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Posted Nov 20, 18 0:20 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

WWI Postal History

The second item I acquired is shown below. It is a cover addressed to Captain Minkwitz in Eritrea, sent from Bremen on Nov. 17, 1916.  By this time, due to Italy's declaration of war on Germany in August of 1916, Captain Mikwitz was a POW. This item is endorsed as POW mail, and thus was sent postage free.

Note that on the front there are censor markings from four countries: Germany, France, England and Eritrea.   This is the first four-censor marking WWI cover I have acquired. Although a POW, Captain Minkwitz was apparently staying at a hotel, judging by the address shown on the cover.  The cover arrived in Eritrea on June 12, 1917.

I have been able to accumulate a decent amount of material relating to German ships, civilian and military, that were interned or sunk during WWI. This material adds to that collection.


Posted Nov 20, 18 0:12 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

WWI Postal History

In today's mail I received two really interesting items of WWI postal history.  Below is the front of a cover sent from Eritria to Austria or Germany on May 21, 1915. Although not obvious from what can be seen on the cover, it was mailed by Captain  Minkwitz, of the German ship Choising, which was interned in then-neutral Eritrea shortly after the outbreak of WWI. The second item, from the same batch of corresponence, is an incoming letter to the Captain.

The cover shown here was mailed after Italy revoked the Triple Alliance on May 3, 1915 and just before Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary on May 23.  it appears that this cover was addressed either to Austria (probably) or Germany. (less likely, as Italy did not declare war on Germany until August 28, 1916)  The tape on the front obscures the writing on the front of the envelope.
In any event, this cover was returned to the sender, due to Italy's declaration of war on May 23. Per the marking on the reverse, this item did not make its way back to Eritrea until some time in 1916.


Posted Nov 19, 18 22:46 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Philly anomaly 30 to Uk

The 30 indicates thirty paid (presumably in person) on the 24 cent UK rate for UK. Very strange. Any clever ideas out there? Thirty the PCM rate.


Posted Nov 19, 18 21:12 by Phil Rhoade (rugface)



Thanks for the Spellman suggestion. I hadn't thought of Spellman and will add it to my list to contact.

Again, thank you.

Posted Nov 19, 18 19:54 by Gerald Nylander (gn19091914)

Chicagopex Palmares

The full Chicagopex Palmares for both Philatelic and Literature exhibits has been posted at our web site

Posted Nov 19, 18 19:27 by Dave Savadge (nomad55)

Privately printed postal card

Here's something similar from the 1926 Philadelphia Expo. The private overprint is also found on the 1-cent green postal card.


Posted Nov 19, 18 7:59 by Tim O'Connor (drtimo)

CIPEX stuff

Phil, The Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal history in Weston Mass. recently was gifted with an enormous collection of philatelic ephemera including show cards etc. This stuff gets sold to benefit the Museum. I suggest you make contact with George Norton who functions as the Curator. He will know the details, ie how far back the material goes. Weston is just outside Boston, always a fine place to visit. Happy Hunting.


Posted Nov 18, 18 22:18 by Phil Rhoade (rugface)

Unknown CIPEX Card (back)

Image of back of card.


Posted Nov 18, 18 22:16 by Phil Rhoade (rugface)

Unknown CIPEX Card

I am searching for information on the card illustrated below. It is a souvenir postal card for the 1947 CIPEX international show. This may be too modern for the primary thrust of this board but I’m just about out of options trying to learn about the card. I’d like to be able to include some details on the card in the collection/exhibit write-up.

I have been collecting CIPEX material for several years and have never seen this card before. I found it at a regional show a couple of months ago. There is no publisher information printed anywhere on the card. It was printed on (added to) a 1¢ postal stationery card.

I suspect the publisher had a Masonic connection. Both Franklin and Washington were Grand Masters. The central image on the picture side of the card is comprised of Masonic symbols: compass, square, rose, and cross.

