1 January 1908
Last month’s geography lesson was “Luxembourg, France.”
Today’s lesson is “Arlon, Luxemburg”
[today part of the Ukraine],
21 Feb 1895, to “Arlon, Luxemburg.”
Luxembourg-Gare, 24 Feb 1895, 11:00 a.m.-Noon.
Arlon [Belgium!], 24 Feb 1895, 10:00 p.m.
Improperly sent at the printed matter rate,
so the 2-kretzer Polish-text card was taxed 15 centimes.
Well, until 1839 Arlon was part of the Grand Duchy!
U.S. Army Postal Service
29 August 1946
The 30c/½ oz. European airmail rate remained
in effect from 28 Apr 1939 to 1 Nov 1946.
BPO [Base Post Office] 11 was located in Paris, France, from 22 Oct 1944 to 1 Apr 1947. APO 513 (shown here as the sender’s return address) was also located in Paris during 1946.
The 6c Monoplane air envelope only paid United States military concession airmail service to addresses in the United States. Mail to other addresses had to be paid at the standard United States rates. Thus, this air mail cover was marked “Postage Due __ cents” with ms 24, after which a pair of the 12c Taylor Prexie was added uprating the cover to the 30c airmail rate, and the postage due auxiliary mark was then crossed out.
APO and BPO mail to non-domestic addresses is uncommon. A more direct and less expensive alternative would have been to post the letter through the French postal service. The result, however, is an especially attractive and unusual use of the 12c Prexie!
Cilicia comprises the south coastal region of Asia Minor, as seen on the map. From December 1918 to October 1921, after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, the French controlled Cilicia. Although Cilician Armenians sought to create an independent Cilician state under French authority, the French relinquished Cilicia to Turkey on October 21, 1921, under the Treaty of Ankara.
During this 23-month period, the French administration in Cilicia used stamps of Turkey, France, and the French Offices in Turkey overprinted T.E.O. Cilicie [Territoires Ennemis Occupés] or O.M.F. Cilicie [Occupation Militaire Francaise].
Surely mail between this short-lived political entity and Luxembourg must be uncommon as little connects the two countries. An example—the only one I’ve encountered—is the view card shown here, which was posted from Adana, Cilicia, on January 25, 1920, as part of a postcard exchange with a correspondent in Esch-sur-Alzette.
Two Cilicia overprints are tied to the view side by the Adana cancel: a 1916 Turkish 20-para commemorative showing the old general post office in Constantinople overprinted in black T.E.O. Cilicie and a 1-piaster Turkish pictorial from the 1913 issue showing the Mosque of Selim at Adrianople also overprinted T.E.O. Cilicie, but in red. On the reverse is the French Control Postal censor mark.
Quite a nice item if you enjoy unusual incoming mail to Luxembourg!
In the small Minnesota village in which I grew up, the postal clerks often referred to Luxembourg as part of Germany. And they were not alone in this misconception. We occasionally find cards and covers addressed to “Luxemburg, Germany” from all parts of the world. You could form a comical exhibit of such cards!
But here is the first example I’ve encountered in which the sender misconceives of Luxembourg as part of France—specifically, “Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxemburg, France.” Esch, of course, is located just a few kilometers north of the French border.
Biddeford, Maine USA
19 August 1922
View of the Biddeford, Maine
So keep an eye out for incoming mail. Somewhere, I think I also have a card to Luxemburg, Belgium.
2d QV Inland Registry Envelope
Seething Lane B.O. E.C.
This is the first example of incoming mail I’ve seen from this (or any) period with re-registry in Belgium? What purpose did
re-registration serve? Perhaps the Belgian registry label was applied due to the absence of a London registry label (and number).
London E.C. 12
Please send sample copy of
10c Brown Allegory UPU Reply Card
Taxed 1/25 (single rate – letter rate)
For a long time, I thought the New York postal clerk erred in taxing this card at the 25-centime letter rate (which would then be doubled upon receipt). But that’s not the case.
Thanks to the kind assistance of an expert on UPU regulations, I have learned that as of April 1, 1879, the issuance of international reply cards and their acceptance could only be done by UPU members who were signatories to the Special Convention on Reply-Paid Postal Cards. The United States was not. This convention remained in force until after the Congress of Vienna, during what is referred to as the Period of Optional Use.
At the Congress of Lisbon in 1885, however, it was decided that all UPU members—not just the signatories—were to honor reply cards and return them to the country of issue. The Lisbon 1885 rules took effect on April 1, 1886—a little over two months after this card was posted. The period from April 1, 1886, to March 31, 1892, is referred to as the Period of Mandatory Return by
The United States did not honor international reply cards until it was required to beginning April 1, 1886. The Luxembourg Post Office may have allowed the originating double card to go to the United States under the mistaken understanding that all UPU members were advancing the acceptance date, but the United States and a number of other members did not. Thus, the reply card was improperly posted in the United States and was properly marked for postage due, although it is unclear whether the addressee (J.B. Schock, Commissioner of Posts at Luxembourg-Gare!) paid the 50 centimes postage due.
