Some years ago, I proposed to write a catalog of only those sets we know of on undeniably bona fide covers, on covers that exited the Dongbei and got backstamped outside the area, or sets that we have some postal notice for, or newspaper
announcements for. I can do that in a heartbeat and virtually can do it off the top of my head! I have covers on my
cover lists that kept growing until 1989 when I began to see forgeries of known stamps, so could not add any covers that I did not personally examine myself.
My list goes back to the early 1960s when covers were first offered for sale outside of China in places I could track.
I also know that Paul Brinkley_Rogers, Dr. Warren Kauder, Paul P. Hock, and Meiso Mizuhara were buying covers before then.
I believe Alan (Kerr) was buying them then from good sources, and one mixed source. By mixed source I mean a dealer who had access to a small number of good covers but also sold what I think are bogus covers. So my lists include well over 3,000 covers as I recall. They do not include NEP covers unless used in combination with MLOs.
My late friend Bob Farquhar was covering that group of stamps and covers. I have no records from him listing what he knew to exist. But his book is helpful. NEP covers show the GMD rates from their first use in 1946 to the very end for them.
A very small number of CPC cadres got north of Changchun prior to the end of 1945. They were to look into establishing bases there. But Mao had issued his "South first, North next" Order, so most of these few cadres were discovered by the bandits and buried alive. So the very few covers I have from 1945 from the towns I know these cadres went to, are very precious to me.
The covers and what they told me began to make some sense. I mean they started to show me some algorithms or consistencies that could not be accidental, but what did they show. The readers can not imagine how "crazy" I appeared to be with my many, many maps, with possible scenarios that could have produced them. Slowly, piece by piece little "dawnings" would happen and I would be so happy I'd smile for days!!
Eventually I began to gain confidence that this whole picture could not have been as a result of random forgers. There were just too many interconnections (hundreds and growing). If you are picturing Russel Crowe in "Beautiful Mind" you are not far from the mark!
That is when I made further big discoveries in histories, the best from China, etc. and they clarified what my patterns were signs of!! (besides the fact that this research was starting to affect my mind!)
[to be continued]
Now turning to so-called "Hokiang" (really Sankiang until June or later, 1946). The Sheng was divided into 3 parts without Tungan as planned by GMD orders. The three districts were Chiamutzu, Fujin, and Holi. Within each were numerous counties, many of which were in the hands of bandits.
Roman, you asked me earlier about Changchun stamps used for overprinting and I told you this province was supplied by Changchun, and in addition to seeing covers now using just Changchun stamps used at Ciamutzu, but now I have found used used at Holi. It is cancelled on May 1, 1946, with no Provincial designation in the bottom segment at all. It bears 5 x 10f stamps for a 50 fen rate. It is the only one I have ever seen used in Ho-li.
Then I have before me 3 covers from Holi with black characters of the type we have been discussing. Two are clearly ordinary uses from Holi and dated August (!) 1, 1946 to Fangcheng. That tells us the Fangcheng P. O. was receiving mail and, thus, open. Because I do not recall ever seeing a cover form Fangcheng bearing its stamps that is important.
The cancelers are telling too as, even though they are dated August 1, the outer ring says "Ho-li" and the full "Sanchiang Sheng" in the lower circle. The small inner circle at top says, "Sanchiang" too.
These covers are bona fide uses in my opinion.
The last cover I will discuss is similar to yours Roman in that it bears 8 stamps, some in black and some in blue, and has a horizontal layout--- "double" unusual. The 4Y rate does not match any rate known to me--unusual. Then comes a big no-no!
The CDS is fine as it has "Holi" at the top (only) and blank-chiang-sheng below, also normal. But the problem here is with the date: 7- 3-35 or March 7, 1946!!!! NO WAY!!! July 3, 1946 yes, March 7, 1946, no. A sign someone was playing. Who? A-ha, an old friend! "Ho-lung-chow!" His name begins with the "Ho" character as in "River." The second character is "Lung"
or the combination character "day-month" ideograph. Finally "Chiu" like the number. He, however, writes his name as "Chow" in our alphabet. It is also to his P. O. Box 315 in Harbin. It is written in HIS specific hand writing I have come to know so well. *sigh* Mr. Chiu was a good student of these stamps, and did a lot of traveling to some dangerous places to get us real and cto covers (like this one), with real stamps.
