18 September 2020

Social philately: mourning calling card of Paul Kruger

These days philately is no longer just about the stamp or the envelope. Social philately is becoming increasingly important. Social philately is mainly about the content of the mail item and not or to a lesser degree about the mail item itself.

A good example is the “rouwstuk” (mail item about death of person) depicted here, a business card cover complete with the mourning business card. The piece of mail itself, with a 2½-cent franking Vurtheim postage with worn perforation teeth and a difficult to read cancellation from ‘s Gravenhage (The Hague), would be ripe for the waste basket were it not for the mourning calling card. It is the card of S.J.P. (Paul) Kruger, State President of the “Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek“(South African Republic). The stamp has a legible date: 8 February 1902.

Kruger was the Boer leader in the Second Boer War (1899-1902). In December 1901 he arrived in The Hague and settled in Hilversum. At the beginning of 1902 he left for Menton (apparently via The Hague) but came back to Hilversum a year later.

René Hillesum

René Hillesum

Collector of postal history of Finland and postmarks of Imperial Saint Petersburg.

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