Yes, I know, I've been neglecting you lot, but then, I've had so much to do! Three articles for Stamp Magazine to write, one for stamp & Coin Mart, a Dutch stamp blog which has asked me to do something on a more or less regular basis, the Machin stamp blog which is probably wondering why I never contribute, and then there's our stamp society's newsletter to write and the monthly press reports on the meetings for the local paper...
Maybe I should downscale a little? Or maybe I should just get on with it! Like I'm doing now! So here's my latest trophy:
It is a cover from the erstwhile Alsace and Lorraine area. This was an area created in 1871 by the Germans after they occupied that French territory in the Franco-Prussian War. I wanted it to be part of my slightly wilting Peacemaking collection, as an example of how retribution, unjust claims and indemnities paid by the losers to the winners of a war, only work contra-productive, as in the case of France losing the abovementioned area to Germany.
The new entity created did have its own stamps for a while before German stamps were introduced. They're quite plain, as you can see, but there's a lot of varieties to collect, of which maybe more later. This actual cover was sent from Mulhouse to Toulouse on 13 July 1871. It has a German postmark "Mülhaussen im Elsass". Mail within the occupied area could be sent with a 10c stamp, but mail from the German occupied areas in France to non-German occupied French territory (as is the case with this cover) had to be prepaid with a 20c stamp. If I understand everything correctly, I believe that this only covered carriage within the occupied area. So, the recipient of this cover would have to pay an extra 20c postage. The thick curly thing is probably a tax mark, but I cannot make it out. If anyone of you would have any more information on this, then I'd love to hear it!
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