The Hong Kong 'China' Overprints
British Offices In China 1917 - 1930

THE SECOND ISSUE - MULTIPLE SCRIPT CA WATERMARK


After the closure of the Treaty Ports in 1922, surviving stocks of the stamps were returned to Hong Kong and shipped back to London on the S.S. Morea on 18 October 1924.  After the closure of Wei Hai Wei in 1930, the surviving stocks remaining there were also returned to Hong Kong and then returned to London on 16 September 1932.  All returned stocks were destroyed.    Consequently an educated guess of the number of stamps used by denomination are listed below and highlights the relative scarcity of some of the values.

 

Quantity
Printed

Quantity
Destroyed

Presumed
Sold

1c

894,720

34,267

860,453

2c

6,241,440

1,633,727

4,607,713

4c

6,408,960

1,369,911

5,039,049

6c

685,440

80,124

605,316

8c

603,600

119,790

483,810

10c

5,811,600

1,060,382

4,751,218

12c

84,480

0

84,480

20c

580,800

119,141

461,659

25c

135,600

48,083

87,517

30c

104,400

0

104,000

50c

607,440

239,011

368,429

$1

362,400

138,096

224,304

$2

79,440

25,965

53,475

$3

6,240

0

6,240

$5

6,480

3,067

3,413

$10

6,240

4,437

1,803

 

A total of 5 separate requisitions lettered from F to J were made for the second issues on watermarked multiple script CA paper.  The first series, that of Requisition F was issued around March 1922 and they were used at the Treaty Ports until their closure on November 30, 1922 and at the Crown Colony of Weiheiwei until its closure on September 30 1930.  Like the first issue, most of the requisitions can be identified by the shades of color used and the 1c to 10c denominations were printed on ordinary paper while the higher values were printed on chalky paper.

F Requistion 50c – Proved from the Crown Agents records #110/21

F Requisition – Crown Agents Records proved that the order was placed on 16 Nov 1921. #110/21 Combined with Hong Kong 105/21 but also possibly a special printing

G Requisition – Crown Agents Records prove that the order was placed on  29 Aug 1923. #3070

H Requisition - Crown Agents Records proves that the order was placed on 9 Feb 1927. #4127

I Requisition – Crown Agents Records prove that the order was placed on 28 Sep 1927. #4284

J Requisition – Crown Agents Records prove that the order was placed on 1 Mar 1929. #4690

The “F” Requisition - DLR 110/21

Requisition F is still slightly confusing.  It appears that on 3rd October 1921 the Crown Agents placed an order for the “F” requisition. (A regular Hong Kong requisition had been placed on 1st September 1921 on 79/21 but a letter dated 22nd July 1921 appears to also refer to this requisition). They asked that it be executed in conjunction with the regular Hong Kong requisition number 105/21 but then asked that the order for the 6c and 8c be placed on hold until the question of the colors be resolved.  On the 21st October 1921, the Crown Agents confirmed that the 6c and 8c should be printed in their previous colors and instructed De La Rue to continue with production.  On the 10th November 1921, the Crown Agents followed up on the status of the 6c and the 8c, noting that they were urgently required, to which De La Rue responded that they had been supplied to Somerset House on the 9th November (which is interesting as their daybook shows that the 6c, 8c, 25c and $1 were dispatched on the 12th.)

On October 27th 1921 DLR provided Somerset House with the 2c and 20c values.  On November 12th 1921 DLR provided Somerset House with the 6c, 8c, 25c and $1 values. On November 22nd 1921, De La Rue provided Somerset House with the registration envelopes.  On December 8th 1921, De La Rue provided Somerset House with the 4c, 50c and $2 values.  We think that the 6c was drawn from both a special printing and a regular HK printing but there is little information on the rest of the printings. (Opinions here would be welcome - The leg flaw on the duty plate of the 6c only appears on one of the three registrations sheets held by the BNA and the BL. How could such a flaw appear on only some of the sheets produced in a single print run? Is it not possible that some sheets were taken from the regular Hong Kong printing and that additional sheets were printed to make up the quantity required for overprinting?)

