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San Francisco, CA To Mazatlan, Mexico Cover 1884 Questions

 
 
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
669 Posts
Posted 07/04/2019   2:21 pm  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add orstampman to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello all,

I have this cover that has some markings that I can't decipher. I am hoping to get some inputs to better understand its travels and ultimate destination (back to SF as the manuscript markings indicate?).

This cover was sent from San Francisco, CA (from A. Schilling & Co., a spice merchant) to Senor A. Preson, at Mazatlan, Mexico on May 17, 1884.

From there, I am unclear on what happened to it!

On the obverse (front), there is a blue octagonal box marking dated May 29, 1884 10 P.M. (12 days after leaving San Francisco), inscribed "SERVICIO. N..... POSTAL E.U.M".

Over this marking, there is a violet circular marking dated May 15, 1885 5 P.M. with "MEXICO.... F" and "A." at the bottom.

Also, on the reverse side, is a blue circular marking (twice) date May 14, 1885 with "MEXICO D. F. RECIBIDO".

Finally, on the obverse, there is a reddish-pink oval marking dated May 9, 1885, which is mostly illegible with "D. O. xxx" at the bottom.

So this cover spent about one year in transit, starting in May 17, 1884 from San Francisco and the last marking is dated May 15, 1885!

I would like to know if this letter was detained or held at one or more points, and why, and I think it finally made it back to San Francisco, from the manuscript "Room 43 Merchants Exchange, San Francisco, Cal."

So, in addition to the possible interesting story from it's travel, I know this cover isn't the freshest cover, but I would like to have an idea of it's value, if I sell it. My personal assessment is in the $100-150 range, but I don't have any like this to compare to, and this isn't my area of expertise.






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Edited by orstampman - 07/04/2019 2:25 pm

Pillar Of The Community
United States
1923 Posts
Posted 07/04/2019   4:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If you order the markings by date, you can follow the progress.

Mexico, D.F. is Mexico City, D(istrito) F(ederal). The blue circular marking on the back and the violet one on the front both say that.

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Valued Member
United States
302 Posts
Posted 07/04/2019   4:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mml1942 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The cover appears to have been addressed originally to Mazatlan. Apparently upon arrival, it was redirected to Mexico (City) DF. Hence Mazatlan was crossed out. I see no arrival marking for Matazlan, but as this was ordinary First Class Mail, I don't think it would have been required.

I started with an assumption that this was a business letter and that Senor Preston was an agent or representative for the company. A. Shilling & Company was a producer of coffee and spices for cooking. Perhaps he was a buyer of raw spices, or a local distributor of the end product.

Looking at the markings chronologically, I believe that the octagonal mark with date May 29 1884 is some form of arrival marking, but I did not find it in Taylor' catalog of Mexico postmarks.

The next mark by date is the red oval with Ma(y) 9, 1885 and again I cannot find a similar marking in Taylor.

Where this cover has been for 12 months is not obvious. It has no Dead Letter Office (Rezagos) markings, nor any type of "Return to Sender" markings. One possibility (speculation) is that it was delivered to business office of Senor A. Preston, which perhaps was a branch office of A. Schilling & Co. This office then held the letter in expectation that Preston would return.

After a year, they decided to forward the letter back to San Francisco. Note it was forwarded and not "returned" by the post office.

The red oval was probably applied when returned to the local post office on May 9, 1885.

The circular marking over the octagon boxed marking it does not have a legible year date, but appears to be May 11, so it would be from the return of the letter. I believe that the "A" at the bottom might indicate that the office handling the letter this date was Sucursal A, or what we could call Branch/Station A.

The May 14, 1885 CDS "RECIBIDO" on the reverse is from the Main post office in Mexico City.

The cover was received back at San Francisco CA on May 21, 1885 and given the "REC'D" CDS on reverse, and presumably delivered to the Merchant Exchange address.

From Wikipedia, regarding the "Merchants Exchange" building:

"The original Battery Street building, two blocks from the current site, was a three-story brick structure built in 1851 to house the Merchants Exchange, an association of city traders and businessmen. It had a library and a meeting room with bulletins on arriving ships and cargoes. Watchmen on the roof would relay messages of arriving ships to the merchants in the meeting room below, so they could then rush to the docks to meet them."

I've passed this along to someone smarter than me , and if I learn more I'll add it.
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Pillar Of The Community
France, Metropolitan
2283 Posts
Posted 07/04/2019   7:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add perf12 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It looks like the pink oval cancel reads ACAPULCO MA 9 1885 E.U.M..Acapulco is southwest of
Mexico city.Acapulco was way of route for a return trip too the USA.,but being on the coast perhaps it was sent back by ship? Acapulco was on the Panama - San Francisco route….
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
669 Posts
Posted 07/04/2019   8:06 pm  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add orstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
hy-brasil,

Thank you for the quick input on the Mexico City markings. I can follow the dates easy enough, but the partial markings were unclear to me.

Dave
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
669 Posts
Posted 07/04/2019   8:18 pm  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add orstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
mml1942,

Wow! A lot of very useful and interesting information. This helps much with what mailing action/status was at what date. BTW, I see a clear year date of 1885 in the blue overstamp (next to the E.U.M.).

Thank you very much for your insightful inputs.

Dave
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1923 Posts
Posted 07/04/2019   11:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I like mml1942's scenario.

I see a very partial cancel under the San Francisco backstamp and below the blue RECEBIDO one, that I thought was a stutter of the San Francisco marking. It's not. I can't make this out.

Compare the printed return address and the written forwarding address. The written part has an exact address that by looking at an 1885 directory is on Stockton St., with an Archer Preston listed as being there but in a different office. A. Schilling & Co. was in the 100 block of Market St., not that close. This letter chased him all the way back home, though if Mr. Preston was always travelling, I could understand the long hold and delay.
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Valued Member
United States
302 Posts
Posted 07/04/2019   11:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mml1942 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have a confirmation from Peter Taylor that the pink marking is Acapulco, his marking Type GRO 1/6 from his 1884-1900 Postmark book.

It is not obvious to me how and why this cover would have been re-entered into the mail at Acapulco.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
669 Posts
Posted 07/05/2019   12:22 pm  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add orstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Acapulco! That is interesting. Maybe Mr. Preston had a reputation for getting around...
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Valued Member
United States
335 Posts
Posted 07/05/2019   4:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Louise411 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This is fascinating, kind of like an Agatha Christie novel.
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