A newly-discovered 1895 cover that bears the 1894 3ca and 12ca dowager stamps will highlight a strong China section in Harmer-Schau Auction Galleries' August 8-10 auction.
The cover, which has not been seen at auction before, will sell with a $4,000-6,000 estimate.
The 3ca and 12ca stamps are affixed to a French Post Offices cover and are tied by individual blue chop cancels, with a blue customs Tientsin date stamp reading "JUL 3".
The cover also features a Shanghai "Jul 7 1895" customs cancel, and a "12 July 05" Shanghai cancel tying the French Offices in China #9 overprint. Bearing several other transit markings, the cover arrived on August 18, 1895 in Willheim, Germany.
It is in fantastic condition for its age, graded fine to very fine. It is accompanied by a 2013 certificate.
The 1894 stamps were the last to be issued by the Maritime Customs Post and were issued to commemorate the 60th birthday of Empress Dowager Cixi (Tzu-hsi).
In 1896, the Imperial Maritime Customes Post changed to the National Post Office of China, and the nation's monetary system changed to the silver dollar system.
Also starring in the sale is a never hinged example of the China PRC 1962 Mei Lan-Fang souvenir sheet, which is valued at $8,000-10,000. It has very slight gum toning and a light corner crease at the bottom left but, as noted by the Scott Catalogue, almost all of these sheets have faults.