Worldwide Stamps and Postal History (Auction Number 32)
Auctioneer: Argyll Etkin Limited Location: London
Contact: Tel: 0207 930 6100 Fax: 0207 930 6109
Date: 4th October 2013 Time: 12:00PM
Details: Please contact Argyll Etkin for Viewing details
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Auction Lots - Page 2
S.S. "Orotava". 1897 (Feb 11) Cover from Redruth, Cornwall to Coolgardie, Western Australia, the stamp washed off and minor water staining, with the violet cachet "Damaged through / stranding of "Oratava"". The Pacific Steam Navigation Co. steamer "Orotava" was grounded on Scilla Shoal near Perim Island in the Red Sea, on February 23rd. The cargo was unloaded and the ship refloated on March 4th, the water damaged mail having been taken to Aden on the P.&O. "Ganges" or telegraph ship "Amber"; it was transferred to the P.&O. "Ballarat" arriving in Albany on March 22nd and Adelaide on the 26th. Just six covers recorded from this incident, five sent to Western Australia receiving this cachet, the sixth sent to Adelaide where an explanatory label was applied. A scarce and attractive cover. Photo on Page 13. £700-800
S.S. "Orotava". 1897 Cover from London to Adelaide, water stained and the stamp soaked off due to the stranding of the "Orotava" in the Red Sea near Perim Island (see above lot), the reverse with an Adelaide arrival c.d.s and bearing the large pink explanatory label "General Post Office, / Adelaide, 26th March, 1897. / This article was received at Adelaide, / damaged by water, having been on board / the S.S. Oratava. / C. TODD, / Postmaster-General & Supt. of Telegraphs." The unique example of this label, the cachet used in Western Australia and this South Australia label both with the ship misspelt "Oratava". An exceptional cover. Photo on Front Cover. £1,000-1,200
S.S. "China". 1898 (Feb 24) Cover from Wahroonga to London bearing N.S.W 1897-99 1d strip of three each cancelled by "1815" numeral, handstamped with "T" in a triangle, a 4d charge mark applied in the London Foreign Branch, crossed out upon redirection to Menton with France 10c and 30c postage dues applied. With datestamps of Wahroonga, Sydney, London (Apr. 6) and Menton, the address panel endorsed "this envelope was in the P.&O. China when she was wrecked". The P.&O. "China" ran aground on Azalea Point, Perim Island on March 24th, all passengers and mail being transferred the following day to the P.&O. "Carthage", the mail leaving Perim on March 27th after a delay of just three days. The "China" was not refloated for nearly six months and took a further five months to repair. A fine and scarce cover, just three covers recorded from this wreck, this being the only one originating in Australia. Photo on Page 13. £500-600
S.S. "Manawatu". 1898 (Apr 26) Cardin & Co. printed pictorial envelope depicting 1894 Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria prize medal on the front and a crusher and road roller on the reverse (with enclosed letter showing a fine illustrated letterhead), sent from Bendigo to Cressy, Tasmania, the stamp washed off, the reverse with a wax seal impressed with "POST OFFICE / (crown) / LAUNCESTON, TASMANIA" mailbag seal and endorsed "recovered from wreck of Manawatu", with Launceston and Cressy datestamps (both June 2). The "Manawatu", sailing from Melbourne to Devonport, Tasmania, collided with the steamer "Edina" on April 27th; the "Edina" was beached but the "Manawatu" sank off Williamstown, all passengers being saved and several mailbags being recovered from the wreck. A rare and attractive cover, just three covers recorded from this wreck. Photo on Page 13. £1,300-1,500
