Posts by Bjoern


    attached you can find a scan of the requested article about Portugal from Denis Vandervelde in Pratique Volume XXIX N.2

    Hope that this will help you - if you have any interesting you would like to share we are happy the hear your conclusions.




    • Pratique.pdf

      (4.35 MB, downloaded 5 times, last: )


    this looks very interesting, but I am not sure if this is a device to puncture letters. I have never seen such a pattern. The "spikes" are very close together and they seem not very deep so in case of a "thick" letter they may not go through the paper.

    Also the area seems quiet small. But all of this is hard to judge just by seeing the pictures.

    What is the size of this device? How does the pattern look like after treating a letter? Can you please try it on a 4 layer paper and show an example how it looks like afterwards?



    Dear all,

    a friend of mine showed me the attached letter:

    November 14th, 1873: Letter from Luebeck (Germany) to Palermo (arrival November 20th 1873), vertical slit and discolored paper (disinfection ?).


    Unfortunately I could not help him out. Does anybody can help out regarding the following questions:

    1. Where did the disinfection took place?
    2. Was there any special epedimic as reason for an disinfection at this specific time?

    Thanks in advance,


    Another letter with this rare cachet "GEREINIGT VON AUSSEN NÜRNBERG".

    The letter was written on July 12th 1805 in Livorno (refer to scan of the letter content), maybe taken by a forwarder to Bavaria (due to the fact that the letter is missing any postal remark from Livorno) and then running by the post via Nuernberg and Prussia (probably Berlin) to Riga.

    Unclear is the cachet "R" on the front of the letter. Similar types of such a cachet were used later (from 1826 onwards) on letters from Russia to Prussia - but not so early like this one (1805) and not for letter going the other way round into Russia.


    Bavarian-rate: 6 Gutegroschen x 4 = 24 Prussian Groschen = 24 russian Kopeks (refer to red 6 on the front-page)

    Prussian-rate: 44 Prussian Groschen + 1,5 special border postage for letter to baltic areas = 45,5 russian Kopeks

    Russian-rate: 28,5 russian Kopeks

    --> in total 98 russion Kopeks (69,5 Kopeks for Prussia) [refer to "tax-tree" on the back-side)

    Has anybody any idea regarding the cachet "R". May it be Italian?


    in the actual auction of Auction Galleries in Hamburg another letter to Livorno is on offer:

    "1672, letter to Livorno (Leghorn) addressed to Francisco Venturini, sent via the Thurn & Taxis postal system (the postal service from Hamburg via Cologne was established in 1616), endorsed ”franco Mantova”. An early disinfected letter showing discolouration due to baking or treatment with vinegar."

    Please refer to attachment.

    Where took a possible disinfection place?



    Mail Bombs are in a way related to the subject of disinfected mail:

    • the mail is potential dangerous to the recepient
    • authorities are taken actions for defenses, to ensure save communication

    Definition: Mail bombs are mostly explosive devices in, generally, two categories: Parcel bombs and Letter bombs

    Defending against mail bombs: e.g. education, X-ray machines and sniffer dogs

    A good overview is given by:

    Dale Speirs: The History of Mail Bombs, Postal History Journal No. 122 (June 2002) & Postal History Journal No. 123 (October 2002) & Postal History Journal No. 124 (February 2003)

    Just to get a first impression refer to actual warnings by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (link and attachment):

    By accident I found an interesting notice in the exhibition catalogue of the Stamp Exhibition 1935 in Hannover:

    Within the exhibition class XI "Pre-Philately" (in German: "Vorphilatelistische Briefe und Ganzsachen") there was the following collection (No. 97):

    Kumpf-Mikuli, Major, Wien (Viena): "Cholerabriefe" ("Cholera letters")

    In the exhibition catalogue the collection is introduced by a quiet long (German) explanation:

