Express Mail

I.P.O. started Express Delivery service and issued Express Letter Stamp (E1) on November 4, 1905.

Express mail from Changsha to Peking. Changsha Chinese "Express Delivery Letter Item" mark.

On the back arrival Peking Lunar Dater of Sep. 13, 1910.

Express mail From Si-An to Peking. SIANFU Chinese "Express Delivery Letter Item" mark. SIANFU Bilingual Lunar Dater of Sep. 27, 1910.

When the express delivery system of I.P.O. began to operate in late 1905, a special “Express Letter Stamp” was adopted for this service instead of regular stamps.

The I.P.O. express letter stamp comprised four parts:
1. Counterfoil - to be kept at origin office for fee auditing and record keeping
2. Tail of dragon - to be given to the sender as Mailing Receipt for future inquiry
3. Body of dragon - to be retained by the destination office for record keeping after delivery acknowledgement
4. Head of dragon - to be returned to the origin office as Delivery Voucher (evidence of completion) after delivery acknowledgement

Only the body and head part of dragon (3 and 4) were glued onto the cover and cancelled by origin office CDS. Upon arrival, destination office CDS were applied onto both parts and delivery was executed when the addressee’s acknowledgement of receipt was made on both parts.