International Mail (19)
A registered cover mailed from Puerto Príncipe
on January 3, the year is unknown. However, we can deduce
a range of dates between which this cover was mailed.
The postage stamps on the reverse first appeared on January
1, 1890, and were used until January 1, 1898, when the
last issue of the Spanish administration appeared. So,
this cover had to be posted between January 1, 1890 and
December 31, 1897.
It is franked with 15 centavos de peso in postage stamps,
10 centavos of which paid the international postage rate,
and the remaining 5 centavos paid the registration fee.
The face of the cover is marked in the British fashion
with blue crossed lines, a system devised to distinguish
registered mail from all other mail.
While there are no British postmarks on this cover, it
appears that it did pass through the British foreign registered
Tome I, p.70: Puerto Príncipe
to Bruxelles, Belgium. 3 January, 189?.
The letter is believed to have next passed through France,
for the red postmark in the lower left quadrant of the
face of the cover, while incompletely struck, is similar
to “Paris/ Chargements,” a marking applied
to registered mail passing through the central bureau
of that office
The next postmark is on the back, that of the receiving
office at Bruxelles, Belgium, where the cover arrived
on January 22, after having been in transit for 19 days.
The front of the cover bears another Belgian postmark,
the number “293” in a small circle. This was
applied by the letter carrier who delivered this letter
to the addressee. The numbers written in pencil and crayon
are recording numbers added by the various registry divisions
this letter passed through.