The 'Zee-Brief' postmarks with town name. 

A display of some rarities from my collection

Passoeroewan Ongefrankeerd

Zee Brief - the only known copy of this postmark on letter from 1850 to the island of Amboina in the Moluccas. Marked "By steamer Macassar". 

The ‘Ongefrankeerd Zee Brief Passoeroewan’ postmark is known in this one copy only: a ‘Franco Zee Brief Passoeroewan’, also in red, is recorded in two copies of 1850 and 1863.

A clean strike of the Toeban Ongefrankeerd Zee Brief, which we have in just two copies, both of 1848. Letter to the Hague sent by the overland route via Southampton, on the back flap is an orange 'Indie over Southampton' routing mark. Charged 170 cent from recipient.

It happened sometimes that the maritime Zee Brief postmark was used on mail that went by the overland route.

The only recorded copy of Buitenzorg Ongefrankeerd Zee Brief. This postmark has not been recorded in the literature. Buitenzorg is an inland city and very little mail would have been directed via the sea route. Letter to Lahat by Palembang on Sumatra.

Rembang Franco Zee Brief, a not ideal strike of this postmark on a brittle Chinese rice paper wrapper sent to Riouw off the eastern coast of Sumatra. 36 cent was the tariff for this route by ship as noted on the reverse. 

This is the only known copy of the Rembang Franco postmark. It was formerly in the collection of P.R. Bulterman.

Kadoe Magelang Franco Zee Brief from 1852, to J. van Swieten in Padang. van Swieten was the military governor of Sumatra’s west coast. The postmark is known only in 1852 and no more than two copies of this Franco postmark have been recorded.


Pekalongan Ongefrankeerd Zee Brief on letter to Rotterdam. I believe this is the only recorded copy of this postmark in black. It is also known in a single copy in red, both of 1847.

The letter arrived in the Netherlands in the port of Den Helder 17 Sep. 1847.

We don't have many letters with the Cheribon Zee Brief postmarks. The Franco postmark is known in only four copies. These two letters from 1855 were sent to to officer Beresteyn in Padang on Sumatra's west coast.

One of two known examples of the black Bezoekie Franco Zee Brief on letter to Doesburg from Sep. 1853 (the postmark is also known in red). The charge of 120 cent for the overland route via Triest has been noted on the back of the letter.  

Salatiega Ongefrankeerd Zee Brief in a radiant blue colour, next to orange Hellevoetsluis Zee Brief postmark on letter to Haarlem 1844. The Salatiega postmark is unrecorded in Wolff de Beer’s catalogue, but a ‘Franco Zee Brief Salatiega’ postmark is recorded in use 1846-1848. The rate of 60 cent was the standard rate for sea mail valid until Sep. 1850.

This fine and rare letter was acquired from the collection of P.R. Bulterman.

A page from my prephilatelic exhibition. It shows a letter with the oval postmark Ongefrankeerd Zee Brief Padang, from the major city on Sumatra's west coast. The page demonstrates the research work sometimes involved in making sense of the routes and charges of the trans-continental mail of the 19th century.

'This letter is another example of the Zee Brief postmark used on a letter that was in fact not sent by the maritime mail route, but went overland via Suez and Alexandria in Egypt and arrived to Europe in the port of Marseille.

Undated lettersheet from Ambon Missionary Society sent as maritime mail (Zee Brief) to Zierikzee and thence to the missionary society in Rotterdam. Amboina began using the zeebrief postmark from 1843, so this letter must predate this and was marked by the negative-impression Amboina Ongefrankeerd postmark which is recorded on four letters only, 1841-1842. The letter went from Amboina via Batavia and was charged 180 cent on arrival.

By the mid-1840s, Amboina had received the Zee Brief postmark, and it was used on this ship letter sent to Haarlem via Den Helder in 1849.