P.S. "Maitland". 1898 (May 5) Cover (with enclosed letter) from Sydney to Singleton franked N.S.W 1897-99 1d pair, endorsed in red ink "This letter was in wreck of the S.S. Maitland 6 May 1898. Received 11th May 1898", with Singleton arrival backstamp (May 11). The paddle steamer "Maitland" left Sydney for Newcastle late on May 5th encountering a gale outside Sydney Heads and took on water; the ship turned back to Sydney but the engine room flooded and she crashed onto rocks off Barrenjoey Lighthouse near Broken Bay and broke in two, at least 15 people drowning. A little minor insect damage but otherwise a fine and rare cover, just one other cover recorded from this wreck. Photo on Page 13. £400-500
S.S. "Orizaba". 1905 (Jan 19) Mourning cover from London to Fremantle franked 2 1/2d, endorsed "This letter came by the Orient "S.S. Orizaba" stranded at Garden Island W. Aus. at 10.30 AM Thursday 16th Feby 1905", with Fremantle arrival backstamp (Feb. 17). The "Orizaba" ran aground on Garden Island and became a total wreck, all passengers and mail being landed at Fremantle by boat. The only recorded cover from this wreck. Photo on Page 13. £800-1,000
S.S. "Aeon". 1908 (June 16) U.S 5c Postal stationery envelope from Columbus, Ohio to Beaconsfield, Tasmania, a little minor edge staining, endorsed "Damaged in wreck of Aeon" and handstamped with black straight line "DAMAGED IN SHIPWRECK "AEON"", backstamped at San Francisco (June 20) and Launceston (Oct. 12). The "Aeon", sailing from San Francisco to Sydney, was wrecked on July 18th on Christmas Island in the Gilberts, the 35 crew and four female passengers landing on the uninhabited island the following day. A month later the Captain and three Officers set out for Fanning Island in an improvised motorboat but it broke down and was cast back to the island; after a further month's repairs they again sailed for Fanning Island, reaching it on September 15th. The "Manuka" then rescued the stranded party on the 18th, two months after the wreck, also collecting the mail and taking it back to Sydney. A remarkable story and a rare cover; covers from the "Aeon" to N.S.W received no cachet, those for New Zealand a red two line cachet, and those for Tasmania this black single line cachet, of which just three examples are recorded. Photo on Page 15. £700-900
S.S. "Orca". 1919 (May 21) Cover from Perth to Natal, the stamp washed off, with three line cachet "Received at Durban / Ex S.S. "Orca" / damaged by water" in black (see lot 98 for a similar type cachet of Durban). The "Orca", sailing from Fremantle to Durban en route to the UK reported a fire amongst her cargo of wool bales on June 6th; it was presumably extinguished by her crew, the mail being water damaged as a result. A fine and rare cover, just one other front recorded with this unusual cachet. Photo Inside Front Cover. £1,700-2,000
M.V. "Thala Dan". 1960 (Feb 10) Cover to Germany from Mawson, Australian Antarctic Territory, bearing A.A.T 5d and 8d, some staining to the cover and stamps with violet "DAMAGED BY / WATER" applied in Melbourne. The Danish Motor Vessel "Thala Dan", returning from Mawson, sprang some plates allowing water to enter the hold, damaging some panels and a bag of mail; the ship arrived back at Melbourne on March 19th. Photo on Page 15. £70-80
1961 (Apr 19) Cover from Warsaw to Sydney franked Poland 2.50z, a little very minor staining, handstamped in Melbourne with black "DAMAGED BY / WATER" (the same cachet as used on the previous cover), unusually with a signed typed letter from the Postmaster-General's Dept. in Melbourne apologising for the item being damaged by water during surface transmission from Poland, the vessel involved not yet identified. £100-120

