Today in Postal History



Peru to Norway
November 6, 1891

This is a single sheet invoice folded and put in the mail in Lima.
The invoice was postmarked with a neat oval Lima handstamp.
However, the stamp was cancelled with a single Chimbote handstamp.
The Chimbote handstamp appears to have been either struck
twice or have some legend before the word Chimbote.
Chimbote is a coastal city about 400 km north of Lima.
This raises the question of routing.

The subject of the invoice is a 'Port Account' and is in English.
The invoice was datelined Callao, 6th. Octr. 1891 and apparently was not mailed until early November.
Callao is the port of Lima.

The invoice was to Bk 'Skomvær' & Owners on behalf of Thomas Shute & Co.,
importers of 'Provisions, Canvas, Cordage, Oils, Paints, Preserves.'
Skomvær is the name of the ship, a bark, on which the goods probably arrived.*
At this time, the goods aboard a ship were often owned by the
vessel's owners who expected to trade goods at a profit.
In turn, they would be responsible for various expenses involved.
In addition to the usual printed addresses (two locations with a number of buildings)
and a P.O. Box, there is also a phone number!

The itemized account lists licenses, stamps, fees, services, and dues associated with receiving a shipment.
The 'load' of charges is very interesting including light and hospital dues (taxes).

The sheet is addressed to Jørgon C. Knudsen, Esq. in Porsgrund, Norway, Europe.
Porsgrund is an older spelling of Porsgrunn which was a shipbuildingand shipping center at the time of this cover.
Porsgrunn is on the coast of the Skagerrak about 120 km south southwest of Oslo.*

The sheet is franked with an 1885 1c dull violet Sun God of the Incas (Scott 104).

The 1c rate for mailing to Norway seems to be another question.
The use of a single printed sheet may have something to do with the rate.
Anyone have any thoughts?

After consideration of the routing, I believe that the sheet may have been
mailed in Lima and then sent to Chimbote for distribution to a ship bound for Europe.
The stamp was found uncancelled and was cancelled there.
Amy other suggestions?

*Thanks to Bjorn Munch for helping unravel the
Norwegian names and confirming that the Skomvær was a ship.
He also points out that only three covers are known from
Norway to Peru before 1890 so this has to be uncommon.

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