Philatelically, the period of transition from the Rayon to the Strubel period is very interesting. All rayons and even all cantonal stamps were valid until the end of September 1854. Two weeks earlier, however, the seated Helvetia imperforated, commonly known as "Strubel", arrived at the counters. This was scheduled for 15.09.54, but there were some unofficial early uses.
Mixed frankings were now possible during these two weeks. These can all be described as rare to very rare. It is understandable that they are not to be found in most Rayon as well as Strubel collections!
Once again we are able to offer one of these mixed frankings. In a cover dated 15.09.54 from Basel to Belfort in France, which we would like to take a closer look at:
- The Rayon III is a large value numeral, type 5 of group URII.
- The Strubel 10 is a 23 A3.c. according to Urs Hermann.
- There are probably about 30 known mixed Rayon/Strubel frankings. Many of them are in poor condition (overseas letters), although here the mixed franking is much more important than the quality of the stamps. Among these 30 or so covers, however, there are so far only eight that contain a Rayon III.
- This cover was sent to Alsace, most of the others to overseas (with a 40-strubel). These much more common variants have fetched prices of about 100'000.- in recent years and sometimes even more.
- The most important difference to the above pieces is the fact that our cover is a first day cover. Used before the intended first day, 15.09.54! Cerfificates Eichele and Hermann. Very moderate price: CHF 48'000!