Today in Postal History


St. Pierre et Miquelon to France
May 6, 1926

The St. Pierre et Miquelon island group just off the south coast
of Newfoundland is the remaining French North American possession.
St. Pierre et Miquelon became a French Colony in 1816.

The head Post Office at St. Pierre first used a handstamp in 1853.
The first stamps were French Colonial General issues in 1859.
The first stamps for St. Pierre et Miquelon were issued on January 5, 1885.
French stamps have been used since 1978.

This cover is franked with Fulmar petrel stamps from the 1909-30 issue.
There is a 35c olive green and violet brown and a
40c violet brown and olive green (why is it that these look almost alike?).
Scott identifies the two as numbers 94 and 95.

The cover has two CDS for ST PIERRE ET MIQUELON with dashed rims.

The cover was registered.
There is a bold boxed R with a script registry number beside it.

There is also a double box handstamp with GOUVERNEMENT over P P 030.
Next is SAINT - PIERRE with an illegible marking following (?).
At the bottom is a small box with SAINT - PIERRE.
This handstamp is used when there is a shortage of stamps.**

The destination of this cover is Saintes near the Atlantic coast in west central France.
Saintes is about 125 km north of Bordeaux and 25 km west of Cognac.
Saintes was in the Charente Inférieure department.
It was renamed Charente-Maritime on September 4, 1941.*

*Thanks to Jim Whitford-Stark for his help in
understanding this departmental reference and providing the helpful link.
**Thanks to Terrence Hines for noting that this handstamp was used during stamp shortages.
He suggests that he has never seen one used in conjunction with stamps.
The use is often suspect as a philatelic use.
It sounds like some of the collector-inspired bisects we often see.


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