Today in Postal History

Indo China to France
July 3, 1906

This registered cover originated in Quang Ngai, Annam, where it received three CDS.

Annam was the central part of French Indo China.
The northern part was Tonkin and the southern part was Cochinchina.*

Quang Ngai was about 120 km south of Da-Nang.
Annam was the center of much fighting during the Viet Nam war.

The cover is franked with the Grasset allegory of 'France' stamps from the 1904 issue.
The stamp design was originally intended for use in France as well but it was only used in Indochine*
There is one 5c. deep green and two 15c. orange  brown on blue paper.
The rate to France decreased from 15 centimes to 10 centimes on April 16, 1906.
This is an early use of the new rate.
The registration rate was 25 centimes.

En route to Paris it was backstamped in Saigon Central on July 11.
July 11 would fit in with the sailing of the Tourane on 16 July, arriving in Marseille on 8 August.
The boxed 'R' handstamp is also attributed to Saigon.

I'm not sure where the identity number of 476 was added, although Saigon seems likely.

There is another illegitble transit mark on the back for QxANHxNE, Annam, dated July 6.
Help, anyone?

The cover reached its destination on August 10 as indicated by the Paris Distribution mark.
This is consistent with the Touran's arrival in Marseilles on August 8.*

*Thanks to Paul Barsdell for his fine help in correcting the Saigon Central date,
identifying the Tourane as the likely mail ship, providing the rate information,
correcting my use of Cochin, and helping clarify the identity of the stamp design.


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