JUST FOR STAMP COLLECTORS
MORE HIGHWAYS AND BYWAYS OF PHILATELY
EARLY STAMPS OF INDIA
(1) THE SIND POST. Postage stamps issued in 1852 by the government
of the Sind District in what is now Pakistan. These were Asia's first
adhesive postage stamps and, having been well received by the local
inhabitants, paved the way for the All-India issues of 1854.
(You might enjoy this relevant example of Victorian Humour:
The capture of the Sind District in 1850 by forces of the East India
Company was announced by their commander, in a cable, with one word:
"Peccavi" which is Latin meaning 'I have sinned'!)
The illustration is of a forgery.
(2)One of India's first stamps was the 1854 4as. octagonal. These stamps are
rare when cut square like these, because the postal clerks usually carefully
cut them to shape!
Illustrated are forgeries with ditto cancels, intended to fool only collectors.
(3) A genuine copy of the 4as for comparison.
----------ODDS & SODS----------
(1)Heligoland is a little dot in the North Sea just off the coasts of Denmark
It was taken from Denmark by the British in 1807 and
H. stamps (priced, you might notice, in two different currencies)
were in use between 1867 and 1890 when the island was ceded to
Germany in return for interests in Zanzibar.
One can only guess what would have happened in WW1 had Britain still held Heligoland
as a dagger at Germany's naval throat!
Most H. stamps that you see are either forgeries or reprints.
(2) BURMA, In October, 1942, was largely occupied by the Japanese invaders,
but Falam, in the Chin Hills near the Indian Border still remained
under British control. Supplies of official stamps, overprinted
'Service' started to run out so regular postage stamps with 'OHMS'
handstamped or typeset (on higher values) were used, all according
to regulations. Bureaucracy Undaunted!
(3) CHRISTMAS ISLAND. Has had quite a checkered postal history. Stamps of India
(pre-1867), Straits Settlements(1867-1948) and Singapore (1948-1958) preceded the
issue of its own stamps (as an Australian Territory) in 1958.
(4)THE SUEZ CANAL CO. carried mail between the two canal ports (P.Said and
Suez) free until July 1868 when the company started charging for this
service and issued stamps. These stamps were only on sale until October
of that year when they were suppressed by the Egyptian Govt.. The
stamps are rare, but forgeries, of which 12 complete sets are known,
Much more info can be found on my new page at:
POSTAGE STAMPS OF THE
SUEZ CANAL COMPANY
With ilustrations of both genuine and forged stamps and information on how to tell
----------MORE ODDS & SODS----------
(5) The U.S. 'Pony Express', a private mail carriage service for the overland
route from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California. It was set up
in 1860, but only lasted 18 months; for even at the high rate of $5 per
letter it was a financial failure. It was finally superseded by the
transcontinental telegraph, completed in October, 1861.
The illustrations are of forgeries (of which there are many types).
(6)BASUTOLAND (now LESOTHO). Between 1880 and 1910, stamps of Cape of Good
Hope were used here. Then it was the stamps of South Africa. Basutoland
didn't get it's own stamps until 1933. This CGH stamp is cancelled 'Mohale's
Hoek - Basutoland'.
(7)CANADA In 1899 the inland letter rate was reduced from 3c to 2c (A historical first
and last I suspect). The reserve stocks of the now useless 3c value were therefor surcharged
with the new rate. For reasons that are quite unclear to me, lots of forgeries have been
made of this stamp, some crude, others quite clever. One distinguishing test is to examine
the 'C'. In the genuine surcharge, extension of the arms on the right would complete an oval
while in the forgeries, the arm is angled so that an extension would cut into the neighbouring
AUSTRALIAN OFFICIAL STAMPS
(1)Stamps for official use were first produced in 1913.
These were regular issues punctured with the initials 'O S'. In the
first type, the initials were too large and so the stamps
were very easily torn; this was in use only for a few months
before it was replaced by a second type with smaller initials. Stamps
punctured for official use by state governments are still in use today.
(2) Australia's first Air Mail stamp was issued in 1929. I've included
this for the simple reason that I think it to be particularly handsome!
So sue me.
MORE 'USED ABROAD' CANCELLATIONS
(1) Norfolk Island was formally annexed by New South Wales in 1896. It became part of the
Australian Commonwealth in 1914 and Australian stamps were used until the first territorial
issue in 1947.
(2) Papua New Guinea. In January, 1942, Japanese forces invaded New Guinea and, in February,
the Australian Government suspended the civil governments of both Papua and New Guinea,
substituting military control under the Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit (ANGAU).
Civil government was re-established in 1945, control being completed by June 1946.
The old stocks of Papuan and New Guinea stamps were destroyed in 1945 and Australian stamps
were used until the newly constituted Territory of Papua New Guinea issued its own stamps
(3) Pitcairn Islands. From June 1927 to October 1940 a New Zealand Postal Agency operated
on the Pitcairn Islands and current NZ stamps were cancelled with CDS's inscribed
"PITCAIRN ISLAND - N.Z. POSTAL AGENCY". This is a part of a philatelic cover commemorating
the establishment of a local radio station (Oh joy!). Apparently most of these covers were
bought up by a dealer in Rhode Island, USA whose stock was subsequently damaged by a burst
water main; consequently these covers now routinely show evidence of water damage.
(4) & (5) "MB". From the 1890's into the 1930's there was a mail service between England and
France involving the ports of London, Southampton and Le Havre. A letter box placed on the
quayside in which letters could be posted up until the ship's departure. At that time, the
letter box ("MB"='Moveable Box') was taken on board and the letters therein marked on
arrival at the other port. Thus these items were mailed in Le Havre and cancelled in
London(4) and Southampton(5). there were, of course, corresponding Le Havre cancellations
on British stamps. I only wish I had an example. This cancellation on a Chilean stamp (6)
dated 1895 is a puzzle. Wish I had the whole cover - possibly it was a Paquebot, mailed on
board a ship sailing from Chile that docked at Le Havre where the letter was placed in
the moveable box to go on to London.
AND FINALLY - -
A HIGHLY UNUSUAL
A registered cover mailed in Sydney, NSW, Australia, but bearing only British Stamps! On the back, the
date is clear: "3 Sep.40" as is the name, presumably, of the sender "J. Maxwell, Lieutenant, RAN - Royal
Australian Navy. Furthermore, the amount paid (1/6 = 18d.) is far in excess of the 5d. cost of
a registered letter in 1940 Australia. Any ideas?
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