Thursday, December 20, 2012

Unusual officially opened and resealed returned mail


Kommission für Rückbriefe Augsburg





The two unusual brown official postal seals on this letter read:


In English, of course, the translation would be “Augsburg Commission for Returned Letters.”

Posted from Augsburg, Bavaria, March 3, 1898, to Diekirch via Luxembourg-Gare, March 4, 1898, the incoming letter was underpaid and therefore marked ‘T’ for taxation in Luxembourg [blue crayon ‘25’ with m/s ‘12½’].   But apparently the addressee refused to pay the tax (or perhaps could not be found), so the tax was cancelled [red ‘Déboursé’ oval] and the letter redirected back to Augsburg, where it arrived on March 6, 1898.

In Augsburg, the letter had to be opened to ascertain the sender.  This was the task that the Kommission für Rückbriefe performed, dutifully opening and resealing the letter and returning it to the writer, this time taxed in blue crayon ‘20’ on front and back!

Other German cities used similar seals to reseal mail that had to be opened before it could be returned to the sender.

For more about officially sealed mail, see Todd Hirn’s website,  Officially Sealed Mails of the World, at .


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