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Gebruder Senf Postal card
This postal card advertises the Senf 1907 catalog: 1.50 Mk for the postal stationary catalog, 3.50 Mk for the stamp catalog, and 4.50 Mk for both in one volume.
My stamp club was more interested in the front of the postal card:
Helmut Blaschczyk of the East Bay Collectors Club explains the card roughly as follows: (I've added some conjectures, and a footnote. Of course, any errors are my fault, not his.)
The card is listed in the Michel Ganzsachen-Katalog Deutschland (Postal Stationary catalog.) My copy is dated 1989, and the card is listed on page 112 as either a PZD 2 X or a PZD 2 Y, depending on whether or not it has a Wz.2 wavy-line watermark. (I haven't looked yet.)
- When Germany increased postal rates in 1906, it kept the postal card rate at 2pf. in Württemberg for two years until some time in 1908. Elsewhere in Germany, the postal card rate was 3 pf.
- Gebruder Senf was located in Leipzig, which wasn't part of Württemberg, and probably had a large stock of 2 pf. postal cards which it wouldn't be able to use.
For all we know, Senf had already printed the back of the postal cards when the rate change occured.
- What was Senf to do? They might have affixed a 1 pf. stamp to make the proper 3 pf. rate, except for one inconvenience:
Germany had NEVER printed a 1 pf. stamp! In fact, the first 1 pf. stamp was the black Hindenberg of 1933. Only a couple were issued after that.
- But the German postal authority would officially produce to private order (minimum 300 units) a 3 pf. surcharged postal card for advertising (printed matter) ONLY. (That's the Drucksache on the card.)
- So Senf printed up the back of the card, if they hadn't done so already, and the postal service surcharged the front.
Back to the warning
, or postal history home
1. Subsequent to the above discussion, Helmut added some more information gleaned from some Michel catalog, I believe.
Among Germany's postal rates were the following (with exceptions to be noted below):
This provides two possible scenarios for this Senf card:
- Postal cards, 5 pf. from 1875 to 1916
- Printed matter up to 50 gr., 3 pf. from 1875 to 9/30/1918. This presumably included Printed Matter Postal Cards such as the one illustrated above.
- The main exceptions were:
- Postal cards for local delivery in most of Germany were 2 pf. from 4/1/1900 to 6/30/1906. This rate expired before the Senf postal card was mailed on 5 Nov. 1906.
- The 2 pf. postal card rate in Württemberg applied to both local delivery and nearby communities, and continued until 3/31/1908 instead of 6/30/1906 as in the rest of Germany.
It should be easy to check which one (or both?) scenarios were used by watching for Senf cards mailed before 6/30/1906, e.g., those announcing earlier catalogs, sales, etc.
- Perhaps (and most likely?) it was Senf’s general practice to buy 2 pf. postal cards (Postkarte) and get them refranked as 3 pf. Printed Matter Cards (Drucksache), because it would still be less expensive than the 5 pf. postal card rate.
- or perhaps Senf had purchased some cards to use for local mailings at the 2 pf. rate, but then had to refrank them after that rate expired on 6/30/1906.
© 2010 Sam Ginsburg;
Last modified 24 Feb. 2013