Gary Loew's Favorite

In this forum, each member is asked to show one of his or her favourite covers. The attraction need not be based on scarcity or value -- it most likely will turn matters purely personal.

Gary Loew's Favorite

Postby dannmayo » Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:24 am


Registered Censored Mourning Cover from Maurel et Prom in Gambia to General Motors in Cote D’Ivoire

In the November-December issue of American Stamp Dealer & Collector, the amazing philatelist John Hotchner has a great article on Mourning Covers. This is a fascinating area for study. The covers John illustrated, if I read them all correctly, are all “private” mourning covers, meaning that they most likely represent in individual or family communicating their loss. Recently, I've encountered a different “class” of mourning covers, where a monarch or public figure is being mourned. Most of what I've seen deal with the extended period of mourning declared when Queen Victoria was widowed upon the death of her beloved Prince Albert, as well as the death of QV herself. I have also seen a few OHMS mourning covers after the death of George V. His official mourning period ran for about nine months, I believe.

Appended here is one of the few mourning covers in my collection. Not only is it from Gambia (in which I specialize), but the sender is from the French firm of Maurel et H. Prom, a company whose postal history I also collect. A charming confluence. It is also dual censored by the British and the French. And a registered cover, to boot. Finally, check out the destination: Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire! On the obverse: Oval French censorship handstamp on French censor tape “CONTROLE POSTAL”. Also, the red circled “A / 1” represents the censorship commission/subcommission. On the reverse: receiver double circle “ABIDJAN / 27 / DEC / 44 / COTE D’IVOIRE”. 2 strikes of Gambia oval registry (Duncan 510.20) & Oval French censorship handstamp. I think this is such a cool piece of postal history. Now, if they'd only disinfected it…

One of these days, we'll have to explore the route this cover might have taken through WW II West Africa. Not so simple, methinks.
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