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Lot 181

SIÈGE DE BELFORT: Small soldier's letter with full text on reverse and dated "Belfort le 24 décembre 1870" addressed to St. Genis Laval with frontside clear arrival mark of January 7, 1871. This is one of the very few recorded balloon mail letters of Belfort. On Christmas Day 1870 soldiers got the permission to write letters on a quarter sheet of paper, unsealed so that no military information could be sent out. A first attempt of the balloon flight was made on December 25, but the balloon came down in the suburb of Fourneau, a further attempt 2 days later was also unsuccessful. On December 30 a third attempt was successful. A few existing items all have arrival marks between January 6 and 8. A very interesting and rare item of early airmail, accompanied by interesting additional information on exhibition page and article "LES BALLONS DE BELFORT" of 'LE COLLECTIONEUR' No. 53 of 1982 about the item offered here