21st February 2023 Hong Kong Stamps and Postal History – Peter Pugh

On Tuesday February 21st 2023, Banbury Stamp Society welcomed Rosemary and Peter Pugh who displayed stamps and postal history from Hong Kong, 1840 to 1940.  The full title was ‘And the Dawn Comes up Like Thunder’, a line from Kipling referring to the sunrise over China.  Peter started this collection because the Gibbons catalogue made it look like an affordable collecting area.  Hong Kong history started at the end of the Opium Wars in the 1830’s: Britain needed a new base in the Far East and chose a small island to set up base, signing a treaty with China in 1841.  The first material was pre-stamp postal history, carried on the P & O steamers which had the mail contract.  Peter had researched the routes and included pictures of the vessels.  The first stamps were printed in 1862 we saw mint as well as used on cover – many going to India where there was still a trade in opium.  New shipping routes in 1864 required new stamps, for example: the French steamer route to Marseilles and onward by train to Britain.  The Hong Kong issues were used throughout the British treaty ports along the China coast and Peter showed a range of these cancels on stamp.  In 1891 a commemorative stamp set was issued for the 50th anniversary of the colony.  The stamps were popular with collectors and are hard to find used commercially.  Stamps were also overprinted in Mandarin for the benefit of the Chinese population.  We finished with examples of the early airmail covers.

The next presentation evening will be for members to display entries for the Robson cup on Tuesday 7th March 2023 at 7:30pm at the Hanwell Fields Community Centre. The Banbury Stamp Society is on-line at ‘www.banburystampsociety.co.uk’, or contact John Davies on 01295 255831.