New Zealand and Pacific Islands

S.S. "Tahiti". 1930 (Aug 6) Cover from Christchurch to USA, the stamp washed off, with scarce type 1 cachet "RECOV'D FROM / S.S. TAHITI / LOST AT SEA" and "San Francisco, Cal." both in violet. The S.S. "Tahiti" fractured her propellor shaft and the engine room flooded on August 16th, 460 miles from Rarotonga; passengers and most of the mails were transferred to the "Ventura", the "Tahiti" sinking shortly afterwards. Also a news cutting telling of the arrival of this cover in Troy. Photo on Page 15. £120-140
New Zealand/Australia. 1954 (Aug 5) Cover (with enclosed Tattersall's leaflet) from Melbourne to Aramoho, redirected to Blenheim, the stamps washed off, handstamped violet boxed "DAMAGED BY WATER IN / TRANSIT", Aramoho arrival c.d.s (Aug 23), the reverse sealed with brown paper and endorsed "Officially sealed at Auckland". An unusual cover, the vessel involved not yet recorded. Photo on Page 15. £80-100
Samoa/Fiji - M.V. "Vasu". 1956 (May 30) Cover from Melbourne to Apia, Samoa, paid with a 6d meter mark, lower left corner partly torn away, explained by the violet cachet "SOILED MAIL EX "VASU"". The "Vasu", sailing from Suva to Apia, sprang a leak and sank on June 14th, the crew and mails being rescued after 22 hours in a lifeboat. A scarce cover. Photo on Page 15. £200-250
Solomon Islands/Australia. 1961 (June 5) Large cover from London to Munda, Solomon Islands, the stamp washed off and some staining and damage, a label applied with the typed explanation "Regret that this paper was damaged by sea water at Sydney". An unusual label and the only cover so far recorded, the vessel involved not yet identified. £180-220
Cook Islands - Ketch "Siren". 1963 (June 28) Registered cover franked Cook Islands 1/6, from Mangaia to Dunedin, the stamp and blank type registration label both with a Mangaia c.d.s (with senders receipt, similarly datestamped), minor water damage mainly to the reverse and one side flap missing, with accompanying letter of July 15th from the Rarotonga Post Office explaining that the enclosed letter was damaged by sea water when the Ketch "Siren" returning from Mangaia struck the reef on entering Avativ Harbour on July 12th. The only cover recorded from this incident. Photo on Page 15. £500-600
New Zealand - "Ceramic II". 1965 (Aug 10) Picture postcard from London to Auckland franked 3d, handstamped violet boxed "RECEIVED IN / DAMAGED CONDITION / AT WELLINGTON", identified by Brian Peace as having been involved in an incident on the Shaw, Savill Line "Ceramic II", one other cover recorded from this incident. £60-80
Fiji - M.V. "Tui Lau". 1968 (Oct.) Registered cover from Mualevu to Suva with violet "R / MUALEVU/ No" registration cachet, four Fiji 3d stamps cancelled upon arrival at Suva, the reverse with violet boxed "DAMAGED BY / SEA WATER". The M.V. "Tui Lau" returning from the Lau group of islands to Suva struck a reef off Totoya Island and stranded on October 25th, later breaking up, the passengers and crew being rescued by helicopter. The only recorded cover from this wreck, with a newspaper cutting regarding the wreck and subsequent discovery and identification of this cover. Photo on Page 19. £500-600

