STOCKHOLMIA 2019 Private Treaty Sale

Lot 73

France, 1925-48, The Postal History of Alsace-Lorraine. A whopping 170+ pages of covers, cards and forms from the much-contested Franco-German border area, following its postal reintegration into France after WWI, plus its loss to and liberation from Germany in WWII. Each page of this 10-frame exhibit (plus additional material) bears from one to four covers, each fully annotated as to date and location, plus rate details. Covering the postal services and markings, along with inflation-induced rates, the collection is divided into five main headings, with sub-topics detailed within each: French Administration to 1940, the Fall of France (1939-40), German Administration (1940-44), Liberation (1944-45) and post-1945 French Administration.

The several hundred covers presented here represent a major accomplishment, as much mail from the period failed to survive the destruction wrought by the war. Beyond this, a considerable amount of material was intentionally destroyed by both sides for fear of recrimination. The time, effort (and, yes, expense) required to locate and bring together a display of this size is almost incomprehensible.

Nearly every usage imaginable is represented by both French and German covers. We note Registered, Express, Insured, Postage Due and Air covers (even a couple Zeppelins); railway station and car mail, "Suspended" markings; both French and German POW, Official and Military mail (at least one German Feldpost piece with stamps rather than free franked); postal receipts and money orders; mail from main and branch post offices, military hospitals, even a 1927 Strasbourg Philatelic Exposition official post card. German material also includes provisional retention and use of French cancellers, provisional rubber-stamped town cancels, meter strips, etc. Most destinations are regional French or German, but we find French covers addressed to Switzerland, Senegal, Thailand and Indo-China as well.

The preceding is just a taste of what you'll find in this collection—a full description of this holding would be unreadable, but you can view everything online.

A major accomplishment in its own right, and a once-in-a-lifetime boon for the French, German or WWII postal historian.

Price: $9,500; £7,450; €8,085; 95,000 SEK; HK$74,100.

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