Wilde Cup Winner
2003 - Philippe Orsetti
Earliest "F1" (Foochow) Obliterators on cover - 13 June 1874
Comment. It is recognized that the two covers illustrated below (both showing c.d.s. of 13 June 1874) are not new finds. The 'discovery' is that they now represent the earliest recorded "F1's" on cover.
Background: A list of all the recorded early Foochow covers was printed in the Hong Kong Philatelic Society Journal No. 6 (February 2002) on pages 32-34. The vast majority of these canceled with a blue "B62" and bear a c.d.s. backstamp. Four of these covers were dated pre-1875.
The owner of the two previously believed to be the earliest covers advises that the first one (1872) is suspected to be an entry error. The second one (1873) is tainted and is now suspected as being a forgery. The next two covers on the list are both dated 13 June 1874 (and not 13 January and 13 July as recorded in the listing) thus become the two earliest 'F1' on cover."
FYI - The 1873 cover has been the subject of an article on the Hong Kong Philatelic Society website, see "An interesting Foochow F1 cover"