VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE MIXED-FRANKING COVER FROM CUBA TO BUENOS AIRES VIA ST. THOMAS AND RIO DE JANEIRO. ALTHOUGH THIS COVER NEVER TOUCHED UNITED STATES SOIL, IT REQUIRED 10-CENT POSTAGE FOR TRANSPORT ON A UNITED STATES AND BRAZIL MAIL STEAMSHIP COMPANY VESSEL FROM ST. THOMAS TO RIO DE JANEIRO. A FASCINATING USE OF THE BANK NOTE ISSUE.
A few covers sent from Cuba to correspondents in Buenos Aires show the unusual routing via St. Thomas and Rio de Janeiro. The senders evidently arranged for letters to be carried on a Spanish packet outside the mails from Havana to St. Thomas, which explains the absence of Cuban postmarks. This letter entered the mails through the St. Thomas post office. Danish West Indies postage was paid in cash, and the U.S. and Great Britain stamps were left uncancelled. The only way for mail to reach Rio de Janeiro from St. Thomas was on a regular U.S. & Brazil Mail Steamship Co. sailing, which required 10c U.S. postage (in this case, paid by the stamp affixed in Matanzas). On arrival at Rio, the letter was handed over to the British Post Office, which applied the "C83" cancel and sent it by a Pacific Steam Navigation Co. vessel to Buenos Aires.
With 2002 P.F. certificate mentioning only a "sealed tear" on 4p stamp