A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar


A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. Interested? So into the Blues...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

France: Semi-Postal, Air Post, Postage Due, Offices

1939 semi-postal 90c + 35c black brown 
"Civilian facing Firing Squad"
Quick History
The Third French Republic existed from 1870 until 1940 and the conquest by Germany. France is the largest western European country, and in 1936 the population was 42,000,000. Paris is the capital.

The State is governed under the fundamental document of the French Revolution, The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. This Declaration derives from the philosophical thinking of the Age of Enlightenment, and shares the principles of human rights with the U.S. Declaration of Independence. The rights of man are considered universal, valid in all situations, places and times.

It is helpful to be aware of the Age of Enlightenment human rights declarations and beliefs, as much of the allegorical imagery found on the French definitives, and French stamps in general, refer back to these principles.

1936-37 semi-postal 1.50fr + 50c deep blue "Louis Pasteur"
Surtax used for relief of unemployed intellectuals
Into the Deep Blue
This is the third blog on French Stamps, and I will review the non regular, or "Back of the Book" issues. I  don't have some of the categories (Occupation stamps, Parcel Post stamps), so will say little about those. Also, there are a lot of "Offices Abroad" stamps in both the Scott catalogue and in albums. It is my experience that, unless one specializes in this area, not a lot of stamps are actually found in general classic era albums in this category.  :-)

Affordable collectability
These are the categories, and the total number of major stamp descriptions in the Scott catalogue...

Semi-Postal 1914-1940: 107 stamps; of those 43 <$5.  Affordability Index = 40%
Comment: The French Semi-Postals are fairly expensive.

Air Post 1927-1936: 17 stamps; of those 4 <$5. Affordability Index = 23%
Comment: In 1928, C3($1800) and C4($8000+) were produced when they received a 10 Franc surcharge in New York by order of the French consul general. This paid for the mail on the liner Ile de France (on the eastern voyage) to be put on a hydroplane which was then catapulted to France. Rather expensive for a one day speed-up of mail. ;-)

Postage Due 1859-1941: 47 stamps; of those 16 <$5. Affordability Index = 34%

"Recouvrements" stamps 1908-1931: 23 stamps; of those 16 <$5. Affordability Index = 70%
Comment: "Recouvrements" stamps are a form of postage due. But these were charged to the sender when the mail could not be delivered, and was returned to the sender.

Military stamps 1901-39: 9 stamps; of those 5 are <$5
Comment: Overprinted "F.M." on regular issues, and indicates "Franchise Militare" (Military Frank).

Newspaper 1868-1933: 8 stamps; of those 2 are <$5

Parcel Post 1892-1939: 159 stamps; of those 64 are  <$5. Affordability Index = 40%
Comment:  Deep Blue does not include the PP category in the main classical download, but does have the option of downloading separate pages for PP. I have no PP stamps in my collection. I wonder if the PP category was a recent addition to the Classic Scott catalogue? Clearly, these French Parcel Post stamps are not found as commonly as the Belgium Railroad/Parcel Post stamps. I hate to be critical, but these PP stamps are not very attractive to me, and they are not inexpensive. I'm not sure I will collect them.

Franchise stamp 1939: 1 stamp ($2+)
Comment: For the use of Spanish refugees in France.

Occupation stamps
Franco-Prussian war: 1870: 14 stamps; of those 0 are <$5.
Comment: 4 are <$20.

WWI: 1916: 12 stamps: of those 8 are <$5.
Comment: Clearly, I have some holes in my French collection, as I do not have any occupation stamps at the moment. ;-)

WWII:1940: 32 stamps; of those 28 are <$5.
Note: see WWI comment.

Offices in China
A large number of issues are represented in Scott. As I noted above, not many of these stamps are found in general WW collections in my experience

Offices in China: regular & postage due: 1894-1922: 137 stamps (including bolded minor numbers); of those 34 <$5.  Affordability Index = 25%

Canton:1901-1919: 83 stamps; of those 36 <$5.Affordability Index = 43%

Hoi Hao: 1901-1919: 84 stamps; of those 28 are <$5. Affordability Index = 33%.

