Today in Postal History


Gibraltar to Belgium
April 22, 1899

This picture postcard was sent from Gibraltar to Verviers.
Verviers is about 22 km east of Liège near the eastern border.

The cover is franked with 'wing' pair from the upper left
margin of the 1898 ½d gray green Queen Victoria (SG 39).
'Wing' stamps include the paper left between the panes of the
sheet where the panes are separated for delivery to the post offices.

The stamps were cancelled with a duplex cancel
including a Gibraltar dial and an oval A26 numeral killer.

A machine CDS was applied when the card was received in Verviers on April 25.
I believe the circled 15 handstamp is a carrier's stamp applied in Verviers.

The two circular handstamps on the left of the card are particularly interesting.
The purple stamp indicates that this was sent from
the Consulate at Gibraltar of the Republic of Hawaii.

The Republic of Hawaii had been created after a coup in 1893.
The engineers of the coup had expected to be annexed to the United States soon.
Annexation was not approved until August 12, 1898.
The process took until April 30, 1900, to be completed when Hawaii finally became a territory.

The second circular black handstamp is for the
Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Consulate in Gibralter.*
Can someone explain the apparent sharing of  consulate duties?

The illustration on the card is of the North Front of the Rock of Gibralter.
The Spanish Lines was the border of Spain.
This card looks across the Neutral Territory which
provided a buffer between Spain and Gibraltar.

The script of the writer is quite unusual.
It is markedly different from the handwriting on the address side.
The writer was probably aware that the handwriting affectation
was not particularly legible and used a clearer script for the address.

*Thanks to Bjorn Munch for identifying the black consular stamp.


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