PARIS SIEGE AIR MAIL
3 sides 8vo, integral envelope inscribed "Par Ballon Monté Mr. Frederic Shannon, Messrs.Coutts Cie, 59 Strand, Londres", brown 30 centimes stamp, indistinct Place de la Bourse, counter stamped London W.C. 75 JA 23 71, Paid, small hole near seal with loss, small tear to foredge complete,
Ballon Monté a French expression meaning "balloon with pilot". It can be found on mail during the siege of Paris (1870-71). For this a higher rate of postage was charged. Balloons were used because there were no other way to leave the city as the Germans had surrounded the town. The first ascent was made on 23rd September, 1870. The Siege lasted until the 28th of January 1871.
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