The Stamps of China (1908) (Part III).

“The rate of postage is different, according to whether letters go from seaport to seaport, into the inland, or to foreign countries. For foreign letters it shall be regulated by Art. 5 and 6 of the Universal Postal Union agreement. If a foreign letter is to be sent through an Imperial post office into the inland, to a place whiph is not included in the Universal Postal Union, the receiver has to pay the inland postage in addition. Likewise, for letters from an inland station to foreign countries, the sender has to prepay inland postage. The amount of this inland postage is to be determined and collected by the private post office establishments.

“For transmission from one treaty port to another the following scale shall apply :–
Post cards     1 c.
Letters up to 1/4 Chinese oz. (Tael)     2 c.
Letters up to 1/2 oz     4 c.
Letters up to 1 oz     8 c.
and upwards on the same scale.
Newspapers, Chinese     1 c.
European     2 c.
Samples and Printed Matter, per 2 oz     2 c.

chinese stamps

“For registered letters an additional impost is collected. A receipt is to be given therefor. For foreign letters, the regulations contained in Art. 5-7 of the Universal Postal Union agreement are to govern. For a return receipt in addition to the cost of registration, double the impost is to be paid.

“All private postal establishments are compelled to inform the nearest post office of their rates, in order that they may be made public.

“For the prepayment of foreign letters, and letters addressed to treaty ports, special stamps shall be printed, which are to be pasted on the letters. These stamps shall be sold at the post offices, and at such stores as may be designated by them. Counterfeiting of these stamps will be punished in the same way as the counterfeiting of bank notes.

Shipments of Money.
“The post office undertakes also the transmission of money from one Postal Union office to another, but only in sums not exceeding 100 Taels. The sender receives a receipt for his shipment.

Transmission of Packets.
“Later on, as soon as the postal service has been further developed, it will also, as in Europe, transmit packets. The regulations governing the weight of the packets, their bulk, and the charges will be determined later on.

Post Offices and Private Postal Establishments.
“If a private postal establishment desires to forward letters by steamer, via an open port, it must send them in a closed bag to the Imperial Post Office in that port, which shall attend to the transmission, but in no case shall they be sent direct to the steamer. For this service it has to pay the regular rates of postage for intermediate ports. The Imperial Post Office is to receive a receipt from the private postal establishment to which the mail bag is addressed.

“If private postal establishments desire to be admitted into the Universal Postal Union, they will have to be registered in an Imperial Post Office, and will have to obtain a certificate, which, however, will be issued free of charge. If, later on, they desire to sever their connection with the Union, the certificate must be returned for cancellation.

“Post Office officials, who open letters or packets and violate the secrecy of the mails, shall not only be disciplined, but shall be punished according to the laws of their respective states.

“Only registration offices are permitted to forward letters within the circuit of the Imperial Post Office. Whoever forwards letters unauthorized shall be subjected to a punishment of 60 Taels for every piece of mail matter so forwarded.

“Steamship companies, captains, sailors, and passengers on steamers plying between the treaty ports shall be prohibited from carrying letters which should properly be carried by the post. Every infringment of this law shall be punished by a fine of 500 Taels. Open private papers, letters of recommendation, business and ships letters are not included under this head.

“All post offices are to furnish a monthly account of receipts and disbursements to the director of the Bureau of Statistics in Shanghai, who, in turn, shall periodically send tabulated accounts to the General Inspector of Customs, who shall present them to the Tsungli Yamen.

“All in and outgoing mail matter is to be entered in the register. The blanks therefore are to be patterned according to Art. 4 and 17, and to Paragraphs 23 and 24 of the special regulations.

Overland Post in Winter.
“On account of the freezing over of the Rivers in Northern China, the mail shall, in Winter, be forwarded overland from Tschingkiang to Tschifu, Tientsin, Peking and Niutschuang. The post offices concerned in this service shall publish all further regulations in regard to it.

Letters from and to Foreign Countries
“The transmission of letters to a country belonging to the Universal Postal Union, after China shall have entered the Union, shall be in accordance with its rules.

“Letters from foreign countries must be delivered direct to the addressee by an Imperial Post Office; they shall not be permitted to use any intermediate service. Only, in case such letters are sent via Shanghai, to a place not included in the Postal Union, they will have to be sent by the Shanghai Post Office to a registered private postal establishment for further transmission. The latter shall collect the inland postage from the recipient in accordance with its own schedule rates.

“If an Imperial Post Office has no direct steam connection, it shall send the letters for further transmission to a post office with such connection. The charges for such service shall be in accordance with the rates of the Postal Union.”

1878. Three values. Design: A hideous representation of a dragon, the fabled enemy of mankind. If the original, which is said to have watched the Garden of the Hesperides, bore any personal resemblance to the creature on the first stamps of China, it is no wonder that it taxed the strength of Hercules in its destruction. The translation of the Chinese characters on the stamps is as follows: At the top “Ta Ching” (China); to the right, “Yu Chêng Chu” (Post Office), and value to the left. These stamps were printed at Shanghai on unwatermarked paper and perforated. The values were expressed in candarins. 100 candarins = 1 tael = 6s. 2d. in our money. The word “ China “ at the top and “6 candarins” at the foot, in ordinary print, are added for the information of the “foreign devil.”

As already intimated I do not agree in dividing the papers into thick and thin as if they were different printings. It is true they are so divided in Gibbons Catalogue, the thin being placed first and the thick last, whereas the evidence available goes to show that the later printings were all on thin paper, whilst in the earlier printings they. were most probably mixed.

Mr. Mencarini gives the numbers printed of this first series as follows :-
1 cand., green     206,486
3 cand., red     558,768
5 cand., orange     239,610

No wmk. Perf.
    Unused.     Used.
    s.     d.     s.     d.
l cand., green     5     0     5     0
3 cand., red     2     0     2     0
5 cand., orange     3     6     1     6

Range of Catalogue Prices: unused
The prices of this series were doubled between 1897 and 1900, but since then there has been very little improvenlent in prices of the 3 c. and 5 c., but the 1 c., however, shows a considerable rise, in fact this value has risen steadily from 8d. in 1897 to 5s. in 1908. The supplies are not large and are steadily being absorbed so that any material increase in the demand must inevitably result in a stiffening of prices. As a first issue the stamps are decidedly low priced, but it mnst be remembered that they had a fairly long life from 1878 to 1885, and that, as they are all low priced stamps, they were probably stocked in large numbers by dealers. A very scarce shade of the 3 c. is a bright vermilion, the common shade being a dull brown red.
    1896     1899     1902     1905     1908
1c.     0     8     0     8     2     6     3     0     5     0
3c.     0     9     0     9     2     6     2     0     2     0
5c.     1     0     1     0     3     6     3     0     3     0

1885. Three values. Design Similar to the preceding, but in a reduced size. Printed at Shanghai on paper watermarked with a sign in Chinese geomancy called yin-yang, representing the male and female principles in nature. The stamps of this issue yield many pronounced shades for the specialist. They were printed in sheets of 40 stamps, in two panes of 20 (five rows of four) side by side
The numbers printed were as follows : -
1 cand., green     508,667
3 cand., mauve     850,711
5 cand., bistre     348,161

Wmk. Yin-yang. Perf
    Unused.     Used.
    s.     d.     s.     d.
l cand., green     0     2     0     3
3 ,, mauve     0     6     0     3
5 ,, bistre     0     6     0     9

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