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Discovery piece - **1st Day ISRAEL 15 MAY 1948** cover with AHUZAT SAMUEL *INTERIM* markings: local HAIFA [registered] cover from the AHUZAT SAMUEL town postal agency to addressee (Lilly Meissner) at nearby 9 Vitkin street in AHUZA, franked 40m, probably for the period period registered letter rate (25m) using top-left corner block of 4x interim period blue 10m Diaspora I issue Baal Shem Tov house franks (Ba #45b) with violet Tel Aviv overprints & tied by 3x full strikes of the "reintroduced" Mandate AHUZAT SAMUEL HAIFA postmark (GD-117) - this was the only post office not issued an interim "Minhelet Haam" canceller, only the Mandate device was used here - dated 15 MY 48, here Saturday night/Jewish start of Sunday (after Shabbat) & this very rare: only 2 more post offices are definitely known to have operated on the 15th - PARDESS HANNA and SAFED (the Haifa Mount Carmel office, as per our lot above, may also have operated on this day).
Here, the cover was prepared for registered service but this service was not available at the Ahuzat Samuel post office, confirmed by Fluri p.44, who writes "It had no registry labels. This little agency... kept irregular hours due to the patriotism of its manager and her desire to help people.", so transmitted as regular mail (eg. not requiring a signature or offering tracking) though backstamped by the INTERIM dateless postmark, as customary on a registered letter - this being a KEY element of this cover: this post office is documented as being the only one during the interim period (2-14 May) to not have been issued the interim cancelling device. Vitkin street is very close to the post office's period location at 131 Moria Avenue; although the Mount Carmel post office was issued the interim canceller, this office was further away at Elhanan Street, so it's unlikely this backstamp originated from any other post office - however its imprint, with various imperfections & defects, most resembles the device used at the NAHLA branch office near the HADAR neighborhood (eg. quite far from this location); see Aloni p.214 versus example on p.212-213 & Bale 2016 p.40. The cataloguer here posits that the HAHLA interim cancel may have been received (or at least removed from service) a few days prior as its Mandate era single circle cancel is observed alone without the interim device on regular and registered mail dated 13 and 14 May, and Nahla itself received the Israeli trilingual device on the 16th (rendering its interim device for the weekend of the 15th unneeded). The addressee is a genuine person and address (other mail, such as a 1944 Mauritius cover is known addressed to this person).
Somehow and for whatever reason, an interim cancelling device was received at Ahuzat Samuel and used - technically against the regulations, as the 10-5-1948 dated Circular #3 reads "...the Minhelet Haam handstamps should be withdrawn upon termination of work on Friday 14th May 1948" - sometime between 15 and 16 May, before the official reintroduction of the Mandate cancel at this post office (Ahuzat Samuel received the Israeli trilingual postmark on 1 August 1948). This is one of only 2 documented instances (known to this cataloguer) of the standard Minhelet Haam/interim device being used on mail after 14 May (the other example being at the Mount Carmel post office). Rare combination on "first day" / 3 period cover. Sealed by the consignor. POSTAL HISTORY GEM & Discovery Piece.