Today in Postal History

Scarpanto to Constantinople
February 21, 1913

This is another registered cover from Scarpanto which is philatelic.
It was mailed from the Aegean island of Scarpanto off the coast of Turkey.
Look closely and you can see the black overprints on each stamp.
This includes four of the first seven stamps issued for Scarpanto (Scott 1-3, 7).
The 57c rate was made of 2c orange brown, 5c green, 10c claret, and 40c brown.
Bolaffi states the issue date for these stamps as December 1, 1912.*

There are four colored CDS for Scarpanto (Egeo) - one for each stamp.
There is also an Italian transit mark for the Italian Post Office in Constantinople on the reverse.
Note also the handstamp above the registry number:

The registered letter was processed through the Italian Post Office in Constantinople on March 13, 1913.
I suspect that this date difference is due to the differences in the Gregorian calendar at the time.
From there, it went to the German Post Office in Constantinople for delivery.
Its arrival was noted by the strong receiving stamp on the same date..

Scarpanto was one of the Dodecanese ('twelve islands') Islands.
It is almost the most southerly of the Islands and lies southwest of Rhodes.

In the 16th century, the islands came under Turkish rule.
However, as a result of the Italian-Turkish War of 1911-12, they were seized by Italian forces.
Although the peace treaty required the Italians to return the Islands to Turkey, this was not done.
A secret treaty with Great Britain gave the Italians permanent
possession of the Islands in return for joining the Allies in World War I.

After World War II, the Islands were passed on to Greece.
Scarpanto is now Karpathos.

Note: this page repeats some material from a previous example.
Here is the other Scarpanto cover for comparison.

*Thanks to Paul for providing the issue date for these stamps.


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