And at the Congress of Vienna in 1891, it was decided that all countries would be required to issue reply cards.
So, yet another postal history mystery has now been solved!
Collecting modern postal history can be even more challenging than acquiring classic covers from international auctions. That’s because modern covers seldom appear in these expensive international auctions; they are more likely to be found on the Internet or in the stocks of vest pocket dealers at small bourses, local shows, or flea markets.
If you can’t attend the bourses or shows, maybe a kind friend will help by searching for material on your behalf. That’s how I was fortunate recently to acquire these three gems of modern Arsdorfian postal history.
Second-step Domestic Registered Letter in 1943,
20-250g domestic letter = 24 Rpf.
Registry fee = 30 Rpf.
Arsdorf to Ettelbrück
12 January 1943
Reich franking became mandatory in Luxembourg on 1 January 1942; before that, from April 1, 1941 onward, it was discretionary.
Who has a third-step 40 Rpf. 250-500g cover from Arsdorf?
Arsdorf c — Roller Cancel
When collecting cancels of your favorite towns and villages, don’t forget to look for the roller cancels. They can be especially elusive, particularly on cover!
Registered in Arsdorf — but Cancelled in Rambrouch:
15 Rpf. foreign surface postal card rate
Luxemburg 1, 18 January 1941
Reich censorship in Berlin or Frankfurt
San Francisco, California
Union City, New Jersey USA
The card is incorrectly addressed to “Union-City N.Y.” but was delivered to nearby Union City, New Jersey.
There is also a Union City, California, on the east side of San Francisco Bay. Might that have been why the card reached San Francisco, California on March 3rd? The postal clerks certainly haven’t given us any clues!
The Hindenburg medallions overprinted Luxemburg lost their validity at the end of 1942; however, the unoverprinted Hindenburgs remained valid in the Reich until May 1945. Thus, the 25 Rpf. Hindenburg is properly used with the 60 Rpf. Hitler-Head on this incoming parcel card from Tiefenbach über Oberstdorf in Bavaria, 4 February 1943, to Esch/Alzig, 9 February 1943.
Similar Hindenburg & Hitler-Head mixed frankings, therefore, should have been possible from Luxembourg, as well, presumably from April 1, 1941, when all German stamps became valid for use in Luxembourg, but I have yet to see an example. Have you?
The World War II parcel cards invite study by specialists. Almost nothing has been written about them. The code numbers on the right side of the parcel label come from a grid book used to calculate distance and rate. Here the charge was 60 Rpf. for 5 kg. of weight to Esch/Alzig plus 10 Rpf. for 200 RM of insured value and 15 Rpf. for home delivery. As shown on the reverse, the home delivery fee was refunded when the parcel was picked up at the post office.
Exactly what she was doing during the first world war years would be something I probably don't know in great detail. I know she and her mother fled from Germany back to Brussels where, I had thought, they stayed for the duration of the war. I only have a very general idea of what they actually did during the war years or how they survived. I have a copy of a scrapbook which contains copies of programs of (semi-private) concerts Moodie gave in Brussels during that time, but I have no evidence that she went anywhere else. I know that in the 1920s she went to Holland on tour regularly[.]
Feldpost b – 18 Oct 1940
To Binser [Biwer?] [Post: Wecker] – 21 Oct 1940
Marked ‘T’ - 12-Rpf Reich 20g letter rate paid with a 12-Rpf Hindenburg Overprint!
But wasn’t incoming Feldpost free to the recipient?
Easily overlooked by postal history collectors are the reduced rates for local delivery of postcards and letters that began during the World War II occupation.
The so-called “ortstarif” rates took effect on October 1, 1940, when the Reich currency was implemented. These rates continued in francs and centimes after the occupation until October 1, 1945.
Here are three examples from the occupation period:
5-Rpf. Local Postcard Rate
Kayl – Local Use
7 November 1941
8-Rpf. Local 20g Letter Rate
Düdelingen im Moselland – Local Use
25 January 1944
16-Rpf. Local 20g-250g Letter Rate
Luxemburg 1 d – Local Use
From the Bofferding brewery to the brewers’ association!
16-Rpf. Local 20g-250g Letter Rate
Free mail sent by the Finanzamt Esch (Alzig)
Returned by the recipient
This turned cover also reminds us of the paper shortages that were experienced toward the end of the occupation.
Fels (Moselland) a – Local Use
15 August 1942
Gemeindeverwaltung Heffingen = Heffingen Local Government
After the occupation, the 20g local letter rate was 80 centimes, and 1.60 Fr for 20g-250g local letters. The local postcard rate was 50 centimes.
Add Ortstarif covers to your collection. They are a small but interesting part of Luxembourg’s postal history!