Lot 50451861 (Jun. 8) New York N.Y. to Nösund, Sweden, registered buff cover bearing 3¢ dull red (26) and 30¢ orange (38), each cancelled by matching magenta squiggle, sharp red "N.York, Brem. Pk. 'Paid' Jun 8" exchange cds with magenta "30" credit rating, carried by NGL Line New York from New York Jun. 8th to Bremerhaven arriving Jun. 24th, Hamburg (6.25.61) oval backstamp and "Franco" straightline with red crayon "5" sgr credit rating (11¢), red fancy "Recomandirt" handstamp, reverse with Hamburg K.S.P.A. (6.25) framed transit and Gotheborg (6.27) arrival cds; 30¢ small perf flaws, Very Fine and rare 30¢ 1857 issue use.
Estimate $2,000 - 3,000.
THE ONLY RECORDED REGISTERED COVER VIA BREMEN TO SWEDEN FROM THIS CLASSIC PERIOD.
An article for the exchange of registered mail was added to the Bremen agreement in August 1855. Prepayment was required, including a registration fee of 5¢ payable in cash.
The Bremen City PO transmitted mail to Scandinavia directly through Hamburg, so this cover does not have the "AMERICA UBER BREMEN" marking of the Hanover PO in Bremen. Hamburg marked it "FRANCO" and credited Sweden with 5 sgr (11¢) in red crayon (lower left). The distinctive red "Recomandirt" (Registered-line over m indicates a double letter) marking was also used by the Prussian PO. Sweden marked the letter with a blue manuscript "Rekdr." (Rekommenderat-Registered) at top right.
Lot 5046(Austria) 1859 (c., Aug. 31) Skowhegan, Me. to Vienna, Austria, orange buff cover bearing 1¢ blue (24) vertical pair, 3¢ dull red (26) and 10¢ green (35), each cancelled by ms. mark, 1¢ pair tied by sharp "Skowhegan Me., Aug 31" cds, matching "Paid" handstamp, red "N.York, Brem. Pk. 'Paid 12' Sep 3" credit exchange cds, carried by NGL Line Bremen from New York Sep. 3rd to Bremerhaven arriving Sep. 17th, blue "America/über Bremen/Franco" three-line transit, Vienna (9.20) arrival backstamp; some edge wear and reduced at left, Very Fine three-color 1857 issue franking at the 15¢ Bremen-Hamburg rate to Austria.
Estimate $200 - 300.
Lot 5047(Austria) 1859 (Sep. 15) Chicago Ill. to Vienna, Austria, cover bearing 1¢ blue (24) and three 3¢ dull red (26) singles, tied by "Chicago Ill., Sep 15, 1860" cds, red "N.York, Bremen Pkt. 'Paid 1' Oct 1" credit exchange cds, although endorsed "Weser", actually carried by NGL Line New York from New York Oct. 1st to Bremerhaven arriving Oct. 16th, blue "America/über Bremen, Franco" three-line transit, Vienna (10.19) arrival backstamp, Very Fine and scarce 1857 Issue use to Austria, ex-Piller.
Estimate $300 - 400.
This cover was sent short-paid for the 15¢ Bremen-Hamburg rate, the balance apparently paid in cash as New York rated this as fully paid with a 1¢ credit to Bremen.
Lot 5048(Denmark) 1862 (Oct. 20) New York to Helsingør, Denmark, blue folded letter with "N. York, Brem. Pk. '3' Oct 25" exchange debit cds, carried by NGL Line Hansa from New York Oct. 25th to Bremerhaven arriving Nov. 9th, Hamburg (11.10) backstamp with blue "6½" debit h.s., Helsingør arrival backstamp and red crayon "37" due rating; file folds, F.-V.F., an uncommon letter to Denmark by Bremen mail, ex-Winter.
Estimate $150 - 200.
Letter forwarded by New York agent Funch, Meinke & Wendt, whose marking is in blue, lower left. Hamburg marked 4½ sgr. unpaid international fee and 6½ sgr. debit to Royal Danish post office in Hamburg, which was equivalent to 28 sk.R.M. To this was added 9 sk.R.M. for transit from Hamburg to Denmark for total postage due of 37 sk.R.M.
