Q116 June, 2013   non-member  Instructional marking

Someone has suggested that the return hand stamp on this cover, reading Communications Suspendues / Retour a l'Origine, all in French, might have been applied in Alexandria or another Egyptian port. Could this be the case?

Reply member 240

That there is no Arabic makes me wonder whether it can be Egyptian - though our recent listing (see QC 243, pp 178-184) does include one all-French Egyptian marking from July 1881. The cover left New York on Aug 5, and the Egyptian backstamps are Alex 2 Oct, and Port Taufiq ?? Oct. So the marking might have been struck at the end of its outward journey, to be followed by Egyptian transit on the way back to USA. Since French was the international diplomatic language, Greece (which lost Smyrna to the Turks in battle on Aug 27 1922) or Turkey will have been using it for their international markings. The jury is out.

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