India and Ceylon

S.V. "Walpole". 1808 (May 10) Entire from Calcutta, signed by E. Randall and sent to his mother in Suffolk, endorsed "Per the Walpole", with oval "Bengal / G.P.O / MAY / POST PAID" (Giles SD2), London arrival c.d.s of "AP / 19 / 1809" and oval framed "SHIP / (crown) / LETTER" (Rob. S10, applied in London to mail landed at other smaller ports), charged 2/- (increased from 8d). The recipient has endorsed the letter "Received April 21 1809" and "Remember, when this letter is answered to mention we did not receive it till April 21 - 1809 owing to ye ship in which it came being wreck in December & ye letters not sent to ye post office". The East Indiaman "Walpole" went ashore on the Kent coast near Margate on December 18th, the cargo, passengers and crew being rescued at low tide, the ship being a total loss. The recovered mail was apparently not handed over to the Post Office for four months, the letter taking nearly a year to reach the recipient as a result. Two pieces of brown paper applied to repair splitting to the right edge of the address panel and a tear to the lower flap. A remarkable and unique item, the earliest known salvaged letter from an identified wreck in private hands. Photo on Page 17. £1,200-1,500
S.V. "Lady Holland". 1829 (Sep 12) Entire letter from Errol, Scotland, to Calcutta and redirected to Tipperah, backstamped with oval framed "MADRAS / GPO / 24 AP 24 / 1830 / SHIP LETTER" and "Inld Ptge (-5-) / Ship D. (-2-)" and a red Calcutta G.P.O c.d.s, a little light staining, explained by the cachet "From the wreck / of the / Lady Holland" on the address panel. The "Lady Holland", en route from London to Bengal, was wrecked on February 13th on Dassan Island, near Saldanha Bay, South Africa. Passengers and crew were saved and landed at the Cape three days later but the ship broke up. Two examples of this cachet recorded, the other now in the Bath Postal Museum; this cachet was first recorded by Hopkins who believed the cachet was applied in Madras. An important wreck letter, being the earliest wreck cachet in private hands. Photo on Page 19. £2,500-3,000
P.S. "Great Liverpool". 1845 (Dec 30) Entire letter (with transcript of the contents) from Hydrabad to England endorsed "via Southampton" and "Paid to England" with red boxed "HYDRABAD / Scind / Paid (10as)" and "INDIA PAID", a red London Paid arrival c.d.s (Mar. 21) and Tring backstamp. The wooden P.&O. paddle steamer "Great Liverpool", serving the Southampton to Alexandria leg of the route to India, struck a reef near Cape Finisterre on the morning of February 24th, took on water and went ashore near Corcubion. Three passengers were drowned, the remaining crew and passengers reaching the shore in boats; the mail was saved after a hole was cut in the side of the ship, which subsequently broke up. The G.P.O proof books show a cachet for use on mail from this wreck but it was presumably never used, no explanation appearing on any of the three letters recorded from this wreck. An important item of P.&O. postal history, the "Great Liverpool" being one of the ships in the first P.&O. fleet. Photo on Page 17. £1,000-1,200
S.S. "Ava". 1858 (Feb 9) Cover from Calcutta to England with boxed "INDIA / PAID" and a Calcutta c.d.s, the stamp washed off, handstamped "Saved from the wreck / of the Ava", with a red London Paid arrival c.d.s of April 19th. The P.&O. "Ava" left Calcutta on February 10th for Trincomalee but hit rocks on Pigeon Island 80 miles from its destination on the 16th; it slowly sank, all passengers taking to boats, the mail and cargo subsequently being recovered by divers from H.M.S "Chesapeake". From the first batch of recovered mail, sent on the "Candia" from Galle to Suez and on the "Pera" from Alexandria, arriving in London on April 18th. A fine example of this attractive wreck cachet. Photo on Page 19. £300-350
S.S. "Ava". 1858 (Feb 1) Stampless cover to the USA with enclosed letter written from "Sand Heads" ('Now out of Calcutta....the steamer is leaving now'), backstamped at Calcutta and London (May 11) and with the Ava wreck cachet, from the second batch of recovered mail which was sent on the "Colombo" arriving in London on May 10th. The address panel with black boxed "INDIA UNPAID", "NEW-YORK / AM PKT" c.d.s (May 24) and "33" charge, other rates crossed out, carried on the "City of Washington" from Liverpool. An unusual destination, virtually all "Ava" wreck mail having been addressed to G.B. Photo on Page 19. £350-450
