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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The 1924 Marie-Adélaïde Caritas Semi-postals

 

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Grand Duchess Marie-Adélaïde died an untimely death on
January 24, 1924.  As a memorial, Luxembourg overprinted the 12½c, 35c, 2½ F, and 5 F Marie-Adélaïde definitives with the word CARITAS, adding surcharges of 7½c, 10c, 1 F, and 2 F, respectively.  The surcharge proceeds were donated to the Luxembourg Red Cross.

Although 104,745 sets of these semi-postals were issued on April 17, 1924 (valid to July 1, 1928), we seldom see them used on properly rated covers, and almost never on non-philatelic covers.  This is perhaps explained by the absence of contemporary rates that required these denominations!

Thus, my recent acquisition of the cover seen below was very special.  Here a pair of the 12½c+7½c denomination exactly pays the 25c 20g domestic letter rate for a letter from Remich to Belvaux posted on March 19, 1925. 

 

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Has anyone seen a commercial use of the 2½F+1F or the 5F+ 2F?  Sometimes I like to dream about what such a cover would look like.  The 5F+2F registered sole use shown below from the Administration des Postes et des Télégraphes to Paris, France, April 19, 1924 (two days after issuance) is obviously overfranked.

 

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And this correctly rated registered cover from Wilwerwiltz to Monaco bearing a block of the 35c+10c was posted January 11, 1929, after the Caritas stamps had been demonitized more than seven months earlier!

 

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