Saturday, March 25, 2006

UPU C.O.D. Service to Hungary (1895) & France (1897)

Collect on Delivery (C.O.D.) service (Nachnahme in German, but properly designated under UPU regulations as Remboursement in French) between the members of the Universal Postal Union was approved at the Vienna UPU Convention in July 1891 and took effect on July 1, 1892. Nineteenth century UPU COD uses from Luxembourg are scarce, even to neighboring Germany with which there was a postal treaty containing special Nachnahme rates.

The example seen above shows an 1895 G.D. Adolphe postal card used for COD service from Luxembourg-Ville to Budapest, Hungary, then part of the Austria-Hungary Empire which was a charter member of the UPU. The five-centime domestic-rate card is uprated with a five-centime definitive to pay the ten-centime UPU postcard rate and a pair of the 12½-centime definitive to pay the 25-centime registry fee. During this era, the recipient was required to pay the ten-centime COD fee.

The seven cancels, two labels, and manuscript indicia tell the story of Luxembourger J.N. Peffer’s efforts to collect a debt of 40 francs from Wilhelm Zanandreo in Budapest, Hungary, thus:

· Luxembourg-Ville V, October 4, 1895 (1:00-2:00 a.m.) [initial postmark]
· Purple Nachnahme label and registry handstamp applied
· Luxembourg-Ville VI, October 4, 1895 (3:00-4:00 p.m.) [second postmark]
· Budapest receiver, October 9, 1895 [third postmark]
· 40 francs converted to 19.23 marks in manuscript
· Budapest Kézbesitö, October 10, 1895 [fourth postmark]
· Nem fogadia el./Refusé sticker [delivery attempted; payment refused]
· Red manscript notation returning card to Luxembourg-Ville
· Budapest departure, October 12, 1895 [fifth postmark]
· Luxembourg-Ville I receiver, November 1895 [sixth postmark]

The example below shows another 1895 G.D. Adolphe postal card used for COD service from Luxembourg-Ville, December 13, 1897, to Valenciennes, France, December 14, 1897, transiting at Givet [small single-circle Givet a Paris 13 Dec 97 cancel]. The five-centime domestic card is uprated with five adhesives. The old 20-centime and four-centime Allegory definitives combine with a four-centime and two one-centime Adolphe definitives to pay the 10-centime postage and 25-centime registry fee. The sum of 5.80 francs was collected from the addressee and is itemized on the card's printed back.

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