Today in Postal History

   

Luxembourg to Great Britain
January 4, 1926

This registered letter included a complete set of the 1925
semi postals issued on December 21 (Scott B11-B14).
It also includes one 1924 15c pale green definitive
Grand Duchess Charlotte
(Scott 137) based on the 1921 design commemorating the birth
of the first royal son, Prince Jean.

Take note of the Grand Duchy de Luxembourg registration handstamp.
I think it's an interesting shape.

All in all, a nice stamp collector's cover.

However, is this possibly a forgery?

I recently received an interesting note concerning this cover from Lars Boettger.
He had read a recent article on forged cancels in Le Moniteur du Collectionneur
(the journal of the Fédération des Sociétés Philatéliques du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg - FSPL.
the parent organization of the many stamp clubs in Luxembourg).

As a result he reviewed this cover in light of the article and raised some excellent questions:
  • The Caritas semipostals are worth more used than mint which encourages fake cancellations.
  • On September 25, 1925, post offices in Luxembourg were directed to use registry labels rather than registration handstamps.  Luxembourg Ville was the main post office and would be likely to follow this direction precisely.  Luxembourg had many avid philatelists who would have noticed non-compliance.
  • The '*' (star) VILLE  '†' cancel is known to have been forged.  The horizontal lines in the E in VILLE are never parallel in the authentic * † cancel.
  • It would be most unusual for a Luxembourg cover to have the blue-crayoned cross which was a British Commonwealth device (the crayon mark is under the stamps).  None have been found during a limited search of auction catalogues.
I think this is a good case for deciding that the cover has probably been forged
although I don't think it is worth enough to warrant the work
but it might be a practice work for someone breaking into the trade.
What do you think?

Can someone find an example of the proper LUXEMBOURG VILLE CDS to confirm the forgery?

Thanks, Lars, for your interesting comments on this cover.

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