I’ve googled every word search combination I can think of. I’ve posted on the Delphi and SCF discussion groups. I’ve gone through the CIPEX program page-by-page looking for an advertisement or announcement. I’ve contacted Masonic stamp clubs. No one has been able to provide any information. If this here request is unsuccessful in learning anything, I’ll contact APRL but i’m not sure how or where they might expand the search.

Any information or suggestions anyone might be able to provide regarding this card would be most appreciated.


Posted Nov 18, 18 17:45 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Backdated cancels

I had mistakenly thought that backdated cancels only applied to First Day covers.

This cover in my collection shows an early use of a backdated cancel by the Germans occupying Ghent, Belgium in 1914. See Cover ID 27601. The photo that I included is from the online exhibit listed below. The reason the Germans used a backdated cancel was to celebrate the capture of Ghent, and thus create a philatelic souvenir for a German soldier. Soldier's mail sent to Germany did not require postage.

Here is a link to an informative exhibit entitled "Ghent, Occupied City 1914-1918"  put out by the Ghent City Museum


Posted Nov 18, 18 9:22 by Richard Drews (bear427)


Thanks Matt. I had another commitment and missed the banquet. The competition at the show was fierce. This has been a fabulous turnout of top level exhibits, great dealers and so many talks that there we alomost always 3 or more meetings to chose from.

Best news from the show: the APS Stampshow that is coming to Chicago in 2021 will be 2000 frames with invited international exhibits and a 250 frame court of honor. Scott English held a town meeting on Friday and an early morning brainstorming session on Saturday. The show will serve as the kickoff for the 2026 Boston international with a major fundraising drive. More details will come out in the coming months. Plan to visit Chicago in 2021. We already have several commitments for show promotion from major dealers, judges and commissioners in Europe and the Americas.


Posted Nov 18, 18 0:18 by Matthew Kewriga (mkewriga)

Chicagopex Results

Congratulations to the winners! I had the pleasure of sitting next to them both.

Nicholas Kirke won the Multiframe Grand for: The Progression of New York City Outbound Foreign Mail 1845-77

Greg Shoults won the Multiframe Reserve Grand for "Washington and Franklin Coils Third Bureau Perforated Issues 1908-1922"

and the Single Frame Grand for "COIL STAMPS", The Plates, Coil Stamps, and Coil Waste Issues of 1912 & 1914"

Well deserved Nick and Greg!

Posted Nov 17, 18 16:12 by David Snow (dwsnow)


Here is another postcard showing the bombing of Antwerp in that Zeppelin raid of 25-26 August 1914. From the Belgian point-of-view.


Posted Nov 17, 18 13:57 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Check the date

It sometimes pays to carefully check the dates of your covers.

For example, consider this ordinary-looking cover from Antwerp, Belgium to Chicago. See Cover ID 27599

It is postmarked from a Belgian city that was at the time under attack by the Germans at the beginning of World War I.

On the night of 25-26 August 1914, Antwerp was bombed by a German Zeppelin airship. The image below is from a German postcard showing that air raid. The cover is postmarked 26 VIII 1914, between the hours of 19-20 (between 7:00 and 8:00 pm).

The postcard, published in Berlin, is based on a painting by the German artist Themistokles von Eckenbrecher (1842-1921).

An Irish newspaper at the time reported:
"Up to a dozen people have died after a German Zeppelin dropped bombs on the Begian city of Antwerp. The Zeppelin dropped seven or eight bombs during its raid, with two houses being destroyed and their occupants now dead or injured. There are reports that one bomb fell near the Royal Palace, where the Queen of Belgium and the young princes are staying. They were unharmed."


Posted Nov 17, 18 12:53 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Frajola Sale of CSA Provisionals

I guess I should advertise on the Philamercury board in addition to only buying "Stamp of the Day" advertising on Stamp Auction Network ...

I have a "buy or bid" sale running now until November 27th here. Some very nice CSA provisional covers as well as stamps.