Kwangchowan: regular & semi-postal :1906-1939: 139 stamps; of those 94 are <$5. Affordability Index = 68%

Mongtseu: 1903-1919: 68 stamps; of those 20 are <$5. Affordability Index = 29%

Pakhoi:1903-1919: 69 stamps; of those 27 are <$5. Affordability Index = 39%.

Tchongking: 1903-1919: 67 stamps; of those 20 are <$5. Affordability Index = 30%

Yunnan Fou:1903-1919: 66 stamps; of those 18 are <$5. Affordability Index = 27%

Total China: 713 stamps; of those 277 are <$5. Affordability Index = 39%.
Comment: A very large group of stamps; a representative collection might suffice.

Offices in Crete: 1902-1903: 20 stamps; of those 10 are <$5.Affordability Index = 50%.

Offices in Egypt
Alexandria: regular, semi-postal & postage due: 1899-1930: 104 stamps; of those 60 are <$5.  Affordability Index = 58%.

Port Said: regular, semi-postal and postage due: 1899-1930: 104 stamps; of those 38 are <$5. Affordability Index = 37%.

Total Egypt: 208 stamps; of those 98 are <$5. Affordability Index = 47%.
Comment: Less expensive than China

Offices in Turkey (Levant); also Cavalle, Dedeagh, Port Lagos, Vathy
1885-1923: 103 stamps; of those 30 are <$5. Affordability Index = 29%.

Offices in Zanzibar: regular & postage due: 1894-1904: 67 stamps; of those 0 are <$5.
Comment: 11 stamps are <$10- a more realistic "affordability" mark as these are ~19th century era stamps.

Total Offices abroad: 1111 stamps; of those 415 are <$5. Affordability Index = 37%.

Total Back of the Book: 1540 stamps; of those 602 are <$5. Affordability Index = 39%.
Comment: Wow! A lot of BOB stamps; no wonder specialization is attractive. ;-)

Grand Total for France
1849-1900: 108 stamps; of those 49 are <$20.
1900-1940: 284 stamps; of those 243 are <$5.
Total BOB: 1540 stamps; of those 602 are <$5.
Total: 1932 stamps; of those 894 are "affordable".
Affordability Index = 47%
Comment: About half of French stamps are reasonable in price. Now, just how will I obtain them? Ah, there's the rub.  :-)

A closer look at the stamps and issues


1939 semi-postal 90c + 10c bright red violet
Honoré de Balzac
Although France was late with the commemoratives, since 1914, they have had a reasonable output of semi-postal stamps to raise funds for various causes. One of the more interesting causes, with three issues, is a surtax for unemployed intellectuals. One of the stamps is illustrated above, and the Pasteur semi-postal illustrated elsewhere in the blog is from another issue. I can't imagine the U.S. having a stamp issue for a cause like that. ;-) The French take their intellectuals, artists, and scientists seriously.

1882-92 1c black postage due & 1909 30c bister "recouvrements" stamp
The left stamp is a postage due, not too out of the ordinary. But the right stamp is a "recouvrements" stamp. This stamp was intended to recover funds from the sender if the letter or parcel was returned to the sender if it couldn't be delivered or was refused. Perhaps other countries do this, but France is the first for the classic countries and this blog.

1901 15c orange overprinted "F.M."
Military stamp: Franchise Militare
I haven't seen this category before, but France has issued overprinted stamps to be used by the French military from 1901-39. Interesting.

Offices in China
Kwangchowan: 1923 1/5c blue & black with red overprint
Kwangchowan: 1927 1/2c yellow with black overprint
Yunnan Fou: 1908 4c blue & black with red overprint
The Offices in China issues (713! stamps) were produced between 1894-1922 by France for seven locations in China to receive and send overseas mail. The stamps of Indo-China were generally overprinted or surcharged for this use. Not found in abundance in most general collections, one will need to pursue and acquire these fascinating stamps.

Offices in Crete
1902-03 3c red orange "Liberty, Equality and Fraternity"
During the period (1902-03) when Crete was autonomous, France, Austria, Italy, and Britain maintained their own post offices. France issued 20 stamps.

