"Express Packet" stamps (circa 1880) identification required

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"Express Packet" stamps (circa 1880) identification required

Post by adam78 »

Google has failed me, as has ebay!

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The "CONTRÔLE" looks French, but the currency looks Austrian.

Stamps are inscribed EXPRESS PACKET.

Both cancellations read "EXPRESS PACKET". One is dated 9 SEPT 82, which is English.
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Re: Express Packet stamp identification required

Post by adam78 »

Anyone?

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Re: Express Packet stamp identification required

Post by Global Administrator »

Strange looking things. :mrgreen:

2 DIFFERENT cancels, so clearly were actually used for something legit.

Cancel and wording being in English language narrows it down a TINY bit, and age my hunch would be around 1880s or so looking at carriage design so spot on there with 1882 date.
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Re: "Express Packet" stamps (circa 1880) identification requ

Post by mozzerb »

adam78 wrote:The "CONTRÔLE" looks French, but the currency looks Austrian.

Stamps are inscribed EXPRESS PACKET.

Both cancellations read "EXPRESS PACKET". One is dated 9 SEPT 82, which is English.
"5K" could also refer to kilos perhaps?

"SEPT" isn't necessarily English -- many languages have words for the ninth month that could be abbreviated such, including French septembre. (Indeed, in English two- or three-letter abbreviations are more common.)

http://www.omniglot.com/language/time/months.htm

"CONTRÔLE" is definitely French, and "express" can be, but it's odd that the wording is more English not paquet express. The combination and the "American" feel of the stamps make me wonder if they could be Canadian, but that's complete speculation. Possibly a stamp that has been repurposed?

Your best bet is to contact the Cinderella Stamp Club (http://www.cinderellastampclub.org.uk) -- this sort of thing is right up their street, and they'd probably be willing to include a query about it in the magazine if no-one comes up with the answer immediately.
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Re: "Express Packet" stamps (circa 1880) identification requ

Post by adam78 »

Canada seems good for the mix of languages, and K for kilo rather than a currency makes sense for packets. Only trouble is Canada didn't go metric until 1970.
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Re: "Express Packet" stamps (circa 1880) identification requ

Post by muruk »

adam78 wrote:Canada seems good for the mix of languages, and K for kilo rather than a currency makes sense for packets. Only trouble is Canada didn't go metric until 1970.
K for kilo doesn't work. Kilo-what? Kilogram? Kilometer? Kilo is a prefix and never used on its own (except by lazy English speakers). It is also always abbreviated as lower case (when correctly written).

K is most likely Krone (or variant) or Kreuzer. Kreuzer was used by the South German Currency Union, and in the Austro-Hungarian empire, and is the most likely candidate.

French is found on many postal items, regardless of country of origin. It is the language of the UPU (1874).

Not many countries used a comma as a thousands separator (in the serial numbers), but this could be attributed to the handstamp manufacturer, and not necessarily the country of the stamp.
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Re: "Express Packet" stamps (circa 1880) identification requ

Post by muruk »

mozzerb wrote:Possibly a stamp that has been repurposed?
There are many express packet stamps depicted on the web ... just not this one.

Looking at the range, I would surmise that these worked in similar fashion to modern-day counter printed stamps. The postal agency was supplied with partly printed designs ... currency denominations were overprinted as required ... and serial numbers added by handstamp.
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Re: "Express Packet" stamps (circa 1880) identification requ

Post by Allanswood »

The 5K label has what may be "B C" at the bottom of the CDS. So could that be British Columbia?

Also did they use rubber CDS in the 1880's?

And it may have nothing to do with any postal service but a private delivery company.

Just throwing it out there...
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Re: "Express Packet" stamps (circa 1880) identification required

Post by adam78 »

It's been 5 years since I posted these looking for the answer, so time for a nudge - maybe some newer members know what these are.

Thanks
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Re: "Express Packet" stamps (circa 1880) identification required

Post by ViccyVFU »


Now I don't KNOW what it is, but I'm assuming you went to the Cinderella Society (as noted above) and they drew blanks, so maybe its time to start "guessing" .....

First up, "I don't think its a stamp",
I think its the top half of an express packet "two parter" label, specifically the bit you would put on a certificate of posting, and the K value is the level of compensation that you've paid for. (Whether that's Kreuzer, or thousands, "no idea")

Why? Well, its got no country or state name on, which in itself isn't terrifically helpful, but if it was going on a form, it would be irrelevant. ("Controle" also implies (to me) "its a counterfoil").

