Monday, November 30, 2015

60c Charlotte Official Franks an Official Printed Matter Wrapper in 1929 from Redange to Belgium




001 002


Grand-Duché de Luxembourg – Grossherzogtum Luxemburg.
Administration de l’Enregistrement et des Domaines
Enregistrements- und Domänenverwaltung

Oval Cachet:

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

When Schengen was just a Customs Bureau (rather than a hotly debated travel agreement)




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

New Issue Announcements by the PTT–from mimeograph in 1940 to YouTube video in 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

Unlisted Displaced Overprint on the 5-Franc p. 12½ Adolphe Bridge Official


Normal Overprint

Displaced Overprint



P. 12.5

P. 12.5




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

Official Mail from the Palace to Col. S. T. Mackall in the Philippines in 1935



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

Violet handstamp
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

Official Mail from Luxembourg’s Commissariat Général to the 1937 Paris Exposition


lux 1937

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
Paris, France

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.

Official Mail from the Luxembourg Red Cross in 1939






Société de la Croix-Rouge Luxembourgeoise
Ligne Luxembourgeoise contre la Tuberculose

2 January 1939
Strasbourg, France [b/s]


1¾ F Official
(1930 horizontal overprints)
50c overpaid


Official mail usually emanates from government agencies.  The Red Cross is an exception.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Station Phytopathologique -- Official Handstamp and Auxiliary Mark






Boxed Auxiliary mark:

à affranchir d’office
Amtlich frankieren.




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.