Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Modern Postal History Delights


Collecting modern postal history can offer you a lot of philatelic pleasure without emptying your bank account.  My "modern" Luxembourg collection begins with the issues of the late 1950s.  It has no arbitrary ending date. 

So-called "modern covers" are like young children.  They might not yet have found their place in the (postal history) world, but that will just take time.  Give them another fifty years to mature.  Collectors will look back over the immediate past 75 or 100 years, caterwauling about  the beauty of covers showing the rates, routes and markings of the latter half of the 21st century.  And some pundits will wonder why so many such covers were tossed in the bin by the 21st century postal historians.

Here are a few examples of delightful modern Caritas covers:


Domestic 1969 Registered Special Delivery Cover
with Mixed-Issue 1968-1969 Caritas Franking



Walferdange, transit Luxembourg-Ville [b/s], December 30, 1969, incoming to Strassen [b/s], December 31, 1969, for delivery in Bridel.

*  20-100g domestic letter =  6,00 F

*  Registry fee = 10,00 F

*  Special Delivery fee = 10,00 F

Correctly franked thus:

3F+50c 1968 Caritas (4) (valid only to the end of 1969),
2F+25c & 6F+1F (2) 1969 Caritas

Covers with mixed-issue Caritas frankings are scarce.  The Caritas issues prior to 1986 were only valid to the end of the year following their issuance.  Thus there typically were only a few days when both issues could be used.

For the cover shown above, the 1968 Caritas stamps were valid only to the end of 1969.  The 1969 Caritas stamps were issued on December 8, 1969.  Therefore 1968-1969 mixed-issue Caritas frankings were only possible for 24 days -- from December 8 to December 31, 1969.  You better check the bargain boxes at your favorite bourse to add a few to your collection!


The Elegance of Sole Frankings
on Correctly-rated Covers



 Weiswampach, May 5, 1959, to Mondorf-les-Bains [b/s], May 6th,
correctly rated 2.50F for a domestic letter up to 50 g, with sole franking of the 2.50F+50c 1958 Caritas Capellen coat-of-arms stamp.

Sole frankings exude the elegance of a beautiful flower in full bloom.  Searching for correctly rated, sole-franked covers for each value of a set is a worthy task, not easily accomplished! 


Postings to Exotic Destinations|
(such as Uganda)



Luxembourg-Ville, March 3, 1988, to Kampala, Uganda,
with three 1987 Caritas stamps paying 28F postage.


UPU 20g letter = 20F

Airmail supplement (3F/10g) = 6F (?)

(Overfranked 2F)


Highest Value of a Set Properly Used




Luxembourg-Gare, December 20, 1962, to Wandsbeker, Germany, franked with the 2.50F+50c and 8.50F+4.60F 1962 Caritas stamps.  The 8.50F is the highest value of the six-stamp 1962 Caritas set.

Assuming a 40-60g letter to Germany, the 11F postage pays:

1st 20g = 5F

Plus 3F for each add'l 20g = 6F


The auxiliary postal label applied at Lübeck indicates that the letter arrived damaged [Beschädigt] on December 21st.  It was repaired with eight official postal seals.

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