Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Redirected Royal Mail to Grenville Clark in 1954



Grenville Clark (1882-1967) was a distinguished American corporate lawyer remembered for his efforts to promote world peace through world law.   In 1985, the 39c denomination of the Great American series was issued in his honor [Scott #1867 seen above].

The interesting cover below was sent to Clark in Dublin, New Hampshire, where he resided, by Grand Duchess Charlotte's staff, but was initially directed to Dublin, Ireland, as no destination country was indicated in the typed address.  Dublin, Ireland is much better known than its namesake in the United States state of New Hampshire.

The postal clerk's pencil notation reads:

Insufficient address - not known Dublin Eire /s/

And the clerk added "USA" to the address, along with blue crayon X's, redirecting the cover to Dublin, New Hampshire, USA.


This cover initially appealed to me as an unusual example of redirected official mail, having been missent to Ireland.  But it is interesting from several additional perspectives as well.  Apart from having been sent to a famous person, it's a nice sole use of the 4 F Royal Marriage issue, with the attractive blue commemorative paying the 20 g UPU surface letter rate that was in effect from 1 Jan 1949 to 15 Jul 1958.  Likewise, the machine slogan cancel dated 9 Jan 1954, urging use of the annual charities semipostals, is certainly collectible.  More significantly however, this is mail from the Royal household, as shown by the corner card reading Département du Grand Maréchal de la Cour and the purple straight-line auxiliary mark indicating SERVICE DE LA GRANDE-DUCHESSE.

Yes, this engaging postal history cover shows minor damage, but the sale price on eBay was only $2.58.  Y0u never know when another bargain like this might up on the world's biggest flea market!

We could use a few more Grenville Clarks these days, as philately ebbs and the world becomes increasingly chaotic.  I could say more, but this is a philatelic blog.

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