Foreign TPO’s

All of the TPOs that have been described so far were provided as part of the postal service of Victoria. Two other types of TPOs are found, but these originated within the French and German mail systems. Each of these countries delivered mails to Victoria and, in certain circumstances they received mails directly for the return voyage, using their own TPO type cancellations. The letters they accepted did not get any cancellation from the Victoria post office, and these examples provide another interesting chapter to the TPO usages found on Victoria stamps.

According to Purves, the French service commenced in January 1883. The earliest example I have encountered is Mar 8, 1883. The cancellation found is an octagon shape surrounding a smaller circle, with the words Poss. Ang. (English Colony) around the top portion, and the words Paq. Fr. T. No 6, (French Packet Line #6) for example, along the bottom. Inside the smaller circle is a 3-line date stamp of day, month and year. This postmark is found until Jan 1887 and is found in black and red. .

A second type of cancellation is recorded with dates in 1885 and 1886, however, I have been unable to locate one. It is a smallish circle with the words Ligne T in the top portion and the same wording as above in the bottom half of the circle.

Purves notes several additional variations in cancellations until the demise of this service in the late 1880s. I have been unable to locate examples of these later types and would welcome information from anyone who has one or more copies.

The German service began in 1886 when the Victoria government entered into a contract with Norddeutscher Lloyd Line. The postmark found is a large circle with the word DEUTSCHE across the top, the word SEEPOST below, then AUSTRALISCHE and HAUPTLINE and finally a 2 line date stamp at the bottom. While some examples have been recorded on letters posted to Victoria, no examples had been previously recorded of this cancellation on a Victoria stamp. The scan above shows the only example recorded to date, to the best of my knowledge, on a postcard addressed to Adelaide, dated 8/9 1889. Presumably, the German mail ship would have proceeded to Adelaide upon its’ departure from Melbourne and delivered the letter on it’s arrival? Apparently, this is also the earliest known date found with this postmark.

Once again, I invite anyone who can contribute additional information to this story to contact me

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