Current Opening Bid: $70
Lot 5049(Italy) 1867 (Sep. 13) Milwaukee Wisc. to Rome, Italy, orange cover bearing 12¢ black (69) horizontal pair, tied by quartered cork cancels duplexed with "Milwaukee Wis. Sep 13" cds, sender's directive "Via Bremen & Hamburg" at upper left, red "N. York, Brem. Pk. 'Paid' Sep 19" credit exchange cds, carried NGL Line Hermann from New York Sep. 19th to Bremerhaven arriving Oct. 1st, blue "America/über Bremen/Franco" three-line handstamp and matching "21" cent credit handstamp, red crayon "16" kreuzer crossed out and with matching "Wf 14" (weiterfranco 14 kreuzer) credit to Italy, manuscript "2" at upper left indicates this was considered double-weight in Rome and marked with large manuscript "10" décimes due from recipient (20¢ equivalent), reverse with Basel and Rome (10.14) arrival cds, missing small part of top flap, Very Fine, ex-Vogel, Gliedman.
Estimate $2,000 - 3,000.
ONE OF ONLY FOUR RECORDED USES PREPAID AT THE 24¢ RATE TO ROME BY BREMEN-HAMBURG MAIL, THIS RATE WAS IN EFFECT FOR ONLY ELEVEN MONTHS.
This remarkable cover was the subject a Chronicle article by George Hargest in August 1972 (No. 75, pp 151-153). In the article, he notes that during this time the Papal States were not yet a part of the Kingdom of Italy. Uprisings, led in part by Garibaldi, had reduced their territory to Rome and a narrow strip of coastline which also contained the port of Civitavecchia. Napoleon III of France sent a contingent to help protect Papal interests. A majority of mail sent during this time was fully prepaid to destination and sent via French Mail. The Bremen-Hamburg route was only in existence from February 1, 1867, until January 1, 1868. It was compulsory that letters sent by this route be prepaid by stamps, with the final postage to destination collected from the recipient. In 1870, at the start of the Franco-Prussian War, the French troops were called home and after a short battle the remaining Papal States territory was incorporated into Italy.
Hargest also quotes from the U.S. Mail and Post Office Assistant for March 1867, which discusses the general state of affairs of the Italian postal system: "But, with all these improvements, the postal system of Italy is still very far behind the English and American systems… Our clerks could hardly, with impunity, fail to find a pile of letters of letters that had been in the office for many weeks, or to destroy others for the sake of making a stamp album. They do so in Italy yet. It is rather desirable to be forewarned that a rare American stamp on a letter will probably ensure its being stopped by the post office. Report says the wives of certain postmasters in Italy have the richest albums in Europe."
Reference: Illustrated and described in an article by Hargest in Chronicle No. 75.
Lot 5050(Switzerland) 1859 (Mar. 9) Augusta Ga. to Geneva, Switzerland, orange buff cover bearing 12¢ black (36) vertical pair and 3¢ dull red (26), tied by two strikes of "Augusta Ga., Mar 9, 1859" cds, red "N.York, Brem. Pk. 'Paid' Mar 19" exchange cds and magenta "24" cent credit rating, carried by NGL Line Bremen from New York Mar. 19th to Bremerhaven arriving Apr. 2nd, blue "America/über Bremen/Franco" three-line handstamp, various ratings, reverse with Frankfurt (4.4) and Basel (4.5) transits; missing part of top flap and with small tear at top, minor edge wear, Very Fine and scarce 1857 issue use prepaying the 27¢ rate to Switzerland via Bremen, ex-Piller, J & J.
Estimate $500 - 750.
The fully prepaid rate to Switzerland via Bremen was 27¢ from 1857 to 1860. It dropped to 19¢ when Th. & T. eliminated its transit fee. A prepaid letter was charged a flat fee of 4¢ Swiss postage, but the actual cost was based upon distance.
Lot 5051(Switzerland) 1867 (May 31) New Orleans La. to Geneva, Switzerland, blue folded letter bearing 15¢ black (77), nat. s.e. at right with small corner flaw, tied by cork cancel duplexed with "New Orleans, La. May 31" cds, red "New York 'Paid 6' Jun 6" credit exchange cds overstruck by correct red "N.York, Brem. Pk. 'Paid 12' Jun 6" credit exchange cds, carried by NGL Line Hermann from New York Jun. 6th to Bremerhaven arriving Jun. 19th, bold blue "America/über Bremen/Franco" three-line handstamp, Hanover "Franco, Schweiz. Grenze." framed handstamp (Paid to Swiss Border), Swiss red crayon "15" rappen due rating, reverse with various transits including Frankfurt (6.20), Basel (6.21) and Geneva (6.22) arrival cds, Very Fine and rare "Franco Schweiz Grenze" use.
Estimate $400 - 600.