On the 1st of July 2011, the postal rates in France have changed. For instance the rate for a standard letter (below 20g) has increased from 0.58€ to 0.60€. Interestingly, on the 27th of June, so only four days earlier, the French postal administration has issued the two following stamps, still with a face value of 0.58€.
The stamp on the left was issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the “Chemins de fer de provence” an old railway company located in the south of France which is now running a unique route between Nice and Digne-les-bains. This route, that opened in 1911, is locally referred as the “train des pignes” (the pine nuts train) as indicated on the stamp.
The stamp on the right pictures Varengeville-sur-Mer, a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Haute-Normandie region in northern France.
The change of postal rates means that those two stamps could be used only during four days to frank, alone, a standard letter. This is the case of the cover I have received and that I share with you below.
The very short period during which these stamps could be used alone on a letter makes this cover a curiosity.