2007 - Dr. Andrew Cheung FRPSL
Earliest recorded Shanghae type Bi on postal stationery card
This 1c/4c postcard was (partly) written on 26 December 1881 from Peking and carried privately to Shanghai and re-mailed back to the Netherland Legation, Peking. Peking was not a port and mail had to be carried to the nearest seaport for onward transmission and Shanghai was the port of choice at this time. The sender could have been a member of the Legation or a forwarding agent employed by the Legation since the message on the card concerned mailing of letters from Shanghai to Holland and Batavia. Following completion of shipping details, the postcard was sent back to Peking via the Shanghai Customs Post on 12 January 1882; the sender must be a subscriber/registered postal account holder, and thus pre-franking with Chinese stamp was unnecessary. The 'A55' written at top left corner could be the account number. 1c was the local postcard rate at the time and was accepted by the British Shanghai Post Office. The Shanghae cancel on the imprinted stamp also dated 'JA 12 82' is Webb type Bi, it is believed to be the earliest recorded usage of this datestamp as a cancel on a postcard.