Wednesday, December 11, 2013

14-stamp 82 Rpf. WWII Combination Franking




20g letter to the Reich = 12 Rpf.
Registry fee = 30 Rpf.
Special delivery fee = 40 Rpf.

Luxemburg, 5 March, 1941,
to Munich, 6 March 1941

Here two 3 Rpf. Hindenburgs and a 10 Rpf. Hindenburg are used with eleven (count ‘em!) 6 Rpf./10c Charlotte surcharges.  Who has a commercially used European-size cover correctly franked with more than 14 stamps?

Monday, December 02, 2013

Visiting Card and Cover from Arsdorf

Earlier this year, in a post entitled “Lilliputian Postal History,” I wrote about my fascination with visiting cards (the article is here).  Now, thanks to a collector in Luxembourg, I’ve been fortunate to add a visiting card and cover from Arsdorf to my collection.  Here it is:

M. & Mme. Jos. Jaaques,


19 April 1938

10c rate –
Not more than
five handwritten words

Saturday, November 23, 2013

An unusual WWII propaganda label



Parole der Woche Nr. 6/Zentralverlag der NSDAP., München




Luxemburg 1, 26 Mar 1941,
to Aschaffenburg, 27 Mar 1941,
20-250g letter = 24 Rpf.
Registry fee = 30 Rpf.
Special delivery fee = 40 Rpf.

NSDAP was the acronym for the Nationalsozialislistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei [National Socialist German Workers’ Party], commonly known in English as the Nazi Party.  Parole der Woche translates as “Slogan of the Week.” 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Was the 5c Concession Postal Card Rate to Belgium Suspended During the WWI German Occupation? (Updated below!)

According to the rate books, the 5-centime concession postal card rate to Belgium took effect on 1 July 1909 and ended on 1 February 1919.  The postal card rate to other countries, including Germany, during this period was 10 centimes.

But from August 1914 until the Armistice in November 1918, Luxembourg and most of Belgium were German-occupied and German-controlled, even though the lower-echelon civil servants remained in place.  Mail from Luxembourg to Belgium was routinely censored in Trier, Germany. German stamps overprinted ‘Belgien’ were introduced in Belgium on 1 October 1914 and remained in use until the occupation ended.

Did the German occupiers in Luxembourg suspend (or simply ignore) the 5-centime concession postal card rate on Luxembourg to Belgium mail? 

To my knowledge, postal historians have not addressed this question. Consider the 5-centime postal card below, which was posted on 7 December 1917 from Luxembourg-Ville to Liège, Belgium, marked ‘T’ along with a German boxed ‘Porto’ and blue crayon manuscript ‘10’ and  the Trier censor mark:


Then, consider the two 10-centime postal cards below. The first was posted from Dommeldange to Antwerp on 6 June 1917; the second, from Luxembourg-Gare to Brussels on 26 June 1917. Both were censored in Trier and paid a ten-centime rate. Why were 10-centime postal cards used for commercial correspondence when the rate to Belgium was 5-centimes?


Check your postal cards and postcards. Do they support my belief that the 5-centime concession postal card rate to Belgium was not honored during the World War One occupation? Was the concession rate reinstated after the war ended?


Dieter Basien and Lars Boetger kindly advise that during the World War I German Occupation, UPU rates were in effect from Luxembourg to Belgium from 1 January 1915 onward.

Here is the revised rate chart for page 76 of Basien & Hoffkamp ratebook, Tarife der Briefpost in Luxemburg 1852-2002, with additions shown in red:


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Postal Stationery Carried on the Graf Zeppelin’s 1932 England Flight



Pictured above is the Graf Zeppelin being moored at Hanworth Air Park outside London upon arriving from Friedrichshafen at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 2, 1932.  You can watch British Pathé’s film clip of the mooring here:

The inimitable Maury Swartz, then living in Kayl, prepared colorful postal stationery cards that were carried on the flight.  Here are two from my collection (judging by the registry numbers, there must be others):

75c/90c Second Écusson
View Card Issue
Mondorf-les-Bains View



40c Charlotte Side Profile
1st G.D. Charlotte View Card Issue
Diekirch View


Luxembourg-Ville, 29 June 1932,
Friedrichshafen (Bodensee), Germany, 2 July 1932,
Dorchester, England, 4 July 1932

UPU postal card = 1.00 F
Registry fee = 1.75 F
Zeppelin carriage = 75 pf.



Cachet seen on the back of each card.

Postage due paid in Belgium—but why?



