Tuesday, June 20, 2017

When did WW1 German censorship of incoming mail end?

Chemical Censorship of Incoming Mail
9 Days before the 1918 WW1 Armistice


2 Nov 1918

 Violet Trier censor handstamp
and chemical swabs front and back



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Two views of Clervaux are found on the 40c Second Series of Postal Stationery Viewcards!

Have you noticed? 

The Clervaux view
was redrawn in 1931!

LHBK 97-01a --- Prifix 102

21 Jul 1930 Printing

LHBK 97-01b --- Prifix 102

1931 Printing (redrawn view)

11 Jul 1931
Bruxelles, Belgium

The other 11 views in the 1931 printing were not redrawn.  Why was the Clervaux substantially redrawn?  

Also, on the 1931 printing of the 40c Clervaux view the stamp imprint appears in a deeper green than it does on the 1930 printing, and the view is printed in a deep reddish-brown, whereas the 1930 printing is in brown.

The two different Clervaux views are listed in the Luxembourg Handbook.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Modern postal stationery varieties: 40c/90c Mondorf Viewcard with Full Offset (Abklatsch)

Prifix 94 --- LHBK 96-01

40c/90c Vase
Full Offset

23 Jan 1931
Munich, Germany
Uprated to pay the 75c
rate to Germany

Not previously reported.

A scarce Mondorf postal viewcard -- sole use of the 40c/90c surcharge!

Prifix 94 --- LHBK 96
Nine Mondorf Views 

When the 40c/90c surcharged Mondorf viewcards appeared sometime in 1930, the 40c postal card rate to France and Germany had already ended on December 15, 1927.  Thus, sole uses of the 40c/90c card are only possible domestically (from 1 Jul 1930 to 1 Feb 1935) and to Belgium (from 1 Dec 1929 to 1 Feb 1935).  In 50 years of collecting, I have only acquired two sole uses -- that's one every 25 years on the average!  How many do you have?

Statue -- View 96-02
22 Oct 1930
Esch-sur-Alzette to Rodange

Commercial correspondence.

Bridge -- View 96-06
2 Apr 1932
Luxembourg-Ville III to
Berbourg [Post: Wecker]

  Stamp dealer correspondence.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Proofs of the 1927 Mondorf-les-Bains Postal Viewcards

Complete Set of 9

 View 1 - Vase
Designer:  Harry Rabinger

 View 2 - Statue
Designer: Harry Rabinger

View 3 - Fountain
Designer: Harry Rabinger

View 4 - Dock
Designer: Harry Rabinger
 View 5 - Arch
Designer: Jean Schaack
 View 6 - Bridge
Designer:  Harry Rabinger
 View 7 - House
Designer: Nico Klopp 
 View 8 - Park
Designer: Jean Schaack
View 9 - Park in Octagon
Designer: Nico Klopp

The artistic beauty of these designs is evident, surpassing that of subsequent viewcard issues!


Monday, May 29, 2017

Unusual domestic use of the 90c Mondorf UPU-rate Postal Viewcard!

 90c UPU-rate
Mondorf Postal Viewcard
Fountain View
Prifix 91 - LHBK 86-03


Beaufort (old dbl-circle cncl), 9 Mar 1932
Luxembourg-Ville [b/s], 9 Mar 1932
Payment refused
Returned transit Diekirch, 15 Mar 1932
Beaufort (bridge cncl), 15 Mar 1932


Domestic postal card = 0.40 F
Registry fee = 1.75 F
COD fee [198 F] = 0.75 F

Total: 2.90F

90c paid by 90c UPU-rate Viewcard
2.00 F paid by:

2F Clervaux View

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.