Thursday, October 22, 2015

Scarce postal stationery–the 1926 25c/20c surcharged Coat of Arms card (large format - 148x105 mm)




24 Dec 1926
25 Dec 1926

Earliest Reported Use




In response to the increase from 20c to 25c in the domestic postal card rate and the special rate to Belgium on August 1, 1926, an unknown quantity of the  20-centime large format (148x105 mm) Coat of Arms postal card was surcharged to 25 centimes.  Neither the quantity surcharged nor the date of issue is known.  The Luxembourg Handbook (2009) simply lists 1927 as the frühdatum, but the card shown here moves that date back at least to December 1926. 

Over many years, this is the only sole use I’ve found of this card; moreover, I’ve never acquired an unused example.  This card’s scarcity is surprising since the 25c domestic rate was in effect from 1 August 1926 to 1 April 1927 (243 days), and the 25c rate to Belgium from 1 August 1926 until 1 November 1926 (92 days ).  The obvious inference is that a very small number of 20c cards likely were surcharged.

Here’s an uprated use in January 1927 showing the 40c rate to France and Germany:




12 Jan 1927
Bonn, Germany

Oval Cachet:

Pharmacie des Bains
J. B. Harsch



Monday, October 19, 2015

Airmail Registered Échantillon sans valeur from Wiltz to New Zealand in 1952



Idéal Tannerie de Wiltz
Advertisement in 1951



9 May 1952
Wellington, New Zealand

Samples Bag – Leather Cuttings

50g-100g samples rate = 1.60 Fr
Registry fee = 4.00 Fr
Airmail supplement (10Fr/10g) = 60.00 Fr*

*Customs label indicates a weight of 60 grams


Ideal Tannery in the 1930s – It was liquidated in 1962


Registered Échantillon sans valeur from J. Moitzheim in 1928


Since 1892




Registered Domestic
Samples Without Value
(“Ech. Recommandé”)

Wrapper Cutting

10c per 50g – minimum 35c
(1 May 1927 – 1 Jul 1930)

1 Fr registry fee
(1 Jan 1927—1 Jan 1930)

19 Nov 1928

35c/40c Charlotte
(1st ser.)
1 Fr blue
Vianden Castle


J Moitzheim

Joseph Moitzheim


The Optique Moitzheim  continues in business today at 8 rue
Philippe II in Luxembourg-Ville and at four other locations in the country.

Échantillon sans valeur from Jean Peckels’ Tannerie de Vianden in 1928



Peckels’ tannery in Vianden about 1924




Domestic Samples Without Value
Wrapper Cutting

10c per 50g – minimum 35c
(1 May 1927 – 1 July 1930)

7 July 1928

35c/40c Charlotte
(1st ser.)

Peckels Vianden


On 6 Sep 1934, an announcement that the Tannerie de Vianden was not part of the Tannerie Ardennaise, which had gone into liquidation!

Friday, October 16, 2015

A Hand-Illustrated Postal Card – Japan to Luxembourg in 1900


Hand-illustrated postal cards will add a new dimension to your collection.  They are special because someone has taken the time to complement their message with a personal artistic expression. 

The gem below is one of my favorites.






Drawn at Kobe, Japan, 14 Jan 1900, by a passenger on the

S.S. Queen Eleanor, a steamship built in 1894.

Kobe, Japan, 15 Jan 1900

Transit Yokohama, Japan

Carlsbourg (Luxembourg), Belgium, 26 Feb 1900


Transit Luxembourg-Gare, 27 Feb 1900 [5:00-6:00 a.m.]

To Esch-sur-Alzette, 27 Feb 1900 [7:00-8:00 a.m.]

1 1/2 sen postal card uprated to 8 1/2 sen

Higgins & Gage # 31

Monday, October 05, 2015

A scarce 92-day 25-centime postal card rate to Belgium




25c on 15c Écusson Postal Card

Luxembourg-Ville, 29 Sep 1926,
to Ixelles-Brussels, Belgium

Type 1 Surcharge (sans serif ‘i’)

25c Postal Card Rate

To Belgium:  1 Aug 1926—1 Nov 1926
(only 92 days)


Sole uses (uses without adhesive stamps added) of the surcharged Écusson postal stationery issued in the late 1920s and early 1930s are surprisingly difficult to find.  One of the most difficult is use to Belgium of the 25c on 15c surcharged card during the 92-day period that the 25c rate to Belgium was in effect.  That rate took effect on 1 August 1926 and was effective for domestic postal cards and postal cards to Belgium.  But the 25c postal card rate to Belgium was increased to 30c just 92 days later on 1 November 1926, whereas the 25c domestic rate did not increase until 1 April 1927.

We do not know the quantity of 15c cards surcharged to 25c nor the date that they were issued. The Luxembourg Handbook (2009) reports the earliest known use date to be 11 September 1926.

Look for sole uses to Belgium during the 92-day 25-centime rate period.  They are scarce and will add value to your postal stationery collection.

Friday, October 02, 2015

35c Tandem Surcharges




Sometimes you find philatelic beauty where you would least expect it.  Here the 35c surcharge on the double-surcharged 30c Écusson postal card appears in tandem with the 35c surcharge on the 40c Charlotte (1st series) definitive—certainly an unusual, if not unique, pairing!  The postal card is further enhanced by another pair—two 10c+5c Princess Elisabeth 1927 Caritas semi-postals.




1 April 1928
Brugg, Switzerland

90c UPU Postal Card Rate




Incidentally, have you noticed that the single-bar 35c/40c/30c postal card was used mostly in 1928, but the double-bar version seems not to have appeared until 1929.  I’ve never seen a use in 1928.  The Luxembourg Handbook gives the single-bar and double-bar surcharged cards only one number (89); Prifix is more savvy, assigning numbers 83 and 83a to the single-bar and double-bar surcharges, respectively.  And I agree with Prifix that the double-bar surcharge is the scarcest.  Unfortunately, recent editions of Prifix no longer list postal stationery.  What a shame!