Posted Nov 17, 18 12:51 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

re: 1549A Window Receipt - request for other examples

The attached image is of the window receipt portion of the 1549A registry label. It was issued as a loose sheet of eight sets of label and window receipt at selected post offices between 1907 and 1914. Further information can be seen at:

Images of any additional examples not already in this data base would be greatly appreciated either on or off board.

The window receipt seems to be a lot harder to find than the used label. I have never seen an unused sheet of eight.

Wishing you a great thanksgiving with friends and family,

Russ Ryle


Posted Nov 17, 18 10:28 by Scott Trepel (strepel)

Drews 1861-68 Off Cover

Siegel has posted the Dec. 12 sale. Printed catalogs mail before Thanksgiving next week.

A true collector’s collection.

Posted Nov 16, 18 17:43 by Bob Bramwell (rudy2donline)


Offering free Vols 1 through 4 plus 4 related publications.  All fit in one USPS fixed cost box.  Refund of shipping cost up to you, I just don't want to destroy them.  Reply off line.


added: Taken

Posted Nov 16, 18 15:13 by David Snow (dwsnow)

World War I postal history

A. Lavar Taylor,

Thanks for posting your interesting Sept. 1914 registered cover from the Gilbert Islands to Australia.

Here is a censored postcard sent by a Belgian soldier on the Western Front in  Dec.1917. For more information see cover ID 27598.

In the description I explain the story of the "Lucky Clover" shown on this card, and give a translation of the message from the Dutch.

At first I was puzzled by the origin of Parigné-l'Évêque, as it is in NW France, nowhere near the Western Front.  But then I saw "(Souchte) France" in the return address. That town was located on the Western Front in NE France, which makes more sense.


Posted Nov 16, 18 12:16 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Mulitple rare characteristics on one cover

The (recognizable) pilot covers are, let's say, one in a hundred thousand in period (Note that some are only descernable based on content, that there are not a lot of people looking for them).  The recognizable bogarted covers are similarly rare (if we spread them out over the early and classic eras, there may exist many non detectable (no forwarding marking, ship auxiliary not omitted, and also only one person has looked for them -- although filtering probably hundreds of thousands of covers in the process).  Thus, the (unique?) 77 cover would appear to be one in ten billions.  This number seems a tad high, so, as John suggested, there is some level of coupling between the two characteristics of the cover.  Although I doubt if many pilot covers into the PO got a forwarder marking (whether or not ship rated), so it is mighty rare.
In general, when a cover has two rare characteristics, it is valuable to think if they are coupled (also, sometimes a tip off for fakery).  On the other hand, note that a cover may have many different aspects, which somewhat lowers the improbability that two characteristics will be unusual.  (This is similar to the old puzzle that asks how many people need to be in a room for two to have the same birth date (mo and day).  If it is a specified date, then the number is about 365 1/4.  But if it can be any pairing -- I don't recall -- but the number is more like 30?)

Posted Nov 15, 18 23:38 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Earliest US Civilian PO Express mail

Note that a PO (silent) express mail from Boston carried the first Boston arrival carried by coaster from Halifax.  I count 4 such covers and have one available for purchase.  There are also known, in the 30s (no examples identified) and 40s (several in my downstreaming exhibit) USPO expresses put on for ocean mails.

Posted Nov 15, 18 22:43 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Madeira "65"

Gordon -- I can only admire your noble restraint.

Posted Nov 15, 18 19:39 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)


Thanks Bernard... but I like stamps on my covers.

Posted Nov 15, 18 18:37 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Position 49 record price


Posted Nov 15, 18 18:23 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Other Madeira cover

Gordon -- that stamp would make a wonderful soaker.

Posted Nov 15, 18 17:41 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

AWOLs galore

Apparently Hertha was an island, in medieval times on the road to paradise, which was part of the Heligoland that the new built Germany coveted as a naval base.


Posted Nov 15, 18 17:35 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Source of bogarted? SF cover

This must say something about how the thing was handled -- local consul (Mr Duisenberg)????

