Lot #: 144341

Asking Price: $3,999.00

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True 1st day Israel mail 15 May 1948 via besieged NAHARIYA emergency mail service: stampless & undated commercial cover on inprinted business stationary (H. Maisler printing factory), return addressed HAIFA and addressed to the Local Council in NAHARIYA; couriered to the 'Ogen' shipping agency at Haifa harbour which transported the letter by sea using the 'emergency sea mail service' operating between Haifa and Nahariya. Upon arrival the cover was charged a delivery fee of 10 mils as was imposed by the emergency mail service, using a yellow label & cancelled by the service's 7th slogan handstamp with blue ink - here undated, with the arrival date manually written 15.5.48.

This is only the third couriered cover observed by this cataloguer stamped by a dateless strike of the 7th slogan, and the only one to be dated: from observed examples of May period mail, it seems the dateless 7th slogan handstamp was used for stampless couriered mail, to cancel the local delivery fee label, while the city's (dateless) official interim postmark was used on other incoming mail which had been fully prepaid by Mandate or interim postage stamps.

While a significant amount of outbound mail using the emergency sea mail service is known, very little incoming mail to Nahariya is observed due to the fact that regular mail in the 'mail stream' was to be handled by the head post office in Haifa, but Nahariya and the western Galilee were cut off by land by Arab armed forces from 17 March, and all regular mail addressed to the region in the postal system was held up at the Haifa HPO until after Israel became independent and the land route reopened (17-18 May) - couriered incoming mail in this period is extremely rare.

Here this is the only known piece of Nahariya emergency mail dated to Israel's 1st day of independence (and the only other such 15 May 1948 postmarked mail is documented by this cataloguer at the Ahuzat Samuel post office in Haifa). Dispatched sealed and opened gently at back, with some minor tears along the flap tips (a small back tear has been re-taped); the hole observed to the upper right on the front may be from the removal of a taxi label (for the courier transport to the shipping office).