Poneys-Poste Story

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The Paris Poney Poste

With friendly permission by Christer Brunström, Author of the Cinderella Magazine ATALAYA.

Source: ATALYA Cinderella Magazine Winter 200-2001, Vol 26, No.1 (Whole No. 52), page 8-9

I was recently able to add a copy of the Parisian Poney Poste stamp from a British stamp dealer. Janet von de Berg, an old-time US stamp dealer specializing in the unusual, had the following background story in a 1970´s price list:

“An exceedingly interesting but little known private post was set up in the French capital in 1893 to rush important letters from tobacconists ´ collection boxes to the railroad stations where the cought the night mail trains radiating out from the city in every direction. Small carts drawn by trotting ponies were used for the purpose, hence the official name of “Poney Post”. Black stamps bearing a poney´s  head facing left and inscribed “Poneys Poste Abonnement” , were issued and were able at the tobacco shops at 10 centimes each, the fee per letter. These stamps were printed in booklet panes of 10, each stamp having 1 or 2 straight edges, and they were affixed on the letter front, commonly adjacent to the government postage stamp, both being voided with the regulation Railway Station Post Office cancelling block. Such an envelope adorn the front cover of Robson Lowe´s The Philatelist for July 1965”

The dealer goes on to offer mint copies at $4 each. A complete pane was offered at $40. According to the pricelist only 18 copies were available for sale. I contacted the library at the Postal Museum in Stockholm. They confirmed that the cover was shown on the July 1965 issue of The Philatelist. Unfortunately there was no further information about the Poneys Poste inside that magazine. Show here is a part of the cover which was mailed from the Gare du Nord (Northern Station) in Paris to a firm of solicitors in London in May 1893. The text under the photo of the cover brings basic details about the running of the Poneys Poste. Janet van de Berg (probably the pen name for Lowell Ragatz) certainly used The Philatelist for the background information about the Poney Poste stamp. There seems to be a preciously little information about this mail service in Paris (there was a similar service in London called Court Bureau).

 

As always I invite additional information from ATALAYA readers

France Paris Poneys-Poste Abonnement 1893 Letter

More about Poney Poste

Source: ATALYA Cinderella Magazine SUMMER 2001, Vol 26, No.2 (Whole No. 53), page 3

US Reader Herbert F. Ranking responded to my article about Poneys Poste in ATALAYA #52. He supplied a photo-copy of an article by L.N. Williams published in the August 8, 1988 edition off Linn´s Stamp news.

In his article, Williams gives basically the same information as I included in the ATALAYA story. According to Williams the label exist in black on white, black on yellow, black on greenish-blue and brown on white paper. The very apparently printed in small panes of ten labels with the upper or lower edge of each stamp imperforate. The labels sold for 10 centimes each.

However, Williams adds that senders who were able to group ten letters for the same destination had to pay only 50c, that is 5c a letter. A special label was used for this purpose. Its design features a horse´s head in the centre of a five-pointed star, with the letters “SCSCD” in the points. The label is brown on white paper. The domination of “50” appears in a tablet at the foot of the rectangular design. There was also a 1-franc label depicting a globe crossed by linked hands with a similar five-pointed star and the letters “SCSCD”. Williams did not explain the significance of “SCSCD”. Your Editor never seen any of the 50c or 1franc labels describes by Williams.

 If any reader has them in his or her collection I would be happy to receive a photo copy. There seems to be more to the Ponys Poste than I originally thought.

 

EDITORIAL

ATALAYA is an international magazine devoted to Cindrellas, “dead country stamps and other philatelic oddities. It is published twice a year in cooperation with the Halmstad  Philatelic Society. Contributions from readers are encouraged. The deadline for the next issue is March 15 , 2010. Send all correspondence to:

Christer Brunström

Kungsgatan 23

SE-302 45 Halmstadt, Sweden

Email: Christer.Brunstrom@telia.com

A sample copy of ATALAYA is US$3 (or €3); a two-issue subscription is $6 (or 5€). Twenty back issues are25$ (or 20 € in Europe). A 25word ad is $1 (€1). Full page $20 (€20). Pleaseremit US or EURO banknotes if possible. UKreaders may remit payment in mint British stamps (NVI stamps please) or a GBP 5 banknote wich will cover the next three issues. An IRC is worth $1 to me. Cheques and money orders cannot be accepted.

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