This page last updated: 10 July 2000


::: UPU Hawaiian Stamps on Foreign Mail :::

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On March 23, 1882, soon after the UPU Period began, Hawaii introduced a new set of stamps in values of 1, 10 and 15. All postage stamps issued by Hawaii in the UPU Period were made by the American Bank Note Company. See ABNCo. Stamps. Stamps printed from the National Bank Note Company plates were used until the new stamps arrived and even later to diminish supplies of the older stamps. See NBNCo. Stamps.

NBNCo. Stamps On Cover In The UPU Period

Two stamps printed by the NBNCo. before it merged in 1879 with the ABNCo. are seen on foreign covers in the UPU Period. Perhaps the list will grow to include other NBNCo. printings. The two I record are the 1 Kamamalu printing of 1878 in violet, Scott No. 30b, and the 5 greenish-blue Kamehameha IV stamp of 1866, Scott No. 32.

Hono 15Jan82 30,35

Postmarked January 15, 1882 at Honolulu and franked with the 1 violet, Scott No. 30b and two 2 brown Scott No. 35 stamps. The 1 is from the 1878 printing by the NBNCo., but the 2 stamps appear to be from the 1879, 1880 or 1881 printing by the ABNCo. (although it is hard to distinguish the early ABNCo. brown printings from the 1878 NBNCo. brown printings).

Hono 13Feb82 32

With the new 5 rate, the post office turned to its supply of the 1866 5 stamps (Scott No. 32). No 5 stamps were included in the first stamp order of 1882 despite the new 5 rate because a good supply still existed of Scott No. 32 stamps. New 5 ultramarine stamps (Scott No. 39) were included in the second order of 1882 (see below), but those stamps apparently were withheld from sale in order to use more of the old supply of 5 stamps left on hand when the 6 rate went into effect on July 1, 1870. Thus, use of Scott No. 32 stamps continued throughout 1882 and well into 1883. This cover postmarked February 13, 1882 is franked with the 5 (Scott No. 32).

Hono 12Feb87 32
After the ultramarine 5 Scott No. 39 went on sale, supplies at the post office ran out at least twice and what remained of the 5 Scott No. 32 were used. During a shortage of the ultramarine stamps in January, 1887, the last package of the old 5 Scott No. 32 was withdrawn from the vault and put in inventory on January 31, 1887, so we see additional Scott No. 32 covers in early 1887. This example is postmarked February 12, 1887. The Scott No. 32 supply still was not exhausted and some remained in inventory when the ultramarine supply was replenished in March, 1887.

Hono 16May88 32

The ultramarine supply ran out again in May, 1888 so the remaining Scott No. 32 stamps were pulled from inventory and used until July, 1888. This cover franked with Scott No. 32 was postmarked May 16, 1888. Apparently the post office supply of Scott No. 32 was exhausted during this shortage of the ultramarine stamps.

Commercial Covers v. Philatelic Covers

Discussing Hawaiian stamps on cover in the UPU Period necessitates addressing the distinction between philatelic covers and commercial covers. Some stamps are difficult to find on a commercial cover. Other stamps are found in this Period only on philatelic covers. The desirability of philatelic covers depends on one's taste - the engine that drives any collector. However, collectors should know how to recognize one from another. See Philatelic Covers.

ABNCo. Stamps On Cover In The UPU Period

1879 ABNCo. Printings from NBNCo. plates

Soon after taking over the business of the NBNCo in 1879, the ABNCo. printed fresh supplies of the 2 brown Scott No. 35, the 6 yellow-green Scott No. 33, the 12 black Scott No. 36 and the 18 Kekuanaoa Scott No. 34. These stamps were printed from the NBNCo. plates but the 18 plate was reworked slightly and came out in a "claret" color rather than the original "burgundy" shade. Otherwise the shades of the new stamps are indistinguishable (to my eye at least) from shades found in NBNCo. printings. The 2 brown stamp was printed two more times by the ABNCo. from the NBNCo. plate, in 1880 and 1881.

Hono 29Mar82 cover Reg

Postmarked March 29, 1882, this registered letter is franked with the NBNCo. 1 violet stamp (Scott No. 30b), the 12 black (Scott No. 36) stamp from the ABNCo. 1879 printing and the 2 brown (Scott No. 35) from the ABNCo. printings of 1879, 1880 or 1881.

Hono 12Apr82 33

The 6 stamp (Scott No. 33), essential in the Convention Period, now was without a rate to pay (two could pay for a single letter to Australasia but most people had no reason to write to destinations there). A large supply printed in 1879 by the ABNCo. from the NBNCo. plate was left unsold. Individuals stuck with them could use them to overpay the 5 rate or include one in a combination of stamps to pay higher rates (or pay a triple letter domestic rate). This cover is postmarked April 12, 1882 and was overpaid a penny.

Hono 10Apr91 36 Aust PdAl

Postmarked April 10, 1891 at Honolulu and franked with the 1879 ABNCo. printing of the 12 Scott No. 36. This cover was carried aboard the Oceanic steamer Mariposa via Auckland and Sydney and either overland or by coastal steamer from Sydney to Melbourne in Victoria Colony, Australia. This 12 usage paid the then current rate to Australia.

