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United States/Covers & Postmarks : US 1907 postal stationary cover to Germany

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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
03 Nov 2011
It's seldom that a cover doesn't have more than what one sees on first blush. And so it is with this little guy. I like international covers; and it's tough for me to resist those that specify the ship on which the letter is to sail. I kinda wonder if they're reserving very tiny berths.

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So I wrote more about the ship and postulated a little bit about the sender in a different venue, http://juicyheads.com/link.php?PLKCFOLD, but here i'll look at the cover and the rate.

This is a postal stationary envelope of 1903 series, a blue Lincoln, Scott U393. My old Scott 2003 specialized values the entire cover at $17.50, or $12.50 for the cut square alone. A more recent 2009 Volume 1 shows it with the same cut square value, so i'm assuming its value as an entire piece of postal history remains constant, too. No matter.

Surface rates to Germany have generally followed UPS surface rates, with a few short periods when discounted rates were available for mailers following specific routes. This is not one of them; this is more run of the mill, as you'd see going anywhere to Europe, although this is my first U393, and its Scott value reflects its relative scarcity, although 5c IS the UPU rate. I'm pretty sure i've written up the 2c treaty rate to Germany elsewhere in SOR's archives.... That rate was not available in 1907, so the sender had no option but to use the 5c UPU rate.

I can see a partial receiving cancel from Germany at the top back flap. There's also mute machine offset killer rollers on the reverse that seem to have nothing to do with the receiving cancel and don't match the wavy killer lines of the front.

I suspect that Arno could tell us a little more about the "1" and "D" in the killer lines, and would certainly welcome it.

The pencil notations on the front are, I believe, from a previous owner, probably a stamp or cover dealer. The "W 1903" probably refers to the series of which this PSE is a part, although in today's nomenclature, the "W" refers to wrappers and not envelopes.

On the reverse there's a purplish oval with a stylized "7" or something else inside. Note the use of stamp selvage to close the flap. Had the sender re-opened it or just wanted to more securely seal it or more easily show signs of tampering.

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David Teisler
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"Save the USPS, buy stamps; save the hobby, use commemoratives"

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Support the Hobby -- Join the American Philatelic Society
04 Nov 2011
re: US 1907 postal stationary cover to Germany

Yes, once a while you'll find international covers that specify the ship with which the cover was supposed to travel. I have no idea what the purpose and benefit of this practice is. Why wouldn't it be good enough to let the postal service figure out the next available ship? I sure would be interesed to learn what is up with that.

As for the cancel, we had an earlier discussion in which a few more examples were shown:

Service letters in machine cancels

There is really not much to say about the cancellation. The International Postal Supply Co. Model "Flier" was the high-speed cancellation machine workhorse in large post offices worldwide. The "1" indicates the machine number. The service letter "D" was at some time supposed to indicate a letter posted at the post office (dropped). But I don't believe service letters ever were used according to plan.

Nice item, thanks for showing and sharing.


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