Friday, December 25, 2015
Tuesday, December 01, 2015
Grand-Ducal Property Management
21 Apr 1950
20g letter to Germany = 4.00 F
2.50F/add’l 20g x 2 = 5.00 F
Monday, November 30, 2015
Grand-Duché de Luxembourg – Grossherzogtum Luxemburg.
Administration de l’Enregistrement et des Domaines
Enregistrements- und Domänenverwaltung
Bureau de l’Enregistrement
et des Domaines
· Redange s.A. I, 9 Oct 1929, with instructions in manuscript
to the Luxembourg-Ville post to apply official stamps
· Luxembourg-Ville, 10 Oct 1929
· To Strainchamps, Belgium
50g-100g Printed matter to Belgium = 60c
Sunday, November 29, 2015
The little village of Schengen in Luxembourg is where the borders of Germany, France, and Luxembourg come together. The so-called Schengen Agreement, which allows visa-free travel, as well as free flow of workers and goods, within the European Union (and a few other countries), takes its name from this Luxembourgish village.
The Schengen Agreement recently has come under attack as refugees continue to flow into Europe at a rate unprecedented since the end of World War 2. But the EU Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg, has warned that the euro as a common currency is pointless if people can't move around freely to use it. Earlier this year, Juncker called for creation of a European standing army to protect European values. Those of us who favor popular sovereignty over centralized authority will eagerly but apprehensively watch how the political struggle over the policies associated with Schengen plays out.
But long before the Schengen Agreement took effect, a customs office (a Bureau des Douanes) was situated in the village. The cover shown below was posted from the Schengen Customs Bureau at nearby Remerschen (as Schengen has never had its own post office) on
8 March 1940 11:00-12:00 noon. The manuscript notation at the top asks that the post in Luxembourg-Ville apply official stamps to the letter, which is addressed to the President of the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium. This was done the same day, with a 70c Charlotte (2nd) horizontal official postmarked 8 March 1940 7:00-8:00 p.m. paying the 20g letter rate to Belgium.
Monday, November 23, 2015
PTT announcing the Mondorf-les-Bains semi-postal in January 1940
PTT announcing the entire 2016 stamp program on 19 November 2015 via a beautifully executed, 17-minute YouTube Video
(just click on the link below to watch the video)
The speakers tell us about the background of the new issues (in German, of course), but the song is in English! Definitely worth watching, and quite a contrast to those old mimeographed announcements I used to receive. Homely as they were, they did have one advantage: up until the WW2 occupation, they were sent in covers nicely franked with the official stamps!
Saturday, November 21, 2015
8 Sep 1937
Transit New York, 20 Sep 1937
Washington, D.C., Library of Congress,
21 Sep 1937
20g UPU letter = 1.75F
1F/add’l 20g x 2 = 2.00F
UPU registry fee = 1.75F
If you collect the officials, you know that the 5-franc p. 12½ Adolphe Bridge pictorial with the Officiel overprint in red did not appear until 1934, and that it is much scarcer than the p. 11½x11 version, which appeared 12 years earlier, in 1922.
The cover shown here was posted in September 1937 from the Office des Timbres Officiels (violet cachet), so unsurprisingly it bears the scarce p. 12½ Adolphe Bridge official.
But what is more remarkable is that the Officiel overprint is displaced to the very top right of the stamp. This variety is unlisted in Prifix and not mentioned in other references. Do you have an example in your collection?
Thursday, November 19, 2015
L’Aide de Camp de S.A.R. Grand Duchesse Luxembourg
2F brown Esch Foundry
(black officiel overprint – 25c overpaid)
Luxembourg Ville III
24 Dec 1935
to Manila, Philippine Islands
Service de la Grande Duchesse
During World War 1, the addressee, Colonel Samuel T. Mackall (1880-1937), served with the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe, heading the intelligence staffs of the 26th Division and VI Corps. He was in charge of Civil Affairs, Luxembourg, when the expeditionary forces were occupying Germany territory after the Armistice.
When this letter was sent, Colonel Mackall was the commander of the 31st Infantry in the Philippines, a post he held from June 1934 to February 1936.
He died on April 28, 1937, while heading the War Department’s Military Intelligence Division in Washington, D.C., and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Luxembourg Pavilion at the 1937 Paris Exposition
Commissariat Général du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg
Exposition de Paris 1937
Luxembourg Ville III
30 Nov 1937
to Jardins du Trocadéro
1¾ F Charlotte 2nd (2)
1930 Horizontal Officials
Sufficient franking for a 60-80 gram letter
(1.25F + 75c x 3 = 3.50F)
The 1937 Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (‘International Exposition of Art and Technology in Modern Life’) was held in Paris: the French capital’s sixth and latest International Exposition, after fairs held in 1855, 1867, 1878, 1889, and 1900. It took place between 25 May and 25 November, centered upon the Trocadéro, just across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. This letter was posted the week after the exposition closed.
Société de la Croix-Rouge Luxembourgeoise
Ligne Luxembourgeoise contre la Tuberculose
2 January 1939
Strasbourg, France [b/s]
1¾ F Official
(1930 horizontal overprints)
Official mail usually emanates from government agencies. The Red Cross is an exception.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Boxed Auxiliary mark:
à affranchir d’office
Luxembourg-Ville, 5 May 1926
Transit Luxembourg-Limpertsberg, 5 May 1936
Zürich, Switzerland [b/s], 6 May 1926
2F Esch Foundry
(with red Officiel overprint)
UPU 20g letter rate = 1.00 Fr.
