STAMPS ON STAMPS COLLECTORS CLUB
POSTAL STATIONERY: A WORTHY COLLECTIBLE
By Gaston Barrette
Gaston Barrette is retired from the Quebec Department of Education. He has been collecting stamps on stamps issues since 1992. For the last few years he has been interested in postal stationery related to the stamp on stamp topic. Gaston has been collecting Canadian stamps for most of his life. He can be reached at 403-2765 Chemin Sainte-Foy, Quebec GIV 4S4, Canada.
This article is based on the following:
1. Barrett, Gaston. 1989. "Postal Stationery: A Worthy Collectible." SOS SIGNAL, (3):3-5.
2. Barrett, Gaston. 1999. "The Search for Postal Stationery." SOS SIGNAL, (6):4.
What is Postal Stationery? When the postal authority of a country produces stationery (envelopes, postal cards, aerogrammes, etc.) with a printed stamps (indicia) designed to indicate payment the appropriate postage, those items fall into the category of "postal stationery." These stationery items are absolutely suitable for philatelic collecting purposes. The indicia and anything printed on the items by the government are appropriately collectible.
A Brief History of Postal Stationery
Postal Stationery is older than the adhesive stamp. The Venetian "A-Q" letter sheets date from 1608; the Sardinia sheets from 1818; the revenue devices on British newspapers provided free postage after 1821; and the Sidney, New South Wales letter sheets were issued in 1838. We all know that the first adhesive stamps were not issued until 1840. Stamp catalogues included postal stationery up to about 1920 when the publishers decided there was not enough interest in postal stationery to continue to list it. The stamps had gained so much popularity and issues became so numerous that stamp collectors lost interest in postal stationery. This happened after the First World War, but beginning in 1945 there has been a marked revival of interest. Postal stationery is now perhaps the fastest growing branch of philately.
Catalogues of Postal Stationery
The Higgins and Gage: World Postage Stationery Catalog remains the universal reference work even though it has not been updated for decades. There are some updates, but these are merely price changes and they are well out of date. The complete set consists of 19 volumes and sells for about $230. There are other catalogues of postal stationery. Some of them cover postal stationery for a country, some for a topic, and one catalogue is devoted to a particular type of stationery; this is Kessler's Catalogue of Aerograms. One can also find new issues in World Postal Stationery New Issue Report published three times a year by Classic Philatelics. The latter report serves as a basis for a regular feature in Topical Time. However, no complete list of postal stationery is available as compared to the Scott, Gibbons and Michel catalogues of adhesive stamps, although some specialized catalogues include postal stationery.
Postal Stationery and the Stamps on Stamps Topic
Postal stationery related to the topic of stamps on stamps is a relatively small part of SOS collecting, but a fascinating part nevertheless. An example of an SOS postal stationery item is shown in Figure 1.
1. Hungarian postal card issued in 1994 for Budapest '94.
2. An Australian envelope issued in 1988 for SYDPEX '88.
A look at the items of postal stationery the ATA Handbook #122 shows that postal stationery items number about 30 as compared to a few thousands for stamps. However, this aspect of the topic is not to be neglected. To overlook it means that something important is missed. Most designs and executions of postal cards and envelopes are superb, many are steel engravings. More recent issues, especially aerogrammes, appeal to a topical collector through their artistic designs and the numerous colors employed.
SOSCU and Postal Stationery
In an effort to list the known SOS postal stationery, I have started with the items of postal stationery recorded in ATA Handbook #122 and arranged the listing according to dates of issue. Secondly, SOS postal stationery items classified under the topics "Philately and Postal Service" and "Stamp on Stamp" in the regular feature of Topical Time have been assembled for the period 1992-96. Since only a fraction of these items meet the criteria of the stamps on stamps topic, I am seeking collaborative agents to provide the information to complete the definitive list. A list of issues for 1989-1996 is given in the following list.