S.S. "Carnatic". 1869 Contemporary copies of letters from S.E Carpenter, Purser from the "Carnatic", written from the S.S. "Sumatra" in the Red Sea (Sep. 15), or from S.S. Rowley written at Suez (Sep. 17), on opposite sides of a single page, to Miss Gardener reporting the death of her brother Alfred, an Officer on the "Carnatic", giving interesting details on how the ship was wrecked. The "Carnatic" left Suez for Bombay on September 12th, but struck a coral reef off Shadwan Island the following morning, the ship suddenly splitting into two. 29 People were drowned, the remainder reaching Shadwan Island in boats from where they were rescued by the "Sumatra" and taken to Suez. Some mail was found near the wreck and brought back on the "Sumatra", further mail was found floating near the wreck and another 16 bags were recovered in October by divers and taken to Bombay. Two interesting letters giving further details of this wreck. £50-60
S.S. "Carnatic". 1869 (Sep 2) Cover marked "stamped 10d" to "Captain G.C Rowcroft, 35th Regt. N.I, Meean Meer, Punjab", the stamp washed off, the original upper flap missing and replaced by the Bombay Post Office with a piece of paper, a label then applied across this reading "Recovered from wreck of the "Carnatic."" tied by a blue "TRAVELLING POST OFFICE / N.W.P" c.d.s (Nov. 18) and an arrival c.d.s. With Dawlish and London datestamps under the label, a partial blue oval Sea Post Office datestamp and a red Bombay (Nov 14) c.d.s. A fine cover. Photo on Page 19. £300-400
S.S. "Carnatic". 1869 (Sep 2) Cover from Bishops Waltham to "Major W.H Saulez R.A, Malligaum, Bombay", endorsed "Officers letter", bearing a 4d stamp tied by the numeral "85", a second stamp washed off. Backstamped at Bishops Waltham, Southampton and London, and with scarce first type label "Recovered from wreck of "Carnatic"" (without the word "the"), this label only used on a small percentage of the recovered mail, all apparently amongst the first items received at Bombay. Backstamped upon arrival at Malligaum (Oct. 2, tying the label) with a blue hexagonal "MUNMAR" datestamp (Oct. 1) on the front. Opened out, some staining, laid down on blue paper. A good example of this scarce label. Photo on Page 19. £400-600
S.S. "Rangoon". 1871 (Oct 6) Cover from London to Melbourne franked 9d, handstamped boxed "MISSENT TO / SYDNEY / N.S.W" and backstamped at Sydney (Feb 21), Melbourne (Feb 27) and with red "D.L.B / VICTORIA" c.d.s (Feb. 27). Stained with some water damage to the address panel, the reverse with a label applied by the addressee, "Recd from son in Melbourne May 13.72. Recovered from the wreck of the Rangoon at the bottom of the sea. w.a.v.". Also a further small envelope in which the recipient kept this wreck cover. The P.&O. "Rangoon" ran onto rocks when leaving Pointe de Galle harbour on November 1st and sank a few hours later. All passengers and 13 mailbags were taken off before it sank, a further 472 mailbags later being recovered by divers over the next ten weeks, most being returned to London for drying and reconditioning. A wreck cachet was used but only a single cover (see next lot) and a piece have been recorded, this cover being the only other item recorded from this wreck. With a Karl-Albert Louis certificate (1995). Photo on Page 21. £800-1,000
S.S. "Rangoon". 1871 (Sep 29) Cover (with enclosed Bill of Exchange for £8.10.00) to Cooma Maneroo, New South Wales, water stained and the stamp washed off, handstamped boxed "SAVED FROM THE WRECK OF / THE RANGOON", with a London backstamp (Sep. 30). An exceptional cover, just one other piece recorded with this cachet. Photo Inside Front Cover. £2,000-2,500
S.S. "Wairarapa". 1894 (Oct 1) Cover from Colombo to Auckland, the stamp washed off and a little water damaged, with blue "Saved from wreck of the / "WAIRARAPA"" cachet, Auckland (Nov 5) backstamp. The "Wairarapa" ran head first into a cliff on Great Barrier Island on October 29th - see lot 101. The only recorded "Wairarapa" wreck cover from Ceylon. Photo on Page 21. £350-400
S.S. "China". 1920 (Aug 25) Cover to London, the reverse with KGV 1/2a and 1a tied by Hyderabad datestamps, handstamped "DAMAGED BY SEA / WATER" upon arrival in London, believed to have been delivered by the P.&O. steamer "China". £100-120
S.S. "Kalyan". 1921 (Apr 2) Long cover from Bombay to Switzerland franked 2a6p, waterstained; carried on the P.&O. "Kalyan", the mails found to have been damaged by sea water upon arrival at Marseille on April 18th. £50-60
1947 (June 24) 1 1/2a Postal stationery cover registered from Devlali to London franked 1a, water damage to the address panel and a second stamp washed off, handstamped violet "DAMAGED BY / WATER", the vessel involved not yet identified. £70-80
1961 (Aug 12) Cover franked 50p from Chandigarh to London, sealed with brown tape and handstamped violet boxed "DAMAGED BY / SEA-WATER / M.P / I.S" in London, the incident not known. £70-80
1963 (Jan.) Large registered canvas package franked 14r from Bombay to the USA bearing a U.S.P.O explanatory label "This parcel was mailed from India in January 1963, on a vessel later seized in a foreign country. Mail was later released and arrived at New York September 12, 1963. After customs treatment, delivery was effected as soon as possible. The delay is regretted". The incident not yet traced, a most unusual label, the only example so far recorded. Photo on Page 21. £180-220


