An early 1F 26c Anglo-French Accountancy Mark Cover

By Malcolm Hammersley FRPSL (Hong Kong)


December 1865 Letter from Carls Lels & Co., Kanagawa, Japan to Amsterdam carried privately on the Child of the Ocean from Japan to Hong Kong arriving on 22 December. The first available ship to France would be the French mailboat Tigre but Hong Kong Post Office Notice had stipulated that if mail was to go via French Packet, the letter should be marked accordingly. Since the letter was not marked, it was carried by P&O Ottawa departing on 1 January 1866 to Galle. P&O Golconda Galle to Suez and P&O Ripon Alexandria to Marseilles arriving on 11 February, the date of the Marseilles entry mark (Salles fig. 1.869 later than recorded 1859-65). Rated 165 Dutch cents on arrival. 1F 26c rate began from 1 January 1866.

GB 1F 26c (with two dots under the F) is recorded by Salles as type 1.904 and used from 1866 to 1870 but it is not one of the two marks on the Proof Book sent from the G.P.O. London to Hong Kong on 2 February 1866. However, some pages of the Proof Book might be missing.

Less than five covers recorded and this is the earliest

Accountancy covers to destinations other than France are much less common