For your viewing pleasure our own club member Dennis Hassler has provided us with a glimpse of a mourning cover in the form of a German postcard which talks of the ship carrying the body of Queen Victoria in 1901.

Death of Queen Victoria

Early in the morning of Jan. 19, Queen Victoria seemed better and then she quickly slipped out of consciousness again.  The doctors summoned her children and grandchildren. At 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 22 Queen Victoria died, surrounded by her family, at the Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.

On January 25, attending physician Dr. Reid carefully placed the items Queen Victoria had requested in the bottom of her coffin: Albert's dressing gown, a plaster cast of Albert's hand, and photographs. Then, Queen Victoria's body was lifted into the coffin with the help of her son Albert (the new king), her grandson William (the German Kaiser), and her son Arthur (the Duke of Connaught). The coffin was closed and then carried to the dining room where it was covered with the Union Jack (Britain's flag) while the body lay in state.

The Funeral Procession and depiction of the body as portrayed on the cover:

On February 1, Queen Victoria's coffin was moved from Osborne House and placed on the ship Alberta, which carried the queen's coffin across the Solent to Portsmouth. On February 2, the coffin was transported by train to Victoria Station in London.

From Victoria to Paddington, the queen's coffin was carried by gun carriage, since Queen Victoria had requested a military funeral. She had also wanted a white funeral, so the gun carriage was pulled by eight white horses.   The streets along the funeral route were crowded with spectators who wanted to get a last glimpse of the queen. As the carriage passed by everyone remained silent. All that could be heard were the clattering of the horses' hooves, the jangling of swords, and the distant boom of gun salutes.
Once at Paddington, the queen's coffin was placed on a train and taken to Windsor. At Windsor, the coffin was again placed on a gun carriage pulled by white horses.
Queen Victoria's coffin was then placed in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, where it remained in the Albert Memorial Chapel for two days under guard.
On the evening of February 4, Queen Victoria's coffin was taken by gun carriage to Frogmore Mausoleum, which she had built for her beloved Albert upon his death, and there she was buried.

Thank you Dennis for providing us this interesting piece of philatelic history.

Thank you visitors and friends for looking at these interesting Gems!

Submitted by Stan Turrini -Pitcarin and Windsor covers

                               Scans by "Doctor" Lloyd Chan

Submitted by Dennis Buss  and Hans  Kremer-  1982 Custom Duties for Foreign Package

The German card at right addressed to Dresden and on the reverse a glowing description of the procession on the ship "Alberta".  Note that the Kaiser of Germany was Victoria's grandson.

Pitcairn Cover, cancel on the Island. Address to a John William 'Jack' Holmdahl (1924--2017). At the time of the cover, 'Jack' was counted in 1930 Census as living in Vallejo, California; since it is a 'Rural Route', the assumption is his residence was east of Highway 40, which became Interstate 80, in late 1950s/early 1960s. He did serve in the United States Military, but branch is not known. The cover is endorsed by the Island's Postmistress, who's last name is 'Christian'. What records exist, so far, cannot confirm if Mr. Holmdahl was a 'stamp hobbyist', since at the time 1930s, there was a local stamp club in Vallejo: 'Channel Stamp Club'. 

This cover was purchased from 'Fair Winds, Paul Huber' at the 2018 or 2019 WESTPEX.

Duke of Windsor cover, cancel the date of their marriage at the French town where they were wed. Was purchased over four decades, and when, stated only known philatelic commemoration for the Duke and Duchess' wedding. There are two cancesl, which are difficult to read. The covers did not include a cachet maker or who/what issued, though one is in French and one in English. What is a tid-bit of information, when the covers arrived these were quite neatly wrapped in a five wax paper, folded perfectly. 

Source: Possibly 'H.E. Harris', sometime in the late 1970s..


The Man Behind ‘Farley’s Follies’
Postmaster General 1933--1940

            James A. Farley is fairly well-known to most all United States

philatelists, and Scott’s listed his famous, or infamous,

Farley’s Follies’ as #752 through #771.
            In my halcyon and long gone youthful days,

those ‘Farley’s Follies’ were among my first philatelic

purchases, from one who actually obtain those from the

                                                                                                                                                             Post Office back then! 
Over the years, knowledge about the man has been learned. Surprisingly, Farley----who stated numerous times that he did not collect stamps----had an established and nationally career in politics and later with Coca-Cola.   My humble and poor endeavor here at a ‘philatelic gem’ is submitted to the distinguished and enlightened members of the Redwood Empire Collectors Club (RECC) and others, to add, to supplement, or just to inform more about Farley, the man, rather than his ‘Follies’