I am also searching through the immense number of binders I have for the one with my cover lists. The readers must understand that when you have been at this for as long as I have, in moments of discovery, which binder you put the lists back into can lose their sticky labels at a bad time. haha!
Oh BTW, the card texture of the envelope is thicker, and Mr. Chow often used this kind of cover so she could use them to load stamps into them as he traveled. The bona fide covers are soft laid paper, but NOT manila paper this time.
Can you show me the entire front of your cover Roman, that you have used at Liang-chiang-kou?
May I say that the progeny for all three bona fide covers has my code HCGO. Those are specific owners.
The last currently belongs to O but I don't know where he got it.
I pray I have been clear and helpful.
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The cover in horizontal layout is not from me, it is (or was) in a larger MLO collection which was 4-5 times unsuccessful offered in auctions around the world but never got sold because nobody want to place a bid. But I have scans of the collection incl. this cover (for myself I wouldn't put such philatelic covers in my collection):
No we do not. Why?
1) Sometimes a Provincial Capital, or district capital issues stamps for use throughout the area under its control, then the command center gets taken by opposing forces. A good example is T'ung-hua on the Korean border. It issued a set of stamps that we can not find used from that city, but we do find it used from a smaller towns.
2) Secondly, nearly all proven MLO sets I know of so far, are all from post offices that were first class P. O.s at the time of the surrender, and usually county seats, provincial capitals, or vital links on the coummications system (usually the rail roads.)
3) If a smaller P. O. was open and in the system still, and its district center could not supply it with stamps, its mail was forwarded to that center for stamping.
That is why your list of liberation dates is so important, and why I asked you to work on it. It has the potential of helping to verify that some smaller towns were under CPC or Union Communist control, and would have a positive impact on the possibility that some "MLOs" really were "locals."
I have some other pieces of evidence too BUT, NO covers. So how could they be real? Until we can prove that there were local overprints, the very name we have given them is incorrect. So far we can not prove these were LOCAL overprints at all.
Best Regards, George
ok, when even you don't have any cover of Kerr 64.1-18 used in HO LI we can close this chapter now. Kerr 64.1-18 was not issued in HO LI, but some philatelic covers or single stamps exists cancelled in HO LI. All existing commercial covers of Kerr 64.1-18 were cancelled Lianjiangkou (Kerr 124.X).
But you know Tonghua issued a set of MLOs which is complete missing in Kerr and around August 1946 they issued a set of three imperforated (or local perforated) stamps with Mao (so call Tonghua Mao Issue)?
Possible philatelic cancel:
I answered your question, and just need to post the pics of the two Holi uses I have on hand.
I do not have access to a scanner as good as yours and it takes me time to find things as I said before.
It really sounds like you have already made up your mind before seeing all the evidence. I am just now translating
a section of a book I have on Sanjiang, written in China at the time the MLOs were being made.
Now either give me a chance to post reasonable responses to you posts here on the Forum, or I will get back to my book.
Is a huge collection, nearly 1.000 pages, I need to put the scans as ZIP archive in a cloud, too much to share here. will do this the next days.
I could not sleep with your insistence. But with this post feel much better.
I have to get my book out there so we can have a starting point. I, and my readers (proof readers) say I make a powerful case for their authenticity. Irt has to be done because of my age, and because I may be blind in a couple of years.
This set of questions of Holi has surprised me, as I didn't see a big problem in this one but the 23.1-5, 6-10 IS a puzzle I haven't figured out yet and it was the last note I got from Paul P. Hock while he was alive. That is 35 years and not yet solved.
A 1,000 stamps with a pedigree is a nice start at the present time. I always love to see new material!
I have never seen a collection that size without find new things.
MLOs research remind me of the builder of legos architecture. One small piece at a time and suddenly one day, you see it...or at least enough to know where to go with little bits of interconnected pieces.
I am being honest, I don't see a sea of fakes, even though many listings are just that, but a real story that connects the good ones. It is the last big philatelic frontier for me of the largest country in the world (population). I am trying to hand over my research in such a way that it will show where more research can keep the work going.
Maybe a better metaphor would be a 50,000 piece (minimum) puzzle. It is both exhilarating and maddening.
I can tell that you have caught the bug as we Americans say.