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Posted Mar 26, 23 7:42 by Rob Faux (robfaux)

Postal History Sunday

It's the seventh day (or the first, depending on how you see the beginning of the week) and Postal History Sunday is available for those who might enjoy viewing it.
Have a good day all!

Posted Mar 25, 23 11:48 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Cellar's misplating

Ken, I was referring to p.21 of Cellar's study, where he identifies the real type one in the Grinnell holding as a Grinnell printing. Of course, this is not the major issue: Dick made some good points, but overall his discussion is not that great.

Posted Mar 25, 23 9:21 by Mohamed Nasr (mohamed_nasr)

US Used In Ukraine

An interesting reply card used in Ukraine, addressed to US in 1947. Handwritten Yiddish message on the back. No dues or any other postmarks.


Posted Mar 24, 23 21:19 by george dekornfeld (docgfd)

New York 'M.I.&R.'

Thanks Gents !

Posted Mar 24, 23 21:04 by Ray Porter (rporter314)

MI & R

Thanks Len .... makes the most sense and is consistent with covers I have seen

Posted Mar 24, 23 15:51 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

New York 'M.I.&R.'

Mail Inspection and Rating. See attached.


Posted Mar 24, 23 15:47 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

30c 1860 Issue

I have been asked to post the following message from Peter Schwartz (his registration failed due to a verification problem on my end) You may contact him direct,

Hello Everyone,

I'm currently researching the essays and proofs for Scott 38 (30¢ 1860). The Scott Specialized lists these various items on India, white wove, wove, and stamp paper. I am not a paper expert, although I know the difference between India, proof, and pelure papers on sight. I have been informed that "wove" is an equivalent term for stamp paper and I'm hoping to get some clarification on this.

I have a similar question regarding the difference (if any) between "wove" and "white wove." Are they equivalent? If so, are these equivalent terms for "stamp paper," or are we talking about 2 or possibly 3 different types of paper?

There is consistency in the catalog's use of "wove" and "stamp paper" in the listings for the 24c, 30c, and 90c plate proofs. Those on stamp paper (P5) are listed as "plate on stamp paper." Trial colors (TC5) are listed as "plate on wove paper." One way to interpret this is that if the proof in question is in the issued color, the paper is denoted as "stamp paper." Otherwise it's denoted as "wove paper." 

I would be grateful for any clarification that members of the group are willing to offer.

Best Regards,

Peter Schwartz

Posted Mar 24, 23 10:34 by Ray Porter (rporter314)

New York 'M.I.&R.'

Warren Bower proposed the meaning probably in the 1970's. In a recent Cancellation Club issue, the question was asked what it means. Unfortunately there is no definitive answer. What I know is that duplex was used on short paid mail in NYC from 1894 on into the 20th century. If there were a department or division in the NYPO named "money, Inquiry & return", or alternative meanings of "money, inquiring, & returning" or "mail, inquest, & return" I am unaware, regardless, the mail on which these cancels were used bear little to no relevance to any of the meanings imputed.

I have covers dated as early as July of 1894 as indicated above. Also of note I have an auxiliary cancel with New York and I.D. in circle. It was thought to mean "identification division" but I have also found a cancel with "Inquest Dept" (I.D.).

Should anyone have an insight into what "MI & R" means, or better yet a source, I would love to hear it!

Posted Mar 24, 23 8:31 by george dekornfeld (docgfd)

New York 'M.I.&R.'

Thank you Brian !

Posted Mar 23, 23 20:03 by Brian Buru (brianb)

New York 'M.I.&R.'

Apparently, it is short for “money”, “inquiry”, and “return”. See the last page of this exhibit.

Posted Mar 23, 23 17:45 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Ukraine 1941

This card was mailed at Chicago on 18 June 1941, four days before the German attack on the Soviet Union. It is addressed to Lwow (Polish), Lemberg (Austro-Hungarian) and Cyrillic Lvov (Russian) names for the Ukrainian city now called Lviv. Atlantic Clipper departed New York 20 June, and arrived at Lisbon 22 June as Operation Barbarossa began. After censorship at Berlin it was returned to the sender.


Posted Mar 23, 23 14:10 by David Handelman (davidh)


I have been accumulating Ukraine postal history (related to my other interests) since the war started. For example, I posted an AR cover from Kherson on 11 November 2022---which was the day it was liberated, and coincidentally also Remembrance Day. I am waiting for Lysyschansk to be liberated, as I have a couple of spectacular items from there. Here is one from Khortitza (earlier transliteration, Chortitza), an island in Zaporizhzhia [formerly Aleksandrovsk] oblast (currently near the front).

This one is registered and addressed to Wymark, Saskatchewan (there is a very large Ukrainian diaspora in Canada, particularly in the west), during inflation. Note the random spelling of Saskatchewan in the address (you may have to adjust the size on your monitor).

And I realize now that the headings, "From Soviet Union" and "Soviet Union" are incorrect---USSR was not formed until December 1922.

Does anyone have a postmark of New York (Ukraine)? It is a settlement near the eastern front; but it may not have had a post office ...


