Lot #: 80287

Post-Auction Direct Sale $540.00
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Description

1948-49 War Syrian airlink with Palestine - discovery piece: 9 JUL 1949 airmail commercial cover on business stationary from COPENHAGEN Denmark to HAIFA "Israel", franked 1.40Kr (per pencil notation on front extra 50 ore for 8g additional weight - hence 'orphaned' stamp below the rest tied by handstamp postmark) & tied by local machine cancel; front-stamped 18 VII 49 TEHRAN transit & subsequently marked by the rare Syrian 3-line French-language instructional marking handstamp "RETOUR A L'ORIGINE | COMMUNICATION AVEC PALESTINE | INTERROMPUES" (Return to Origin | Communication with Palestine | Interrupted) Kibble Type-I, applied in DAMASCUS sometime just after 18 July; a blue crayon arrow was added, pointing to the Danish stamps indicating "return to sender" (at the preprinted address on the front).
The cover was subsequently resent on 22-8-1949 per postmark on front - without additional postage, as not required by the UPU for such returned mail; at this stage the Syrian IM was probably struck out by the red crayon - and the cover was routed such that it reached Israel, where it was opened & resealed by the Israeli military censor in Haifa, Chet 1016 & stamped approved by Chet 17.
A remarkable cover: until now, per Daryl Kibble's research the Syrian IM was supposedly in use only from January-March 1949 during a period where her airlink to Palestine (via Jordan) was cut off by the War of Independence; less than 5 such covers are known to him, none from Denmark and only one with Beirut routing. Here the IM was in use as late as July 1949 (about 4 months after the War) - beyond his latest known date of March - and apparently employed as a refusal of service marking. More remarkable is the Tehran routing: Kibble notes that postal relations between Israel & Iran were renewed in the 1950's (and ceased again in 1982), and that Iran was not part of the Arab postal boycott of Israel; the Iranian postal link to Israel became established between those years, but remarkable here as so early + from a European origin. Cover slit open at top & left, some peripheral tears at top - but very fine postal markings affected by this.