This visit was something of an occasion. The steamer Wizard was (later) making hourly excursions from PMSS wharf and a big do was planned.


Posted Nov 15, 18 17:03 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Red verso SF forwarder marking on anomalous SF BN cover



Posted Nov 15, 18 16:59 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Late bogarted cover?

This is a ship letter coming into SF underpaid. The point is that verso is a San Francisco forwarder not mentioned in the address. Also, if they picked it up at the SF PO, there would be a 4 cent incoming charge and a three cent outgoing charge.


Posted Nov 15, 18 16:57 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Bypassed forwarder

Although arriving at Boston, and addressed to a New York forwarder for a North Carolina resident, it is rated all the way and the forwarder is crossed out. (Note the crossing out was not at (true) origin.) The Packet Lre notation is atypical -- indeed this was not handled as a packet letter by US PO. Perhaps it was put on by the sender.

Note that on Some of the Falmouth packet covers delivered via Boston (New York was the normal entry for the Packet) and by US coaster, not UK packet, in addition to lacking town markings, they lack ship markings. New York did not ship rate the normal packet covers (and of course did not ship mark them) -- but on the coaster delivered items, one (very crazy) clerk did not "Sh" them but the other(s) did.


Posted Nov 15, 18 16:51 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Non bogarted consultative covers (or whatever)

In the first case, perhaps the PO was aware that Johnston was in the city and decided to bypass the forwarding instructions. In any case, it would make little sense for the recipient to cross it out. Note that both of these are Falmouth Packet covers carried by USA coaster from Halifax to Boston. Marking characteristic mainly of normal packet letters (Fal-NY), but perhaps also of office overload ship letters.


Posted Nov 15, 18 13:44 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)

a more modern Madeira cover

Here is an interesting Maderia cover via London to the US.


Posted Nov 15, 18 12:29 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

1761 Madeira

John -- I did not claim that the 1761 cover had anything to do with pilot letters.  I did say that the 77 letter was not only a pilot letter, but  also bogarted, and that made it a doublesuper rarity.  (I would estimate the bogarted eighteenth century examples run to around one in a thousand covers from that era.)
It is not a normal ship letter as it was not delivered directly to the authorities (I'm guessing that would have been the customs office), but went to local Philadelphia merchants who then turned it over to the post office after adding there docketing.  Despite it being proferred in this manner, it was rated as a ship letter (one sees bootlegged letters that, despite having indication of ship entry, are rated domestic only).  But, and this is the wierdness icing on the cake, there is no ship marking.
(It is a bit tricky to come up with a more descriptive term for "bogarting".  The eighteenth century examples show both the rating of apparently bootlegged covers with the absence of ship marking.  But the Boston 77 example does show a ship marking.  It is tempting to call them ship rated bootlegged covers in hopes of clarity, but that may not be exactly on point, as, for one thing, the 77 letter was not a normal ship letter at the outset. Perhaps "bogarting" has a useful ambiguity in dealing with such an obscure phenomenon
This kind of segues into another obscure phenomenon which involves forwarders being intermediaries without paying expected postage.  I'll put up a couple of pages from my 1793 exhibit later to show this.

Posted Nov 15, 18 1:05 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

WWI Postal History

Below is another interesting WWI postal history item.  It is a registered cover sent from Butaritari, Gilbert Islands on Sept. 5, 1914 to Sydney, Australia. What makes this remarkable is the sender appears to have been a  German representative of the Jaluit Company located in the Gilbert Islands.  At the time this was sent, Germany and Britain were at war.  This appears to be commercial mail, not POW or internee mail.  There is a censor marking on the front, with no markings of any kind on the reverse.

Through research on the internet, I determined that the addressee was a German-Australian who had acquired British  citizenship and who routinely  handled the business interests of Germans prior to (and early on after the outbreak of) WWI,  but who was nevertheless interned in Australia at the end of the 1915. This supports the conclusion that the sender of this letter was a German connected with the Jaluit Company, rather than someone who managed to find and use a stray Jaluit Company  envelope.