Posted Mar 23, 23 9:50 by Roger Heath (decoppet)

Monastyriska, Austrian Galicia

Geneve Rue Du Stand [6.04 razor cancel] 27 June 1901 to Monastyriska, Austrian Galicia, present day Ukraine. Domestic wrapper uprated for international use.

It seems this territory as been fought over multiple times, then had boundaries redrawn by others.


Posted Mar 23, 23 7:15 by Richard Matta (rkmatta)

Ukraine at war

Don't know a thing about this label but it caught my attention.


Posted Mar 23, 23 7:14 by Richard Matta (rkmatta)

Ukraine at war



Posted Mar 23, 23 7:14 by Richard Matta (rkmatta)

Ukraine at war

I've been collecting Santa Claus postal propaganda for a while, and have recently bought a few things from Ukraine (mostly Soviet era). I picked up this one but have asked the seller if he can track down a used version.


Posted Mar 23, 23 7:00 by george dekornfeld (docgfd)

New York 'M.I.&R.'

Is anyone familiar with the cds found on the lower right of this 1914 cover who can tell me what the 'M.I.&R.' stands for?


Posted Mar 22, 23 16:44 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

An Exciting W-F Cover

maybe the start of a collection .... ex Cherrystone auction last week.

A 1919 use from New Jersey to Skalat, Poland (now Western Ukraine).


Posted Mar 22, 23 14:29 by Michael Schreiber (michaelschreiber)


So sad to learn of Sergio's passing.

As of today, Wednesday, Linn's has an obituary on its free home page at

I last saw Sergio at Garfield-Perry March Party in 2022, a year ago. He said that he had had a stroke, but there he was manning his table. His face was smiling and his eyes were twinkling, but he had lost a lot of weight. He said that his sister had confirmed for him that he still had his normal fluency in the handful of languages he could speak and read.

Sergio was interested in so many subjects. At a low traffic point in a show many years ago, we discussed how much soil from Ethiopia washed down to the Nile delta per year.

Posted Mar 22, 23 11:17 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Sergio Sismondo R.I.P.

I am sad to report that my long time friend, Sergio Sismondo, a noted philatelic expert for world classics, has passed away. He filled a niche in the expert community by making his worldwide knowledge available to an American clientele. He will be sorely missed by myself as well as that community.

Posted Mar 22, 23 8:42 by Terence Hines (thines)


Thanks Alexios.

Posted Mar 22, 23 0:01 by Alexios Papadopoulos (alexiosp)


Terence, it is a local (Paris) postman's mark. Best, Alexios

Posted Mar 21, 23 22:32 by Terence Hines (thines)


Here it is.


Posted Mar 21, 23 22:31 by Terence Hines (thines)


Can anyone opine on the meaning of the small marking that looks like "2/12" at the left of this cover? I believe the cover was overpaid by one cent. Blow up of the markings next.


Posted Mar 21, 23 14:27 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

Willis Reed Passed away today

We've lost another stamp collector. (And one of the greats at some other thing).


Posted Mar 21, 23 13:52 by Michael Schreiber (michaelschreiber)

on the way to California: 1849 letter from Nicaragua

This letter was written by a passenger on the first trip via Nicaragua on the way to the gold fields in California. The route was up the Rio San Juan to Lake Nicaragua, then to the lake port Granada, and by land to the Pacific port Realejo.

The Vanderbilt route via Nicaragua (via La Virgen and San Juan del Sur) did not begin until July 14, 1851, from both New York City and San Francisco.

The article is from the April 2023 issue of Nicarao, the journal of the Nicaragua Study Group.


Posted Mar 21, 23 9:44 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

U.S. Post Office Bill Book

I have for sale a high-quality, spiral-bound 130-page photocopy of all purchases by the U.S. Post Office Department for the quarters ending September 1870 through December 31 1876.

It's a complete listing of all the postal products manufactured by the National and Continental Bank Note Companies. It's about as detailed as one could imagine: for each quarter the exact numbers of stamps (per denomination) and envelopes are listed, along with the prices paid to the contractors by the USPO.

The list of products delivered to the USPO includes regular and official postage stamps (per denomination), stamped envelopes, newspaper wrappers, official envelopes (both stamped and unstamped), and Post Office envelopes.

Anyone interested in owning this book should contact me off line.

Posted Mar 21, 23 7:02 by Matthew Liebson (liebson)

Bob - thanks for posting that. It was quite a show - 10 exhibits on the floor scoring 93 points and higher and 13 total large golds.

Board participants in the frames included Barwis, Malmgren, Shoults, and Liebson, and I've probably missed one or two.

Posted Mar 20, 23 16:22 by Bob Rufe (bob rufe)

March Party Exhibits

Just learned the top exhibit awards from the weekend's March Party:

The Multiframe Grand went to James Hering for the 1922 Harding (and it’s first days). The Reserve to Earl Toops for the Development and Use of the Provisional Issues of South Vietnam.

The Single Frame Grand went to John Hotchner for The Mid-19th Century Start of Perforating in Great Britain and the United States.

