Philatelic Study Group:
Hong Kong Security Markings and Perfins

Forwarding Agents Markings

  Image from Frank Drake.

Ming Tsang 9th July 2001
It sounds good to me.

Philippe Orsetti 9th July 2001
I agree with your approach, but to avoid re-numbering, I suggest the following.
In Group IV: Miscellaneous, we leave the category “Stamped” and we removed the words “& Forwarding Agents”. Then we create a new Group as follow:
Group V: Forwarding Agents Markings used as Security Markings.
The rule under this Group being that we only record Forwarding Agents markings struck on stamps and NOT on cover away from the stamps.
Do we agree on this?

Ming Tsang 9th July 2001
I see that you had actually a Listing of Forwarding Agents
under Group IV: Miscelaneous, although nothing had been
listed. Why not make it another topic of Forwarding Agents
which should be separated from "Stamped & F.A:" and
may be listed after Chinese Chops starting from IV 36 or
41 (reserve some numbers for the future Chinese chops).
Would you like to handle that?  For the time being, we
should forget the real Forwarding Agents, and concentrate
on F.A.'s chops used as Security Markings only.

Philippe Orsetti 8th July 2001
I have always recognized the use of Forwarding Agents cancels as Security Markings. My only point is that they should be recorded in a Forwarding Agent specific list, not mixed in the current Security Marking list.

Rod Sell 8th July 2001
I have to admit I did not know any of the information you supplied below.
Perhaps because so little is listed or known on this subject it should be
included.  I am happy to try to develop an eductional site where collectors
can pool their knowledge.
I rely on you readers to supply the information and images as my full
collection (3) is now on the site.

Ming Tsang 8th July 2001
In my opinion, I think they should be included as security markings
if they were "used on top of stamps as security markings".
We understand that they could be used for dual purposes:
as security marking and also Forwarding Agent's marking.
In one of my examples, "Forwarded by/F. Blackhead & Co./ Hong Kong" was used on top of both imprinted QV 3c stamps on 3c Brown double reply card where the top card was used and canceled by a HK P.O. cds and the attached reply card was unused.  So, these HK P.O. postal stationery double cards were not carried by Blackhead. Therefore, the only purpose was to apply the Forwarding Agent's chop as its Company chop for security, so that, the messenger couldn't steal the card for
own use. Sorry that I do not have a scanner for these nice cards.
Please let me know what you think.

Philippe Orsetti 8th July 2001
I noticed that you have added Forwarding Agents markings to the web site. I wanted to be sure that you realized the magnitude of the area you have just opened up.
As you know, roles of the Forwarding Agents was to handle mail coming from several sources and organize their transport through private or public carriers. This role was predominant in pre-adhesive time and is very well explained in the Webb, Chapter 22. This function continued and faded away after the adhesive were introduced and the Postal System was organized.
However during the adhesive period many FA chops were used as security markings on adhesives. A decision was made not to record these markings on the Security Markings List because they belonged to a Forwarding Agent Markings List.
Back in 1961, Col. Webb started such a list and recorded 66 markings in his book.
Subsequently, in 1966 then 1974 then 1984, Kenneth Rowe published “The Postal History of the Forwarding Agents” with a comprehensive listing by cities. The HK and Treaty Ports sections of the list amounted to 134 markings.
I tried to collect this area and was able to record (but not to own…) another 25 markings for a total of 159.

Rod Sell 7th July 2001
I have added a new page for Forwarding Agents marks.
Harmon's scan of the David & Co marking was incentive to find my few and add
them to the page at

List of Forwarding Agents.

Forwarding Agents Security Markings

If you have others please send a scan.

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Last Modified  11th July 2001