Posts by Hedy

    An interesting letter was sold in the last month. The letter was sent from Wallachian part of Fokshani to Bucharest. Some explications are needed. Fokshani was a border city divided between Moldavia and Wallachia. Something similar to Berlin till 1989! A quarantine was settled on 1831 at Cerdac on the Milcov River. This letter was sent fast, with a private message; on top written with Cyrillic letters "messenger, messenger, messenger". The sender was Dr Charles Barrozi*, the physician in charge at Cerdac quarantine 1831-1832. He sent the letter to "CINSTITUL COMITET AL CARANTINELOR" (The Honorable Committee of Quarantines) at Bucharest. On the back the red wax seal reads: "KARANTINA CERDACU FOKSHANI" and the Wallachian Eagle in the center. This is the unique known wax seal of Cerdacu quarantine.

    About Dr Barrozi little is known. In 1832 he asked to be paid 800 lei per month. The Wallachian authorities were ready to pay 400. Nothing it is known about the payment. In 1860 we find him as the Sultan Chief Physician.

    It is a nice collection. Love it. Please be attention with the page "1787 CATTANO". According to Mr. Paolo Vollmeier this cachets are fakes. In "Bolli e Documenti di Sanita" published by A.I.S.P. at page 340 they agreed with Mr. Vollmeier.

    Mail disinfected in Gibraltar it is quite an interesting topic. Denis and Garcia in the monograph printed in 1994 for Disinfected Mail Study Circle presented a lot of material some disinfected for sure in Gibraltar, other perhaps. The material it is not abundant. Here I show a letter written on October 9, 1850 aboard HMS Bellerophon and records eight death from Cholera after leaving Malta, one every day and no more cases after eight days. Pair of 26 mm chisel cuts and heat discoloration of the letter is similar treatment to two letters described by Denis and Garcia dated 1849. The addressee was in Nottingham.

    Postal marks: Gibraltar SHIP LETTER mark recorded use November 22, 1843 to April 12, 1851, in blue ink from November 29, 1849.

    Datestamp recorded used November 6, 1849 to April 12, 1858, only known in blue.

    Liverpool SHIP LETTER mark used in black 1841-55.

    On front marked "8" pence, the rate for incoming letter to UK for up to half an ounce, implemented in 1840.

    The two letters Denis and Garcia showed are from different origins with same chisels pattern and dimension as mine and were done in Gibraltar.

    During the years little was written about mail disinfection in Portugal. All the examples shown in the few articles I saw where sent from abroad. Denis wrote an article in Pratique vol. XXIX, 2004, no2, pages 36-42 showing some nice examples and gave some data about regulations of quarantine.

    Here I present a letter sent from Porto to Coimbra m.s dated 4 August 1855 and post cachet 5 August. Postage paid 25 Reis. It was twice slit. Each slit 25 mm long. It will be usefully to have more data about disinfection done for letters sent into Portugal.Portugal 1.jpg


    Dear Andre

    Thank you for your answer. I would like to hear your opinion why this letter did all the way to Brielle which was a port and treated mail from Great Britain? In this case no GEZUIVERD cachet despite it was a period that it was in use.

    Something I did not know, perhaps the routes were changed after the Belgian revolution.


    The letter shown here was sent from Lucerne on March 12th,1832 to Amsterdam. It passed through Rotterdam and was forwered by an agent on March 19th. The letter was twice slit in a V-like open angle. Did somebody knows were this pattern slit was used?

    Thanks for the help.

    The slits pattern on the original letter it is interesting. Beginning 1843 (the earliest I saw) the Austrians used devices to make rows of slits. I know two places they used this pattern, Trieste and Tomos. I am quite sure that the friends can add more places. No cachets were used in the mean time. In interesting article "Steamships and Quatrantines at Trieste, 1837-1848" by Ronald Coons can add more information about practices at Trieste.

    I just came back from Brasilia 2017. It was a very long way to there with 55 kilograms of exhibits. The exhibition was a very good one with 2800 frames. Many collections from different categories included disinfected mail. Some items were real gems. My collection of disinfected mail did well being award Gold.

    Our subject it is very interesting for the public. The organizers asked me to explain to young students about the topic. I did it five times.

    I was offer two envelopes from the end of 17th century sent from the King of Portugal to Brasília. both has what was described as chisel slits. I think that this letters where not disinfected. The dealer refused to let me make photos.

    Now I am back to the desk to make changes for the next exhibit, Jerusalem 2018.

    Wrapper sent from Königsberg (Prussia) to Bordeaux, October 24, 1831.

    Rectangular French cachet "PRUSSE/PAR/ FORBACH" port of entrance in France.

    The cachet was used 1825-1832 in black color and 1832-1837 in red.


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    Letter sent from Salonica to Venice. Written, m.s. on July 15,1745, sent with forwarding agent Josef & Const(ine) "mero di pronto a Floro"
    (lit. given to Josef & Const. quick to Floro).

    Mr. Rigo states in his splendid collection at page 22 that "in Venice letters were never disinfected by exposure to heat: hence they never show the typical brown color".

    Where this letter was disinfected? I hope somebody can help.


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    Letter sent from the Lazaretto by Captain of Simonel Battaglione ship which came from Zara (Zadar, Croatia) and entered into quarantine at Ancona. It was written on August 17, 1814 and addressed to Maritime Magister, Ancona. All letters written during the stay into the lazaretto were disinfected inside and outside. This letter was almost burned during disinfection. The disinfection attested with the cachet "Ancona Sanita/Netto fuori e dentro" . That cachet it was used 1797-1828 and applied in black.


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    Official folded cover from Santiago de Cuba to Granada (Spain) 1849, Aug. 11, with oval cachet of a governmental body, handstamped in blue on dispatch with "CORREO MARITIMO./N°.1" and "FRANCO" oval postmarks, and two slits of disinfection on front the left one 45 long and the small 37 mm long. The red "A" marking indicates that the postal fee had been annotated in a special account to compensate official bodies.

    Provenance: "NUEVO MUNDO" collection.


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    Entire letter from Havana to Loudon (France) Sept.19, 1816, prepaying the double weight for the Spanish portion of the journey with 8 Reales as denoted in manuscript on reverse, postmarked on departure with "Habana/Franco" oval in conjunction with "ISLAS DE/BARLOVENTO" *(Windward Islands) in two lines, both in black, entering France at Bayonne with "ESPAGNE/PAR BAYONEE" handstamp, Charged with handwritten "11" décimes. Disinfected because yellow fever in Americas, one horizontal 35 mm long slit.

    Early entire from Cuba to France.

    * This “Islas de/ Barlovento” marking, inaugurated under Spanish Postal Regulations effective September 1, 1779, was applied to indicate to the rating clerk at the incoming post office the origin of the letter in order that he might calculate the correct amount of postage due. It is known as a “demarcation” or “origin” postmark. Several different types of this postmark are known, however, this particular type was struck in black, from 1805 to 1821.