Stamps with "Express Packet" (in English) appear across quite a few of the German private post issues (in, on, and around, the latter half of the 19th century).

https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?p=6074074#p6074074


https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?p=6074174#p6074174


https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?p=6076157#p6076157

There are at least a couple of threads on here with many many illustrations and images of German local private issues...... What you'd be looking for is a stamp "with a similar sort of black overprinted serial number towards the top", which won't necessarily have any English in it.

In the absence of a Google or ebay "match", "that would be where I would start".

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Re: "Express Packet" stamps (circa 1880) identification required

Post by ligneN »

"packet" with a "c" was not specifically english in the 19th century.

German private mail agencies used it, e.g. the biggest one, the "Berliner Packet-Fahrt Actiengesellschaft" est. 1884.
Note they wrote "actien" (on stocks) with a "c" back then too.

German Imperial Posts used the term "Postpacket-Adresse" imprinted on its parcel mail forms until ca. 1900:
detail.1894.jpg
The variety "Post-Packet-Adresse" is seen on parcel forms with the independent postal administrations of Bavaria and Wurttemberg.

I guess the change from "packet" to "paket" came with language reforms around the turn of 19th to 20th century in Germany, when many places (Cöln, Cassel..) were required to change the spelling to "Köln, Kassel...".

The same happened to many terms taken over from the french, e.g. the "cassier" or "cassierer" (cashier) became a "kassierer". The "cuirassier" became germanized into "Kürassier" ec.
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Re: "Express Packet" stamps (circa 1880) identification required

Post by acutipuerilis »

I suspect that the hints towards Germany are going to be broadly correct. Specifically, some of the areas that are around the German-French-Swiss border could be what you want.

The Grand Duchy of Baden used Kreuzer until unification (officially), and had, for example, post offices over the border in Switzerland. Various revenue stamps occur in either language (German and French) and either currency, to facilitate cross-border usage. They also had a range of official 'Express' stamps (e.g. Expressgut: express goods freight), mainly for the railways.

I'm guessing, but this could be from a small, local packet courier company from the Konstanz area (either based in Baden or Switzerland), that clung onto values in Kreuzer for some years after unification... or were just using up old printed stock, and used a conversion chart for prices.

That said... Austria used kreuzer for much longer (well past the date of your stamps), and also had a range of private packet express companies... but why "CONTRÔLE", in that case?

Intriguing! :D Whatever it is, I've never seen one before...
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Re: "Express Packet" stamps (circa 1880) identification required

Post by gavin-h »

acutipuerilis wrote: 18 Nov 2021 21:41 I suspect that the hints towards Germany are going to be broadly correct. Specifically, some of the areas that are around the German-French-Swiss border could be what you want.
Yes, the combination of German "EXPRESS PACKET" and French "CONTRÔLE" certainly points towards points where the two countries meet.

I was thinking more along the lines of Alsace-Lorraine or the Saar regions but would the "K" fit with that, assuming it's a face value and assuming further that it's Kreuzer? :idea:
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Re: "Express Packet" stamps (circa 1880) identification required

Post by acutipuerilis »

gavin-h wrote: 23 Nov 2021 06:48 Yes, the combination of German "EXPRESS PACKET" and French "CONTRÔLE" certainly points towards points where the two countries meet.

I was thinking more along the lines of Alsace-Lorraine or the Saar regions but would the "K" fit with that, assuming it's a face value and assuming further that it's Kreuzer? :idea:
I did wonder about Alsace-Lorraine, but as you say, I think they've always used French currency. Saar has a murkier history around this time, being divided and separated into various bits of France and Germany... but something local, around the border in that region, I guess is possible.

I do worry about the currency being in 'K' rather than 'Kr' - the normal abbreviation for the German States, and also for Austria. Using just 'K' was more common in some of the central/eastern European states with variants of 'crowns', but then, wherefore le Francais..? Such a fascinating little puzzle...
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Re: "Express Packet" stamps (circa 1880) identification required

Post by ligneN »

acutipuerilis wrote: 23 Nov 2021 08:08
gavin-h wrote: 23 Nov 2021 06:48 Yes, the combination of German "EXPRESS PACKET" and French "CONTRÔLE" certainly points towards points where the two countries meet.

I was thinking more along the lines of Alsace-Lorraine or the Saar regions but would the "K" fit with that, assuming it's a face value and assuming further that it's Kreuzer? :idea:
I did wonder about Alsace-Lorraine, but as you say, I think they've always used French currency. Saar has a murkier history around this time, being divided and separated into various bits of France and Germany... but something local, around the border in that region, I guess is possible.

