VERY FINE. ONE OF FOUR CONFIRMED 10c 1847 ISSUE COVERS TO GERMANY -- AND, OF THE THREE 1847 COVERS TO GERMANY WITH THE "COLONIES/&C ART. 13" HANDSTAMP, ONLY THIS ONE HAS A 10c STAMP.
This cover is one of four verified 10c 1847 covers to Germany (of the five in the USPCS census), and it is one of three with either denomination bearing the "COLONIES/&c ART. 13" marking.
The 10c stamp was clearly intended to pay the over-300 miles rate from Naples, Illinois, to New York City for the next available Cunard sailing. However, unbeknownst to the sender and possibly the postmaster of this small midwestern town, the 1848 U.S.-Great Britain postal treaty required only 5c internal U.S. postage on covers sent by Open Mail to or through Great Britain; therefore, since all other markings indicate this was a single-rate letter, the 10c stamp overpaid the 5c shore-to-ship rate.
USPCS Census no. 1299. Ex Knapp, Rust, Stollnitz, "Sevenoaks", Craveri, Hackmey and Gross. Illustrated in The United States 1847 Issue: A Cover Census (in color section and also on p. 932) and in Burkhard Krumm's article, "1847 Covers to the German States" (Chronicle 256). With 1999 P.F. certificate.