Earliest Hong Kong cover could auction for $38,500

paulfrasercollectibles

2015-06-26 13:35:10

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Earliest Hong Kong cover could auction for $38,500

Sent to London in 1839, the earliest Hong Kong cover details the first opium war

The earliest known cover sent from Hong Kong is returning to its region of origin next month.

The letter was sent to Stoke Newington in 1839

The letter, dated September 9, 1839, will cross the block at InterAsia Auctions in Hong Kong with a $38,686 high estimate on January 12.

Sent by missionary Reverend JR Morrison to his sister in Stoke Newington, London, the letter is described by the auction house as "outstanding from both an historical and philatelic perspective", and "one of the most important postal history items of Hong Kong".

Morrison wrote the letter aboard the Fort William - a ship that provided a temporary Hong Kong home to around 2,000 Britons forced to leave Canton (a province in the south of China) at the beginning of the first opium war (1839-1842) between Britain and China.

In it, Morrison describes how, after leaving Canton, the British had also been made to forsake Macao by the Portuguese.

The cover features a "Singapore/Paid" framed date stamp from October 25, and a variety of other stamps indicating its onward journey through India and onto Marseille, before arriving in London on February 13, 1840.

We are currently able to offer the rarest stamp in Hong Kong philately - the 96c Olive-Bistre Unique Block of Four.

The four-day auction will also star a China1878 Large Dragon 3ca brown-red imperforate block of four, valued at up to $19,342, on January 11.

We will bring you all the key results of the auction right here at Paul Fraser Collectibles.

Read our review of the 2013 stamp auction market here.

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