UPU registry fee = 1.00 Fr.
Interesting violet auxiliary mark and handstamp used by the Department of Agriculture’s Station Phytopathologique to signal use of official franking.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
24 Dec 1926
25 Dec 1926
Earliest Reported Use
In response to the increase from 20c to 25c in the domestic postal card rate and the special rate to Belgium on August 1, 1926, an unknown quantity of the 20-centime large format (148x105 mm) Coat of Arms postal card was surcharged to 25 centimes. Neither the quantity surcharged nor the date of issue is known. The Luxembourg Handbook (2009) simply lists 1927 as the frühdatum, but the card shown here moves that date back at least to December 1926.
Over many years, this is the only sole use I’ve found of this card; moreover, I’ve never acquired an unused example. This card’s scarcity is surprising since the 25c domestic rate was in effect from 1 August 1926 to 1 April 1927 (243 days), and the 25c rate to Belgium from 1 August 1926 until 1 November 1926 (92 days ). The obvious inference is that a very small number of 20c cards likely were surcharged.
Here’s an uprated use in January 1927 showing the 40c rate to France and Germany:
12 Jan 1927
Pharmacie des Bains
J. B. Harsch
Monday, October 19, 2015
Idéal Tannerie de Wiltz
Advertisement in 1951
9 May 1952
Wellington, New Zealand
Samples Bag – Leather Cuttings
50g-100g samples rate = 1.60 Fr
Registry fee = 4.00 Fr
Airmail supplement (10Fr/10g) = 60.00 Fr*
*Customs label indicates a weight of 60 grams
Ideal Tannery in the 1930s – It was liquidated in 1962
Samples Without Value
10c per 50g – minimum 35c
(1 May 1927 – 1 Jul 1930)
1 Fr registry fee
(1 Jan 1927—1 Jan 1930)
19 Nov 1928
1 Fr blue
The Optique Moitzheim continues in business today at 8 rue
Philippe II in Luxembourg-Ville and at four other locations in the country.
Peckels’ tannery in Vianden about 1924
Domestic Samples Without Value
10c per 50g – minimum 35c
(1 May 1927 – 1 July 1930)
7 July 1928
On 6 Sep 1934, an announcement that the Tannerie de Vianden was not part of the Tannerie Ardennaise, which had gone into liquidation!
Friday, October 16, 2015
Hand-illustrated postal cards will add a new dimension to your collection. They are special because someone has taken the time to complement their message with a personal artistic expression.
The gem below is one of my favorites.
Drawn at Kobe, Japan, 14 Jan 1900, by a passenger on the
S.S. Queen Eleanor, a steamship built in 1894.
Kobe, Japan, 15 Jan 1900
Transit Yokohama, Japan
Carlsbourg (Luxembourg), Belgium, 26 Feb 1900
Transit Luxembourg-Gare, 27 Feb 1900 [5:00-6:00 a.m.]
To Esch-sur-Alzette, 27 Feb 1900 [7:00-8:00 a.m.]
1 1/2 sen postal card uprated to 8 1/2 sen
Higgins & Gage # 31
Monday, October 05, 2015
25c on 15c Écusson Postal Card
Luxembourg-Ville, 29 Sep 1926,
to Ixelles-Brussels, Belgium
Type 1 Surcharge (sans serif ‘i’)
25c Postal Card Rate
To Belgium: 1 Aug 1926—1 Nov 1926
(only 92 days)
Sole uses (uses without adhesive stamps added) of the surcharged Écusson postal stationery issued in the late 1920s and early 1930s are surprisingly difficult to find. One of the most difficult is use to Belgium of the 25c on 15c surcharged card during the 92-day period that the 25c rate to Belgium was in effect. That rate took effect on 1 August 1926 and was effective for domestic postal cards and postal cards to Belgium. But the 25c postal card rate to Belgium was increased to 30c just 92 days later on 1 November 1926, whereas the 25c domestic rate did not increase until 1 April 1927.
We do not know the quantity of 15c cards surcharged to 25c nor the date that they were issued. The Luxembourg Handbook (2009) reports the earliest known use date to be 11 September 1926.
Look for sole uses to Belgium during the 92-day 25-centime rate period. They are scarce and will add value to your postal stationery collection.
Friday, October 02, 2015
Sometimes you find philatelic beauty where you would least expect it. Here the 35c surcharge on the double-surcharged 30c Écusson postal card appears in tandem with the 35c surcharge on the 40c Charlotte (1st series) definitive—certainly an unusual, if not unique, pairing! The postal card is further enhanced by another pair—two 10c+5c Princess Elisabeth 1927 Caritas semi-postals.
1 April 1928
90c UPU Postal Card Rate
Incidentally, have you noticed that the single-bar 35c/40c/30c postal card was used mostly in 1928, but the double-bar version seems not to have appeared until 1929. I’ve never seen a use in 1928. The Luxembourg Handbook gives the single-bar and double-bar surcharged cards only one number (89); Prifix is more savvy, assigning numbers 83 and 83a to the single-bar and double-bar surcharges, respectively. And I agree with Prifix that the double-bar surcharge is the scarcest. Unfortunately, recent editions of Prifix no longer list postal stationery. What a shame!