Today in Postal History

Samoa to Germany
January 25, 1909

This registered New Zealand illustrated letter card
was sent from Apia in what was then German Samoa.
Apia is on the north side of the island of Upolu in the Western Samoa island group.

The APIA cancel is the only known PAQUEBOT
cancel issued to a post office in the Germany colonies.

To further enhance the interest of this cover, the letter card was uprated
with three New Zealand stamps overprinted in 1902 and 1903 for use in Niue.
First there is a 2 d. blue with a NIUE | 2 PENI. overprint (SG 2);
Next there is a 1d. carmine with a NIUE | TAHA PENI. overprint
(SG 4 or possibly 5 depending on the perforation).
Finally there is a 3d. yellow brown with a NIUE | Tolu e Pene. overprint (SG 13).

A preprinted registry label was applied - note the low serial number.
Unexpectedly, there is no blue crayoned cross.

The sender was Dr. Franke who was a well known doctor
on board various ships of German registry.
Undoubtedly, the cover is philatelic (there is no message inside);
however, finding a similar commercial cover would be next to impossible.

The cover was addressed to Altenburg.
Altenburg is noted for the production of playing cards.
Altenburg is about 40 km south of Liepzig.
Its arrival was marked by the CDS on March 24.
It took two months to make the trip.


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