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Wx13, Christmas Seal, Surprising Use On An Envelope - Show Your Wx11-14 Cards And Letters

 
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Pillar Of The Community

United States
700 Posts
Posted 05/27/2021   2:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I am posting here and not the general, non-country specific cinderella forum as this is related to just US philately.

The 1913 Christmas Seal is Scott listed, each with its own major Scott number in the range of WX11-14, as five varieties, Types, I, II, IIa, III and IV, four are just design differences and one (type IV) is both a design difference plus is only imperf. Two types, I and IV, are quite rare and all but type III run in four figures if still tied on a card or letter, except type I, at four figures mint, which is not priced used or on cover at all, not even a dash "-" indication.

Type III is the most common with the lowest catalog value as mint, used and on cover. In comparison to the other types with four figure cat. values, the type III comes in at a mere $15. It is one of those hard to find $15 items however even in the common usages. But of course this thread is about an uncommon, likely rare by any measure of the word, somewhat late usage.

In 1918 the USA was well involved in WWI with American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in Europe. Most were in France with French, British, Canadian and Australian army units against German troops. However, a small minority of AEF Forces were assigned in Italy with the Italian Army fighting the Austro-Hungarian Army.

This letter originated from the Italian theater by an AEF US soldier. It was sent to a AEF hospital in France. Transit was postage free for the soldier who remarkably added a WX13 which was tied by cancels along the way. I trust the added WX13 was there to duly impress the female recipient. Perhaps Miss Lawton became Mrs. Ott as she did save this envelope and given the war conditions, protected it well.


First the back showing part of the censor seal:






Now the front:







Enjoy and please show your unusual WX11-14 cards and covers.
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Edited by Parcelpostguy - 05/27/2021 5:29 pm

Valued Member
United States
110 Posts
Posted 05/27/2021   3:44 pm  Show Profile Check ericjackson's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add ericjackson to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
What a great use of this Christmas seal!
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Valued Member
United States
395 Posts
Posted 05/27/2021   3:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Linus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Parcelpostguy,

Very nice cover! I would think it would be considered rare usage of WX13 on cover. Is that cover in your collection? If so, where did you find it?

I have a WX13 (Type III) on a Christmas postcard shown below, a much more common usage, but it is postmarked Amherst Junction, Wisconsin, a town of less than 200 people back in 1913.

I was on vacation a few years ago and decided to stop in Manitowoc, Wisconsin to see the USS Cobia submarine. I stopped in an antiques shop there later that day, and asked the lady if she had any old postcards. She had one postcard. How much? Her reply, "75 cents."

Here it is, from my collection...

Linus




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Pillar Of The Community
United States
700 Posts
Posted 05/27/2021   6:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As to your wonderful card, Linus, it is odd how often a story such as yours is told. We do find things when we least expect it in places we had no logical business thinking we'd find what we did.


Quote:
Is that cover in your collection? If so, where did you find it?


I must wait for it to arrive, but it is mine. Closed today on eBay with this listing title, "1918 US Army Expeditionary Forces Italy Censored Cover to APO France Xmas Seal" and I fought off one competitor. That helped me figure that while the open was high, it was reasonable.

[Note: until the listing disappears, put the title in the search box and search. Then when likely nothing is found, look to the left of the page, scroll down and then tick "completed listings" and it will appear. And yes, you will see the price.]


Quote:
I would think it would be considered rare usage of WX13 on cover.


I must agree, in fact I never thought about Christmas seals used by AEF personnel. When I looked at the search return, I was expecting to see a different seal given the 1918 date. I was knocked-over surprised and since I happen to collect WX11-14, I decided to try for it as I believe it is a fantastically unexpected usage.

Later in this thread, I will post some of my other WX11-13 stamps and on mail usages. I own no WX14 yet.


I backed in to my interest in these WX11-14. I collect parcel post and once in a great while I would find a card with a Q-1 mailed in 1913 with a WX13. I liked the design of Santa at travel and my interest broadened. I got my mint WX11 from an APS sales booklet after losing one in a Harmer-Schau Auction a couple of years ago.

Speaking of AEF, there are two recorded usages of parcel post stamps from AEF personnel in Europe, neither of the three cent (Q3) stamped letters has a Christmas seal.
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Australia
32846 Posts
Posted 05/27/2021   8:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The OP cover confuses me,
The Christmas seal must have been added after the Censor Inspection.
How do we explain that.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
700 Posts
Posted 05/28/2021   12:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As this started at an AEF base, it could have been censored prior to leaving the Italian AEF base then the seal applied. The censor label could also have been used due to the fact the envelope was sealed by the sender before offering it for censorship. The return address being partial on the censor label supports that as well.

The boxed circle in the lower left is consistent with AEF France handling from what I have seen.

If you read my second post, you will see I have as much information as you do, the two pictures, front and back. From the photo it looks like there may be a corner (UL)on the seal folded back to accept the censor label. That cannot be examined until I have the cover in hand.

Without the clear military cancel tying the seal, I would have been willing to pay just a fraction; I want seals tied especially any WX11,12, 12a and 14 as well as the lowly WX13 that this is.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1288 Posts
Posted 06/05/2021   5:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GregAlex to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That is a remarkable cover! And perhaps the reason it has a Christmas seal is because the sender worked for the Red Cross. The seal was already six years old when it was affixed, so maybe he had been carrying it around for a while.

To me it looks like the return address may have been erased and changed. Could the sender have intercepted it at the base P.O. before it went out, but after it had been inspected and sealed?
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