Category: NEW GUINEA - German (Deutsch) New Guinea
1889 (Nov 19) cover to "Stephansort/Deutsch-Neuguinea" with Wurrtemburg 10pf pair tied by 'HALL/In WURTTMBG' cds, transit b/s of 'MUENCHEN II', Italian 'GENOVA/21/11-89/(FERROVIA)', Austrian Italy 'F.P.A. No 29/22/11/89', Italian 'AMBTE PONTE BR--- BOLOGNA/22/NOV/89/(No 2)' & faint 'BRINDISI', then 'COOKTOWN/DE23/89/ QUEENSLAND', 'BATAVIA/11/1/1890' & 'SOERABAJA/15/1/1890' and 'FINSCHHAFEN/28 4/90' arrival b/s, minor blemishes. A very early inwards cover.
The order of the transits is our "best guess". It appears that the cover went SW from Munich (missent ?) to Genoa, then basically east by train through Lombardy - under Austrian control - then back into the Italian system by train to Bologna & on to Brindisi. It is unclear where "Australia" was added to the address. The endorsement at left seems to read "Oder/Finsch Hafen", which makes sense by reference to the Finschhafen b/s but it would be quite perverse for the Germans to address a letter to one of their Colonies via a British Colony. The next odd element is that, having got to Cooktown, it didn't go north to New Guinea. Instead it went all the way back to Java. Surely before arriving in Australia, the letter had transitted Singapore &/or Batavia or Soerabaja. From there, even at this early stage, surely it could have been put on a German ship to New Guinea. It may be that it was mis-directed at least twice & possibly thrice. Whatever the case, it's an absolutely fascinating item of postal history.
NEW GUINEA German (Deutsch) New Guinea , Germany , New Guinea , GERMAN COLONIES , Missent Mail , GERMAN STATES , unusual origins or destinations , ITALY , NETHERLANDS INDIES , postal establishments - Travelling Post Offices