Thursday, May 17, 2012

Collecting Incoming Postal Stationery

If you enjoy postal stationery (as I certainly do), you might consider collecting postal stationery to Luxembourg as part of your stationery collection.  Soon you’ll have a worldwide collection of postal stationery with an obvious connection to Luxembourg!  And with major auction catalogs searchable by key word, you’ll readily find some unusual items!

Here are a couple recent examples:

Germany’s First Postal Card
used to Diekirch in 1874



Saarlouis, 8 Aug 1874, transit Luxemburg-BHF [b/s],
8 Aug 1874, Diekirch [b/s], 9 Aug 1874


Incoming Postal Stationery from 
the Gold Coast in 1905






Gold Coast 2p registry stationery uprated 2½p

Accra, Gold Coast Colony, 9 Jan 1905, Plymouth, England transit, 26 Jan 1905, London registry [red b/s], 27 Jan 1905, Luxembourg-Gare transit, 28 Jan 1905, received Esch-sur-Alzette, 28 Jan 1905.

German Control-Dated Postal Stationery


Or, if you are budget-minded, consider collecting German control-dated postal cards used to Luxembourg.  These can often be found for a few Euros on websites such as Delcampe or at bourses. 

Michel’s Ganzsachen-Katalog Deutschland lists hundreds of these, ranging from Michel P 12a (1882) through P 48b (1900).  A collection of 50 would make a delightful showing.  Somebody should publish a checklist (maybe the German collectors have). 

A multi-frame exhibit of incoming control-dateds might not appeal to stamp show judges whose prejudice for rarity over challenge often is all too evident, but unlike JPMorgan, you won’t suffer a two billion dollar trading loss collecting the control-dateds!

Here’s an example (the control is at the lower right):


Holsthum, Germany, 20 Mar 1892, to Grevenmacher, 21 Mar 1892,
Michel P25a (10 pf. Eagle-in-Circle) with
Control 191 g [for January 1891].

Sunday, May 13, 2012



If you collect Luxembourg’s World War II German occupation stamps and covers, you’ve probably encountered examples with a narrow rectangular cancel reading Nachgebühr in German [English: postage due].  Here is an attractive example that I recently acquired:



Domestic registered letter from Ettelbrück to Bourschied sent unfranked in late 1940 or early 1941 (based on the franking) by the Ettelbrück Nutrition Office with postage due of 46 Rpf. (12 Rpf. 20g letter + 30 Rpf. registry fee)

Germany has never used postage due stamps, so it is unsurprising that they did not issue such stamps for use in Luxembourg during the WWII occupation.  Instead, after Luxembourg’s pre-occupation stamps were demonitized on October 1, 1940, postage due payments during the WWII occupation were documented by affixing and cancelling then-valid stamps with an undated Nachgebühr cancel, as seen above..

The Prifix catalog illustrates four varieties of the 35 x 10 mm. Nachgebühr cancel – two in Gothic letters and two in Latin letters.


Who has all four varieties in their collection?

Covers showing use of this cancel are fairly difficult to find.  Initially, the stamps documenting the postage due payment were affixed to the front of the cover and cancelled Nachgebühr in black; later, the stamps usually were affixed to the back of the cover and cancelled Nachgebühr in red or violet, with the amount due often shown on the front in blue crayon.




Local letter from the Luxembourg-Ville Wirtschaftsamt [Management] Office to the suburb of Limpertsberg, May 15, 1941, charged postage due of 8 Rpf. (the local letter rate), endorsed at the top Portopflichtige Dienstsache [recipient pays the postage as postage due].




Special delivery money letter, insured for 150 RM, posted stampless within Wasserbillig, July 19, 1941.  Charged 1.70 RM postage due (insurance fee = 1.00 RM + 30 Rpf. registry fee + 40 Rpf. special delivery fee).

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Luxembourg-Journaux: An Uncommon Bridge-and-Bar Cancel





Here is the elusive bridge-and-bar cancel on a 21g registered stampless cover, postmarked Luxembourg-Journaux,
6 Oct 1916, endorsed Postamtszeitungsstelle/Luxemburg-Stadt [Post Office Newspaper Office] at the lower left, censored at Trier, Germany, and posted to and backstamped at Berlin, 8 October 1916. 

The official envelope is coded ‘No. 125. – 1916.’

The FSPL cancel catalog erroneously lists the initial date of use of this cancel as 12 July 1940. 

Curiously, the only example I’ve found on a loose stamp is on the 1920 30c/25c surcharged postage due stamp (Prifix 9).