    "Um die Ausbreitung von Seuchen zu bekämpfen, wurden in den verschiedenen Ländern sanitäre Maßnahmen getroffen, denen auch die Briefe aus verschiedenen Ländern unterlagen. Besonders als im Jahr 1831 die Cholera von Asien über Rußland auch das übrige Europe bedrohte, begann man, aus postalische Abwehrmaßnahmen planmäßig vorzunehmen. Man unterzog die Briefe einer Desinfektion an den Grenzämtern. Das Desinfizieren geschah entweder derart, dass der Brief geöffnet und gereinigt wurde, oder man versah in mit Löchern und Einschnitten, damit die Desinfektionsdämpfe in der Innere dringen konnten. Solche gereinigte Briefe erhielten dann Sanitätsstempel. Siegel oder handschriftliche Vermerke. Die Cholerabriefe sind postalisch und kulturhistorisch interessane Zeugen einer vergangenen Zeitepoche, wo der Schreckensruf "Pest" und "Cholera" Europa ebensoin Atem hielt wie blutige Kriege; es ist daher begreiflich, dass sie gesuchte Studien- und Sammelobjekte sind."

    The collection was awarded with a bronze medal (refer to Germania-Berichte No. 6, June 1935).

    Maybe the first special collection of disinfected mail which was presented in a competitive stamp exhibition by the famous phe-philatelic collector Kumpf-Mikuli. (It would be nice if we could prove the provenience of disinfected mail out of this collection "ex Kumpf-Mikuli".)

    In the meanwhile the publication commemorating the 140th anniversary of my local philatelistic club in Frankfurt is printed including an articel regarding disinfection in Frankfurt am Main (8 pages):

    Festschrift 140 Jahre Briefmarkenkunde in Frankfurt am Main 1878 - 2018 (hardcover - 237 pages - all articles are in German)

    • Michael Krug: Vereinsgeschichte der letzten 15 Jahre
    • Prof. Fueß: Frankfur und seine Stadtteile im 19. Jahrhundert
    • Björn Rosenau: Briefe in den Zeiten der Cholera - Desinfektion von Postsendungen 1831/1832 in Frankfurt am Main
    • Heinrich Mimberg: Zum Druck der "Basler Taube" - auf Spurensuche in Frankfurt am Main
    • Heinrich Mimberg: Mit der "Postea Europea" nach Kairo - auf Forschungsreise in Afrika
    • Erwin W. Friese: Preußen, die zweizeiligen Rechteckstempel ohne Jahreszahl mit Schlusspunkt, sogenannte Liegnitzer Sonderform
    • Arnim Knapp: Eine Zeitreise mit den bekanntesten Einheiten des "Sachsen-Dreier", darunter der einzig erhaltene Bogen, der Neuentdeckung eines Vierer-Blocks und vier Briefen, die eine postgeschichtliche Weltrarität darstellen. Das "Malheur von Oschatz" darf auch nicht fehlen
    • Carsten Meckbach: Die ersten Ganzsachenkarten der Deutschen Reichspost (Michel P1-P4 und PP2-PP3)
    • Uwe Lawin: Dänisch-Westindien
    • Michael Peter: Die Ganzsachen El Salvadors von 1883 - 1889
    • Louise Nilles: Villeroy & Boch: Ein Unternehmen unter der Lupe
    • Karl Louis und Dieter Michelson: Quo Vadis Philatelie? - Rückblich und Ausblick zur Geschichte des Sammelns von Briefmarken

    Selling price is 20 € plus shipping costs - if you are interested please send an email to

    The Cholera epidemic of 1831/32

    At this time different post offices operated in Hamburg. The Swedish and Norwegian post office is one of them. Letters that were disinfected there had been pierced by a rastel.

    The rastel leaves behind a specific pattern of holes:

    – three rows, each with 3 / 4 / 3 holes

    – the distance between the outer holes is 72 mm in the first and third row

    – the distance between the outer holes is 100 mm in the second row



    Letter from Stettin December 30th 1831 via Hamburg January 3rd 1832 to the Quarantain Commission in Stockholm, Sweden. The letter was disinfected by the Swedish and Norwegian post office (refer to characteristic pattern of holes).

    At the moment a publication commemorating the 140th anniversary of my local philatelistic club in Frankfurt is planned and I a have agreed on to write an articel about disinfection in Frankfurt am Main.

    To do this I have updated my registry of known letters (please refer to the attachment). Can somebody add something to this list?

    Any remarks would be appriciated.