Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A 'fishy' postal card

Nic. Feipel's 
Return Address 'Chops'

Nic. Feipel

Nic. Feipel

2 Jun 1924

Monsieur Dubois

Le Havre, Seine Inférieure,
3 Jun 1924 [b/s]

The imaginative chops and cachets found on postal cards provide an entertaining sideline for the specialist.  Nic. Feipel's fish and crayfish chops (both seen on the card above) are among my favorites!


Monday, May 15, 2017

Sole domestic use of the 20c Arms Postal Card in 1926—A Scarce, Overlooked Rate

Sole Domestic Use in 1926 

Luxembourg-Gare B
19 Jan 1926
20 Jan 1926

Luxembourg issued a 20-centime orange Coat of Arms postal card on June 1, 1921, as the postal card rate to Belgium, France, and Germany had been increased to 20 centimes in May 1921. This postal card remained valid until 30 June 1928 (Prifix 70—Hdbk 72). And the 20-centime rate to Belgium continued in effect until August 1, 1926, and to France and Germany until October 1, 1925. Thus, sole uses to the three neighboring countries are not too difficult to find.

Often overlooked, however, is that the domestic postal card rate was also increased to 20 centimes, as of January 1, 1926.  This domestic rate remained in effect for only 7 months—until August 1, 1926.  Consequently, sole domestic uses during this 212-day period are difficult to find.  Shown above is the only example in my collection.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

WW2 Parcel Cards from Luxembourg Conscripts in Occupied Poland

Schwetz (Weichsel) to Oberfeulen



Soldier Spielmann to Spielmann Family
in Oberfeulen

 Schwetz (Weichsel), Poland, ? Mar 1943
Oberfeulen [post: Niederfeulen b/s], 21 Mar 1943

3.0 kg. = 60 Rpf. [Zone 5]
Delivery Fee = 15 Rpf.

On November 26, 1939, as a result of the German campaign in Poland, the Schwetz district became part of the newly formed Reichsgaus Westpreußen—later, Danzig-Westpreußen—in the new Regierungsbezirk Bromberg.  After war, the town’s Polish nameŚwieciewas restored.

Graudenz 3 to Esch/Alzig 

Soldier Koch to Emil Koch
in Esch/Alzig

 Graudenz 3, Poland, 15 Mar 1943
Esch-Alzig [b/s], 24 Mar 1943

4.0 kg. = 60 Rpf. [Zone 5]
Delivery Fee = 15 Rpf.
Delivery fee refunded (red hs)

From 26 October 1939 to 1945, Graudenz was part of the administrative district of Regierungsbezirk Marienwerder in the new province of Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia.  After the war, the town's Polish name—Grudziądz—was restored.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Mimeographed Advertising Sent as Printed Matter in 1899

A couple years ago, I blogged about an Austrian postal card incoming to Luxembourg with mimeographed advertising sent as printed matter that was taxed at the postal card rate.  Your will find that December 22, 2014, post here.  A viewer noted that the card was taxed either because the mimeographing looked like handwriting, or because Correspondenz-Karte had not been crossed out and Imprimé or Drucksache added.

Now I've added another incoming Austrian card to my collection.  Shown below, this commercial post card has Correspondenz-Karte crossed out and Drucksache added.  Addressed to the Hotelier at the Hotel Clesse in Luxembourg, the mimeographed text is in light green (front and back).  Only the name of the hotel has been added in manuscript.

 3 Kr. Kaiser Franz Joseph = Printed matter rate

Podwoloczyska, Austria
22 Apr 1899
24 Apr 1899

And here is a photo of the Grand Hotel Clesse, Place de la Gare, taken about 1900.  Howard Johnson's Motor Lodges were never this beautiful!

Monday, March 27, 2017

WW2 - Commercial Use of Luxemburg Franking in the Lorraine

Deutschoth [today: Audun-le-Tiche]

The Hindenburg 'Luxemburg' overprints were valid for use in the Alsace and the Lorraine from 1 Apr 1941 to 31 Dec 1941.  Likewise, the Hindenburg 'Elsaß' and 'Lothringen' overprints were valid for use in Luxemburg during this period.  As of 1 Jan 1942, use of Reich stamps was required.

