MICHAEL HAMILTON
POSTAL HISTORY
POSTMARKS
STAMPS
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Country: Gibraltar Clear
Subject: Pmks (in blue ink) Clear

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North Africa BARBARY COAST and GB USED ABROAD combination, GIBRALTAR postal history
1871 mourning cover with unidentified blue Arabic-like origin cachet almost certainly originating in the Barbary Coast regions of North Africa, addressed with French salutation to Madame Isabella Wilson, Youngstown, Ohio with GB 4d, 6d pmk'd "A26" with GIBRALTAR A/NO 22 71 despatch showing London 7 DE 71 and New York Paid All (indistinct date) transits over red "2/CENTS" handstamp). No backstamps and smaller portion of flap missing. A currently unique and intriguing item.
At that time there was no state postal system and foreign post offices were in only a few North African coastal towns. The Parmenter & Gordon handbook Page 1/5 states that "From 1st March 1858 mail from Tangier and other British Consulates in "Barbary" had to be prepaid in GB adhesives which were later cancelled in Gibraltar". The first TANGIER cds was sent from the GPO London on 16th March 1872 (some 4 months later than this cover, examples of use are TANGIER A/JU 29 73 and A/OC 15 73 placed below GB 6d, and GB 2d,4d each pmk'd "A26" on covers to Monsieur A. Boucard, London, Ex Glassco). Some irregular private couriers were also actively taking international mail to European Post Offices. The handstamp was probably carved from wood and the manufacturer chiselled it as he would see it but when struck it would appear in mirror image, ie reverse. It is also noted that if the third digit in the "date" were not inverted and reversed it might read 1871. (See also Kabyle Rebellion, Algeria)
£4250
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