Sunday, January 08, 2012

Baggage fee in 1912




From the early 1900s, you’ll find postcards featuring a postman about to deliver a letter, such as the example above.  And often a “bag” would be attached to the card containing a strip of photos.



In this instance, the bag contains 10 photos of Brussels (above).  So should what is ostensibly a postcard pay the letter rate in view of the bag and its enclosure?


Brussels, Belgium, 8 August, 1912, to Petange,
9 August 1912 – taxed 10 centimes

Apparently “yes,” as this card, which was sent at the 5-centime postcard rate, was taxed 10 centimes (that being double the 5-centime deficiency from the 10-centime letter rate then in effect).

That charge reminds me of the ever-increasing fees we pay at the airport for bags, extra bags, and the carbon emissions air travel produces!


Saturday, January 07, 2012

Bogus use of a surcharged 6-centime postal card (updated below by Boettger and Doose)




On May 1, 1878, the 6c German treaty postal card rate was increased to 12½c, rendering obsolete Luxembourg’s six-centime postal cards. Frugal Luxembourg, therefore, recalled and surcharged an unsold stock of 7,000 six-centime cards to the 5c domestic postal card rate. These surcharged cards were issued on September 10, 1878.

Three different cards were surcharged: accordingly to Moens, 500 of the 6c violet (P. 25/P. 16) and 1,000 of the 6c carmine (P. 26/P. 19) Fifth Arms issue, and 5,500 of the 6c carmine Sixth Arms issue (P. 27/P. 21). Thus, the surcharge can potentially be found on each of the 38 plate types comprising these three cards, including the three printings of P. 21.  (My plating study of the surcharged cards appeared in the Luxembourg Collectors Club journal Castellum, Vol. 9, No. 3 [December 2005].)  As Moens’ data suggest, P. 25 and P. 26 are much scarcer than P. 27.

Collectors apparently quickly bought up many of the surcharged cards; as a result, commercial uses of these cards are seldom seen. In fact, I am unaware of any reported use of the 6-centime (violet) 5th Arms issue surcharge (P. 25).

But beware of faked uses such as the example below of P. 27 (type 1 - third printing):





· The postmark is dated November 3, 1876. The surcharged cards were not issued until September 10, 1878.

· The ink is not typical of the period.

· The handwriting is a poor imitation of the fluency of the cursive writing of the 1870s.

· Use of red for the text and address is peculiar.

· Diekirch is misspelled “DierKich.”

· The message reads “Cher Jean” and is also signed “Jean.”

While the card and the surcharge are genuine, the postmark, message, and address appear to me to be bogus.



Lars Boettger comments:

This cancel was cleaned after 1885 and used mainly on postal stationery with bogus addresses and messages. You will find these items in collections of well known and knowledgeable philatelists. The break in the circle occurred some time in 1877/78.

Hans-Ulrich Doose comments:

The only used P. 25 ever seen up to now belongs to M. Robert Scholtes (I have enclosed a scan for you).

[Here are his scans of this unique gem (part of the Eltz correspondence)!]