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A mail sent on the eve of the opening of the Imperial Post Office         The Imperial Post Office was planned to open on January 1, 1897, and start to use Silver Dollar denominated postage stamps. Due to some delay on the original schedule, the IPO started business on February 2 and officially opened on February 20, 1897.


From Peking to Hungary. Empress Dowager 3ca canceled by Customs oval seal of Peking. Peking Customs CDS of Jan. 25, 1897. French 25c canceled by Shanghai French P.O. CDS on Feb. 12, 1897.

This cover originated from Peking on January 25, one week before the opening of the IPO. When it arrived in Shanghai, Customs Post Office already became Imperial Post Office. The 3 Candarin of Silver stamp was for the domestic part of the journey, from Peking to Shanghai. The postage for the overseas portion was probably paid by cash, then the Shanghai IPO affixed the French stamp and passed it to the FPO in Shanghai to continue its journey to Budapest.