Today in Postal History

Zanzibar to France
December 26, 1897

This registered cover left Zanzibar bound for France
on the day after Christmas via the French post office.

The French post office there was opened in January, 1889.
The British who were the 'protecting power' made
repeated demands for its closure starting in 1895.
It remained open (doing mainly philatelic business) until July 31, 1904.

The cover was franked with stamps from the 1895-1900 issue.
This issue was made by surcharging French
Peace and Commerce, also known as Sage, issues for Zanzibar.
There are singles of the ½a on 5c green on greenish paper,
1a on 10c black on lavender paper (type II), 1½a on 15c blue,
2a on 20c red on green paper, 3a on 30c brown on bister paper,
and 4a on 40c red on straw paper (Scott 17, 19, 20, 21, 23, and 24).

Registration was noted by the bold boxed R.

The cover was placed on the French paquebot from Reunion to Marseilles
on December 27 as indicated by the octagonal datestamp.

The destination was Neuilly-sur-Seine, a suburban area in northwest Paris.
Its arrival there on January 15, 1898, was marked by the receiver on the rear.


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