A fairly recent acquisition, I've never seen anything like it previously,


Posted Nov 14, 18 22:08 by Rob Faux (robfaux)


To any who might be attending Chicagopex.  I will be there on Saturday and I'd be happy to chat about postal history if anyone else is interested.  If you do not know me, I wear a Cincinnati Reds baseball cap.  Makes it easy to find the guy who is a farmer in a philatelic grouping.


Posted Nov 14, 18 19:02 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

1761 from Madeira


The endorsement per "Capt. Hatton / QDC" is in the same hand as the address, so was therefore applied by the sender in Madeira. So the letter was not delivered to the New York post office by a pilot.

What leads you to posit that this is other that a "normal" ship letter?

Posted Nov 14, 18 18:45 by David Snow (dwsnow)

The Fall of Antwerp October 1914

Here is a German propaganda postcard from early in the First World War, mocking the Belgian King Albert and his little army, claiming that they were encircled and entrapped. See Cover ID 27596 for reverse side and information.

In truth King Albert and the remaining Belgian army broke out of the tightening German encirclement. Antwerp did indeed fall to the Germans, but the Belgian army retreated and held onto a tiny remaining sliver of Belgian territory by the North Sea for the rest of the war. Albert and the royal family stayed in this area of Belgium and supported his troops in the trenches. See Cover ID 26510.


Posted Nov 14, 18 16:32 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)


Here is one example on a cover from Madeira in 1761. Note the key characteristics -- private forwarder notation, ship rate, no ship marking: a combination that doubly (almost trebly) has no right to exist. As I recall, the one I sold Tim showed that this generated confusion at destination as the destination rate eliminated the occultish origin (so-called) rate. There are around five 18th century covers. Also the pilot boat cover. I also have a c1870s cover which may fall into this category. I have not tried to correlate their disappearance with a change in postal laws. Perhaps there was a custom that sometimes a forwarder associated with the ship would hand in letters rather than the captain or his onboard agent. BUT that does not explain the pathognomonic absence of a ship marking. In this case, taking in to account the bizarre local ratings at NY (two different accounting currencies were used -- I have never been able to establish the full pattern), this 1/7 is the correct local currency accounting conversion of 3.16 (lawfully 10d stg).


Posted Nov 14, 18 15:02 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Armistice Postcard

George Dekornfeld,

Thanks for your comment on my Armistice Belgian postal card.

Here is another postcard postmarked on 11 November 1918 from a Belgian Army Post on the Western Front. Note that the time slug is left blank. A soldier's souvenir of that historic day. See Cover ID 27595 for the other side.

The mounted troops portrayed on this postcard were part of the 5th (Mhow) Calvary Brigade, 2nd Indian Calvary Division. Once in France its personnel were called upon to serve in the trenches as infantry. The high number of officer casualties suffered early on had an effect on performance. British officers who understood the language, customs and psychology of their men could not be quickly replaced, and the alien environment of the Western Front had some effect on the soldiers. These Indian troops fought in various battles.


Posted Nov 14, 18 11:46 by Mark Schwartz (schwamoo)

Boston 1858 or 1859

For what it’s worth, Blake has the 1858 variety known only from mid-October to the end of the year. The 1859 variety was used throughout that year.

Posted Nov 14, 18 11:07 by Barry Elkins (elkman3)

April 12 Boston cover


I think the same as you, that it must be 1859.  However, I have an 1859 Boston cover, and the 9 does NOT look like the supposed 9 on this cover.  The 9 looks like a zero with a cross bar and a smal piece missing from the lower left; that is, the right side is straight up and down.  On this April 12 cover, the right side looks slanted southwest to northeast.  Maybe when the postal clerk changed the date on the cancelling device, he chnaged the 9 for a 7 in the year date??

