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Posted May 23, 22 10:16 by Mark Schwartz (schwamoo)

Helvetia - Lugano

Does anyone know who the winners were in Lugano?

Posted May 23, 22 9:16 by Charles Lemons (tankcurator)

Thank You

Thanks for the information - much appreciated

Posted May 23, 22 5:20 by John Wilson (vladivohaken)

WWII Malta to Rhodesia

Malta to Northern Rhodesia 1940.

BOAC flight AE218 departing Heston-Biscarosse-Bordeaux-Marseilles-Tunis-Malta, arriving 4 May. Then to Alexandria, arriving 12:50 4 May 1940.

Connected to BOAC flight DS-268 (C Class flying boat “Corio”) departed Poole 4 May-Marseilles-Athens-Alexandria 7 May (delayed en route through France). Departed Alexandria 8 May-Cairo-Wadi Halfa-Khartoum-Malakal-Juba-Port Bell-Kisumu-Naivasah-Mombasa-DaresSalaam-Lindi-Mozambique-Quelimane-Beira.

At Beira connected to Southern Rhodesia Air Services (SRAS) flight to Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia. The “Jusqu’a” suggests air transport ended at Salisbury but SRAS did fly on to Mongu in Northern Rhodesia so the cover possibly flew that far before transferring to rail for remaining journey. N’Kana is on the north-eastern border between Northern Rhodesia and the Congo.

Franking of 1/3d correct wartime airmail inclusive rate.

Flights from UK through Mediterranean ended 8 June 1940 with flight DS-278.

Hope this helps,
John W.

Posted May 23, 22 2:18 by Tim Henninger (pälzer)

Pola, Austria-Hungary to New York stampless

Charles: Your letter was written in Pola (today Pula / Croatia) which at that time was part of the austrian-hungary k.u.k monarchy during the early phase of the german-austrian-postal-union (GAPU). As Brian already linked it was sent with prussian-closed-mail , in this case to be paid by the recipient with 30 ct total, which were divided as follows: 2 Silbergroschen (Sgr written from the exchange post-office in Aachen with blue wax pencil on the frontside ) = 5 ct for the GAPU, 2 ct belgian transit, 18 ct sea-transport and 5 ct domestic transport in the US. From the ship-transport the rather long duration is very remarkable and as I´ve checked Hubbard/Winter "HMS Canada" (Cunard Line) fits with depature in Liverpool on 1851-01-18 and arrival in NY on 1851-02-05.

Posted May 23, 22 2:06 by Brian Buru (brianb)

Pola, Austria-Hungary to New York stampless

Charles, please take a look at this.

Posted May 22, 22 21:23 by Charles Lemons (tankcurator)

Pola, Austria-Hungary to New York stampless

I picked this up on a whim a couple of years ago but, being a US 19th century collector, I don't know much about how it came to the US. Apparently mailed in Pola on January 11 (year unknown) - it apparently moved to Trieste on 1/12 then to Aachen by 1/16, finally arriving in NY on 2/6. The inscription says Via Liverpool England. The Trieste postmark is on the reverse.


Posted May 22, 22 20:11 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

WWII Postal History

Below is an interesting item of WWII postal history. It is a cover sent via airmail from Malta on May 3, 1940 to Nkana, Northern Rhodesia. It is franked with a 3d KGVI stamp and a pair of GGV 6d airmail stamps.

There is a boxed airmail marking on the front, reading "Par Avion, Jusqu'a [Salisbury], with Salisbury written in pencil.

There are no postal markings on the reverse, just a return address indicating that the sender lived in Gzira, a small town near Valetta.

This cover interested me in part because it was sent very shortly before the German invasion of France, Belgium, etc. on May 10 and not long before the Italians attacked Malta on June 11.

My initial research has led me to believe that this cover would have traveled south via the BOAC route that started in London and ended up in Durban. If so, it likely would have been flown to Salisbury from Beira and from Salisbury to Nkana.

I know little about Malta postal history, but presumably air mail service from Malta became much les frequent, and then perhaps stopped altogether, after the Italians -- later joined by the Germans -- began the siege of Malta.

Any comments or corrections would be appreciated.


