Slow boat to China sails to six times its estimate

The Floyd E Risvold collection which sold recently in New York was heavily focused on Risvold's main passion: the history of America.

However, Risvold's philately extended beyond this fascination, and some of the covers he collected from around the world, both with rare stamps and without, brought excitement to many collectors.

An April 1834 stampless cover sent from 'Canton' (China) to New York is the only known use of a full-rigged ship handstamp on a cover from China, and easily the cleanest strike of the particular stamp, depicting the Globe merchant ship.

Chinese Ship Postmark stampless cover
Chinese Ship postmark cover

The Globe was not a fast ship, being the craft in use before clippers came into use. The letter enclosed in the envelope - which came with the lot - took six months to arrive.

Estimated at just $7,500-10,000, the cover was greatly coveted by bidders and bids shot up to several times that expected finally being taken away for $62,500.

The sale offers further evidence for the strength of Chinese philately after two record-breaking sales earlier this week.

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