Lot #: 143371

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DISCOVERY - 1st Day ISRAEL 15 MAY 1948 cover with *INTERIM* postmark: local HAIFA [registered] cover from the AHUZAT SAMUEL town agency to addressee (Lilly Meissner) at nearby 9 Vitkin street in AHUZA, franked 40m for the period registered letter rate (10m letter + 15m registry) using top-left corner block of 4x blue interim 10m Diaspora I issue franks (Ba #45b) & tied by 3x full strikes of the "reintroduced" Mandate AHUZAT SAMUEL HAIFA postmark (GD-117) dated 15 MY 48, here Saturday night/Jewish start of Sunday (after Shabbat) - the 1st official day of Israel's independence; this was the only post office not issued an interim "Minhelet Haam" canceller, only the Mandate device was used here. This very rare: only 2 more post offices are definitely known to have operated on the 15th - PARDESS HANNA and SAFED but this cover will reveal another.

The cover was prepared for registered service but this was not available at the Ahuzat Samuel post office, confirmed by Fluri p.44, who writes "It had no registry labels. This little agency... kept irregular hours due to the patriotism of its manager and her desire to help people.", so transmitted as regular mail; interim franks were withdrawn from sale on May 14th and were non-transferrable to Doar Ivri stamps or cash, so convenience overfranking is possible on genuine commercial mail.

Indeed this tiny post office was located inside a convenience store (run by Kalman and Ida Miller) and classified as a "Town Agency", which meant that it did not have to offer mail delivery services. Although located at 131 Moria Street near the addressee's home, the cover was transferred to another post office for delivery. As per the interim backstamp on the cover with wavy distortion on the right side of the outer ring, it was sent to the MOUNT CARMEL Branch Office (Elhanan street), which posessed an interim cancel device, still on 15 May - and this is the discovery: that interim postmark was used against regulation (which required their withdrawal at the end of work on Friday the 14th) and managed to be applied in the brief time before morning Sunday the 16th, prior to the introduction of the new Israeli trilingual (which the Mount Carmel post office received that day), so very rare use of interim cancel during the Israeli postal administration period & probably the only location where this could occur (Ahuzat Samuel only had a Mandate cancel device and continued to use it until 31 July; at Pardess Hanna the old Mandate cancel device was reintroduced until 30 June - and this is observed on 15 May postmarked mail; and at Safed the existing locally made date-bridge interim device continued to be used until 19 May).

The necessity of processing mail already on Saturday night, prior to the 1st day of the Israeli postal system is revealed by press reports of the subsequent days describing the deluge of customers buying up the new Doar Ivri stamps & collectible souvenirs. POSTAL HISTORY GEM.