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(Pronounced INJAH!)
India-Sind(1) India Forged 1854 4as.(2) India 4as CTS(3)

(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----------
Heligoland(1) Burma-1942(2) S'pore used in Xmas Island(3) Suez Co.(4)

(1)Heligoland is a little dot in the North Sea just off the coasts of Denmark and Germany.
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, are not.

Much more info can be found on my new page at:


With ilustrations of both genuine and forged stamps and information on how to tell the differences.

----------MORE ODDS & SODS----------
US Pony Express(5) SA used in Bas'land(6) Canada 1899(7)

(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 'E'.

Official(1) Australia-first 

(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.

(1) (2) (3)
(4) (5) (6)

(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 in 1953.

(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.

(1) (2)

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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