25 September 2020

Recently I acquired the following postcard which shows the Oostpoort in Delft. By some curious coincidence postcards with this Delft city gate on them seem to have been regularly sent at strange times or from strange places. I possess, for example, some quite rare postmarks with ‘night hour intervals’ on several Delft gate cards. When sorting through a new collection of Delft postcards, the back of this particular one caught my attention.

Oostpoort Delft

The postcard was sent from the hamlet of Rustenburg (≈ Resting Town = Quiet place), near Ursem (≈ House of Uri), to the town of Berkhout (Birch Forest) which is situated about 10 kilometers to the east. The Rustenburg cancel belongs to the Small Round Postmark type which was effectively the predecessor of the Berkhout type cancel (Large Round Postmark). The Rustenburg post office stayed in use until the 31st of December 1909, since the hamlet’s proximity to Ursem made it probably not longer viable. The following contemporary maps give an impression of the distance between Rustenburg and Berkhout, as well as an indication of the vicinity of Ursem.

Rustenburg to Berkhout, 1908

The 18th of March 1908 was a Wednesday and the Rustenburg postmark reads 4-8N which means that the card was cancelled between 4 and 8 p.m. The Berkhout arrival postmark of the following day reads 12-4N (between 12-4 p.m.). Why did it take almost a day to travel between these almost neighboring places? Compared to other postcards I have this is remarkably slow…

Rustenburg to Berkhout
Rustenburg to Berkhout Small scale
Ursem (bottom) and Rustenburg to its northwest

The sender of the card lived on the Noorddijk, east of Rustenburg. She misspelled her place as ‘Noordijk’ on the card, probably due to the way West Frisians pronounce Noorddijk. Not Nóórddijk with accent on the first syllable, but Noorddíjk with accent on the second syllable, making the first ‘d’ quite irrelevant. The same occurs with Ursem which should be pronunciation as Ursém not Úrsem as all the ignorant Hollanders do…

Rustenburg Small Round Postmark on a Vürtheim 1 cent stamp which meets the printed matter rate of 1908.

The addressee was called Bavonia Bakker, a typical late 19th century West Frisian name, latinized of course, as the name is derived from Baaf(je).

For the original publication see the Dutch Philately blog by Hugo Brieffies.

Hugo Brieffies

Hugo Brieffies

See http://dutchphilately.blogspot.com/ for more articles by Hugo Brieffies

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