Another recent discovery concerns the "Broken Kong" flaw, which only appeared on the Requisition F 4c stamp. A sheet with requisition F number 4892 shows the Broken Kong repaired, as listed in Webb. Does this mean that the plate was repaired in the middle of the production run?

Image

Value

Color

Requisition

Qty Ordered from De La Rue

Qty Printed / Sent by De La Rue

1 cent

Brown

F

500

512

2 cents

Green

F

7500

7478

4 cents

Carmine-Rose

F

5000

5049

6 cents

Orange-Yellow

F (Crown Agent records refer to this color as “Bright Orange”)

750

732

8 cents

Grey

F (Crown Agent records refer to this color as Soft Gray)

750

752

10 cents

Pale Ultramarine

F

5000

5060

20 cents

Dull Purple and Sage-Green

F

750

756

25 cents

Dull Purple and Magenta

F

250

249

1 dollar

Grey-Purple and Blue on Blue

F

375

381

2 dollars

Carmine-Red and Olive-Bistre

F

125

132

The "G" Requisition

The "G" Requisition was placed by the crown agents on their order 3070.
Image

Value

Color

Requisition

Qty Ordered from De La Rue

Qty Printed / Sent by De La Rue

1 cent

Dark Brown

G

 

200

Perrin Page 40 reports that 205 sheets were supplied.  Personal observation of the Internal Revenue Archive at the British Library in June 2010 shows that only 200 sheets were supplied. 

The Crown Agent records state that this requisition did not require that the sheets be numbered.

The "H" Requisition

The "H" Requisition was sent by De La Rue to Somerset House on 9th February 1927 from the Crown Agents on their order 4127.

Image

Value

Color

Requisition

Qty Ordered from De La Rue

Qty Printed / Sent by De La Rue

 

20 cents

Reddish Purple and Sage-Green

H

 

100

50 cents

Dark Grey on Emerald, Emerald Back

H

 

130

 

1 dollar

 

H

 

100

 

2 dollars

Scarlet and Beige Brown

H

 

50

50c - Newly discovered by cross referencing data obtained from the above note and checking the colors listed to the Hong Kong requisitions by Halewood and Antscherl. In addition 30 sheets were retained for Specimens and other uses.

Observation of the Internal Revenue archive at the British Library proves that Requisition H was drawn from stocks printed for Hong Kong Requisition W. Curiously, Halewood and Antscherl do not show a $1 denomination under the Hong Kong Requisition W.  Check British Library – were the sheets only printed for overprinting?

$2 - Newly discovered by cross referencing data obtained from the above note and checking the colors listed to the Hong Kong requisitions by Halewood and Antscherl.

The "I" Requisition

The "I" Requisition was ordered by the Crown Agents on order 4284 and shipped from De La Rue to Somerset House on 9th November 1927. It is still unclear why a sheet of each value was overprinted "Specimen" (See Second Issue Varieties)
Image

Value

Color

Requisition

Qty Ordered from De La Rue

Qty Printed / Sent by De La Rue

2 cents

Blue-Green

I

2000

1969

4 cents

Carmine-Red

I

6000

5930

The "J" Requisition

The "J" Requisition was placed by the Crown Agents on order 4690.
Image

Value

Color

Requisition

Qty Ordered from De La Rue

Qty Printed / Sent by De La Rue

1 cent

Dark Brown

J

 

200

10 cents

Bright Ultramarine

J

 

300

20 cents

Purple and Deep Sage-Green

J

 

200

25 cents

Brownish Purple and Magenta

J

 

100

50 cents

Bistre on Emerald, White Back

J

 

200

1 dollar

Purple and Blue on Blue

J

 

200

2 dollars

Carmine-Red and Grey-Black

J

 

100

Observation of the Internal Revenue archive at the British Library proves that Requisition J was drawn from stocks printed for Hong Kong Requisition Y #4673

 

JLA