1 June 1932

Lichtervelde, Belgium
2 June 1932


Sometimes a card or cover refuses to give up its postal history secrets.  That seems to be the case here!

The postal card rate to Belgium was 40 centimes, beginning December 1, 1929, and continuing until February 1, 1935. And this Echternach view card—posted on June 1, 1932—pays the
40-centime rate.  The card was not tax-marked as insufficiently paid, but two Belgian 10-centime postage due stamps were applied upon its arrival on June 2, 1932 in Lichtervelde, a small town in the Belgian province of West Flanders.  Why? Pourquoi? Warum?

Was the addressee a collector who liked to add postage due stamps to his incoming mail?  Well, there certainly is no suggestion in the message that the card is a philatelic creation of the Flemish recipient “M. Demunster, fabricant.”  It just seems to be typical commercial correspondence.

Similarly, the amount of postage due charged (20 centimes) does not suggest confusion by the Lichtervelde postal clerk with any particular rate then in effect.  Nor was any special service provided that would justify a 20-centime fee.

Can you solve this mystery?  I’d welcome your thoughts!

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Arsdorf Prephilately – French Period 1794-1814



Administrative Cachet

Maire D’Arsdorff,

Arrt de Dickirch

* ( Forets. ) *


Service du Maire d’Arsdorff: D. Loring



Official folded letter dated 12 May 1810






New additions to my communal revenue post UPDATED!

Updated 2017:  The communal revenues now have their own blog at:

Go to the new blog to see revenues from more than 100 of Luxembourg's communes, past and present!  Send me scans of those that do not appear on the blog.  I'm

I’ve updated my communal revenue stamp post at 

adding many previously unlisted stamps.  

The post now comprises revenue stamps from 78 villages and towns.  New additions include tax stamps from Frisange, Mompach, Mondorf-les-Bains, Remich, Schuttrange, Steinsel, and Vichten.  A link to the post is here.

Help me add to the listing by sending me scans of communal revenues that are missing from the list.  My email address is:  There must be many hundreds of unlisted Luxembourg tax stamps out there!

Revenue philately is one of the few areas in which organized philately is continuing to grow.  Stamp collecting is just the tip of the iceberg.  Revenue stamps cover the entire gamut of social history. Unfortunately, revenue stamp collecting has been held back by the lack of catalogs and other literature.  Now, with the advent of desktop publishing and the Internet, we can remedy that deficiency.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Five-color Franking from Postes Relais No. 7 in 1884



Philatelic covers—those created by collectors to obtain a marking or particular usage—are nothing new.  Long before the era of wallpaper commemoratives, collectors designed covers that suited their fancy for the unusual.

The example shown here, addressed to a stamp dealer, features the 1c, 2c and 10c Haarlem Coat of Arms definitives mixed with the 2c and 10c Allegories to correctly pay the 15-gram,
25-centime letter rate on January 20, 1884, to Hanover, Germany, from Relais Postes No. 7 [Kleinbettingen].  There is a faint Luxembourg transit on the front and a Hannover receiver dated January 21st on the back.

But for the poor preservation, I’d put this cover on the philatelic catwalk during Bangkok fashion week!  It has been in my collection of relay cancels for over fifty years. 


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Thailand 2013 FIP World Stamp Exhibition















Luxembourg’s Coat-of-Arms Postal Stationery

including the Precursors


Large Gold Medal

Royal Paragon Hall
Bangkok, Thailand

2 – 8 August 2013


Saturday, July 20, 2013

A 3.07½-franc UPU Parcel Post Rate in 1915


002a 20c + 37½c + 2½ Fr = 3.07½ Fr


Luxembourg-Ville VI, 3 May 1915 [6:00-7:00 p.m.]
Transit Luxembourg-Gare, 3 May 1915 [10:00-11:00 p.m.]
Transit Strassburg (Elsass), 4 May 1915
Transit Kais. Deutsch B.P.A. 19, Basel, Switzerland, 5 May 1915
Geneva, Switzerland [green customs cachet], 5 May 1915


Luxembourg’s UPU parcel post rates were set at the 1906 Rome UPU Convention.  The rate for a 5-10 kg parcel to Switzerland was set at 1.90 Fr.  So why was this 8.4 Kg parcel to Geneva, Switzerland, franked at a 3.07½-franc rate?

The answer to this conundrum is surprisingly simply.  The parcel was surcharged 50% for being bulky or otherwise cumbersome (in French: “encombrant”), and therefore required special handling. 
Article 13.2 of the Rome Postal Convention provides:

2. — Les colis encombrants sont soumis à une taxe additionnelle de 50 pCt qui est arrondie, s'il y a lieu, par 5 centimes.