Offices in Egypt
1902-13 Alexandria 4c yellow brown
1902-03 Port Said 2c violet brown 
Alexandria and Port Said had French post offices from 1899-1929. About equally divided, Alexandria and Port Said together had 208 stamps.

Offices in Turkey (Levant)
1886 1pi on 25c black, rose surcharged in red
1903 1pi on 25c blue surcharged in black
France and other countries has post offices in the Turkish Empire, as a result of various treaties.  France had Offices in Turkey (Levant) stamps; also specific Cavalle, Dedeagh, Port Lagos, and Vathy location stamps. From 1885-1923, 103 stamps were issued.

Deep Blue
Deep Blue of course has all the major number Scott spaces-1540 for BOB! No surprises, although the parcel post stamps need to be separately downloaded. In contrast, Big Blue provides 453 spaces for the BOB stamps.

1936 air post 1.50fr dark ultramarine
"Airplane & Galleon"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on thirteen pages, has three pages and 67 stamp spaces for semi-postals (107 in Scott), one page and 10 spaces for air post (17 in Scott),  and on one page- 20 spaces for postage due and "recouvrements" stamps (70 in Scott), 3 spaces for military stamps, 2 spaces for newspaper stamps, and 8 spaces for the 1916 occupation stamps.
Total spaces for semi-postal through occupation stamps: 110 stamp spaces.
Total coverage for semi-postal through occupation stamps (269 in Scott): 41%

There are no spaces for parcel post.

Offices abroad
Offices in China: five pages and 213 stamp spaces.
Includes coverage for offices in China, Canton, Hoi Hao, Kwangchowan, Mongtseu, Packhoi, Tong King, and Yunnan Foo.

Offices in Crete: 12 stamp spaces

Offices in Egypt: two pages and 73 stamp spaces
Includes coverage of Alexandria and Port Said.

Offices in Zanzibar: 7 stamp spaces.

Offices in the Turkish Empire: one page and 38 stamp spaces.
Includes coverage of Levant, Cavalle, Dedeagh, Port Lagos , and Vathy.

Total coverage of Offices Abroad: 343 stamp spaces (Scott 1111): 31%

Note: Big Blue has spaces for "Offices in Morocco", but I will cover those stamps in a separate blog for two reasons.
1) True, there are "French offices in Morocco" stamp issues from 1891-1917, but then Morocco became a French Protectorate 1914-1942 with many stamp issues.
2) Scott has Morocco listed under its own title as "French Morocco".

Overall coverage by Big Blue
1849-1900  :65 spaces (108 in Scott)
1900-1940: 234 spaces ( 284 in Scott)
Back of the Book: 453 spaces (1540 in Scott)
Grand Total for Big Blue: 752 spaces (1932 in Scott)
Total coverage by Big Blue: 39%.

As far as expensive entries, there are six semi-postals that cross the $35 threshold for the "Most Expensive Stamp" list. There are three horizontal blank spaces in the early 1918-28 section of the semi-postals.  This yielded,at the least expensive, B7 ($125), B8 ($180), and B27 ($150)! Wow! I also note that the 1918 B11 semi-postal "Hospital Ship and Field Hospital" stamp @ $60 has a space.

Also I noted a quite different layout for the earlier issues in the '41/'47 editions compared to the '69 edition. However, I didn't do further investigation.

Comment
With 752 spaces (343 for China offices abroad), Big Blue provides good coverage of France.

Simple Checklist


Postage Due
1882-92
J11,J15,J16,J17,

1893-1906
J29,J30,J31,J32,
J34,(J38),

1908-19
J46,J47,J48,J49,(J51),

1927-31
J58,J59,J60,J61,(J63),

Military stamps
1901-34
M1,(M5),(M6),

Newspaper Stamps
1919
P7,

1933
P8,

Occupation Stamps
1916
N15,N16,N17,N18,N19,N20,N21,(N22),

Next Page

Semi-Postal
1914-19
B1,B2,B5,B3,B4,
B11,(B7),(B8),B27),
B14,B12,B13,B15,
B16,(B21),(B17),(B18),

