10c Green (68).
Three, likely from a strip but separated and affixed partly overlapping, tied by circle of V's cancels and red "New York Paid All Br. Transit Mar. 7" circular datestamp on cover to Moscow, Russia,
very likely an 1868 use, red "Verviers A/Coeln/Franco" four-line handstamp ties the left stamp and apparently a fourth stamp to left which has been removed, blue crayon "2" for double rate, red crayon "2" (groschen) overwritten "4" for credit to Russia, "3" and "6" credit handstamps struck over each other at bottom (unclear reason, see below), inside silked, Very Fine appearance and an extremely rare destination for an 1860's cover (Frajola records fewer than ten 1860's covers to Russian destinations other than St. Petersburg), also a vexing usage, the "Via Hamburg or Bremen Steamer"
notation at bottom indicates a desired routing by North German Union direct mail, which would have cost 30c for a double rate -- matching the franking on this cover -- however the markings indicate a 40c double rate via NGU closed mail, the sender may have brought the cover to the post office and been told the steamer for direct mail had already departed and so added a fourth stamp for carriage via American packet to England and NGU closed mail (the sailing of the Inman Line's City of Antwerp
matches the dates), the fourth stamp was subsequently removed for unknown reasons, the "3" and "6" credits are also difficult to explain as the credit should have been either 5c for a single rate or 10c for a double rate, nonetheless a rare and fascinating cover, we are grateful to Richard F. Winter for assistance in this analysis
Image Magnifier / Download
Power Search for Comparables