While philatelic uses abound, commercial uses of the 'Luxemburg' Hindenburg overprints in the Alsace or Lorraine during this 275-day period are scarce.  Unlike collectors, commercial entities presumably had and used only the stamps overprinted for their region, but here is a contrary example!

12-Rpf. 'Luxemburg' Hindenburg Overprint

Deutschoth (Westmark) a
10 Nov 1941
in the Lorraine 

Corner card:
Joh. Bapt. Bouche & Sohn

From the map at the top, you will see that Deutsch-oth [today: Audun-le-Tiche] is on the French side of the border, just a few kilometers from Esch-sur-Alzette.  Thus, it would not be surprising that this furniture dealer (Möbeltischlerei) had and used a 12-Rpf. 'Luxemburg' Hindenburg overprint, as shown here, on a letter to the craft guild (Handwerkakammer) in Metz.  Yes, I believe this cover is commercial.  Many others in my collection aren't.

Now here is another example that probably isn't philatelic, although I can't be sure:

40-Rpf. 'Luxemburg' Hindenburg Overprint

Metz o
28 Sep 1941
Field Post
Special Delivery
Klotzsche [by Dresden]

Field Post, of course, was free from letter postage.  Thus, the soldier-sender from the 8th Battalion only had to pay the 40-Rpf. special delivery fee.

As the surnames of the sender and recipient are the same, this well may have been a soldier's letter to his wife or mother.  Why a 40-Rpf. 'Luxemburg' overprint was used instead of a 40-Rpf. 'Lothringen' overprint or Reich franking is unknown.  In any event, a sole use of the 40-Rpf. Hindenburg makes this cover attractive!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Pricey Precancel!

10c 1922 Precancel Sells
for 371 Euros+!

Luxembourg 22 Typographed Precancel
on 10c Charlotte Definitive
with Luxembourg-Ville postmark
28 Sep 1922
Prifix 128

Luxembourg-Ville to Sarreguemines, France
10c/50g Printed Matter rate to France 
(10 May 1921-1 Jun 1924)

Many Luxembourg precancels are common but uses of any on commercial mail are scarce.  Why?  Well, I believe very little of the printed matter for which they were intended was saved.

We hardly ever see commercial uses of the G.D. Charlotte precancels.  This homely cover with back flap missing is an exception.  Sent by  J. B. Ketten's furniture store from Luxembourg-Ville to France, it sold for 371 Euros + commission on Delcampe in October 2015!

Who has other examples of commercial mail using the precanceled Charlotte definitives in 1922, 1923, 1924 and 1925?  Share your scans with; I'll publish them here.

Monday, March 06, 2017

The 1935 15-stamp Aid-for-Intellectuals semi-postals used on nine covers

The Swartz-Hensgen Correspondence

In 1935, Maury Swartz, the well known stamp dealer from Kayl, corresponded  with Mr. Hensgen, the Luxembourg-Grund prison chaplain.  Over the four-month period from June 25th to September 30th, Swartz used all 15 of the Intellectual semi-postals (they were sold at double face value) on a nine-letter correspondence.  We do not know exactly what the covers contained, but they appear to be more commercial than philatelic.

I corresponded with Swartz in the 1950s, when he was living in Silver Spring, Maryland, but by the time that I acquired the covers in the 1960s from the Fred Wilmar collection in a Wolffers San Francisco auction, I had lost contact with him.  Wilmar served in the United States Army in Luxembourg during World War 2.  After the war he returned to Moraga, California, where he developed a fine collection of Luxembourg stamps and postal history, including these covers.

Here they are to enjoy:


Registry No. 399

30 Sep 1935
Luxembourg-Ville b 


Registry No. 248
9 Aug 1935
Faint Luxembourg-Ville


Registry No. 175
22 Jul 1935
Luxembourg-Ville b

Registry No. 314
26 Aug 1935
Luxembourg-Ville b


16 Sep 1935
Luxembourg-Ville III

1.75F+1.75F Engineers, 1.25F+1.25F Scientists,
20c+20c Engineers, 15c+15c Journalists

13 Jul 1935
Registry No. 141

1F+1F Surgeons & 50c+50c Lawyers

26 Jul 1935

Adolphe Bridge

2 Jul 1935
Faint Luxembourg-Ville

5c+5c (3) Teachers, 10c+10c (2) Artists,
& 35c+35c Scientists

25 Jun 1935
slogan backstamp