Disinfected in Semlin or Rothenthurn (former thread: "Disinfected at Marseille 1804/05: rastel perforation")

  • “The yellow fever alarm of 1804-1805 gave rise to the use of a rastel at Marseille, ... ; but there seems to be no record of letters being chisel-slit at Marseille in this period.” (Pratique XXXVII, page 2013/7)

    Has anyone a letter with a rastel perforation from 1804/05 disinfected at Marseille?

    I have a letter from Constantinople via Marseille to Tarragona. The letter has a rastel perforation but shows no signs of disinfection with vinegar. I'm not sure if the letter was disinfected at Semlin or at Marseille. I'm interested in your opinion.

  • I got a message from Guy. He told me that no rastel was used at that time in Marseille (only from 1831/33) and:

    "For this letter from Constantinople the punch holes were done in Rothenthurn. The letter has no mark : for me it was put on the mail in Marseilles “12/MARSEILLE” paid until the border and after r7 (7 reales) for the Spanish port due to the address. This letter never passed by the Marseilles Quarantine !"

  • A further letter from Constantinople (Sept. 10, 1816) to Spain (Madrid).

    The letter was put into the regular post in Paris but he has rastel punch holes which are not common for France or Spain. This lead to the assumption that the letter was disinfected in Rothenthurn.

    In 1816 new postal rates were proclaimed for letters from France to Spain:

    – letters with destination north of the Ebro river: 4 reales for letters up to 4 adarmes

    – letters with destination Andalucia or Baleares: 6 reales for letters up to 4 adarmes

    – letters to the rest of Spain: 5 reales for letters up to 4 adarmes

    On back of the letter there is a manuscript mark of "10" décimes, paid by the sender for the route from Paris up to the French/Spanish border (Perpignan).


    In the Filbase Hedy provided an article about the Rothenthurn cachets 1804-1816. In this article is mentioned that mail from Constantinople was disinfected in Rothenthurn in the following periods only:

    – Oct. 25th, 1791 to June 1792

    – 1794 to July 15th, 1800

    – Oct, 1806 to 1809

    – 1813 to 1821

    – 1822 to 1828


  • Thank you Andre for showing this interesting letter. A rebellion against the Ottomans began in 1815 under the leadership of Miloš Obrenović. The revolt lasted till 1817. This period it is known as Second Serbian Uprising. Due to instability the post was diverted thru Wallachia. Your letter was disinfected at Rothenturn.

  • Dear Hedy,

    Thank you for providing historical background to the postal route!

    Yours sincerely,