Friday, October 07, 2016

Beware! Backdated Use of the Luxembourg-Ville V Cancel on Scarce Postal Stationery






Used examples of the 12 1/2c Message-Reply card are scarce, seldom appear on the market, and command high prices.  But be careful.  Here the Luxembourg-Ville V double-circle cancel was backdated to 3 July 1879, making this 12 1/2c Message card appear to have been postally used to Metz.  But the double circle cancel did not come into use until 1883!  So obviously this is a backdated cancel. 

The absence of a receiving mark is another clue that this is a bogus use of the 12 1/2c card.

The card comes from an old German worldwide postal stationery accumulation of about 4000 cards, which were collected before WW1 and stored away until a few years ago.  So the fakery occurred long ago.

Let me know if you have seen other backdated uses of the Luxembourg-Ville V cancel, or any other cancels. 

Thanks to Luxembourg’s outstanding proofer, Lars Boettger, for alerting me to the bogus status of this usage!

Monday, October 03, 2016

Sometimes mourning need not be sad (updated below)


1918_Sep_23 Mourning Cover (front)

Luxembourg-Ville IV
23 Sep 1918

Censored at Trier

Special Delivery to
Munich, Bavaria

1918_Sep_23 Mourning Cover (back)

Nothing to be sad about when you find a mourning cover sent by special delivery with G.D. Marie Adélaïde franking!

But who was the sender who was in mourning?  Where is/was Koenig Rieg in Luxembourg?

F. Zimmer

Bei den Krankgebruedern

Koenig Rieg. Luxemburg

And who was the “high-born” recipient?


Frau Oberst-Lieutenent


Prinzregentenstraße 11a

Muenchen / Bayern

Dieter Basien kindly provides answers to some of my questions:

Bei den Krankenbrüdern

= (Convent / Kloster)

Königs-Ring = Boulevard Royal

in Luxembourg-Ville

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Early Publishers: Schock—Welter—Franck—Zahn






30 Nov 1899
Condé-en-Brie, France
2 Dec 1899







14 Mar 1900
Munich, Germany
15 Mar 1900



30 Sep 1900
transit New York, N.Y.
10 Oct 1900
Muscatine, Iowa, USA
12 Oct 1900





6 Nov 1900
Brussels, Belgium
6 Nov 1900






Luxembourg-Gare A
13 Dec 1909





7 Jun 1890
Paris, France
8 Jun 1890





24 May 1890
Transit Luxembourg-Gare II
24 May 1890





2 Apr 1900
Munich, Germany
3 Apr 1900








Luxembourg-Ville I
29 Mar 1907
Stuttgart, Germany
30 Mar 1907


In Le Moniteur du Collectionneur (1989:3 at pp. 126-135), Gaston Holzmacher has published a detailed article about Léon Franck’s philatelic endeavors.

Through these old cards, we can share in the philatelic pleasure of these early publishers.

Monday, August 01, 2016

† Arsdorf (19 Jun 1880–8 Apr 2016)



Last Day Cover 
Arsdorf a 8800
8 April 2016

Arsdorf post office

The 8th of April, 2016, was a sad day, indeed, as operations of the Arsdorf post office ended on that day after 135 years, 9 months, and 21 days of postal service.

Many thanks to the inimitable Dieter Basien for the Last Day cover.  But Dieter, it should have been a mourning cover edged in black!

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Bovange (Boegen) to Bulgaria in 1898 with Postage Due on a 5c G.D. Adolphe Postal Card!


G.D. Adolphe 5c Postal Card (1st issue)
Bovange (Boegen),
29 Jun 1898,

Clervaux transit,
30 Jun 1898,

Sofia, Bulgaria
21 Jun 1898
(Julian calendar)

=’s 3 Jul 1898
(Gregorian calendar)
5c underpaid for the 10c UPU rate.  Taxed double the 5c deficiency, with a pair of
5 stotinki 1896 Bulgarian postage due stamps affixed.
It’s always a pleasant surprise to find a common domestic postal card with a scarce use, franking, and cancel!
Written at Allerborn and addressed to a Capuchin friar in Sofia.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Uprated Uses of the 75c Colmar Berg Postal Card


Two new postal cards appeared on 1 October 1945, in the aftermath of World War 2 --- a 75c card and a 2.00-franc card.  They remain underappreciated despite offering the specialist a trove of interesting post-war rates, uses, and cancels. 

Here are three unusual uprated uses of the 75c card.

Uprated in 1950 For Domestic Use


Remich to Mondorf-les-Bains
22 Jun 1950

The 75c domestic rate was increased
to 1.00-franc on 1 Jan 1949.


Printed Back

Jean Maroldt, Notary

Uprated in 1946 for Use to France


Larochette (Belgian-style cancel) to Strassbourg, France
19 June 1946

Although the postal card rate to France was set at 1.50-franc as of 20 Feb 1945, a new card was not issued for this rate in 1945.


Uprated in 1946 for Special Delivery to Belgium


Luxembourg-Ville to Brussels, Belgium
4 Jan 1946

Uprated 7.00 francs to pay the special delivery fee!


Monday, April 11, 2016

First Day Use of the 75c Colmar-Berg Postal Card



1 October 1945

[5:00-6:00 p.m.]
Ixelles-Bruxelles, Belgium


Luxembourg issued two postal cards on 1 October 1945:  a 75c card featuring the Grand Ducal residence at Colmar-Berg paying the domestic rate and the rate to Belgium, and a 2.00-franc card for UPU use (including Germany). 

