Mauritius 1863 1/- Early Unpaid 1oz Ship Letter From Cape

1863 Folded entire on the headed notepaper of Deare & Dutz, Port Elizabeth (AUG 18) to Messrs Pipon, Adam in Port Louis, Mauritius. Straightline red SHIP LETTER mark applied and as rated clearly a double ship rate (4d per ½oz unpaid) for direct mails to Mauritius. Endorsed "Per Edith Smith". Manuscript central manuscript rating mark IN BLUE of 1/- being the postage due raised for the incoming Ship Letter fee for a 1oz letter. Arrival backstamp SP 3. Rare and most attractive EARLY (pre-handstamp) representation of this ocean mail rate. Ex Johnson & Dillaway. See additional images. Until the end of 1866 Mauritius was charging incoming Ship Letters, under the Ordinance of 1850, at the rate of 6d per ½ ounce. The important factor at Port Louis was the weight of the incoming letter and whilst most were charged 6d TO PAY, a few examples of 1/- TO PAY have been recorded for Ship Letters. Most letters carried endorsements as to the name of the vessel if they were to be sent by private ship. Manuscript fee markings were the forerunners of this Mauritius system and are always in blue. The manuscript marks are particularly uncommon.

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