In the past the most important stamps dealer in Lebanon was Benjamin Baroody Company. It operated between the middle of the 30s and the early 50s. Envelopes with its seal are not common but not so scarce and when they are seen they do not go unnoticed. In fact most of the time they are franked with otherwise unobtainable commemorative values used on envelopes, and for this we should thank him in a posthumous way. His envelopes containing generally stamps sent to the customers are highly franked and often used stamps are grouped and overlaid. This is why the cover that I want to present “seemingly” does not come out of the norm except for the scarce tardive (but yet legal) use of the 200 Piastres air stamp issued on 1 May 1943 on the commemorating the second anniversary of independence (fig 1).
Another feature of the envelopes sent by Baroody is the use of perfect franking: it is always consistent with the postal rates then in force. On ours cover, sent from Beirut on 28/11/1951 to New York, in order to fulfill the payment of the postage for registered letter sent by air mail to America with a weight between 41 and 50 grams, Baroody used stamps for a total amount of 280 Piastres (fig 2).
Our stamp is therefore partially covered by four other values, namely the postage stamp of 50 Piastres of the same commemorative series, and three other air stamps of 10 Piastres each with the image of the maritime Castle of Saida. Something, however has attracted my curiosity: the disproportion of the lower margin of the 200 Piastres stamp (fig 3).
It is very large and you can’t see the perforation. So with a lot of caution, I started lifting each of the four marginal stamps and ………. surprise! I found myself facing a beautiful specimen unperforated with a wide lower margin attached to the cover by a paper hinge (fig 4).
We must consider that even at that time (1951) this unperforated stamp was certainly not common and Baroody must have certainly warned Mr Slater, that is the client, of the gift hidden under the eyes of all. But you know, also collectors are with the head on the clouds and luckily for us Mr Slater had to be very much distracted to forget this hidden gem on the cover.