North Vietnam, Sluice at Cong Xuan-Quan, May 1st, 1959, Michel Nr. 98-99; The completion of the lock at Cong Xuan-Quan was celebrated by issuing two commemorative values in the nominal 6 and 12 xu. The 6 xu value covered a special tariff in the Vietnamese postal system that only charged half the national rate if a letter was sent inside city limits. This, of course, only found application in  larger cities where delivery by messenger was impractical. In small towns such letters would simply be hand-carried. The 12 xu value covered the standard national rate. The stamps were perforated 11:0.

This is the mint set:

Here is a postally used set which is much rarer than sets that are cancelled to order.

Here is a perforation error on the 12xu stamp that shows an additional slanted perforation comb strike through all three used stamps.

Here is a very rare local letter that was mailed by the Central Committee of the Fatherland Front. It also carries a rather unusual red cachet “HOA TOC” (= Very urgent) along with free fields to allow the entering of the day and hour of arrival. The letter was mailed inside the Hanoi city limits and hence only required a 6 xu stamp (ex Klewitz). Any of these intra-city letters are extremely hard to find.

Another, very rare, 6xu franking on a postcard to Czechoslovakia from February of 1960.

Very rare multiple franking of the 6xu value used on a local handmade letter from Ha Dong to Hanoi in October of 1959. Most local letters were destroyed by the multi-decadal war, the tropical climate or by recycling due to raw material shortages. Machine Hanoi arrival cancel on the reverse.

Here is a very similar multiple franking fo the 6xu value but this time on an air-mail letter sent from the Primary School at the East German Embassy Hanoi to East Germany. The postal standard letter tariff to fellow socialist countries, like East Germany, had just been reduced from 20xu to 12xu on March 1st, 1960 so the postage is correct.

Very little is known about the postage rates from North Vietnam to Western countries as there was so little postal traffic. Most letters were sent to fellow socialist countries in Eastern Europe. Here is a rare multiple franking of five 6 xu Sluice stamps paying an overall postage of 30 xu on an international air mail letter sent in 1961 from Hanoi to France.

Interesting mixed currency franking of the 6xu Sluice value, together with the 12xu World Peace Conference and HCM Birthday stamp. The 20D HCM stamp was valued in Old Ding the were devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959, which meant it was only worth 2xu at the time of mailing. The overall postage hence amounted to 20xu, which was the standard letter rate to fellow socialist countries as of April 15th, 1959.

Very rare single franking of the 12xu stamp on a local letter mailed from Nga-Sau (small post office) to Hai-Phong in September of 1959 .

Another local letter mailed May 3rd, 1959 from Gia Lam to Hung Yun. It shows an interesting mixed currency franking. 20 Old Dong (now worth 2 xu) plus the 12 xu stamp of the sluice issue for an overall postage of 14 xu. This indicates that the letter must have exceeded the standard letter weight by a small margin (ex. Klewitz).

Letter with a mixed franking including a single value of the 6 xu stamp to Denmark via Moscow. The letter only shows an overall postage of 12 xu which was the standard domestic letter rate so it appears under-paid. However, Klewitz annotated “12 xu postage only possible via Moscow” which would indicate that a special postal rate was in force if letters went via Moscow (ex Klewitz). The 3 xu fruit value shows a small printing flaw (circle in front of “V” of Vietnam) caused by a small errant object that fell on the printing plate during production. The cover also features a label written in Esperanto that calls for the abolition of atomic weapons.

Interesting mixed currency franking from late 1959 featuring two stamps denominated 60 Old Dong (which were devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959) which were only worth 6xu in August of 1959. Together with the stamps Sluice in New Dong of 24xu the overall postage amounted to 30 xu. This represented the standard surface letter rate that came in force on March 13th, 1957. England was a rather rarer destination in the late 1950’s.

Mixed currency franking using the old 100D 12 Years Democratic Republic stamp that was devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959 and hence was only worth 10xu at the time of mailing. The overall postage amounted to 30xu (including the 6xu Sluice stamp) which represented the standard international surface rate as of March 13th, 1957.

Mixed currency franking using the 1957 20D Democratic republic stamp that had been devalued on March 1st, 1959 so was only worth 2xu on the day of mailing. Together with the stamps in new Dong the overall postage was 20xu which represented the standard letter rate to fellow Socialist country as of April 15th, 1959.

Large envelope sent in June of 1960 by a member of the Czechoslovakian Embassy and by registered mail to Czechoslovakia. This letter is interesting in that it features a triple mix franking of official service stamps and general postage stamps in Old and New Dong. The collection of Old Dong stamps (August Revolution, Cam Phase Mine, Trade Exhibition, Peoples Sport, Union Congress and Democratic Women) amounted to a total of 3,650, the official World Union Congress stamps to 200D and as of March 1st, 1959 were worth only 3.85 New Dong. Together with the stamps in New Dong (Hong-Xuan Sluice, Radio Station Me Tri, 10 Years Peoples Republic of China, Women Day, Hung Vu’o’ng Temple and National Assembly) that amounted to 0.63xu the total postage came to 4.48 New Dong. Very unusual and rare combination.

Registration Nr. 100220

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