I do worry about the currency being in 'K' rather than 'Kr' - the normal abbreviation for the German States, and also for Austria. Using just 'K' was more common in some of the central/eastern European states with variants of 'crowns', but then, wherefore le Francais..? Such a fascinating little puzzle...
I think the suggestions regarding Alsace-Lorraine and Saar area are not based on facts.

Kreuzers were used in Alsace-Lorraine only before the various french occupations/annectations of German territory 1648/1679 / 1681/1792/1815 (Vienna congress). After that, french currency (and other non-french bullion of course) was used.

Postage stamp period, before 1871: France did not permit private local stamps aka Stadtpost.

After Alsace and parts of Eastern Lorraine came back to Germany, 1871 May/1918 November, the french currency (particular coins) could be used until 1874 aside the german ones. The military admistration was done by Prussia which used Sgr and Pf. The Mark/Pf system was introduced in practice 1873 and became madatory nationwide in 1876. Kreuzers still could be used in the southern german states, which had used before, during a transition period within 1876.

No private mail institutes existed in Alsace-Lorraine before the 1880s.
So forget about "kreuzer".

"Saar areas" were invented during the frech annectation policy from 1679 and 1794 onward to have a term for the "colonized" and "reunion" eastern areas. What came to France finally by 1815 was considered part of Lorraine.
There was no Saar area later on, until France wanted its military important coal area and occupied it 1920/34.

1920 was loong after
- any theoretical Kreuzer currency which was dropped by Bavaria (which owned the Saar area as part of the Palatinate) finally in 1876.
- city mails aka Stadtpost became forbidden in Germany in 1902.

Sorry.
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Re: Express Packet stamp identification required

Post by Global Administrator »

Global Administrator wrote: 10 Dec 2016 12:33 Strange looking things. :mrgreen:

2 DIFFERENT cancels, so clearly were actually used for something legit.

Cancel and wording being in English language narrows it down a TINY bit, and age my hunch would be around 1880s or so looking at carriage design so spot on there with 1882 date.

I stick to me original view they are from an English speaking country. Nothing whatever to do with Europe IMHO. Canada especially seems logical (as French is also an official language) but can find zero references, and they document everything over there!

The PO there in Canada did issue regular stamps like this of course -

1898-sepcial-delivery-10-cents-g.jpg
Image




Australia had a myriad of private Express carrying companies in 1880s era, across all states, lots of whom issued stamps with horse and wagon/carriage in design - maybe Canada had some too?

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Re: "Express Packet" stamps (circa 1880) identification required

Post by MJ's pet »

No idea, but I do like ViccyVFU's counterfoil idea, and this is the portion the customer keeps.
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Re: "Express Packet" stamps (circa 1880) identification required

Post by acutipuerilis »

Given all Glen's Aussie examples (and similarities in designs), and the 'Sept' spelling in the postmark, I'm increasing sold on a Commonwealth origin. Possibly Canada, possibly not. The "CONTRÔLE" was clearly an overprint (only one stamp has it), and may not indicate much at all about the country of origin due to UPU usage - remember the 1922 Persia set, for instance:
170px-Iran_1922_overprinted_CONTROLE_o.jpg


If the 'B C' in the cancellation means British Columbia, as suggested, then it's worth noting that there was an express parcels service there around this time: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barnard%27s_Express
However... although it seems to have used stamps, they looked nothing like these ones.
187088.jpg
The key point is really what 'K.' means. Still have no real clue!
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Re: "Express Packet" stamps (circa 1880) identification required

Post by W5LDY »

Could the 'K' signify kilos perhaps?
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Re: "Express Packet" stamps (circa 1880) identification required

Post by Global Administrator »

Poor old Cousins Canada are totally confused about metrics even in 2021, and they certainly had no idea of Kilos in the 1880s! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Metrication in Canada began in 1970 and ceased in 1985. While Canada has converted to the metric system for many purposes, there is still significant use of non-metric units and standards in many sectors of the Canadian economy and everyday life today.

This is mainly due to historical ties with the United Kingdom, the traditional use of the imperial system of measurement in Canada, proximity to the United States, and strong public opposition to metrication during the transition period.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metrication_in_Canada
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Re: "Express Packet" stamps (circa 1880) identification required

Post by adam78 »

These stamps and the associated question will appear in the January issue of The Cinderella Philatelist.
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