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Tibet / China, Combination Covers ca. 1953- 1956

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Rainer View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 April 2011 at 7:34am

While sorting and describing my Tibet / China combination covers from the time after the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1952, I noted the remark by Wolfgang Hellrigl in his Tibet postmark book that he considers such combination covers as philatelic and not required.

While I somehow agree on his view out of pure postal regulations, I must say that such a statement without substantial proof is baseless.

Of course, the Chinese had occupied Tibet and had introduced their postal system but it is easily understood that for a certain period of time both, the Tibetan and Chinese Postal system had run in parallel. The late Tibet covers with bisect and quadrisect stamps proof this.

I only have combination covers from that period in my collection which are sent from Tibet to India. But, and that is my question, who had paid for and affixed the Chinese stamps for onward transport up to India? Was it already done by the sender? Was it a favor, maybe done for political reasons by the Chinese, free of charge by the Chinese Postal System? Without question, the additional Chinese franking was required for onward transport up to India.


All my combination covers have the Tibetan stamps intact while I am aware that some covers exist where the Tibetan stamps had been removed in transit.


I only have covers in my collection, dated 1955, franked with stamps of the old currency but used after the currency reform on March 1, 1955 where such stamps could be used until June, 30, 1956 at a rate of 1:10,000 ($ 100 = 1 fen)


The covers in my collection have the postage rate of $800 (equal to 8 fen), $500 (equal to 5 fen), $ 450 (equal to 4.5 fen) and $ 400 (equal to 4 fen).


Therefore, who knows the postal rates for China from this period?

Ø       Ordinary Cover within China/Tibet

Ø       Registration rate

Ø       Rate China/Tibet to India


It seems, as more I work with my collection, as more questions come up…

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