Ai Li-Shan


Recently, I encountered a letter (probably greeting card), mailed from Yangmingshan.  It was destined for Germany.  It was mailed on May 7, 1973 and was marked “Printed Matter” by the sender. 


Fig. 1


The postage rates for printed matter to the U.S. by surface mail was:


                                                            NT$4 for the first 20 grams

                                                            NT$6 from 20-50 grams


With the postage paid of NT$6.00 we can assume the weight was below 50 grams.  It is interesting to note that no special rate was available “Airmail Printed Matter”.  This category was deleted from the rate table on August 1, 1960.  Printed matter could still be mailed in special bags from October 1, 1969.


Probably as an after thought, the “Airmail” label was added.  The airmail rate at this time was:


                                                            NT$8 for the first 10 grams

                                                            NT8 for each additional 10 grams


Normally, the cover would have been returned to the sender for the additional postage, then remailed.  However, in this case there was no return address (the back of the cover has no text or cancels).  Based on the rate of NT$6 paid, it was sent by surface mail.


Whether the Yangmingshan Post Office or the International Mail Section applied the chop “By surface route due to deficient postage”(Fig. 2) is unknown.  The chop measures 55 x 11.5 mm.  I cannot be sure, but it appears the chop was prepared using the standard rubber stamp kit that has  letters and numbers to be handset.


Fig. 2


This is a very rare marking and one that I have not seen.  Perhaps others have seen this or a similar chop.  If so, please contact your Editor.