And this shipment also incurred a 15c charge for 250 francs of insurance (the parcel post insurance rate was 15c per 300 francs of value).  Thus:

Basic postage for parcels of 5 kg – 10 kg to Switzerland = 1.90 Fr

Parcel post insurance fee for 250 francs of insured value = 15c

Bulkiness surcharge: 50% of 2.05 Fr = 1.02½ Fr

Total postage and fees = 3.07½ Francs

That’s unabashed philatelic pulchritude!  How many commercial uses of the 2.50 Fr William IV definitive do you have in your collection?

You can find the 1906 Rome Convention parcel post rates here:

The parcel post tables begin on page 828.  I don’t think you’ll find them anywhere else.

The takeaway from this post is that you will surely enjoy your postal history material a lot more if you master the pertinent rates.  Do it!


Thursday, July 04, 2013

Pre-occupation 3-franc Postage Due used in Mondorf-les-Bains in 1941!



Bad Mondorf – 04.2.41 – T-41 cds

Used examples of the 3-franc postage due—the high value of the set—with town cancels aren’t seen very often.  And this example, postmarked Bad Mondorf, February 4, 1941, might be unique. 

As we know, Luxembourg’s pre-occupation stamps were invalidated on October 1, 1940, when the Reich rates (in Reich pfennigs and marks) came into effect.  So what fee could this postage due stamp have paid? 

November  15, 1940, was the last day to exchange Luxembourg stamps for the Hindenburg overprints.  The exchange rate was one Luxembourg franc to 10 Rpf.  So maybe the 3-franc due was accepted to pay 30 Rpf. due?

Which Michel Rodange stamps? Updated below!



Koetz  T. 193 – machine slogan cancel used in 1931

The slogan reads (in French):  “Buy the Michel Rodange stamps.”  But in 1931 there weren’t any postage stamps to buy that commemorated the Luxembourg poet Michel Rodange (1827-1876)!

Could the “stamps” be the Michel Rodange poster stamps like the example below?


If so, were they sold at the post offices?  And for how much?  I’m clueless.  Why in 1931 would Michel Rodange poster stamps justify a slogan cancel?  Surely collectors in the Grand Duchy must know the answer!


Luxembourg-Ville, 17 April 1931. 

The 1.25F sole franking would have paid the 20g letter rate to Germany or France.  Incidentally, the 1.25F yellow (Prifix 223) is scarce on cover.


The eminent Luxembourg philatelist Dieter Basien provides the answer, which is contained in section 12.4 [“Werbeheftchen” (or advertising booklets)] of the Handbuch zur Philatelie in Luxemburg/Manuel de la philatélie luxembourgeoise:

Michel Rodange1

 Michel Rodange2

You’ll find the handbook here:

Thanks, Dieter!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Three-village routings in 1893, 1896, 1897 & 1898


Common Luxembourg domestic postal stationery can be a fertile source not only of cancels but also of routes.

Mostly we find:

Luxembourg-Gare to Luxembourg-Ville

Luxembourg-Ville or Gare Village

Village Luxembourg-Ville or Gare

Village Luxembourg-Ville or Gare Village

Village Village

Local Use

But here is something different—three-village routings without a Luxembourg-Ville or Luxembourg-Gare transit mark:


Village  →  Village →  Village

Vianden → Rumelange → Pétange


28 October 1897
Vianden – 5:00-6:00 a.m.
Transit Rumelange – 11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
étange3:00-4:00 p.m.






Village Village Village

Redange-sur-Attert → Ettelbrück → Dommeldange


30 December 1898
Redange-sur-Attert – 4:00-5:00 p.m.
31 December 1898 
Transit Ettelbrück – 6:00-7:00 a.m.
Dommeldange – 8:00-9:00 a.m.




Village Village Village

Hosingen → Redange-sur-Attert → Bettborn


14 September 1896
Hosingen – 5:00-6:00 a.m.
Redange-sur-Attert – 8:00-9:00 a.m.
Schandel [post: Bettborn – 7:00-8:00 p.m.]




Village Village Village

Hosingen → Echternach → Junglinster


16 October 1893
Hosingen --4:00-5:00 p.m.
Transit Echternach – 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
17 October 1893 
6:00-7:00 a.m.


How many three-village routings do you have in your collection that do not include a Luxembourg-Ville or Luxembourg-Gare cancel?