Today in Postal History

Persia to Germany
July 15, 1933

This registered airmail cover went from Teheran to Sommerfeld.
Sommerfeld is in Brandenberg about 140 km southeast of Berlin.

There are two Teheran CDS cancelling the 5 stamps selected for this mailing.

The cover is franked with 1929 airmails created by overprinting
revenue stamps with an airplane, Arabic script, and Poste Arienne.
The values are 3k yellow brown and 5k dark brown (Scott C29-30).
There is also a 1927 overprint of a 1909 10k coat of arms
gold, orange, and bister brown regular issue (Scott C14).
Finally, there are two stamps from the Riza Shah Pahlavi issue of 1933-34.
There is a 60d green and a 1.50k citron and blue (Scott 777 and 782).

There is a black boxed registry handstamp from Teheran.
There is also an illegible boxed bilingual POSTE ARIENNE handstamp.
There is also a German/French airmail label on the front.

The next stop was Baghdad on July 19.
Routing via Baghdad was requested.

The cover was backstamped in München (Münich) on July 24.

Its next stop was Berlin on July 25.
It also received the red Berlin Airmail Post Office stamp on its front.

It arrived in Sommerfeld on July 25 as well.

Classicbruce has provided the following very interesting added information :

"The story of the 1909 Arms/Air overprints is quite interesting.  Those ubiquitous and worthless Arms reprints (finally de-listed by Scott in the 2004 edition) that account for 99.9% of the mint (and many cancelled) Arms stamps in the marketplace actually came in handy, when Iran first needed Airmail stamps, and had none.  The Persian government actually ordered and purchased a batch of those worthless reprints
(printed for philatelic clients by Enschede of Holland), and used them for legitimate air stamps, so what you see on cover is actually an "official" Arms reprint, not an original of the 1909s.  A very unusual sequence of events; all in all, I don't know of anything quite like it from any other country.

"But still, a little warning for those not familiar with these things:  the bulk of those Arms air overprints on the market are fake overprints on "unofficial" reprints.  The "good reprint" airs are perf 11.5 (with a few slight perf varieties), while the fake air overprints are always 12.5x12.  All the major catalogs have a note about this, though, so it shouldn't be a problem unless one is purchasing solely by scans."


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