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Thursday, September 09, 2010

Commercial First Day Use to Brazil of the 1953 Royal Marriage commemoratives


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Luxembourg-Telegraphes [b], 
7:00 p.m., 1 Apr 1953,
First Day of Issue!

During the decade after World War II, Luxembourg followed a conservative new issue policy, limiting the number of commemoratives issued and choosing carefully the subjects  commemorated.  Except for the annual Caritas and other semi-postal or philatelically inspired issues, we have only the following:
  • 24 Oct 1947 - General Patton set (4)
  • 5 Aug 1948 - Tourist views (4)
  • 6 Oct 1949 - UPU 75th Anniversary (4)
  • 25 Oct 1951 - Europa precursors (6)
  • 20 Aug 1952 - Olympic sports (6)
  • 1 Apr 1953 - Royal Marriage (6)
Finding commercial uses of each of these 30 stamps is a challenge worth undertaking.  Covers exist, but considerable perseverance is necessary to unearth them, with the lowest and highest denominations sometimes proving the most challenging to find.

Because I especially enjoy the attractive 1953 Royal Marriage issue, over the years I've filled an album with uses of this issue on cover, but none is quite as charming as the recently-acquired commercial cover shown here.  Posted early on the evening of 1 Apr 1953 at the Luxembourg-Telegraphes window of the main post office, the cover, which is from the ARBED's central administration, was sent by registered airmail to an ARBED affiliate, the Companhia Siderugica Belgo-Mineira S.A., in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Assuming a 10-15 g letter, the rate would be:

4 F - UPU 20 g letter

4 F - UPU registry fee

24F - Airmail supplement (8 F/5 g = 24 F)

That's a total rate of 32 F.  The three 9 F and two 3 F Marriage stamps make-up a convenience franking of 33 F.  (The absence of a 1 F denomination in the Marriage set probably explains the overfranking.)

I occasionally see commercial mail from the ARBED to its Brazilian affiliate, correctly rated with attractive commemorative franking.  The ARBED cover shown above provides the added pleasure of first day commemorative use plus a cancel we don't often see used on letters.

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