Wish I could have been there! Always a great show.

Bob Rufe.

Posted Mar 19, 23 12:19 by Winston Williams (winstonw)

1842 Nevis - Madrid Via US Despatch Agent London


Answers to your questions of March 3.

1. Your 1842 FL would have departed NY by the Great Western on September 29, arrived Bristol 12 October. Not untypical transit time for a steamer. I suggest the Sept 28th. 1842 docketing was the date it was received in NY by the despatch agent.

2. 8d was the standard rate charged by the UK PO for ship letters (up to ½ oz) to anywhere in the UK from 10th January 1840.

Posted Mar 19, 23 11:47 by Winston Williams (winstonw)

Why did NY apply ratings both in pencil and red ink?

This letter (originated Mexico) sent from NY to catch the Cunard steamer from Boston of October 16, 1841 is an example.

The pencil 1-68 rating is centre top, the ink 168 is to the right (and in between is 4 in pencil which I can’t understand). Its weight of 2¼ oz is in red ink top left and I think this is duplicated in pencil as well.

A wild conjecture is that the ink mark was to show Boston the letter was paid, the pencil marks for the NY post office to show that they had entered the charge in their books for account number 4. But please feel free to shoot that down and give alternatives.


Posted Mar 19, 23 8:48 by Rob Faux (robfaux)

Postal History Sunday

Postal History Sunday is available to those who might like to read it.


Posted Mar 17, 23 22:17 by Lawrence Gregg (ecovers)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

For the Irish members of the board (everyone is a little Irish on St. Pat's Day!)


Posted Mar 16, 23 16:15 by Ravi Vora (nusivar)

1869 Cover Yokohoma-Consular Mail Via San Francisco to New York

I just got this cover back with good PF certificate. I seek help with the following questions on this cover:

1) What is the significance of "Via Consular Mail" in manuscript marking by sender from Yokohoma (No indication of writer or his title etc) to San Francisco? Was consular mail from Japan to USA (Via China) treated differently in terms of postal rates or method of handling? 2) Was the 20c the double rate for mail from USPO in Japan to USA?

Thank you.



Posted Mar 16, 23 10:26 by George Tyson (gtyson)

Kimberlee, I really enjoyed both of your additions to the "cover" database. Really charming and the write-ups added something extra. Thank you.

Posted Mar 15, 23 8:43 by Kimberlee Fuller (kimberlee)

Collectors Club - Zeppelin Milestones a Century Ago in the 1920s - Cheryl Ganz - 3/15 - 5:30PM EDT

We would like to remind you to attend our virtual program, scheduled for this evening, Wednesday, March 15th, 2023, at 5:30 pm EDT. We will be featuring a program about "Zeppelin Milestones a Century Ago in the 1920" presented by a woman I know and truly respect, especially for her contributions to organized philately, Cheryl Ganz.

Flown in 1929 by the Graf Zeppelin from Germany to Lakehurst, New Jersey, this envelope was postmarked onboard and signed by twenty passengers and crew members on the front and reverse. 4 RM was the zeppelin letter rate but the rubber stamp cachet should have been applied with blue ink. This black ink cachet is an unlisted variety. This zoom presentation will feature a variety of mail flown by both American and German zeppelins a century ago in the 1920s.

If you haven't registered already, please click on THIS LINK or copy and paste the link below into your browser:

You do not need to be a member of the Collectors Club to view the presentation. Anyone may join!


Posted Mar 13, 23 6:48 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Lavar's cover

There was no practical way to return the cover to Shanghai. Surface transport to China had ended. Air transport to China via Miami could not reach Shanghai until after the Japanese surrender. The sequence of the markings might have been: first, SERVICE SUSPENDED RETURN TO SENDER at SF, next, the circular censor marking after examination. After that, whether it was bagged and put aboard a ship or not, the notice that ended surface transport to China would have negated the possibility of return until September 1945 or later.

Posted Mar 13, 23 0:57 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

WWII Postal History

A follow up post about the the China to Mexico WWII cover. Thanks to information from a community member, I'm now positing whether the cover was returned to Shanghai via Mexico. Mexico did not joint WWII until May of 1942. is it possible that the cover went back to Mexico by boat after being censored in San Francisco?

I recall Ken L discussing how mail destined for overseas backed up in San Francisco. Any such a delay suggests that the cover did not get back to China, but I'm not certain how long mail sat in San Fran. The blue marking on the reverse is a Mexican directory service marking dated Nov. 24, 1941. There is a second oval Mexican marking in the same place as the blue circular Directory Service marking that I can't decipher. I can't tell if that oval marking is dated 1942, or if there is any date.

There are both red ink markings and a purple crayon squiggle marking on the front. Plus a blue crayon marking that appears to read "PTO". None of these markings appear to be the type of marking which you might see if the cover was returned to Shanghai.

On the front over the "ways" of airways, however, is a partial Shanghai marking. it appears different from the marking that canceled the stamps on the reverse, but it is not easy to read. is that a receiving marking ?

Thanks to those who have or may provide information, on or off board.