Paris 1870 siege covers to make $110,000 at Spink. The highlights of the upcoming auction

November 1st, 2016 invites our readers to learn the latest auction news and to get acquainted with the highlights of the upcoming sale held by Spink auction house. This article is devoted to a collection of covers sent from Paris during the siege of 1870 that are to be auctioned with an estimate of up to US$109,830.

The siege took place in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian war (1870-1871). Parisians came up with some novel ways to get mail out of the city during the siege of 1870. The armies of Napoleon III were roundly defeated by German forces, but Paris held out. The Germans surrounded the city on September 19, 1870, capturing it on January 28, 1871.

During the five months of the siege, Parisians came up with some very inventive ways to get mail out of the city - including attaching letters to pigeons and dogs. But by far the most successful method of delivery was the hot air balloon. A fleet of balloons relayed millions of letters across France, at a charge of 20 centimes per envelope.

The lot consists of a vast array of covers, most of which display the Ceres issue. This was the first stamp of the French republic, printed between 1849 and 1851, but was changed when Napoleon III came to power. During the siege, the stock of the imperial issue stamps began to run low and so the Ceres issue was printed once again.

The auction house describes it as “a magnificent opportunity to obtain an advanced collection dedicated to a French significant and popular issue, formed after years of search and research.”
The sale will be held in Lugano, Switzerland on November 10.

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