From time to time, auction houses offer Zeppelin covers from the Belgian Congo. The price paid for such items is generally far higher than similar covers from the Netherlands or even Belgium - the reason being that between 1932 and 1939 only 15 flights carried mail originating from the Congo.
The decline of the Portuguese Empire and the rise of Dutch and British mercantile interests in the East led to the isolation and neglect of Portuguese outposts, none more so than Timor.
This article is probably one of the first airmail articles, certainly of any length, to be published in a philatelic journal. It was first published in Stamp Collectors' Fortnightly (January, 1921) from a paper read by Major RS Archer, MC, as his Presidential Address before the Liverpool Junior Philatelic Society, October 11th, 1920.
Published by kind permission of the author.
Before telling the story behind the fascinating cover illustrated, a description is necessary...