Friday, February 19, 2016

Overlooked Rates—Post-WW2 Treaty Rates to Italy and the Netherlands


Beginning in the late 1940s, postal treaties provided for substantially reduced postal rates from Luxembourg to Italy and the Netherlands.  Although commercial covers from this period are plentiful, I’ve had a hard time finding treaty-rate covers to these two countries.  How many do you have in your collection?  Take a look!

For example, here are some of the post-WW2 rates for a 20g letter:

To Italy: 

               1966-1976 = 3.00 F
               1976-1983 = 6.00 F
               1983-1986 = 10.00 F
               Thereafter, CEPT and Europa rates applied

To the Netherlands:

                1 Apr 1947-1949 = 1.50 F
                1949-15 Jul 1958 = 2.00 F
                15 Jul 1958-1 Oct 1973 = 3.00 F
                1 Oct 1973-1976 = 4.00 F
                1976-1 Jul 1980 = 6.00 F
                1 Jul 1980-1 Jul 1983 = 8.00 F
                1 Jul 1983-1986 = 10.00 F
                1986-1 Jul 1988 = 12.00 F
                 Special rates continued until 1 Jul 1997!

UPU rates:

                   1 Oct 1945-1949 = 3.50 F
                   1949-15 Jul 1958 = 4.00 F
                   15 Jul 1958-16 Sep 1963 = 5.00 F
                   16 Sep 1963-1 Jul 1971 = 6.00 F
                   1 Jul 1971-1976 = 8.00 F
                   1976-1 Jul 1981 = 12.00 F
                   1 Jul 1981-1986 =16.00 F
                   1986-1991 = 20.00 F

To the Netherlands in 1954
at the 2.00 Fr Letter Rate

NL rate

NL rate_x

         Luxembourg-Ville to Scheveningen, Netherlands
27 Jul 1954

To Italy in 1969 at the 3.00 Fr Letter Rate

(+ 12.00 Fr special delivery fee)



Luxembourg-Ville ab,
20 May 1969,
Special delivery to
Rome, Italy,
22 May 1969

To Italy in 1979 at the 6.00 Fr Letter Rate
(+ 20 Fr registry fee)


Luxembourg 2h, 
21 Aug 1979,
registered to Montebelluna, Italy,
25 Aug 1979






Monday, February 15, 2016

5c Adolphe (3rd issue) Domestic Reply Card–Used from Arsdorf to Diekirch During the 1918 Paper Shortage

Arsdorf Adolphe 5c Reply card 1916 use

Emergency Use of Obsolete Luxembourg Postal Stationery
During the World War 1 Paper Shortage

In early 1918, World War 1 was winding down. Due to wartime demands, paper shortages were widespread. Here’s how the government responded when Enschedé in Holland temporarily lacked the paper needed to print government orders for the then-current Coat of Arms postal cards.

The Allegory postal stationery had been demonetized as of January 1, 1906, and the Adolphe stationery as of January 1, 1909, but approximately 5,000 to 7,000 unused Allegory and Grand Duke Adolphe postal cards remained in government storage. By directives dated April 18 and April 23, 1918, the government ordered that these obsolete postal cards be distributed to post offices whose supplies of postal cards had been depleted.

Before distributing the obsolete cards, the government invalidated the stamp imprint with a three-concentric-ring obliterator and instructed postal clerks to add adhesive stamps.


5c Adolphe
(3rd issue)
Reply Card

15 June 1918,


This emergency use of the 5c Adolphe Reply card (3rd issue) is notable for three reasons:

First, the third issue of Grand Duke Adolphe postal stationery appeared during the latter half of 1906 (August 1906 is the frühdatum listed in the FSPL handbook), well after Adolphe’s death in November 1905.  It was superseded about a year later, in July 1907, by the Coat of Arms postal stationery.  As a consequence, even the 5c and 10c third issue cards are uncommon, and commercial uses of the third issue 5c+5c domestic and 10c+10c UPU cards are seldom seen.  Here the 5c reply card has been recalled from storage and invalidated with the three-concentric-ring obliterator, with a 5c Coat of Arms stamp added to pay the domestic-rate postage.

Second, unlike many emergency uses of the obsolete stationery, the 5c stamp was applied next to rather than over the invalid 5c stamp imprint.  And just to be safe, the Arsdorf postal clerk canceled both the stamp and the stamp imprint!

And third, obsolete cards were only distributed to post offices whose supply of postal cards had been depleted. This is the first example recorded as written and postmarked at Arsdorf.

A remarkable postal history and postal stationery card, indeed!