Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ottange to Esch-sur-Alzette in 1898 – “Reverse use” of the 10c Adolphe UPU postal card (1st issue)


“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to."
"I don't much care where –"
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go.” 

             Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


Like Alice, this 10-centime UPU postal card seems to have lost
its way. 



Oettingen (Lothringen) 
4 Jun 1898,

transit Luxembourg-Gare,
5 Jun 1898


Posted within Luxembourg, this 10-centime UPU card would have overpaid the domestic postal card rate by 5 centimes.  But once the card strayed across what today is the French border to Ottange [back then, Oettingen in the German Lorraine], just a few steps south of Rumelange, it lost its entire value.

Dutifully marked off with blue crayon, the 10-centime stamp imprint was invalidated.  In manuscript, the card was taxed 12½ gold centimes, which amount was converted (in blue crayon) to 20 Luxembourg centimes (double the postal card rate then in effect between Germany and Luxembourg).

Perhaps the card thought it was the reply half of a 10c+10c message-reply card.  Some of these cards from my Invalid Uses album seem to have their own personality.


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