quite nicely:


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cocollectibles
11 Mar 2015
01:53:07pm
re: Hong Kong Revenue postal usage

Thanks; that clarifies this for me. So the Shanghai CDS is probably not postal usage?

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Ningpo
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11 Mar 2015
02:54:04pm
re: Hong Kong Revenue postal usage

Au contraire Peter. That fiscal with the Shanghai cancel is postally used.

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cocollectibles
11 Mar 2015
03:13:12pm
re: Hong Kong Revenue postal usage

Okay, good job then! A nice find. I'm glad I'm examining these closer.

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Ningpo
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11 Mar 2015
04:13:50pm
re: Hong Kong Revenue postal usage

Here's that fiscal with the altered 'PAID-ALL', to read 'POSTAGE'. Someone has been a very naughty boy! Quite a reasonable attempt to fool collectors that probably didn't possess the knowledge, in the early days.


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I have seen these fakes quite often. One recently appeared on a UK auction site, on a KEVII $10. Unfortunately, I didn't see it until after the auction had ended, otherwise I would have reported it. I was disappointed to see that it had been listed without any reference to the faked cancel.

The word 'postage' has not ever been used on a Hong Kong CDS. In fact it probably hasn't been used at all.

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cocollectibles
11 Mar 2015
05:05:08pm
re: Hong Kong Revenue postal usage

Wow! That is so fake!

When I visited Yang's store in Kowloon in 2007 there was a gentleman from Shanghai visiting the store. The owner, he, and I swapped stories about HK stamps and he then related how he saw first hand how forged HK stamps were being processed. He related that along an alley there was a handful of men cleaning used QV to KGV definitives, removing the cancels from lightly marked items, adding Chinese characters to overprints, regumming, etc. It was quite an operation apparently.

Peter

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Ningpo
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11 Mar 2015
05:42:08pm
re: Hong Kong Revenue postal usage

Forgery is a worrying factor of collecting these days and it is on the increase. One of the other online discussion sites has dedicated threads to forgery spotting. Nothing gets by those eagle eyes.

Australian material is being targeted at the moment in particular. Every overprint that has substantial value is being reproduced, which must be an absolute mine field. This may be influenced by recent publications of new comprehensive Australian catalogues, such as the ACSC. This is a godsend to forgers; very high quality images and very detailed pricing.

As far as Hong Kong is concerned, there are not too many high quality forged overprints around - yet! The best that I have seen is on a QV 2c Jubilee, which is incredibly convincing. Only one character betrays it's authenticity and that is with the benefit of a side by side comparison.

However, it would seem that the use of laser printing may play a part in the future. Although it has already been used to some extent, the quality may not be quite on the button right now.

As for re-gumming, well this will always be with us as long as there is an obsession with gum condition. This seems itself to have been going on for a very long time. I know I have a few regums that were done so long ago that they themselves need a re-re-gum. Big Grin

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Ningpo
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11 Mar 2015
06:36:34pm
re: Hong Kong Revenue postal usage

Nelson

Thanks for posting that Sperati forgery. You are right, there are many Hong Kong forgeries around but as I said in my previous post, there aren't that many high quality overprint forgeries.

Are you able to post a larger image of the detail (in the right hand ornament) that you describe? This is exactly the sort of thing I was hoping others would post here. I for one do not have a Sperati forgery (or at least I don't think I have!), so this would be of great benefit.



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cjd
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11 Mar 2015
08:45:48pm
re: Hong Kong Revenue postal usage

The Shanghai on $2 looks like it might be perf 14? If so, Gibbons lists a pretty high CV for Shanghai usage (SG#ZF877).

If I'm missing something in the catalogue, someone please chime in.

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Ningpo
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11 Mar 2015
10:43:52pm
re: Hong Kong Revenue postal usage

@cjd

Well spotted. You're right that is the P14 (SG F4 $2 dull bluish green, from 1897). It looks to me that Peter's (cocollectibles) was used in 1902.

You made me look at my collection and until just now didn't realise I had this same P14 $2. I thought mine was the perf 15½ x15.

I do think though that both Peter's and mine are somewhat faded. These may have been printed with fugitive ink.

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Ningpo
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11 Mar 2015
11:03:15pm
re: Hong Kong Revenue postal usage

@nI1947

Thanks for posting those images. I do agree that Sperati got it right. His work is second to none on Hong Kong material. I'm just wondering if I posted an image of the 96c olive-bistre (not the proof) on another thread. Anyway, I think I'll put another one up here.


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There we go. This isn't mine by the way. Perhaps you could confirm this shows the trade mark Sperati flaw(s).


You're right about the Fournier 28c/30c; the upturned 'n' a 't' are wrong. What is interesting to me about this particular overprint is the '28'. It's actually rather good, particularly as these seem to come from a rather strange font.

And please do post something about postal forgeries, I'd really like to see that.

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Ningpo
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11 Mar 2015
11:31:48pm
re: Hong Kong Revenue postal usage

I've just dug this one out of my 'needs sorting' book. This is an example of 'unauthorised postal usage'. Obviously there's no reference number in the Fiscal section of SG but there probably will be in Barefoots's British Commonwealth Revenues.


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Having scanned this, I've just noticed a possible flaw in the right hand inner frame line, just by the top Chinese character for 'HONG'.

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nl1947
12 Mar 2015
09:25:15am
re: Hong Kong Revenue postal usage

Quote:

"NINGPO: There we go. This isn't mine by the way. Perhaps you could confirm this shows the trade mark Sperati flaw(s)."



Yes this would definitely appear to be a Sperati with the flaw.
In this case the cancel (so nicely placed) has some relevance - the thick base of the 2 and the thin high point of the tail are his general work but then I believe there are a lot of variations of the genuine cancel for which I have no reference.

This item would have some value - probably $300-$500 in an auction

I would suspect that a 96c bistre cancelled would cover flaws and attract a lot less attention than the rare unused while still being profitable.

The one feature that I have not looked at yet is the number of lines in the background. Fine background lines are generally what forgers get wrong. The original has 91 (92 by some count).
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Ningpo
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12 Mar 2015
03:52:04pm
re: Hong Kong Revenue postal usage

Here's a postally used SGF2 $3 dull violet, issued 1874-1902. The high value and registered usage may indicate parcel use, but it's difficult to tell.

These fiscal series are in my opinion far more attractive than any of the postal definitives. It's a pity that these designs were not preferred by the authorities. This was probably due to the format of the stamps; these larger ones lending themselves to more intricate detail.


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cocollectibles
12 Mar 2015
04:23:32pm
re: Hong Kong Revenue postal usage

Personally, I like most fiscal/revenue issue designs more than I do the definitives. After all, the latter all share the same basic boring portrait facing left or right in a circle in a frame type of thing, with a few exceptions. For example, I believe Canada was one of the first countries to portray Queen Victoria in her dotage, versus the 18 year old Chalon type portrait and similar youthful depictions. But for HK, the definitive issues pre-QE-2 were standard.

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