Posted May 22, 22 10:52 by Alberto Longinotti (longbert)

2c. Jackson entire

Many thanks Richard, Alberto

Posted May 22, 22 9:09 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

2c Jackson entire

Alberto, It appears to be a Scott #U54 (issued 1864, catalog value $9.50 used), 2c Black on Buff postal stationery entire. The cancel would be New York City presumably - based on the corner card. I believe such to be the case.

Posted May 22, 22 8:16 by Rob Faux (robfaux)

Postal History Sunday

Postal History Sunday is available for those who might enjoy reading it.  You can find today's entry at this link.  If you wish to read more than today's, you can go here and all PHS are there in order from most recent to oldest.


Posted May 22, 22 7:05 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)

Red Cancel on Confederate Stamp

The stamp is authentic, but the cancel is not.  I have it on a block of four of the same stamp and currently there is one on the web with no indication of what it is, normal for the web.

This cancel often appears on the CSA 2c Andrew Jackson.

In the past this cancel has been attributed to Sperati but this is extremely unlikely

Posted May 22, 22 4:36 by Alberto Longinotti (longbert)

cover New York

Good morning (in Italy). I don't have the United States Postal Stationery catalog so I ask my friends on the forum to help me identify this cover and its postmark. Many thanks, Alberto


Posted May 22, 22 2:25 by Farley Katz (navalon)


"Zeichne" can mean "draw" but it also means "sign." So "Hochachtungsvoll zeichne" is "I sign respectfully".

Posted May 21, 22 19:17 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Red Jack

A fake cancel on a genuine stamp. Sometimes mis-attributed to Sperati - actual maker unknown. A not uncommon fake.

Posted May 21, 22 17:16 by Lawrence Gregg (ecovers)

Red Cancel on CSA Stamp

Greetings to the board. This stamp appears to have a partial red New York PAID cancel that is usually found on covers to Europe. My question is, could this confederate stamp have been on a cover that went through New York?


Posted May 21, 22 9:27 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

Al K's Passing

I too was sad to hear of Al's passing......a thoughtful and respected gentleman. He will be sorely missed by all.

Posted May 20, 22 21:42 by John Shepherd (tas philatelist)

old German transcription - help

Many thanks Leonard and Tim again. It does indeed make sense (but for the word "draw"). I did try with Google translate but my transcription was way off.

I feared the translation would be much more difficult. Related story: someone discovered a diary of a WWI German POW in Australia. The handwriting was very difficult to understand. A ninety year-old German speaker was sought out to transcribe it and even he said, "this is really old-fashioned".

Many Thanks.

Posted May 20, 22 21:16 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

old German transcription - help

For what it's worth, Google translate yields this:

...beg your pardon for being so bold (free) through Cap(tain) Pain in command of the ship "Spartan", with which this letter is sent, to send you three (three) pounds according to the accompanying note, with the request to pay the amount to my dear wife Maria Henrica Struve in Hamburg through Mr. Dencker and to have the enclosed letter handed over - to excuse the trouble. At the same time I thank you for the letter I received through your intermediary by (ship) "Himalaya".

Yours sincerely, draw most devotedly...

Sounds sensible. For what it's worth....

Posted May 20, 22 20:56 by John Shepherd (tas philatelist)

old German transcription - help

Many Thanks Tim. Now for step 2 - can anyone translate into English?

It is very different to modern German I believe.

Posted May 20, 22 19:34 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Downton Abbey - a New Era - My Philatelic Review

Unlike the first movie which began with a dazzling display of a letter being written, mailed, sorted and delivered by train, postal truck, motorcycle and letter carrier, here there is little of philatelic interest. The closest the movie gets to anything truly philatelic is when a small archive of old letters, sent by a French Marquis to his love interest and presumably bearing French stamps, is spread out on a table. Other than that brief moment, I am afraid to say that the movie has little of interest to philatelists. The rest was your basic Downton Abbey fare, although quite delightful if you like that sort of thing.

Posted May 20, 22 14:20 by Tim Henninger (pälzer)

old German transcription - help

 ...bitte tausendmal um Entschuldigung, dass ich so frey (frei) bin durch Cap(tain) Pain führend das Schiff "Spartan", womit dieser Brief abgeht, drey (drei) pounds laut beigehenden Schein an Sie zu senden, mit dem Ersuchen den Betrag an meine liebe Frau Maria Henrica Struve in Hamburg durch Herrn Dencker zahlen und den einliegenden Brief dabey (dabei) übergeben zu lassen - die Mühe zu entschuldigen. Zugleich danke ich für den durch Ihre Vermittlung erhaltenen Brief per (ship) "Himalaya".

