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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Postal History
Aviation History

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 mail office.

Envelope (front)

Envelope (back) with many stamps

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.

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