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Question regarding German cover....can you help me?

PipestonePetePipestonePete Posts: 1,933 ✭✭✭✭✭
I recently purchased a German cover on Ebay. I collect astronaut autographs and this particular cover features a signature of Neil Armstrong signature. My question pertains to the "vignette" which is attached to the right side of the cover. It has machine printing on it but also what appears to be a handwritten date "12-3-65" and what might be an issue number designation "76/96" also in hand writing. Can anyone tell me what this might indicate?

Also, what does the the postmark date "12-3.65-18". I assume the 12-3.65" is the date which matches the date that is handwritten on the vignette. The decimal point between the 3 and 65 has me a little confused as does the 18 at the end of the cancellation.

Any help in this matter would be very much appreciated.

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    delistampsdelistamps Posts: 714 ✭✭✭
    I'm not a specialist in space or Germany, but I'll take a shot at this.

    The date is December 3, 1965. I think the 18 might signify 6 p.m. Most of the other German covers on Ebay have a "16" in this place.

    The label translates into "Rocket and Satellite in the West"

    Krieglach is a municipality in the district of Mürzzuschlag in Styria, Austria. (Wikipedia)

    I can't find any significant links to the recipient's name (Jenny Schmiedl), but a Friedrich Schmiedl is listed on Wikipedia as being a Rocket Mail pioneer in 1931. Probably unrelated to this cover but an interesting coincidence. Wiki Rocket Mail search

    A search on Google indicates that there was a launch of the Luna 8 rocket on this date. Space history link Luna 8 crashed into the moon on December 6, ending its ill-fated mission. This cover does not seem in any way tied to this historic date. I don't find any significant Western space events on Dec 3. Gemini 8 was two months earlier.

    I would be careful to have the Armstrong autograph authenticated. I believe forgeries were common.

    The 76/96 indicates that this is the 76th cover of 96 prepared.

    The more interesting questions are:
    Why does the U.S. 5 cent Washington appear on this cover with the picture of the U.S. Gemini capsule?
    When did Armstrong sign it?
    How did it end up being used in Germany?
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    PipestonePetePipestonePete Posts: 1,933 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for the quick response, Delistamps. I did learn that Gemini 7 was launched on Dec. 4, 1965, but that still doesn't explain the Dec. 5 date on the vignette and postmark.

    I assume that Frau Schmiedl either mailed this cover to Armstrong for a signature or that someone had it signed for her. I, too, am curious about the addition of the U. S. postage stamp to the cover, especially since there are three German stamps affixed.

    I am quite certain that the Armstrong signature is genuine. I have had several knowledgeable collectors look at it and they agree that it is an early and genuine example. It wasn't too long after this cover was signed that Armstrong started signing with a much abbreviated version of his signature as this example demonstrates.

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    johnsim03johnsim03 Posts: 992 ✭✭
    Actually, Krieglach is in Austria, and not Germany. The stamps (except the Washington, of course) are Austrian.
    John
    John C. Knudsen, LM ANA 2342, LM CSNS 337
    SFC, US Army (Ret.) 1974-1994
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    delistampsdelistamps Posts: 714 ✭✭✭


    << <i>Actually, Krieglach is in Austria, and not Germany. The stamps (except the Washington, of course) are Austrian.
    John >>



    Of course it is. I looked up Krieglach when I saw it in the address and noted that it was in Austria.

    Even though it was staring me in the face, I didn't note that it was also in the postmark! Wow...

    Austrian covers currently on Ebay have the numbers 11 and 13 following the date. Does anyone know if this is signifies time of day?
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    The date of the postmark is 12 March 1965, 1800 hours (6:00 pm), which of course is written in the European style of ddmmyy.
    John
    John C. Knudsen, LM ANA 2342, LM CSNS 337
    SFC, US Army (Ret.) 1974-1994
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    OPAOPA Posts: 17,112 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>The date of the postmark is 12 March 1965, 1800 hours (6:00 pm), which of course is written in the European style of ddmmyy.
    John >>



    Correct... 12 March 1965 and not 3 December 1965
    "Bongo drive 1984 Lincoln that looks like old coin dug from ground."
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    delistampsdelistamps Posts: 714 ✭✭✭
    OOPS. thanks for the date correction!
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    originalisbestoriginalisbest Posts: 5,918 ✭✭✭✭
    Neat cover and sig. image What the heck is such an informative thread doing here? image
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    delistampsdelistamps Posts: 714 ✭✭✭
    Neil Armstrong died today at the age of 82. R.I.P
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    johnsim03johnsim03 Posts: 992 ✭✭
    For what it is worth, I am not sure that the signature is an original, and not an autopen (Armstrong signatures are frequently seen autopenned), OR, if the signature is not bogus altogether. These german language (origin) "covers" are notorious as forgeries, particularly in an (apparently) long series, as this one seems to be from. I really don't mean to be a wet noodle, but this manufactured philatelic cover is questionable in my mind, without a comptetent authentication/certificate. It seems bogus to me.
    John
    John C. Knudsen, LM ANA 2342, LM CSNS 337
    SFC, US Army (Ret.) 1974-1994
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