STOCKHOLMIA 2019 Private Treaty Sale

Lot 68

France, 1864-82, French Railway Transfer Office Exhibit. 16 pages dedicated to the French railroads and their conveyance of la poste. Created in 1864 as station sorting and forwarding facilities for mail not carried in closed sacks, the system grew to 23 offices, mainly at junctions of two or more rail lines, and all on at least one trunk line. These bureaux de passe fell into disuse from the mid-1870s and were done away with entirely in mid-December of 1882.

Each of the 23 offices operating during this relatively short time period is represented here. The markings took the form of eccentric double-circle markings using the station town's alphanumeric identifier. Three distinct types were used, differing in the size and font used for the numeral (illustrated on the title page).

As transit markings, these most commonly were struck on the back of the cover. Accordingly, most of the covers here are shown recto-verso, though several have the transits struck face-side (there are also two stamps, off cover, showing near complete strikes of the markings). And while nearly all covers reached their destination passing through just one of these transfer offices, the collector was able to find one example each of a two-transit and three-transit cover.

Come aboard for this Napoléon- and Cérès-filled journey on the rails.

Price: $2,000; £1,570; €1,700; 20,000 SEK; HK$15,600.

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