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Introduction à la marcophilie d’Alsace-Lorraine 1870 - 1918

” Introduction to the marcophily of Alsace-Lorraine 1870 - 1918”
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The postal history of Alsace-Lorraine, and more particularly the marcophily (study of postmarks), is of great richness.

The expression "Alsace-Lorraine" ("Elsass-Lothringen" in German) itself was coined in 1870, to designate a territory which was conquered militarily by Germany and to which an annexation was imposed for almost half a century. This newly created "Empire territory" ("Reichsland") was divided into three districts ("Bezirke", equivalent to the French department): the Lower Rhine (Unterelsaß), the Upper Rhine (Oberelsaß) and German Lorraine ("Deutsch-Lothringen"). The latter consisted of most of the former French department of Moselle (with the exception of the arrondissement of Briey) plus one third of the territory of the former department of Meurthe (arrondissements of Château-Salins and Sarrebourg).

German postal equipment was quickly introduced. However, in contrast to centralized France, Germany did not yet have such a developed administrative infrastructure and uniformity. The period reveals a great diversity of postmarks, especially because the "Reichspost" used several local manufacturers. Among these were the horseshoe-shaped postmarks ("Hufeisenstempel"), the so-called "Berlin models" ("Berliner Modell") and those for cash postage ("Franco-Stempel"), before the appearance in 1890 of the standardized postmark with bridge ("Typenräder-stempel").

The present book is an essential complement to catalog of postmarks 1870-1918. It describes the date stamps and other postmarks used in the region in a methodical way, with the help of official texts of the Imperial Post Office. The reporting of false cancellations has not been forgotten.

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