Today in Postal History


Alexandretta to Switzerland
February 11, 1939

Alexandretta (now Iskenderun) was included with a portion of Syria mandated to the French under the Verailles Treaty.
This cover was posted in Alexandretta during the short period it issued stamps before it became Hatay.

The stamps of Alexandretta were first issued in 1938 and the decision to discontinue them was made that year.
In 1939 stamps were issued for Hatay.

Its life as Hatay was shortlived as well as it was returned to Turkey by France in 1939 for concessions.
The cover bears three 4 piaster yellow orange stamps of the first issue of Alexandretta (Scott 7).

The Syrian stamp which is used for this Alexandretta overprint is from the 1930-36 issue (Scott 222).
It portarys the square at Damascus.*

Curiously, the cover also bears a copy of the first Alexandretta postage due, the 50 c brown on yellow (Scott J1).
This stamp is derived from the 1925 Syrian postage due (Scott J33).

The addressee in Lucerne leads one to believe that this cover was philatelic in nature
and the use of a postage due may have been a postal clerk's favor.
The short life of the stamps had to make them a philatelic curiosity.

*Thanks to Bill S. for helping me make sense out of the Syrian stamps which provided the source of the 4 piaster.


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