1936-37
B48,B50,B51,
B53,

Next Page

1935
B42,B43,

1936
B46,B45,B44,

1937-38
B60,B62,B49,B68,B61,
B52,B63,B64,B70,
B66,B67,B71,B72,B73,B74,
B76,B77,B79,B82,

Next Page

1938-40
B75,B80,B78,B81,B84,B85,
B83,B87,B88,B89,
B86,B90,B91,B92,B93,B103,
B94,B95,B104,B105,
B106,B107,

Next Page

Air Post
1930
C5,C6a or C6,

1934
C7

1936
C8,C9,C10,
C11,C12,C13,

1936
C16,

Next Page

Offices in China
1894
1,3,6,

1902
18,19,20,21,22,

1900
2,

1902-03
34,35,36,38,

1904
26,

1904-05
46,47,48,50,(49),

1907
57,58,59,60,61,62,

1911-21
65,66,67,68,(69),

Postage Due
1901
J1,J2,

1911
J33,J34,J35,J36,

Canton
1901
1,1A,3,5,

Next Page

(Canton)
1903
15,16,17,18,19,20,21,

1906
31,32,33,34,35,

1908
48,49,50,51,52,53,54,55,

1918
65,66,67,68,59,70,(71),

Hoi Hao
1903
16,17,18,19,20,

1908
49,50,
51,52,53,54,55,56,57,58,

1918
67,68,69,70,71,72,(76), 

Next Page

Kwangchowan
1908
18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,

1918
36,37,38,39,40,41,

1923
54,55,56,57,58,59,60,61,

1927
75,76,78,79,80,81,82,83,

Mongtseu
1908
33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,


1918
51,52,53,54,55,56,57,

Next Page

Packhoi
1903
1,2,3,4,5,

1906
17,18,19,

1908
34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,

1918
52,53,54,55,56,57,58,

Tong King
1903
2,33,4,5,6,

1906
17,18,19,

1908
34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,

1918
51,52,53,54,55,56,57,(59),

Next Page

Yunnan Fou
1903
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,(8),

1906
17,18,19,20,21,

1908
34,35,36,37,38,39,40,
41,42,43,(44),

1918
51,52,53,54,55,56,57,(58),

Offices in Crete
1902-03
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,
8,9,10,11,(12),

Next Page

Offices in Egypt

Alexandria
1899-1900
1,2,3,5,

1902-03
16,17,18,
19,20,21,22,23,24,25,
26,27,

1921-22
47,48,(49),

1925
62,63,65,66,67,68,69,70,

1927-28
77,81,82,  Semi-postal
1915
B1,

Postage Due
1922
J1,J2,J3.

1928
J6,J7,J8,J9,J10,J11,J12,J13,

Next page

Port Said
1899-1900
1,2,3,4,(5),

1902-03
18,19,
20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,
28,29,

1921-22
56,57,

1925
70,71,72,73,74,75,
76,77,

1927-28
83,87,88,

Semi-postal
1915
B1,

Offices in Zanzibar
1896-1900
1*,18,19,

1902-03
39,40,(41),(42),

Next Page

Offices in the Turkish Empire
Levant
1895-1900
1,2,5,

1902-03
21,22,23,24,25,
26,27,28,30,34,35,

1921
40,42,44,45,46,

Cavalle
1893
4,

1902-03
9,10,11,12,13,

Dedeagh
1893
5,

1902-03
9,10,11,15,16,

Port Lagos
1893
1,3,(2),

Vathy
1894-1900
1,3,4,5,

Comments
A) ( ) around a number indicates a suggested choice for a blank space.


B) Caution on "Offices in Zanzibar" section: possible confusion...


Offices in Zanzibar Scott 1, 18, 19
The overprint is different for the descriptive spaces 
Watch out for the Scott 1,18,19 spaces.  The Scott 1 (with illustration cut) shows an overprint "1/2 ANNA". The Scott 18 and 19 actually have an overprint that adds "ZANZIBAR".

C) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold) include:

Semi-Postal
1914-19
B5 15c + 10c gray green "Woman Plowing" $20+
B11 15c + 5c slate & red "Hospital Ship and Field Hospital" $60
(B7) 35c + 25c slate & violet "Trench of Bayonets" $125
(B8) 50c + 50c  pale brown & dark brown "Lion of Belfort" $180
(B27) 1.50fr + 8.50fr dull blue "Industry and Agriculture" $150
B16 25c + 5c slate & violet "Woman Plowing" $10+
(B21) 50c + 10c olive brown & dark brown "Lion of Belfort" $10+
(B17) 50c + 10c pale brown & dark brown "Lion of Belfort "$10+
(B18) 1fr + 25c cl + mar "La Marseillaise" $37+

1936-37
B53 1.50fr + 50c deep ultramarine "Louis Pasteur" $20

1935
B43 50c + 2fer dull red "Symbolic of Music" $45

1936
B45 75c + 50c violet "Statue of Liberty" $10

1937-38
B70 1.75fr + 75c deep blue "Palace of Versailles"  $10+
B66 30c blue green "Winged Victory of Samothrace" $40
B67 55c red "Winged Victory of Samothrace" $40
B73 55c + 45c vermilion "Monument" $10+
B74 65c + 35c ultramarine "Reims Cathedral" $10+
B76 1.75fr + 50c deep ultramarine "Curie" $10+

1938-40
B80 90c + 35c black brown "Civilian Facing Firing Squad" $10+
B83 90c + 35c turquoise blue ""Ministry of Post, Telegraph, and Telephone" $20
B89 2.25fr + 25c bright ultramarine "Clause Bernard" $10+
B93 70c + 30c brown violet "Statue of Widow and Children" $10+

Air Post 1936
C13 3.50fr orange brown "Plane over Paris" $20+

Offices in China
Canton
1903
21 20c red/green  $10+

Mongtseu
1908
40 25c blue & black $10+

Yunnan Fou
1903
7 20c red/green $10+

Offices in Crete
1902-03
11 40c red & pale blue $10+
(12) 50c bister brown & lavender $10+

Offices in Zanzibar
1902-03
(41) 1 1/2a on 15c pale red $10+
(42) 2a on 20c brown violet $10+

Offices in the Turkish Empire
Levant
1895-1900
5 4pi on 1fr bronze green $10+

Cavalle
1893
4 15c blue $20+

Dedeagh
1893
5 1pi on 25c black/rose $30+

Port Lagos
1893
1 5c green/greenish $30


1918 semi-postal  B11 15c + 5c slate & red 
"Hospital Ship and Field Hospital"
Out of the Blue
It has been a bit of a marathon putting these three blogs together to cover France. But I now have a better understanding of these well designed issues. :-)


Any thoughts? Would like to hear from you!

Happy New Year!

2 comments:

  1. "Deep Blue does not include the PP category in the main classical download, but does have the option of downloading separate pages for PP. I have no PP stamps in my collection. I wonder if the PP category was a recent addition to the Classic Scott catalogue? Clearly, these French Parcel Post stamps are not found as commonly as the Belgium Railroad/Parcel Post stamps."

    This is indeed the issue. Until I think 2005 or so the French Parcels were not listed in any Scott catalog, then they were added only to the -Classic Specialized.- and the main Scott Volume 2. So it should be little surprise they are not found in your feeder collections, as they were not given Scott recognition until just a few years ago.

    As an aside, similar stamps exist for Algeria, which had a -separate- parcel system from that of Mainland France. The stamps are listed in the Maury -Afrique- catalog, but still not in Scott, for some reason eve though they were the Algerian equivalent of French Parcel Posts. Parcels were the first stamps for Algeria, and were printed in Algiers, never in mainland France, being issued first in 1899. While some are similar in design, face values were different as well, as Algeria's Parcel system had different rates from what I can tell. Maury lists something like 200 major stamps up to 1949, not including dozens of minor varieties, with value ranges from a euro up to 4-digit levels for some errors. DJCMHOH

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks much for the additional information on the France and Algeria PP stamps DJCMHOH - Fascinating!

    ReplyDelete