FINE. A VERY RARE COVER FEATURING THE 1-CENT AND 6-CENT 1869 PICTORIALS PAYING THE 7-CENT NORTH GERMAN UNION RATE VIA BREMEN.
Put into effect in July 1870, the 7c N.G.U. rate had the misfortune of coinciding with the Franco-Prussian War when France declared war on July 19th. Fear of German ships being captured while at sea led the North German Lloyd and the Hamburg-American lines to keep their ships in neutral ports and to cease operations. Only two sailings were made in July and not until October 1870 did the North German Lloyd deem it safe enough to resume operations, sending ships from Bremen around the north of Scotland to New York, though sailings were irregular, and the wreck of the Union near Rattray Head (Nov. 28, 1870) caused them to virtually abandon this route. Normal service was restored in February 1871, but the rate was reduced to 6c in October. Needless to say, covers showing the ill-fated 7c rate are very rare. This is an exceedingly rare example with 1869 Pictorials.