30c Ultramarine & Carmine (121). Horizontal pair, superb centering and wide margins, used with horizontal pair 10c Yellow (116) on 10c Yellow Green on White entire (U40) from Yokohama, Japan, to Lyon, France, via San Francisco and New York, 30c pair affixed over blue manuscript "2" indicating double weight class, all stamps cancelled by five strikes of identical Yokohama "X" chop, some letters of addressee's last name changed, sender's blue handstamped directive "Overland Mail"--carried on the Pacific Mail Steamship Co. Japan, departing Yokohama June 30, 1869, arriving San Francisco July 20, then by the recently completed transcontinental railroad to the East--bold strike of magenta "China and Japan Steam Service" oval handstamp, "San Francisco Cal. Jul. 20" (1869) circular datestamp, red "New York Paid 18 Jul. 29" 18c (triple 6c) credit datestamp for weight between 1/2 and 3/4 ounce--carried on North German Lloyd Rhein, departing New York July 29, arriving Southampton August 8--blue "Et. Unis Serv. Am. Calais 9 Aout 69" arrival datestamp, red "PD" in frame handstamp, Paris Gare de Lyon (August 9) railway transit and Lyon (August 10) receiving backstamps, small tear in top right corner
EXTREMELY FINE. THIS IS THE EARLIEST RECORDED USE OF THE 1869 PICTORIAL ISSUE FROM CHINA OR JAPAN, AS WELL AS THE ONLY 30-CENT 1869 PICTORIAL COVER WITH THE "CHINA AND JAPAN STEAM SERVICE" OVAL. THE MOST COLORFUL AND REMARKABLE OF ALL 1869 PICTORIAL ISSUE COVERS, IN SUPERB CONDITION.
The 90c postage on this cover--80c in adhesive stamps plus the 10c embossed stamp--overpays the complicated progessive rates from Japan to France via the United States, but the question is, by how much? The U.S.-Japan 10c rate was per half-ounce, while the U.S.-France treaty rate was 15c per quarter-ounce. The weight of the envelope with its letter, which is no longer present, must have been over a half-ounce and probably close to three-quarters of an ounce. In Japan, the sender (or post office) would have calculated the postage at 65c (2 x 10c plus 3 x 15c) if they were confident the New York exchange office would not weigh the letter at three-quarters or more ounces--the consequence of underpaying postage was a total loss, and the cover would be charged full postage due. Rather than risk it, the sender affixed 80c postage, using pairs of the new 10c and 30c 1869 stamps which had arrived in Japan weeks earlier. Why the 10c embossed stamp was not included in the calculation is anyone's guess. Perhaps they were told to put 80c in stamps on the letter, and they followed those instructions to the word.
This extraordinary cover earned its name, the "Miro" cover, from the Parisian stamp dealer, Leon Miro, who offered it nearly 70 years ago, on October 21, 1953. Its importance in worldwide philately was undermined for years by the specter of doubt raised by Stanley B. Ashbrook, who grossly misinterpreted the postage rates between Japan and France via the United States. In 2002, with a simple but compelling analysis of the markings and rates, and using new knowledge about the availability of the 1869 Pictorial stamps in Japan, Steven Walske secured a certificate of genuineness from The Philatelic Foundation. Perhaps it is time to rename this the "Walske" cover.
In so many aspects and on so many levels, the Miro-Walske triple-rate 1869 cover from Japan to France is, in our opinion, the most beautiful and outstanding cover bearing the 1869 Pictorial Issue. We rank its importance and value alongside the 1847 "Rush" cover, the Pony Express Patriotic to Germany, and the 90c 1869 "Ice House" cover.
Illustrated in Frajola-Perlman-Scamp book (p. 141). Ex Steven C. Walske. With 2002 P.F. certificate.
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Mittwoch 29.06.2022, 08:30 EDT