Hono 6Feb90 cover reg

Postmarked February 6, 1890 and franked with a pair of the 1879 claret printing of the 18 Kekuanaoa (Scott No. 34) by the ABNCo.

March 23, 1882 Issue

On March 23, 1882, Hawaii issued three stamps, the 1 blue Scott No. 37, the 10 black Scott No. 40 and the 15 red brown Scott No. 41. The latter two values were new to Hawaii. The new 1 stamp replaced the 1 Kamamalu violet stamp (Scott No. 30b).

Hono 21Apr82 UX1

This 1 UX1 postal card is also franked with the 1 blue Scott No. 37 and postmarked April 21, 1882. The message refers to the new stamps and was sent to a collector so this card is early evidence of philatelic influence in the UPU Period. This example is also the current EKU for Scott No. 37, a stamp rarely seen on cover during the short period before it was replaced by the 1 green, Scott No. 42.

Hono 16Mar84 40 Puehuehu

Postmarked March 16, 1884 at Honolulu and franked with two 10 black Scott No. 40 stamps to pay a double weight letter to Europe. This cover originated at Puehuehu, Hawaii, and on the back side of the cover is Puehuehu postmark type 282.016 dated March 14.

Hono 21Jun 41 medicine

A medicine bottle wrapper franked with the 15 Scott No. 41 to pay a triple letter rate and postmarked June 21, 1883.

June 16, 1882 Issue

Three more stamps were issued June 16, 1882. The 1 green, Scott No. 42, replaced the 1 blue, creating an exceptionally short period when the 1 blue was the primary 1 stamp in use. The other two stamps issued this date were the 2 lilac Scott No. 38, to replace the 2 brown of 1875, and the 5 ultramarine Scott No. 39, to replace the 5 greenish-blue Scott No. 32.

Hono 24Sep91 UX4

Postmarked September 24, 1891 and sent to Massachusetts, franked with a UX4 postal card and Scott No. 42 to pay the 2 postal card rate.

Hono 1Dec83 UX1

An example of the 3 postal card rate to Europe on this UX1 postal card also franked with a 2 Scott No. 38 and postmarked December 1, 1883.

Hono 1Apr84 39

The June 16, 1882 issue included the new 5 ultramarine Scott No. 39 but the EKU is in August, 1883. Most likely the stamp was held out of circulation to draw down supplies of the old 5 stamp, Scott No. 32. This cover is postmarked April 1, 1884.

December 9, 1883 Issue

Six stamps were issued December 9, 1883: the 2 dull red Scott No. 43a, to replace the lilac 2; the 10 vermilion Scott No. 45, to replace the 10 black; the 12 red lilac Scott No. 46, to replace the 12 black; and three new values: the 25 Scott No. 47, 50 Scott No. 48 and $1, Scott No. 49. The higher value 50 and $1 stamps are seen only on philatelic covers.

Hono 12Apr87 30,43a,43

Postmarked April 12, 1887 and franked with the 1 purple Scott No. 30, the 2 dull red Scott No. 43a and the 2 carmine red Scott No. 43 to pay the 5 rate. The 2 43a stamp is tough to find on cover and this is the only example I have noted yet in the foreign mail.

Hono 13Dec86 45

Postmarked December 13, 1886 and franked with the 10 Scott No. 45 to pay the 10 rate to Europe. Covers with Scott No. 45 are scarce according to my records.

Hono 12Jun86 46 NZ

Postmarked at Honolulu on June 12, 1886 and franked with the 12 Scott No. 46 to pay the 12 rate to Australasia. Covers bearing this stamp are scarce according to my records.

Lihue _92 cover reg

Originating at Lihue, Kauai, this registered cover never got a postmark at Honolulu but was stamped there with the large R and registered. It received transit marks at San Francisco and other places en route to Germany. It states it is "printed matter only." I interpret the rate to be 10 for the registry fee, 5 for a return receipt (A.R. markings were just coming into existence) and 2 for the pamphlet 2 ounce rate. The San Francisco transit mark is difficult to read, but appears to be October 27, 1892 and the German receipt marks are dated November 12, 1892.

Hono 1Feb93 47

Commercial letters postmarked with high value stamps such as the 25 Scott No. 47 are scarce but this cover appears to be one. The image is reduced in size but the cover is a large envelope from one merchant to another, postmarked at Honolulu on February 1, 1893.

November 29, 1884 Issue

Two new stamps were issued November 29, 1884. They were the 2 carmine rose Scott No. 43, to replace the 2 dull red, and the 10 red brown Scott No. 44 to replace the 10 vermilion.

Hono 15Jun85 30,43 hanlei

Postmarked June 15, 1885 at Honolulu and franked with two 2 Scott No. 43 stamps plus a 1 violet Scott No. 30b stamp to pay the 5 rate to San Francisco. This cover originated at Hanalei, Kauai and was postmarked there on June 12, 1885 with Hanalei postmark type 282.013 (rarity 1R).

Hono 5Nov90 44 waimea

Postmarked November 5, 1890 at Honolulu, this cover originated at Waimea, Hawaii and was postmarked there on November 3. It is franked with the 10 brown Scott No. 44 to pay a single letter rate to Europe.

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