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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Postage due paid in Belgium—but why?

 

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Luxembourg-Ville
1 June 1932

Lichtervelde, Belgium
2 June 1932

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Sometimes a card or cover refuses to give up its postal history secrets.  That seems to be the case here!

The postal card rate to Belgium was 40 centimes, beginning December 1, 1929, and continuing until February 1, 1935. And this Echternach view card—posted on June 1, 1932—pays the
40-centime rate.  The card was not tax-marked as insufficiently paid, but two Belgian 10-centime postage due stamps were applied upon its arrival on June 2, 1932 in Lichtervelde, a small town in the Belgian province of West Flanders.  Why? Pourquoi? Warum?

Was the addressee a collector who liked to add postage due stamps to his incoming mail?  Well, there certainly is no suggestion in the message that the card is a philatelic creation of the Flemish recipient “M. Demunster, fabricant.”  It just seems to be typical commercial correspondence.

Similarly, the amount of postage due charged (20 centimes) does not suggest confusion by the Lichtervelde postal clerk with any particular rate then in effect.  Nor was any special service provided that would justify a 20-centime fee.

Can you solve this mystery?  I’d welcome your thoughts!

1 comment:

Lars Boettger said...

Dear Alan, As this card was addressed to a commercial receiver, he probably had a post office box. The post office collected the fee for this service by affixing the postage due stamps. It is not a luxembourgish fee, as there is no 'T' cancel to be seen. All the best, Lars