S.V. "Albatross of Dundee". 1858 (Apr 23) Cover from Arbroath franked 1856 6d, to "Mr James Just, apprentice on board the Barque "Albatross of Dundee", Singapore", charged 5d, twice endorsed "Vessel lost" and returned to Dundee, backstamped red "SENT BACK TO ENGLAND / WITHOUT A REASON / FOR NON-DELIVERY" (crossed out), with datestamps of London (Apr. 24 & May 11) and Dundee (May 12/13). An unusual cover, the ship probably lost in a hurricane. Photo on Page 21. £500-600
1947 Undated cover from Ohio to Singapore bearing the explanatory label "This article was damaged by / sea water when the ship in / which the mail was carried / was involved in an accident / en route to Singapore.", believed to have been involved in a collision near Galveston, Texas, causing the partial sinking of a vessel, with fire and water damage to the mail involved. Three examples recorded, one posted in New York on April 21st 1947. Photo on Page 21. £250-280

Dutch East Indies

S.S. "Van Diemen". 1894 (May 19) 20c Postal stationery cover registered from Rembang to the Postmaster of Djoewana with an arrival backstamp (May 20), handstamped "R" and boxed "NAPOSTTLID". Damaged by fire at the top edge, the front and reverse with eight circular handstamps each with manuscript "S.S. v. Diemen, 25-5 1894", a further three endorsements translating as "Damaged by fire on S.S. v. Diemen". An unusual cover illustrated in "Maritime Disaster Mail"; quite why it was on the S.S. Van Diemen five days after its original delivery is not clear. The property of another owner. £180-220
S.S. "Johan de Witt". 1929 (May 28) Cover from Bandoeng to Holland franked 4c + 10c, a third stamp largely removed, backstamped by violet two line "DOOR ZEEWATER / BESCHADIGD" (cachet type 3). The "Johan de Witt" sailed from Batavia to Genoa arriving on June 22nd, 22 bags of mail falling into the dock during unloading. Four different cachets were applied at various towns upon receipt in Holland. Photo on Page 21. £200-250
M.V. "Kota Agoeng". 1937 (Aug 14) Large cover franked 12 1/2c from The Hague to Batavia bearing the label "Beschadigd poststuk / van ms. Kota-Agoeng". The "Kota-Agoeng" sailed from Holland to Batavia, a fire starting in one of the cargo holds on August 31st. This was extinguished upon arrival at Colombo two days later, some of the mails being damaged by fire or water. Photo on Page 21. £130-160

Philippine Islands

S.S. "Morgan City". 1899 (Aug 5) 2c Postal stationery cover from Lynchburg, VA. to Manila, backstamped at San Francisco (Aug 9), a little stained and a stamp washed off, handstamped violet "DAMAGED mail / off S.S Morgan City / Manila P.I, 9.19, 99" clearly applied whilst the cover was still wet. The "Morgan City" had been chartered as a troopship and was carrying 724 U.S troops to the war in the Philippines. She struck a rock off Innosimo, near Nagasaki, Japan, on September 4th, and became a total wreck. All passengers and crew were saved, the mail being salvaged by divers over the next month. Very scarce, just five covers recorded from this wreck. Photo on Page 24. £800-1,000
S.S. "Dakota". 1907 (Feb 11) Official envelope with "Penalty For Private Use $300" imprint, sent from Washington D.C to Manila, handstamped upon arrival with "DAMAGED MAIL FROM / S.S. DAKOTA - - WRECKED" in magenta. The "Dakota" left Seattle for Yokohama and Hong Kong but struck a submerged rock at the mouth of Tokyo Bay on March 3rd and sank, all passengers and crew being saved. Much of the mail was lost but about 100 mailbags were washed up on the Japanese coast over the next fortnight, much of this indecipherable and therefore undeliverable. The cover shortened at left, otherwise fine and a scarce cachet, only used on mail to the Philippines. Photo on Page 24. £300-350
1908 Picture postcard from Germany to Manila, extensively waterstained and the stamps washed off, with the violet cachets "Received in Bad Condition / Manila, P.I" and "DAMAGED BY FIRE / AND WATER ENROUTE" and a Manila arrival c.d.s (July 20). A recent discovery, therefore not listed in "Maritime Disaster Mail" by Hoggarth & Gwynn, the vessel involved not yet identified. Photo on Page 24. £200-250
S.S. "Quantico". 1918 (Oct 4) Cover from London to Cebu, the stamps washed off and a side flap missing, handstamped violet "RECOVERED FROM WRECK / OF S.S. QUANTICO", backstamped at Manila (Dec 23). The "Quantico", used by the U.S Government to provide an inter-island service in the Philippines, was wrecked in a typhoon on Christmas night on Tables Island, whilst sailing from Manila to Cebu, 18 people losing their lives. The only recorded cover from this wreck. Photo on Page 24. £1,300-1,500