Hochachtungsvoll zeichne ganz ergebendst...

+ Gruß

Posted May 20, 22 7:04 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Black Honduras and Red Honduras

No new information about Marc Rousso's stamp, unfortunately. It's a hard canard to swallow, so I hope the stamp will appear some day, maybe in an Irish boot sale like the stolen McCoy Jenny Invert.

Besides the possibly unfinished Rousso episode, I hope we might some day learn the identity of the "wealthy Texan," represented by Raymond Weill, who once owned the Black Honduras -- especially if Vince King was right when he suggested Amon Carter, a legendary air mail collector.

After acquiring the Honduras stamps, Mystic Stamp Company exhibited them, including covers, at Aerophilately 2014 in Bellefonte and at New York 2016, the first opportunities for collectors of my generation to see them.

I had hoped we could see them again in November at Aerophilately 2022 in Bellefonte, but alas, Mystic sells stamps, and those have been sold. Someone somewhere is completing a new chapter of their story.

Posted May 20, 22 6:43 by David D'Alessandris (davidd)

Black Honduras

Hi Ken - have you uncovered anything more about Marc Rousso / taxi copy of the stamp since the booklet was published?

Posted May 19, 22 22:17 by John Shepherd (tas philatelist)

old German transcription - help

Can anyone transcribed the attached letter?

Written in old German by a German native. Dates from 1840s. Sent from Australia to an agent in England. The thrust of the letter is, I believe, the author is returning to Europe and seeks to reunite with his wife, Maria Struve of Hamburg.

Many Thanks.


Posted May 19, 22 19:14 by Scott Trepel (strepel)

Honduras Airmails

Ken L’s booklet is highly recommended. The Honduras airmail stamps and the route for which they were created are among the world’s most fascinating and rarest. There was a time when the Red on Blue and Black Honduras were more valuable than many prized stamps we know today.

And no, I’m not selling a collection of them. I just like them.

Posted May 19, 22 19:07 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Booklets available as free PDF files

Two booklets that I wrote for Mystic Stamp Company in 2016, which Mystic distributed at the New York 2016 international stamp exhibition, are available as free PDF downloads on the Mystic website.

The Grinnell Missionaries: Genuine Stamp Rarities or Clever Fakes Created to Cheat Collectors? is here.

World's Rarest Airmail Stamp — The Black Honduras is here.

Posted May 19, 22 15:39 by Ravi Vora (nusivar)

1860 Cover from Bombay to Smyrna Turkey

Many thanks to Martin, Steven and Florian.

I agree with your assessment. What threw me was my misreading the cancel to be in July. A closer look confirms it to be Oct 8. Routing now makes complete sense. I greatly appreciate some prompt answers. You all are great!


Posted May 19, 22 14:31 by Martin Hosselmann (m.hosselmann)

1860 Bombay-Smyrna cover

Belgaum 1860.10.07, Bombay 1860.10.11 per P&O Steamer via Aden to Suez and Overland to Alexandria. Per French Messagerie Maritime Steamer to Symrna.

Posted May 19, 22 12:00 by steven frumkin (sfrumkin)

RV's Cover

Postmark on reverse is Belgaum (now called Belagavi).

Posted May 19, 22 9:53 by Florian Eichhorn (minatobay)

1860 Bombay-Smyrna cover

Hello Ravi,

can not give exact sources towards a prescribed routing.

But the quickest route between such busy ports as Alexandria and Smyrna was certainly  per ship. Bound for,  or calling at Smyrna en-route to other important places north of Alexandria like Constantinople or Saloniki.

Also the cover was not posted in July, but in October of 1860.

Origin was probably BELLA?Y OCT 7 (Bellady?) in brown plus the crescent framed "INDIA PAID" in the same colour. May be originally also kind of  vermilion and oxydized?

Then vermilion transit of BOMBAY also 7 OCT.

Posted May 19, 22 8:43 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

Al Kugel will be missed

Al was one of the first people to take me aside with encouraging comments on my first exhibit back in 1983. We shared several interests especially 1549a registry labels. But then, with all of his interests, it would be hard to find someone that did not share an interest, or two, or there with Al.