SOSCU POSTAL STATIONERY ADDITIONS LIST 1989-1996
Abbreviations: A = Aerogramme; AC = Air Postal Card, AE = Air Envelope;
E = Envelope; PC = Postal Card; PCC = Picture Postal Card
Yr Mo Dy Country Type Values Stamp Shown/Reason
======== ======== ==== ====== ===================================
89 08 14 Russia PC 4k Stylized Stamps, Magnifying Glass
89 12 20 Russia PC 4k Stylized Stamps, Letters
90 02 14 Russia E-2 5k (1) Letter, (2) Stamp 325 Anniv. Regular Russian Mail
90 03 01 Russia PC 4k Stamp Perforation
90 11 23 Hungary PPC 5ft Old Stamp 7 of Crown
91 12 07 Hungary PPC 7ft 1933 Stamp, 1931 PPC
92 01 10 Canada E 42c Vancouver Island #1 CANADA '92
92 01 10 Canada E 42c British Columbia #1 CANADA '92
92 04 15 Pakistan E 1re Cover with Magnifying Glass National Seminar on Philately
92 05 01 P.R.China EE 20f 1/2f "Soviet Post" Stamp
60th Anniv. Director General Posts
92 05 07 Germany PC 60pf Cover from Mautitus Essen Stamp Show
92 05 24 Bulgaria E 95+5c Stamp Donau Phil. Exhib. (Silistra)
92 08 01 Liechenstein PC 50,70rp 1817 Pre-stamp Cover, Wax Seal LIBA '92
92 08 07 Solomon Ils. E 50c Solomon Islands #98
92 08 07 Solomon Ils. E $1.50 Solomon Islands #174 Solomon Post Logo
92 09 25 Hungary PC 10ft Envelopes of Phil. Sci. Soc. MAFITE SZALAN '92
92 10 13 P.R. China PC 15f Tongs, Magnifying Glass, Stamps
10th Anniv. All China Phil. Fed.
92 10 15 Ireland PC 32p 1st Definitive Stamp
70 Years of Irish Postage Stamps
92 10 15 Ireland PC 32p 1st Commemorative Stamp
70 Years of Irish Postage Stamps
92 10 15 Ireland PC 32p Children's Art on Stamps
70 Years of Irish Postage Stamps
92 10 15 Ireland PC 32p Europa '92 Stamp 70 Years of Irish Postage Stamps
93 ?? ?? Pakistan A 5rs Old Stamp PRESHPEX Logo
93 02 01 Armenia PC $6 Stamp Outling YEREVAN '93
93 07 02 Hungary AE-2 50ft Hungary #C1
First Airplane Route Budapest and Vienna
93 11 01 P. R. China PC 15f Stamp showing Mao Zedung CHINPEX '93
91 ?? ?? Armenia AC $20 Magnifying Glass, Stylized Stamp
Union of Philatelists
94 02 15 Hong Kong PPC ppd 96c Victoria (1865) HONG KONG'94
94 02 15 Hong Kong PPC ppd Current $1 Q. E. II HONG KONG '94
94 03 28 Korea A 350w 6 stamps PHILAKOREA Logo
94 05 06 Hungary PPC 12ft Magnifying Glass, 10 stamps TEMAFILA '94
94 05 10 Botswana A 15ft Trains on Stamps Botswana Railways Deluxe
94 05 17 Switzerland PPC 60f Money Order Card (H&G #2)GABRA '94
94 05 27 Hungary PC 12ft 2kr Hungarian Stamp (1874) M. Gervoy, Post Director
94 06 14 Great Britain A 11d Cover from Allock and Brown Flight
First Non-Stop Atlantic Flight
94 06 15 Hungary PPC 12ft Stamps Showing Kolsez & Erkel
150th Anniversary Hungarian Anthem
94 08 01 Hungary PC 12ft Stamps Eugene Harnghy, Artist's Palette
94 09 05 Hungary PC 12ft Indonesian Stamp Indonesian Stamp Exhibit
94 10 06 Belgium PC 16fr Boy and Stamp Album Youth Philately
94 11 18 Australia A 70c Facsimile of Australia First Air Letter
95 01 01 P. R. China PC 15f Stylized Magnifing Glass, Tongs, Stamp
2nd Anniversary of "China Philately"
95 07 15 Italy PC 750l Stylized Stamp
ASIAGO 25th Internat. Philatelic Exhibit
95 09 20 Czech. Rep. AC 5k Biplane Overprint and 24k on Czech #C2
95 09 21 Russia E ppd Olympic Stamp
96 ?? ?? Romania E 150l Stamp, Cancel
"5 ANI DE .. Ardeal Banat Bocovina" Cancel
96 ?? ?? Romania E 150l Scout Stamp on Stamp
96 02 01 Belgium PC 16f Postal Card Promotion of Philately
96 02 07 Czech. Rep. PC 3k Stylized Stamps