The rate to France was set at 1.50-franc as of 20 Feb 1945, but a card was not issued for that rate.

The card shown here was sent on the first day of issue by J. P. Wallenborn, a well known Luxembourg stamp dealer, to the postal stationery enthusiast, August Wery, in Belgium. 

Wallenborn writes: 

    Voici la première et l'autre va à votre adresse de Paris

Uses of these two cards in 1945 are scarce!


Monday, March 28, 2016

Sole Uses Do Not Exist of the 30c/40c 1927 Mondorf-les-Bains Viewcards–Here’s why!



40-centime card surcharged to 30 Centimes
(one of nine views)

The 40-centime card was issued on 15 April 1927 to pay the treaty rates to France and Germany. But with (or in anticipation of) the increase in those rates from 40c to 60c on 15 December 1927, a small quantity of the soon-to-be or now already obsolete 40-centime cards was surcharged, sometime during December, to 30 centimes for use to pay the 30c domestic rate and the 30c treaty rate to Belgium. But also on 15 December 1927, those two 30c rates were increased to 35c!

So then the remaining 40c card stock was surcharged to 35 centimes, probably late in December 1927.  27 December 1927 is my earliest use of the 35c/40c card (shown below at the bottom).  The Luxembourg Handbook incorrectly lists the earliest date as “1928.”

As a consequence, I know of no sole use of the 30c/40c surcharged card! Any such use would have had to pre-date 15 December 1927, but the 30c/40c surcharged card apparently was not issued until shortly after 15 December 1927. (If I’m wrong, please show me the proof!)

Here’s a  23 December 1927 use posted from Wecker by the controversial  Berbourg stamp dealer, N. Wagner.  His message to the esteemed postal stationery enthusiast,      P. W. Broekman in Amsterdam, mentions that he has three (new) surcharged cards.  Take a look!






35c/40c Used 27 December 1927



Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Stampless Official Mourning Cover--Mourning the Death of Grand Duchess Charlotte in 1985



The reign of Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, began in 1919, when her older sister, Grand Duchess Marie Adélaïde, abdicated. She continued to reign until her own abdication in 1964 in favor of her son Jean.


Mourning_July 18, 1985

The stampless mourning cover seen here, postmarked Luxembourg-Ville, July 18, 1985, mourns the death of Grand Duchess Charlotte just 9 days earlier, on July 9, 1985. The blue straight-line handstamp Service du Grand-Duc and the Administration des Biens de S.A.R. Le Grand-Duc de Luxembourg corner card indicate that the mourners are the then-Grand Duke Jean’s official staff.

Grand Duke Jean, who recently celebrated his 95th birthday, abdicated in 2000 in favor of his own son Henri.  His gala birthday party was attended by many of Europe’s royals and featured the Luxembourg Philharmonic orchestra singing happy birthday.

Modern mourning covers from Luxembourg are uncommon, but at least among the Grand Ducal royalty in 1985, the tradition of edging envelopes in black during a period of mourning continued. I’m quite pleased to have added this modern cover to my collection.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Overlooked Rates—Post-WW2 Treaty Rates to Italy and the Netherlands


Beginning in the late 1940s, postal treaties provided for substantially reduced postal rates from Luxembourg to Italy and the Netherlands.  Although commercial covers from this period are plentiful, I’ve had a hard time finding treaty-rate covers to these two countries.  How many do you have in your collection?  Take a look!

For example, here are some of the post-WW2 rates for a 20g letter:

To Italy: 

               1966-1976 = 3.00 F
               1976-1983 = 6.00 F
               1983-1986 = 10.00 F
               Thereafter, CEPT and Europa rates applied

To the Netherlands:

                1 Apr 1947-1949 = 1.50 F
                1949-15 Jul 1958 = 2.00 F
                15 Jul 1958-1 Oct 1973 = 3.00 F
                1 Oct 1973-1976 = 4.00 F
                1976-1 Jul 1980 = 6.00 F
                1 Jul 1980-1 Jul 1983 = 8.00 F
                1 Jul 1983-1986 = 10.00 F
                1986-1 Jul 1988 = 12.00 F
                 Special rates continued until 1 Jul 1997!

UPU rates:

                   1 Oct 1945-1949 = 3.50 F
                   1949-15 Jul 1958 = 4.00 F
                   15 Jul 1958-16 Sep 1963 = 5.00 F
                   16 Sep 1963-1 Jul 1971 = 6.00 F
                   1 Jul 1971-1976 = 8.00 F
                   1976-1 Jul 1981 = 12.00 F
                   1 Jul 1981-1986 =16.00 F
                   1986-1991 = 20.00 F

To the Netherlands in 1954
at the 2.00 Fr Letter Rate

NL rate

NL rate_x

         Luxembourg-Ville to Scheveningen, Netherlands
27 Jul 1954

To Italy in 1969 at the 3.00 Fr Letter Rate

(+ 12.00 Fr special delivery fee)



Luxembourg-Ville ab,
20 May 1969,
Special delivery to
Rome, Italy,
22 May 1969

To Italy in 1979 at the 6.00 Fr Letter Rate
(+ 20 Fr registry fee)


Luxembourg 2h, 
21 Aug 1979,
registered to Montebelluna, Italy,
25 Aug 1979