Hopefully, we all can carry on his legacy of sharing information and encouraging new folks interested in our hobby.

Posted May 19, 22 7:46 by Ravi Vora (nusivar)

1860 Bombay-Smyrna Cover-Scan of Back Cancel

Here is the scan of the back of the cover in question which bears most of the transit cancels that I need help figuring out on routing of this cover. Thanks in advance.


Posted May 19, 22 7:45 by Ravi Vora (nusivar)

1860 Cover from Bombay to Smyrna Turkey

Here is an 1860 Cover from India to Smyrna Turkey bearing correct 12 1/2 Annas postage per Martin. However, I need help deciphering the back cancellations and routing of this cover.

It seems the cover left Bombay sometime in July 1860 (Back cancel in red), the next cancel is in red "BE?G?AD? / OC ? 1860" , Alexandria NOV 5 (British and French PO) and Smyrna NOV ? (French PO cancel).

My questions: 1) What route did this cover travel? Via Bagdad to Alexandria (improbable) or by ship from Bombay to Suez, on land to Alexandria and then to Beirut (over land or ship) and then to Smyrna? 2) Why did it take so long for cover to travel from Bombay to Alexandria (Over 3 months?) Many thanks for any help you can provide? I am posting scan of back of the cover in the next message


Posted May 19, 22 7:43 by Ravi Vora (nusivar)

Al Kugel

I was very saddened to hear of untimely passing away of Al. While I did not have the fortune of knowing him as long and as well as many board members, I met him more recently at ROMPEX show a few years ago with a mutual friend Sergio. He gave me significant insights on WWI military and diplomatic postal history of WWI and inspire and encouraged me to do aa presentation at the Smithsonian a few years ago. Kind condolences to his family.

Posted May 18, 22 21:41 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Al Kugel

I was very sorry to hear of the passing of Al Kugel. At a national show years ago he took the time to give me a personal tour of his exhibit. We had a common interest in the history of the Austro-Hungarian navy during World War 1, and he sent me a copy of an excellent article he had published on the postal markings of Austro-Hungarian dreadnoughts (battleships). Al helped me better understand and appreciate the Austrian naval covers in my collection, such as the example in this link.

Al was a very generous and kind man, and I will miss him.

Posted May 18, 22 19:53 by Phil Rhoade (rugface)

Al Kugel

Al was one of the first judges to have a significant impact early in my exhibiting career. His detailed, specific feedback was crucial in the development of my The Murder of Lidice exhibit. He was essential to the exhibit achieving the success it did. Thank you, Al. RIP.

Posted May 18, 22 17:46 by John Barwis (jbarwis)


Al Kugel: kind, thoughtful, gentle, intellectual, cheerful, generous, knowledgeable, involved, and gracious. RIP Al.

Posted May 18, 22 16:42 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)

Al Kugel

I can not add to what is already said, he was a old friend and a generous helper to the Collectors Club of Chicago

Posted May 18, 22 14:18 by Yamil Kouri (yamil kouri)

Al Kugel

Al was a true gentleman. Extremely generous sharing the items in his collection, his knowledge and time. The depth and scope of the collections he amassed was extraordinary.

He will be missed.

Posted May 18, 22 9:43 by Richard Drews (bear427)

Al Kugel

One aspect of Al's philatelic life that we all need to honor was his generosity of spirit. You couldn't spend time with him without feeling better for having spoken with him. He was always looking forward to his next project. Whether it was an exhibit, helping a show, encouraging another exhibitor, writing a paper or working on fundraising, he never lost his youthful enthusiasm.

As a friend, colleague and mentor, he always gave of himself. I feel privileged to have known him.


Posted May 18, 22 6:23 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Alfred Kugel

Al might have been the greatest philatelic exhibitor who never won the Champion of Champions Award. I remember a year when he won grand awards at two World Series of Philately shows, then had to decide which one to strip of its best material in order to retain the strength of the better contender in the CofC competition. The oft-told joke was that eventually Al would win the CofC by winning the grand awards at every WSP show in a year. I remember a show when several bourse dealers panicked at the news Al would not attend, because they depended on sales to him to go home with income. He also published extensively on military postal history. Besides his exhibiting awards and scholarship, he was an energetic volunteer. He served on the APS Finance Committee and on the APS/APRL Building Expansion Committee. And he was a generous donor.