S.V. "Passe-Partout". 1902 (Sept 13) Cover from the French P.O in Mongtze to Bordeaux franked Indo-China 10c and 15c, minor edge stains, explained by the violet cachet "Naufrage / du / Passe-Partout" on the flap, various backstamps including Lao-Kai (Sep. 26?), Saigon (Oct. 4), Hanoi (Oct. 9), Haiphong (?, Oct. 10) and Bordeaux (Nov. 14). The "Passe-Partout" went aground coming down the Red River on September 29th, capsized and sank. All Europeans were saved but five natives drowned, part of the cargo and mail later being recovered. An exceptional cover, just one other cover recorded from this wreck. Photo on Page 24. £800-1,000
S.S. "Angkor". 1923 (Oct 2) Cover from Menotey to Saigon franked France 25c, with the first type pink label (the first line in capital letters) explaining the cover was damaged by fire on the "Angkor" and repaired in the Marseille to Yokohama Sea Post Office, the label strangely tied by a bisected 50c stamp tied by a light c.d.s. The "Angkor" was sailing from Marseille to Haiphong when a fire was found in the hold at Perim Island on October 15th; it was supposedly extinguished but later found to be still alight upon arrival at Djibouti, the fire then finally being put out and the cargo discharged, the mail being damaged by water. Backstamped at Saigon (Nov 2), vertical fold and flap missing, otherwise fine. Photo on Page 24. £250-300
S.S "Angkor". 1923 Registered cover from Paris to Saigon, the stamps washed off, bearing the second type explanatory label (with small lettering in the top line), upper flap missing, otherwise fine. Photo on Page 24. £250-300
S.S. "Angkor". 1923 (Oct 28) French ambulance envelope to Soctrang with five line printed explanation that the original enclosed letter was damaged by water and fire on the "Angkor" on October 15th, with octagonal "MARSEILLE A YOKOHAMA / No. 7" datestamp, very fine. Photo on Page 24. £200-250
S.S. "Angkor". 1923 (Oct 28) Similar ambulance envelope to Saigon, the printed (or handstamped) explanation in fuzzier more closely spaced lettering, giving the date of the fire as October 16th (instead of the 15th), with a similar Sea Post Office datestamp, very fine. Photo on Page 25. £200-250

China and Hong Kong

S.S. "Kathiawar". 1920 (June 25) Cover from Shanghai to East London, South Africa, the stamps washed off and part of the corner torn away, backstamped with two Shanghai datestamps and the cachet "Received at DURBAN / Damaged by / Fire & Water" (see lot 58 for a similar type cachet of Durban). The S.S. "Kathiawar" sailed from Colombo to Port Natal on July 26th but found a hold was on fire, returned to Colombo where the fire was extinguished and some damaged cargo jettisoned, then resailed on August 1st. A recent discovery, therefore not recorded in "Maritime Disaster Mail" by Hoggarth & Gwynn, a unique and exceptional cover from China. Photo on Page 25. £500-600
Hong Kong/Canada. 1967 (June 14) Window envelope from Montreal paid with a 5c meter mark, the reverse with an offset of an adjacent letter to Hong Kong (this item presumably therefore also addressed there), handstamped "DAMAGED BY FIRE / AT SEA", the vessel involved not yet identified. £70-80
Hong Kong/G.B. 1970 (Mar 28) Cover from Hong Kong to London franked 15c, waterstained, handstamped violet boxed "DAMAGED BY SEA / WATER", the reverse with two Hong Kong stamps from an adjacent cover. Two other covers from Hong Kong with cachets applied in London are recorded from this incident, the vessel involved however has not yet been identified. £70-100


Worldwide Stamps and Postal History (Auction Number 32)
Auctioneer: Argyll Etkin Limited Location: London
Contact: Tel: 0207 930 6100 Fax: 0207 930 6109
Date: 4th October 2013 Time: 12:00PM
Details: Please contact Argyll Etkin for Viewing details
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