Belgium MustacheBud's Big Blue
I think Hercule Poirot’s cousins all worked in the post office. Otherwise, how can you account for the frequent place/date cancels, some as neat as the famous Belgian detective’s mustache? Well, maybe not. But I like on-line visits to Belgian towns, and speculating about what happened there on the day of the cancel. A complete 16 line cancel from Namur is on supplement page 2, something of a rarity.
Belgian regular stamps tend to be rather drab, enlivened somewhat by the 1893-1913 detachable labels (dominical labels) which, if they were included on an envelope, no Sunday delivery would be attempted by the post office. This presumably kept church-goers happy. But since it’s devilishly hard to find covers with the stamp and label intact, I suspect most folks sinfully ripped them off. BB, being pious, insists on label-attached stamps.
Semi-postals from Belgium, however, and their railway stamps are stunning. Included in the supplement pages are promotional materials for some of the semi-postals (page 4) and railway receipts for parcels with stamps attached (page 6, 7).
Census: 549 in BB spaces, 99 tipped-in, 179 on supplement pages.
Overall, I rate Big Blue's coverage of Belgium "good". But BB has an annoying trait of dropping a series too early with cheap stamps on the table. This was especially noticeable with the Parcel Post (Railroad) stamps. Also, Belgium's surcharged stamps seem to have a harder time making it into Big Blue. ( I've noticed this "surcharge shortage" with other countries too.)
Belgium Blog Post and Checklist
Page 1 (Click on page to enlarge for examination.)