Lot #: 80238

Post-Auction Direct Sale $900.00
Buy it Now
1 266
Track this lot?

Description

Rare very late Mandate period *incoming airmail* (from Lebanon): 23(?) IV 1948 commercial airmail on Shell company stationary, from BEIRUT to HAIFA, franked 50p & tied by 2 strikes of the local postmark (the digit "2" is in the tens column - confirmed by comparison with other Beirut postmarks from the same period; the digit next to it on both strikes looks like a "3"); the cover was tied by an English-language "BY AIRMAIL" instructional marking handstamp, highlighted by pink crayon emphasis: overseas surface mail service to Palestine officially ended on March 25th, leaving only airmail service which ended officially on April 25th. Here rare mail for 2 reasons: a) among the very last incoming airmail from abroad prior to the capture of LYDDA Airport (by the Arab Legion)*, and b) HAIFA-bound mail to Arab residents & nearby Arab locales - due to the tensions of the wartime period, such mail was being refused service already from early April, though here although from an Arab origin, the destination was an international business; lacking the usual "Returned to Sender / No Service" instructional markings used at this time in Haifa for similar mail + Israeli censor marks seen on such refused mail & lacking any indication that the cover was withheld already in Lebanon, the cover apparently was transmitted to Palestine and delivered(!) The Israeli 'Hagana' militia/army instituted martial law in Haifa as of the 23rd. *Another transit possibility for this cover, raised by Zvi Aloni in his book on Air Mail in Eretz Israel (p.100) is this: the same day Lydda airfield closed on 25 April, Air France transferred its services to TEL AVIV (Sde Dov) & HAIFA airports (until Lydda reopened in November) - for apparent documented confirmation of mail reaching Haifa via Haifa airport please see Lot #81154. Torn open at back, repaired & resealed. Ironically the dispatching business is Beirut branch of the "Shell Company of Syria" - already as of 4 April postal connections between Syria and Palestine were discontinued. A simple cover representing rare postal history.