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(See what may be the "furthest known delivery" item and discussion)
Rates for local delivery
In the following, the Grosze rate applied from the introduction on Dec. 18, 1917 to March 26 or 27, 1918, when the Austrians essentially devalued by changing the currency to Halerzy. The Halerzy rates applied from March 27, 1918 to sometime in early August 1918, when the Austrian military administration stopped the use of local delivery stamps. Local delivery was probably continued on a private-pay cash basis, but that's only my speculation.
- Newspapers & other printed matter, including advertising ("druk"): 2 gr. or 5 hal.
- Letters & Postcards: 4 gr. or 10 hal.
- Registered and/or insured mail: 6 gr. or 15 hal.
- Telegrams: 10 gr. or 20 hal.
The stamps were for local delivery only. There is no mention of the delivery person picking up outgoing mail. If he did, there was a cash gratuity, I assume. But see footnote 1, below.
Underfranked items are common.
According to Petriuk, most genuine items are franked with Issues I, II, & V. Genuine Issue III & IV usages are much harder to find as are telegrams with local delivery franking.
1st Issue (2 gr. & 4 gr. "Eagle Stamps", catalog # 1 & 2, Dec. 18, 1917 to Feb. 25, 1918)
The 4 gr. stamp was available for use on Dec. 18, 1917, but the 2 gr. was not available until about Dec. 21. In the interim, the 4 gr. was bisected for use as a 2 gr. stamp. There are genuine bisects on registered covers and newspaper wrappers.
Petriuk reports that a number of 4gr bisects were placed on:
registered letters that had been mailed on December 18th and 19th, 1917 from Warsaw and received in Przedbórz on the 20th and 21st. See example below.
- and on printed matter also mailed (from Warsaw?) on the 18th and 19th.
- The scan is a Mi2 bisect on a cover or wrapper containing printed matter (Druk at upper left), and appears to be properly franked [eBay, Sept. 2008]. It's hard to know from where it was mailed, although I heard that most of these items originated from one or two offices in Warsaw.2
- There are many examples of such bisects on piece. Undoubtly the vast majority are philatelic, and not cut from a commercial cover.
«–— This is a properly franked printed matter/advertising cover with a first-day-of-use cancel for the day on which the 2 gr. stamps were available.
A properly franked postal card or letter. —»
«–— This is a registered cover listed on eBay in 2005, properly franked with 2 gr. and 4gr. stamps.
But why would you want to send advertising (or other printed matter) by registered mail? (RUKI is probably DRUKI [printed matter], with the D under the blue 4 gr. stamp.)
Bisect stamps were also found on registered covers mailed on Dec. 18 & 19, such as this one at the right listed in an Oct. 2011 German auction (Gärtner Christoph Auktionshaus)
A forged bisect on piece is shown on the Issue I variety page. I have not yet examined covers for forged cancellations.
2nd Issue (2, 4, 6, 10 gr. "Arc Stamps" [and red sheaf stamp], Catalog # 3-6, Feb. 26 to Mar. 14, 1918)
- Notice the short life of this issue. One might suppose postal forgeries necessitated the short life. I personally think it's added evidence for the philatelic nature of the entire enterprise.
This letter has an Mi3 for local delivery of a of printed matter, although it doesn't have druk on the front.
This cover is unusual because it was mailed from Gorzkowice. (The same GCA auction had lots of Gorzkowice covers.)
This letter has an Mi4 for local delivery of a regular letter.
This is a registered letter (containing printed matter, which is very strange) properly franked with a 6 gr. stamp.
3rd Issue (2, 4, 6, 10 gr. "Ray Stamps" [and blue sheaf stamp], catalog #7-10, Mar. 15 - 26, 1918)
- The Austrian change of currency from Grosze to Halerzy caused this issue's short life.
This right scan is Mi7 on an advertizing (druk) letter (2 gr. was the local delivery rate for printed matter.)
The left scan is Mi8 on a regular cover in the Oct. 2011 GCA auction. (The original image appears to be cropped.)
This third scan is Mi7 on a newspaper wrapper (eBay, Dec. 2011)
4th Issue (2, 4, 6, 10 hal. "Ray Stamps" [and purple sheaf stamp], catalog #11-14, Mar. 27 to July 26, 1918)
- This scan has an Mi11 on a newspaper wrapper [eBay, Jan. 2007]
- This scan has an Mi12 for local delivery of an ordinary letter or postal card.
This scan has an Mi13 on a registered postcard [eBay, Feb. 2010]
This scan has an Mi14 T2 stamp on a telegram [eBay, Feb. 2010]
(The image below is of a Type 2 stamp.)
5th Issue (2, 4, 6, 10 hal. "Arc Stamps" [and purple sheaf stamp], catalog # 15-18, July 26 to sometime in August, 1918)
This is a Mi18 bisect from a cover sold on eBay in Dec. 2007. The stamp seems genuine, but it is hard to know for sure without the actual cover or a high-resolution actual-size scan.
If genuine, it might be a previously undocumented example. If a forgery, it is quite unusual.
In any event, it is overfranked for a regular letter; if registered, it would be properly franked, but it shows no evidence of being registered.
Back to examples of Usage: Issue
- The Austrian military government stopped Przedbórz's use of local delivery stamps some time in August, 1918. (Blunt [2004b] says "early August."; Przedbórz.com's trivia section says that stamp usage ceased on 27 June, 1918. Everyone else says the stamps were used until August, 1918. )
Questions: Why did the Austrian Military care whether the townspeople used cash or stamps for local delivery?
(Jerry Zedlitz was the first friend to suggest that the postal service is a symbol of autonomy, and that neither the Austrians or Germans wanted the Poles to think they were autonomous in any way, especially when the War was not going well for the occupiers.)
Why isn't the exact end date known?
Much of the above is from Barefoot , who seems to have relied on Petriuk .
. Kronenberg's  scan V7_P47 shows what he thinks is an outgoing postcard to Lodz, mailed from Przedbórz on 26 August 1918; I have another outgoing item dated 20 August, going somewhere else. I'm convinced these items are all philatelic, and presumably were sent after the local delivery service had stopped. That leaves open the question of whether there are any genuine contemporaneous non-philatelic outgoing items franked with the Przedbórz local delivery stamps.
"Druk" is printed matter or advertising. In the U.S. today, we tend to think of printed matter as a catalog, magazine, or something similarly bulky. I and my friends have similar bisect covers, all about 4" high and 5" wide. So what kind of "printed matter" would fit in something so small, relative to what we are used to seeing? It must of been one or two cards or pages announcing a sale, or a price list, or something equally compact. (Thanks to Roman Sobus for explaining this when I was thinking that perhaps the covers were entirely philatelic, perhaps even empty.)
© 2007-2013 Sam Ginsburg
, Last modified 25 Feb. 2013