1902 Scott 47 10a on 1fr claret & olive green
France Offices in ZanzibarBud's Big Blue
Most countries do not welcome post offices from other countries operating within their borders. Such extraterritorial offices compete with local postal services and, ultimately, undercut the sovereignty of the hosting nation. Nevertheless, many countries have tolerated “offices in…” stamps, and BB provides ample space for them.
For the most part, these “offices” emerged because local mail service was deemed unreliable. So, countries considering themselves “great powers” stepped in to fill the void. China and the crumpling Ottoman Empire were major targets in the 19th and early 20th centuries. But as recently as the 2016 US presidential election the “offices in…” question briefly reemerged with the suggestion that such could help immigrants send money back to their originating countries safely and inexpensively.
“Offices in…” stamps are uniformly difficult to collect, those issued by France being no exception. It’s more efficient and less expensive for collectors to buy complete sets than to proceed piecemeal.
Covers are usually for outbound mail to the sponsoring nation or other foreign countries; “offices in…” had few if any local delivery services. Most BB collectors settle for the lower value stamps only, as is evidenced in the feeder albums I’ve come across. The repetitive images of two women, one Cambodian and the other Annamite, may have dampened collector enthusiasm for the China offices issues.
Census: France Offices in…
China: 212 in BB spaces, 70 on supplement pages.
Crete: 12 in BB spaces, 2 on supplement pages.
Zanzibar: 7 in BB spaces, 10 on supplement pages.
Egypt: 72 in BB spaces, 30 on supplement pages.
Turkey: 38 in BB spaces, 16 on supplement pages.
Recall that BB has the "Offices in..." stamp spaces within the France pages. This blog post for Bud's Big Blue will show those eight pages.
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.
Enjoy Bud's full pages from his BB for these "Offices", as it is a rare sight!
Blog Post which has the BB Checklist for "Offices": France: Semi-Postal, Air Post, Postage Due, Offices
Page 1 (Click and enlarge for examination)