Correspondences : 1923-1938 Leralle Covers
Part I : 1923-32


The 1923 EL KANTARA run to the Pacific.
El Kantara 1923

The 1923 EL KANTARA run to the Pacific. (click to close)

Some Leralle books:
Leralle 1944


Leralle 1954


Leralle 1957


An article by Gary Loew



What do we know about André L. Leralle? Not much yet, but the readers of this site may want to contribute their knowledge.

He seemes to have been an employee or a bank manager of the "Banque de l'Indochine et de Suez" in Indochina for some years with world-wide contacts and he travelled a lot himself and sent letters home. His name is on a passenger list of the steamer MAJESTIC to New York arriving there on January 4, 1923. The MAJESTIC sailed from Cherbourg on 27 December 1922. His age is given as 26.
He is possibly the Léon André Gustave Leralle born in Garnich, Luxembourg on 19 September 1896. Some of his letters are addressed to Luxembourg so he may have had connections there.
Leralles Paris address was 9 rue des Lions and his profession was given as bank agent. Destination: Papeete Tahiti.


On 31 July 1949 his address was given by the "Société des Océanistes" as 18, rue Tronchet, Paris VIIIe. This is the same address he used in the 1930s on a couple of his letters. Later he turned to the stamp business and particularly postal history after his retirement in the late forties and then definitely retired in the fifties on the Cote d'Azur. His address in 1952: 2 avenue Saint-Laurent, Monte Carlo. He was also a member of the "Société des Océanistes". 1963 he is mentioned in the "Canadian Philatelist" in Monaco.

February 2013: I just saw a 1928 cover in a dealer offer sent from Papeete to "Monsieur A. Leralle, Caissier Banque Indo-Chine, Hanoi, Tonkin". So he was with the Banque de l'Indochine at that time!

December 2018: I found an old document: "Bulletin de la Socété d'Études Océaniennes", No. 8, Dec. 1923. In this document Mister Leralle is listed as "Trésorier" = Treasurer of SEO.

October 2021: In the October 1985 issue of "France & Colonies Philatelist" I found a text describing A. Leralle as a "Paris stamp dealer" who had a lot of underfranked covers sent to the Cantho post office and marked with private "Taxe Minimum" rubber stamps (which was legal then). In the same journal of June 1965 Leralle was mentioned as "the late A. Leralle" who was one of the few French collectors of Paquebot covers. So he died about 1964/65.

We have found that the handwritings, addresses and names differ. The covers addressed to Curios or Miss Evelyn Sainthabyn, Georgetown, British Guyana with POSTED AT SEA NEW HEBRIDES have been manufactured by Mr. Leralle as well. It seems that covers sent to Monsieur Lefranc with PAQUEBOT cancels and to Mr. Clerget are from Leralle too. (Most of this information thanks to Alain Millet, France.)

Yes, he was a "covermaker", but at least he tried to make the covers in a way which suggested normal use and with the correct prepayment. These covers are a unique part of the postal history of the New Hebrides, as they show postal markings which may not be recorded elsewhere.

His favourites were ship and airmail covers. I saw an 11 January 1935 aerogramme from Oubangui to the Vignon address and a 4 March 1935 aerogramme from Tchad to the Tronchet address too.

André Leralle was a member of the Académie de Philatélie, Paris and author of many philatelic books. I think he died at the end of 1963 or beginning of 1964.

Update on 4 January 2019: from "Les Feuilles Marcophiles" 1963 I learned that Andé Leralle died on 19 December 1963 aged 68 years.
He wrote a couple of articles for this journal.

The following first twelve covers are exceptionally early "Leralle covers".
Eight years later his main activity started: 25 February 1932
25 February 1932
15 November 1932
25 November 1932

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