Stamp Catalogue

China Philately Vol. III

Macao Destinations

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Macao to Porto

Description: 1854 Mar 3, entire letter from Macao to Porto with superb strike of 24mm crown circle Pago em Macao" d.s. in red, on reverse with corresponding black datestamp /
Condition: Letter slightly aged filing crease. of Macao with manuscript date, framed blue Por Alexandria" over the crown circle, with Lisbon (May 7) and Porto" datestamp on reverse, charged 180 reis for local delivery in blue /
Note: Just one other cover is known from this period (ex John Sussex collection, addressed to Madeira, dated 1863), before the cancellation came into use again in 1870, when struck in black. Certificate RPS (Scott CC2b).
Auction: Corinphila / Switzerland 2005
Minimum bid: CHF 25,000.00
Hammer price: CHF 28,000.00

Macao to Aberdeenshire

Description: 1814 Oct 15, entire letter (written on more than seven sides of paper; i.e. two complete letter sheets) from Macao to Aberdeenshire, showing London (?) transit (1815 May 7) and "B M May 11 1815" c.d.s. in red, various amended rate markings "1/2", then "2/5", "2/7", and finally "2/9" with handstruck framed "Addl. 1/2" /
Note: Not only an important historical letter, but also the earliest recorded letter from Macao with postal marking.
Auction: Zurich Asia / Hong Kong 2004
Minimum bid: HK$ 15,000.00
Hammer price: HK$ 36,800.00
The contents are of great historical interest, as the writer is sending his brother a rough copy of a confidential report to Leo Stanley detailing the reasons behind the suspension of British trade (including the East India Co.) in China.
Among these were:
"1) The refusal of the Govt. to receive Chinese chops explanation of our grievances or to grant supplies to H. Majesty ships, on the grounds that they are maintaining an illegal blockade of the Port__They are the Grampas 50 guns ship and the brave Ghadorm 7 frigate...
2) The forcible entry of the Mandarins into the English factories at Canton, without either notice or permission, on the false plea of seeing that the houses were not too high, according to the old Chinese law.
3) Some indignities offered to Capt. Paterson of the Thomas Greenville, on the way from Canton to Whampoa in his own boat, with the England flag flying on it.
4) The revival of an obsolete law, forbidding Chinese to act in the capacity of servants to foreigners, which had induced some to leave their master and all to live in constant terror and apprehension...
5) The seizure and imprisonment, under circumstances of severity, of a Linguist, who had acted in the capacity of Interpreter...
6) Insulting language made use of by the Chinese Mandarins on their chops to the Committee, and a general very apparent spirit of haughtiness and opposition, testified in both acts and threats, extremely prejudicial to trade and insulting to the Matioa at large...
The final proposition made by the committee and sent to Malory (the only Company servant now at Canton) with instruction to act upon it with spirit and, that a Mandarin of a specific rank be appointed to meet Mr. George Stanton for the purpose of discussing the points should this not be accoded to, Malory has orders to warn all the English to quit Canton instantly...
In this event, a reference will be made to Pekin, for which purpose the two cruisers are in readiness to proceed there immediately. The Committee have determined that the Country trade shall bear part of the burden this time and the Count Commanders are accordingly recommended (ordered I shall call it, for it amounts to the same thing) on the pain of forfeiting the protection of the British flag, to quit Canton, remove their ships with the Company's below the Bocca Pigris."
Despite all this, the writer is pleased to report that "The House is flourishing to an unexampled degree... The Commission account of this year promises to exceed that of any former year, and it is not flattery but plain truth when I declare to you, that I attribute it is a great measure, to the very high and well merited character the House has acquired over all India for liberality, and good management."