100th Anniv. of Publication "Filatelie"
96 02 17 Belgium PC 16f Stamp Album Promotion of Philately
96 07 04 Czech. Rep. PC 3k Churches on Stamp
Bohmerwald Interphilica 1996 Somava
96 08 30 Czech. Rep. PC 3k Stamps of Marco Polo Meeting Khan
Riccione..Sale of Czech Stamps ... A. Burn
Because of the lack of a complete and therefore almost "official" list, it is near certain that there are items of postal stationery missing in ATA Handbook #122. 1 have in my collection five items from Romania that possibly belong to our topic but are absent from the handbook. Two of these items are described below:
1. The first is a Romanian postal card of 30 Bani issued in 1973 commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the first Romanian postal card. An illustration of the first card is shown in the upper left part of the card.
2. The second item is a Romanian envelope of 2 Lei. The indicium is a stamp on stamp. It is tete-beche pair Scott #18a (1862) and was issued in 1988 for the "Expositia Filatelica Nationala '88". The cachet is even more interesting: it shows three stamps, the two horizontal ones being adhesive stamps already issued (Scott 1254-5). The third is a vertical stamp of the type stamp on stamp showing Scott 41, 6 and 2. This printed stamp I suspect to be only an indicium, because it is not recorded in the Scott catalogue.
Another item of postal stationery not in the ATA Handbook #122, but illustrated in Topical Handbook #131, page 31, is a Russian air envelope (or aerogramme) of 6k commemorating in 1976 a 10th anniversary. The indicium is a stamp on stamp, probably type U. The cachet shows four Russian stamps that I could not identify.
An Invitation to Complete the List
It is hoped that very few items of postal
stationery qualifying for inclusion in our stamp on stamp topic remain
unrecorded. However, if you think that you possess such items or have seen
them in publications or other sources, you are cordially invited to point
them out to me by sending photocopies or indication of sources. This will
greatly help in their preparation of the definitive list.
Rodney L. No date. "What Do You Know About Postal Stationery?" The United
States Postal Stationery Society, Inc., Redlands, California.
Updated Postal Stationery Master List (Excel spreadsheet)
SOSCC POSTAL STATIONERY LIST
DEFINITIONS AND SYMBOLS USED
STAMP ON STAMP POSTAL STATIONERY: envelopes, air letter sheets, postal cards, etc, that in addition to have government imprinted or embossed stamps, show on the design or cachet a recognizable or pseudo stamp
DATES given (Year / Month / Day) are the first day or year of issue
AL Air Letter Card/Sheet
APC Air Postal Card
APPC Air Picture Postal Card
E/CD Envelope with Card
LC Letter Card/Sheet
OA Official Aerogramme
OE Official Envelope
OL Official Letter
PC Postal Card
PPC Picture Postal Card
RE Registered Envelope
RL Registered Letter
The face value of the item ,or
ppd Prepaid (item that does not show a denomination)
SD Imprinted Stamp Design (Indicium): usually on upper right corner of item
C Cachet (left corner of item). Reverse (verso) of item in some cases
Numbers and types are from Scott Catalogue if not otherwise mentionned
H & G Higgins & Gage World Postal Stationery Catalogue Numbers
Mi Michel catalogue
(d) Modified design of recognizable stamp such as no denomination, changed denomination or other changes that still make identification possible