VERY FINE. THIS IS THE EARLIEST RECORDED 1847 ISSUE COVER TO FRANCE AND THE ONLY HEROUT & HANDEL LINE COVER FRANKED WITH A STAMP. AN OUTSTANDING RARITY OF THE 1847 ISSUE AND OF UNITED STATES-FRANCE TRANSATLANTIC MAILS.
In Chronicle 234, Steven Walske analyzed the comprehensive census of 1847 Issue covers to France, including the five routes that were available at some point during the four years the stamps were in use (British Packet via England, American Packet via England, American Packet Direct, French Packet Direct and by private ship). The option of French Packet Direct was available only from June 22, 1847, to February 6, 1848, via one of nine trips of the Herout & Handel line. This is the only recorded 1847 Issue cover from one of those trips and therefore the only Herout & Handel Line cover franked with a stamp. As the United States and France had no postal treaty, this cover had to be prepaid for U.S. under-300 miles postage to New York and then collect from the recipient for French Packet and inland service. The addressee, Hennessey & Co. has been producing cognac for 250 years and is today the largest producer in the world.
Illustrated in Chronicle 234 on p. 112
VERY FINE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE "WASHINGTON PAQ. FR." NAME-OF-SHIP EMBARKATION DATESTAMP. AN OUTSTANDING COVER BY FRENCH PACKET DIRECT.
This was carried on the Compagnie Generale Transatlantique steamer Washington (second sailing of the line) from Le Havre on Jul. 27, 1864, arriving New York Aug. 9. In addition to the only recorded example of the "Washington Paq. Fr." marking, the "Fr. Service" handstamp is also rare (struck in blue to signify direct service).
Illustrated and discussed in Chronicle 246 on p. 177
VERY FINE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE "EUROPE PAQ. FR." NAME-OF-SHIP EMBARKATION DATESTAMP.
This was carried on the Compagnie Generale Transatlantique steamer Europe on its maiden voyage. It departed Le Havre on May 3, 1865 and arrived New York May 14. This is the only recorded example of this marking.
Ex Noel. Illustrated and discussed in Chronicle 246 on p. 178
VERY FINE. THIS IS ONE OF ONLY THREE RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE "LAFAYETTE PAQ. FR." NAME-OF-SHIP EMBARKATION DATESTAMP.
This was carried on the Compagnie Generale Transatlantique steamer Lafayette from Le Havre on Feb. 8, 1865, arriving New York Feb. 20. This is one of only three recorded examples of this marking.
Ex Noel. For a discussion of CGT packets see Steven Walske's two-part article in Chronicle 246-247
VERY FINE. THIS IS THE UNIQUE EXAMPLE OF THE "COR. D. ARMEES LAFAYETTE" STEAMSHIP NAME POSTMARK, APPLIED TO THIS COVER TO CONFIRM MILITARY USE.
This unique marking was unknown to Salles when he published his seminal work on French maritime mail.
With 2012 Roumet certificate. Illustrated and discussed in Chronicle 246 on p. 179
VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE COVER FROM THE CAPTAIN OF THE CRUISER LAURIER IN NEW YORK HARBOR, POSTED ON BOARD THE NEARBY LIGNE H STEAMER NAPOLEON III, WITH A UNIQUE MILITARY DATESTAMP AND ANCHOR CANCEL.
This was carried from New York harbor by the Ligne H steamer Napoleon III on its maiden voyage, departing New York May 19, 1866 and arriving Le Havre. The 20-centimes stamp paid the concession rate for naval mail. The "Corr. D. Arm." military datestamp is the only recorded example from this period.
In 1871 the paddle-steamer Napoleon III was converted to a screw-propulsion steamer and renamed Ville du Havre, following Napoleon’s defeat. On November 22, 1873, the ship collided with the Scottish three-masted iron clipper, Loch Earn, and sank in minutes. 226 on board perished, and only 61 passengers and 26 crew members survived, rescued by Loch Earn and an American vessel, the Tremountain.
Illustrated and discussed in Chronicle 246 on p. 183
VERY FINE. A COLORFUL AND CHOICE FRENCH PACKET DIRECT COVER TO BOSTON, POSTED ON BOARD AND PROCESSED BY THE MAIL AGENT OF THE LIGNE H STEAMER PEREIRE AT LE HAVRE.
This was posted on board the Ligne H steamer Pereire (manuscript directive at top), departing Le Havre on June 6, 1867 and arriving New York June 17, then carried in a closed mail bag to Boston. Walske records fewer than ten covers with maritime postmarks and French Anchor cancels from this period. The "Fr. Service" handstamp is also rare (struck in blue to signify direct service).
Illustrated and discussed in Chronicle 246 on p. 181
VERY FINE. THIS FAMOUS COVER IS AN EXTREMELY RARE EXAMPLE OF AN EASTBOUND LETTER FROM THE UNITED STATES TO FRANCE PREPAID WITH FRENCH STAMPS AND POSTED ON BOARD A FRENCH STEAMER. FEWER THAN FIVE ARE RECORDED.
This cover was handed to the postal agent aboard the Ligne H steamer Ville de Paris in New York Harbor and never entered the U.S. mails. French decrees specifically allowed the posting and prepayment of such letters, treating the steamers as an extension of French soil. The single rate was 60-centimes and this was prepaid for the double rate. The mail agent struck the stamps with the "Ancre" cancels and the Ligne H double-circle datestamp -- which was used only on shipboard covers and is much rarer than the usual octagon. The Ville de Paris departed on Feb. 19 and arrived Brest on Feb. 28.
Ex Schatzkes. Illustrated and discussed in Michael Laurence's 10-Cent 1869 Covers: A Postal Historical Survey on pp. 169-170. Illustrated and discussed in Chronicle 247 on p. 276
VERY FINE AND RARE COVER FROM FRANCE TO THE UNITED STATES, POSTED ABOARD THE LIGNE H STEAMER PEREIRE IN LE HAVRE HARBOR. FEWER THAN FIVE ARE RECORDED FROM THIS PERIOD.
The Ligne H double-circle datestamp was used only on shipboard covers and is rarer than the usual octagon. The Pereire departed Le Havre June 17, 1870, stopped at Brest and arrived in New York on June 17.
Ex Roberts. Illustrated and discussed in Chronicle 247 on p. 272
VERY FINE. A COLORFUL AND RARE THREE-ISSUE DOUBLE-RATE FRANKING FROM FRANCE TO THE UNITED STATES, POSTED ON BOARD THE LIGNE H STEAMER ST. LAURENT IN LE HAVRE HARBOR.
The Ligne H double-circle datestamp was used only on shipboard covers and is rarer than the usual octagon. The St. Laurent departed Le Havre Jul. 4, 1872, stopped at Brest where the maritime markings were struck and arrived in New York on Jul. 19.
Ex Schatzkes. Illustrated and discussed in Chronicle 247 on p. 273