Sunday, 27 December 2015

Postal Journey

A very long time ago I used to collect Chinese stamps quite seriously but then as often happens life intervened and I stopped collecting stamps of any type. Only when we entered the 21st Century with more leisure time have returned to my love of stamps but with a slight bias towards Scandinavia and the islands of Britain but really there is no plan, as you might guess from this blog. I still have an affection for Chinese stamps but my collection is more or less how I left it all those years ago.  I've dived into its pages for this week's theme. The cover above, although plain, is one of my favourites just for the romance of postal travel and the point in history it captures.  The cancel is dated 28th December 1905 and the native cancellations have the characters for Kiangsi the province in the top segment and Kuikiang (today called Jiujiang) the town in the bottom.
The reverse of the envelope has the arrival markings of 23rd January 1906 (26 days in transit) as it reached it destination of Hangkow.  The Treaty Port of Kuikiang was on the south side of the Lower Yangtze River, about 450 miles from Shanghai and the Treaty Port of Hankow was higher up the river about 600 miles from Shanghai. The major powers owned enclaves in China at this time and from the addressees it looks as though this was going to the German concession located in 100 acres of Hankow.   For an illustrated history of the Treaty Ports see here  (it uses the famous cartoon of the western powers dividing up China),

Perhaps the letters 26 day journey looked like this
1947: 50th Anniversary Directorate General of Posts
 or perhaps it sailed along the Yangtze
but as those 26 days attest not with the speed of steam
although today the journey could be made by train and a traveller would enjoy a four and half hours trip.

An entry to Sunday Stamps II theme - "Your Favourite Choice" at See It On A Postcard


FinnBadger said...

Great choice for today, and I love your journey by stamp.

Bob Scotney said...

A story told in stamps - great idea. I think it would be a difficult task for me and impossible with Chinese stamps. Fine envelope and three brilliant stamps.

VioletSky said...

I don't know much about Chinese writing, but with all those characters, there must be a story in pictures as well as words in each of these stamps! I love the intricate, and oh so small, details in these.
Thank you for contributing to Sunday Stamps and I hope to see many more in 2016.