**        His full name was JAMES ALOYSIUS FARLEY
**        He enjoyed both boxing and baseball, and maintained for years at the old Yankee Stadium his
            ‘Farley Box’, sitting in a simple wooden chair.
**        He was among the most important and influential individuals securing Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1932 Democratic Party   

nomination for the Presidency.
**        But, he would break with Roosevelt in 1940 over the two term tradition.
**        Farley actually sought to be nominated by the Democrats at their 1940 Chicago Convention and
It was Joseph P. ‘Joe’ Kennedy, Jr.  (1915—1944), the eldest son of Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., who placed Farley’s name in nomination at the Convention, something that Farley remembered and recorded proudly in his autobiography.
**        He was at the dedication of numerous New Deal constructed Post Offices, including St. Helena and Vallejo, California, to name just two.
**        ‘Farley’s Rule’, a political thought that Farley developed in this two national campaigns for Franklin D. Roosevelt states ‘most voters decide by October before the November election’.
**        After resigning as Postmaster General, he would write two books----BEHIND THE BALLOTS and JIM FARLEY’S STORY----and develop for Coca-Cola a strong international presence.
**        Regardless of his ‘break with Roosevelt’ over the third term, Farley remained a presence in national politics was the ‘First Guest’ on MEET THE PRESS.
**        President Kennedy, knowing Farley’s presence and prestige, attending Mass with him at New York’s famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and was sure to be photographed for the print media.
**        Farley died in 1976, the last member of the Roosevelt’s New Deal Cabinet. At the time, he resided at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where both former President Herbert Hoover and General Douglas C. MacArthur had lodging.
**        When he died, he was dressed in a tux ready to leave for one of his numerous involvements.
**        He signed all correspondence in ‘Irish green ink’.

Submitted by Stan Turrini -    Scans by "Doctor" Lloyd Chan

The German text at left on the back of the postcard is translated below. 

This being a narrative summary of the view and happenings on the ship carrying Victoris to her final destination..

Soviet CTO Anomaly                                              

Collectors of Russian stamps, especially stamps of the Soviet Union from 1920 to 1991, are aware of the CTO  (canceled to order) policy.  That is where new issues of stamps were simultaneously annulled with a postal-type cancellation; in order to sell the stamps as used examples to collectors. These stamps have the original full gum and were sold to domestic as well as worldwide markets, at discounts from the printed values on the stamps.  Close examinations of such CTO stamps oftentimes reveal anomalies such as First Day of Issue markings, markings prior to the first day of issue, or markings on stamps no longer valid for use. 

But an interesting situation is found on some CTO Soviet stamps that have some bronze, brass or gold like printing on them.  If one looks carefully, one can see that the bronze printing is on top of the black CTO printing as in the example shown here.  One asks why is the CTO marking applied before the bronze printing, which is part of the finished stamp.  One explanation is that the bronze inks are really finely ground particles of metal, and as such are abrasive.  Thus the CTO printing cliché would be eroded somewhat in the process of application on the bronze ink of thousands of stamps in their manufacturing process, with the quality of the earliest CTO printings differing from the final CTO printings.  Thus to preserve the quality of the CTO marking the bronze ink printing was done last, and consequently is found on top of the CTO marking.

I acquired the postal document shown here some years ago while rummaging through a dealer cover box at WESTPEX. I asked my good friend Hans Kremer and fellow member of the Netherlands Philatelists of California to interpret it for me. Hans has written extensively for both American and British journals that specialize in Dutch philately. I rely upon him to unravel philatelic puzzles that I do not have the resources nor the Dutch language skills to solve.

The postal item shown here (front and back) is the documentation required to export a commercial package from Grafenau (Germany) to Voorthuizen (The Netherlands) in 1982. Goods imported into the Netherlands are only handed over to the recipient after the item has been presented to a customs agent, proper documentation has been filled out and applicable duties have been paid. In Dutch the word for the clearance process is “Inklaring”.

The package left Grafenau on September 28, 1982, with 1130 pfennigs in German stamps on it. The 1130 pfennigs was the correct postal rate for shipping a package weighing 1 Kg and 700 grams to the Netherlands.

It arrived at the Dutch customs station in Emmerich (Germany) near the Dutch border, on October 2, 1982. The packet was then sent on to a Dutch clearance office, most likely in Arnhem. At the clearance office the custom duties were calculated. The duties charged in 1982 for this package consisted of three parts:

Custom Duty           400 cent
Commission           475 cent
Priority handling  200 cent
                        Total 1075 cents.

Custom duty was the charge for handling the forms by the customs agent, the commission charge was for calculating, pre-paying and collecting the fee. Since priority charges were indicated (and paid for), the package was treated with priority in Arnhem and could have been picked up there. Why that was not done is not clear. They might have given it a day before sending it on to Barneveld, the major post office closest to Voorthuizen, its final destination.

The 1075 cents charges were applied to the back of the form in Barneveld with stamps adding up to 1075 cents. When the package was delivered in Voorthuizen the 1075 cents were paid to the mailman, who then released the package. It took a total of ten days to finally deliver the package.

Submitted by George Shalimoff -  Soviet CTO Anomaly

Here we will be presenting items that are from our members and are dear to our collecting interests.  We at times have variant interests and as such you will see some pretty fascinating postings.    Send us something to post!

Submitted by Stan Turrini -James Farley