Sunday, 25 November 2012

Postal History

In my local indoor market a philately shop has appeared, it took me two turns around the labyrinth to find it and that was only because I was heading for one of the doors having given up, thinking my information was incorrect, and there in the corner was big sign saying - STAMPS. Oh be still my beating heart. I changed my mind with what I was going to post for Sunday Stamps so here is my latest purchase which I realised when I got home would fit this week's theme perfectly.

Issued on the last day of return of Hong Kong to China (31 July 1997) from British Government this is from the 'History of the Hong Kong Post Office' series. In the spirit of "One Country, Two Systems" Hong Kong Post is a separate entity to China Post. Most of the original British red painted boxes with the royal cypher are now gone and replaced with the green boxes featuring a Hong Kong post logo but this sheet features an original Queen Elizabeth post box, who knows it may be this one now painted green.  The 150th anniversary of the Post Office took place in 1991 which featured post boxes from the different eras. Despite the post office being founded in 1841 they did not issue stamps until December 1862 with the Queen Victoria, one of which is shown on this sheet  followed by the first definitive stamps from the different reigns .  This year they are issuing some stamps on stamps to celebrate the anniversary of stamp issuance.  Before 1862 parcels and envelopes were postmarked as proof of postage.  Now lets cut to the chase  and those buildings (I especially like that street view on the right).  There is no need for me to do any research because turn over this mini sheet and voilà
there it all is. I found a photo on wikipedia of the 1911 post office (complete with tram) which I was going to show but this Library of Congress Carpenter collection photo has everything, a post office, rickshaws and a seafront.

It is of a similar post office which they say was taken between 1890 and 1925 by the Mee Fong Studio, it is either the same one on the sheet or they built them all in the same style.

An entry to Viridian Postcard's Sunday Stamps theme of - "Commemorations"


Bob Scotney said...

Now it's my turn to be envious of your stamp shop! You have a great 'first' buy - I'm sure you will be going back.
Very interesting Hong Kong information and a red post box just like yours.

Postcardy said...

That is an interesting subject and a nice stamp and sheet.

Lisa B said...

How wonderful to have a stamp shop opening near you. It's a lovely sheet and great to have found the photo to go with it.

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

How fortunate that you did stumble upon the shop. You've made a great buy there!

viridian said...

Lovely sheet and your photograph you found is very interesting too. I am sure you will be back at this stamp shop! They are not common in the USA.
Thank you for joining in!

Anonymous said...

that glorious building is indeed the GPO that was on Connaught Road.

It was knocked down in the mid-70's but a few of the pillars were saved and taken to Kadoorie Farm in the New Territories.

More info here:

HK still has various old post boxes, although most have been retired. There are still several ER and GR cyphers to be found.

Joy said...

Thank you Orientalsweetlips for the fascinating historical details of the PO, and the link which I could probably spend hours browsing.