Posted Nov 14, 18 6:48 by Charles Hanselmann (southern*patriot)

WWI Bicycle Corps

Thanks Tim O, Yamil K, & A. Lavar T :)

I read what I could find online on the postmark, cycylist address, etc ., as to get a cover story. Can't make out the U.S. postmark yet since it was stamped on the picture. Do you know if the illustrated picture is a place in Japan?

Posted Nov 14, 18 0:16 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

WWI postal history

Charles H-

Your cover has markings from the Territorial Force in the UK. The history of this force, which differed from the regular army, during the War is interesting. It was originally deployed only domestically. The changed as the army needed more troops. There are articles on the net which go into more detail.

Posted Nov 13, 18 22:53 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)


I admit that is a terrible personal misuse of 70s slang -- what I mean by it is the letter was not immediately turned over to the port authority for transmission to the PO and instead went through a private port forwarder.  I will try to retrieve an example and put it up.  One sometimes sees such items that go out Not as ship rated -- they are referred to as bootlegs.  These seem to be bootlegs that got their comeuppance.  But some, of a very small population, got the ship rate without the ship auxiliary marking. 

Posted Nov 13, 18 22:44 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Apr 12 Boston cover

I have not checked the plating, but it pretty much has to be 1859.  None of the new plates under the 1857 contract hit the POs until July.  Incidentally, I have a hunch the second earliest on the Siskin list is preceded by another (July 13???, perhaps in the sale of 3 cent material in the 1980s by the predecessor of Lowell Newman's operation.  There should be a number of July uses out there.

Posted Nov 13, 18 22:25 by Yamil Kouri (yamil kouri)

Bicycle Corps

There was an experimental US Army Bicycle Corps formed in 1896 composed by African American soldiers. It was officially disbanded prior to the Spanish American War although I have seen contemporary newspaper photographs of the 20 or so men in this unit during the SAW and reports of a recoinassance mission they carried out in Cuba.

So far I have not seen any correspomdence that makes reference to this unit nor there is any evidence that they were used to carry mail during this conflict.

Posted Nov 13, 18 19:55 by Barry Elkins (elkman3)

What do I have?

I just acquired a large lot of 3c 1857's.  Some of them had already been plated, NOT BY ME.  Tis item is plated as 74L11L, which according to Scott makes it a #26A.  The postmark is Boston, April 12, 1857, although the 7 is partial but does NOT look like the usual 9 in Boston postmarks.  The postmark date makes it BEFORE any of the EKUs for this issue, either 25, 25A, 26, or 26A.  What to I have??  Thanks for any opinions.


Posted Nov 13, 18 17:15 by John Barwis (jbarwis)



I am not sure what "Bogarting" means, unless it's piloting a small steam vessel through the East African jungle with Katherine Hepburn aboard. We should all have been so lucky.

A forwarder might well be considered by the Post Office as NOT a "special messenger" if he ran a regular schedule and/or offered his services "for hire or reward" per the 1792 law and its continuations.

Please post one of your covers and explain what aspect of that cover represents an illegal act under U.S. postal law.

Posted Nov 13, 18 16:04 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Ship rated pilot boat cover

John B -- that is a very relevant comment. I had not thought about it, but it brings it into a special category I have pursued for many years -- ship rated covers that were (illegally) intercepted by a forwarder and then charged the ship fee when forwarded. There are apparently c10 pilot boat covers around and about half a dozen, to my knowledge, of the bogarted ship covers, so the crossover is kinda unusual. Several of the know bogarted covers were colonials involving Phil and were rated passing strange. Tim has the one that set me off on this obscure corner and I have since acquired a few more.

Posted Nov 13, 18 14:14 by Tim O'Connor (drtimo)

bicycle Corps

Charles, thanks for posting your intriguing letter. There is much online about the bicycle corp in WW1, "first British soldier killed was a recon scout on bike in Belgium". I wonder if there was a bicycle Post ? Tim