Posted May 18, 22 4:02 by Matthew Kewriga (mkewriga)

Al Kugel

I was informed yesterday that Al Kugel has passed away. A remarkable PH collector and exhibitor. I think he had 25-30 Grand Award winning exhibits that focused on military PH. I am sure many on this board knew him over the years.

Posted May 18, 22 3:12 by Kimberlee Fuller (kimberlee)

Collectors Club - ARA Special Program - 5/18 - 5:30PM EDT

The Collectors Club would like to remind you to attend our live, virtual program, scheduled this evening, Wednesday, May 18th, at 5:30 pm EDT. We are featuring a special presentation from the American Revenue Association featuring 3 different collectors known and loved by many, Michael Mahler, Matthew Healey and Bob Hohertz.

During 1862-72 U.S. stock certificates were subject to a 25¢ Civil War stamp tax. During the speculative “silver fever” of 1862-4 in the West, they were generated in such prodigious numbers that the supply of 25¢ stamps, expected to last for years, was consumed in a matter of months in a figurative “25¢ blaze of glory,” necessitating an emergency shipment to replenish the supply. Why “glorious”? Michael Mahler will elaborate on the 25¢ stamps in all eight titles (Bond, Certificate, Entry of Goods, etc.), all in the early imperforate and/or part perforate states that were used!

Matthew Healey will discuss "The Stamps that Built the Welfare State". Britain's system of "socialized medicine" wouldn't have been possible without the billions of colorful little stamps that kept track of weekly insurance-premium payments. Little researched and seldom collected, these stamps nonetheless illuminate a vitally important part of the story of Britain's healthcare system during the 20th century.

Bob Hohertz will discuss "What the R's Are - A Look at the Various Revenues Listed in the Scott Specialized Catalog". This is a look at and brief explanation of all of the R-prefix categories in the Scott Specialized Catalog. These are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to collecting revenues, but the best places to begin.

If you haven't registered already, please click on THIS LINK or this link:

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


Posted May 17, 22 8:34 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)

New Book

Another exceptional book from Yamil, hit on the image for a better picture !

(RCF edit - by Steve Walske & Yamil Kouri)


Posted May 17, 22 7:12 by Yamil Kouri (yamil kouri)

New book on the Mails of the 1861-1867 European Intervention in Mexico

This hardcover, 325 page, bilingual book (English and Spanish) by Steve Walske and Yamil Kouri was just published by the Spanish Academy of Philately and Postal History. It is profusely illustrated in color with numerous covers, maps and tables.

This is the first comprehensive treatment of this complex and fascinating period. It is organized in the following chapters:

1 - Introduction 2 - Spanish Expedition 3 - British Expedition 4 - Initial French Mobilization 5 - Civilian Postal System, 1861-1863 6 - French Advance to Mexico City 7 - Imperial Postal System 8 - French Invasion of Central and Northern Mexico 9 - French Retreat and Withdrawal

It also has six appendices that form an integral part of this work:

A - Census of Covers handled by the Spanish Fieldpost B - Census of French Fieldpost Mail C - Chronology of French Fieldpost Bureaus D - Mexican Republican Army Mail E - Austro-Belgian Legion Mail F - Packets Sailing Tables (Spanish, British and French)

The book can be obtained from Leonard Hartmann at [email protected]

Posted May 16, 22 13:39 by Lawrence Gregg (ecovers)


Wow there are a lot of exhibitors, by my count around 440 with possibly 1,000+ frames.  List is here.

Posted May 16, 22 9:00 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Lugano Show / Book on Swiss Cantonal Forgeries

I hope a few board members will be able to attend the big show in Lugano this weekend.

The new book on Swiss Cantonal forgeries by Richard Schäfer should be avilable at the show (on Wednesday at 3PM) through the publisher, Corinphila. An English language "Preface and Overview" is here.

Posted May 15, 22 9:09 by Rob Faux (robfaux)

Postal History Sunday

This week's Postal History Sunday is titled "Duck, Duck, Goose."  Now, if that isn't a reason to consider reading, I don't know what is.  Regardless, if you have interest, it is available.  And whether you have interest or not, have a great day.


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