Today in Postal History

Netherlands to Spain
September 5, 1862

This folded letter provides a review of the handling of mail between
countries which did not have postal treaties in the pre-UPU era.

This folded letter was sent by Lippman, Rosenthal & Co.
in Amsterdam to Monsieur Leon Ad. Lafitte in Madrid.

When the cover was posted in Amsterdam, only the postage
to the point of entry in Spain could be collected as Spain and
the Netherlands did not have a postal treaty which permitted
collection of the Spanish mail fee at the sending office.
The only postage collected in Amsterdam provided for transit to Irun
which was the Spanish receiving office for incoming mail from France.
Irun is on the coast in the southeast corner of the Bay of Biscay near the French Border.

The black boxed FRANCO and the P.P. was applied in Amsterdam to indicate
the fees paid in Amsterdam only paid for transit to the Spanish border.

After leaving Amsterdam, the letter entered France and was
stamped with a Pays Bas CDS on September 7 indicating
origination in the Netherlands (Pays Bas).
The Valnes. in the CDS is an abbreviation for Valenciennes,
the French post office near the Belgian border about 45 km
southeast of Lille where mail from northeastern Europe was received.

The letter's next stop was in Irun.
The Irun CDS is on the rear but partially hidden by the fold.

From Irun, the letter went to Madrid, arriving on
September 10 as shown by the CDS on the back.
In Madrid the purple 8 Rs was applied to indicate
the due amount for carriage in Spain.

*Thanks to David Benson for identifying the Valenciennes post office.


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