Smithsonian National Postal MuseumTitle: The Pichs CollectionSan Carlos Institute
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Smithsonian National Postal Museum The Pichs Collection, Exploring Cuba's History Through Postage Stamps
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International Mail (12)

An incoming letter from Marseille, France, to Havana, posted on August 30, 1864. Franked with an 80 centime stamp, depicting Emperor Napoleon III, this single weight letter was prepaid to Cuba. In March, 1862, the French 80 centime rate was established for letters to Cuba weighing not more than 7 1/2 grams, traveling either by French or British vessel.

The letter traveled by rail from Marseille to Paris where the French exchange clerk confirmed the rate and applied his boxed handstamp, “P.P.,” meaning “Port Payeé,” or postage paid. The letter was then placed in a sealed mail bag bound for London, per the instructions at top left, “Voie d´Angleterre.”

Tome I, p.40: Marseille, France to Havana. 30 August, 1864.

Upon receipt at Havana, the Cuban exchange clerk marked the letter with his boxed handstamp “N.E.2,” indicating origin “Norte Europa,” and the amount of postage due, 2 reales, the normal single weight charge on mail from northern Europe.

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