The 100th Anniversary of the first Stamp on stamp, By Lou Guadagno




One hundred years ago, on April 20, 1921, Japan issued the first stamps with reproductions of previously issued stamps, the birth of our stamps on stamps topical collection.

For those members who haven't read it yet, I invite you to read my article, "The First Stamp on Stamp Issue" (SOS Signal for January 2005).

The Japanese certainly were aware of the tiny #s 1-4 in the corners of #s 163, 165, and produced many post and souvenir cards showing those stamps and adding the then-new issues.

japan 163  postal card

Japan #163 Postcard

Thru my many years of SoS collecting. i have added these as I found them, first from stamp shows and then from the internet. This week, just in time for the anniversary, I found some new ones-- by accident, as they weren't listed as SoS. For one, I actually duplicated the purchase of two cards in order to get a post-marked souvenir folder which was prepared to hold the cards. The other, which I had never seen before, is what I consider a great maximum card with the enlargement of Japan # 1.


japan post card souvenir folder  1921

Japan Postcard souvenir folder 1921

japan 163 maximum card

Japan #163 maximum card

My last attachment is a cover I acquired sometime after my article was written, and i prize it over the cards. It is what is called a "native" cover, an example of domestic usage, addressed in Japanese in the normal vertical format. I'm sure it is a philatelic cover with its excess postage, but such covers are rare and high priced in Japan.


japan 163-165 fdc0001

Japan #163-165

Happy Stamp on Stamp Collecting as we start the next centenary!