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FIJI 1871-1890

Return To Catalogue - 1891-1920 issues and miscellaneous - Fiji Times Express

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The first stamps that were issued in Fiji are the Fiji Times Express stamps.

The stamps of Fiji from 1871 to 1880 are merely cancelled with penstrokes.

 

1871 Crown with "C.R." (Cokabau Rex)

1 p blue

  1 p blue
  3 p green
  6 p red

These stamps have perforation 12 1/2 and a sheet-watermark 'FIJI POSTAGE'. Imperforate stamps were specially sold to stamp dealers (never used for postage).

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks
1 p *** ***  
3 p *** ***  
6 p *** ***  
Surcharged in Cents

  'Two Cents.' on 1 p blue
  'Six Cents.' on 3 p green
  'Twelve Cents.' on 6 p red

Imperforate stamps are proofs (***).

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks
1 p *** ***  
3 p *** ***  
6 p *** ***  
Surcharged "V.R." in normal letters

Type 2 overprint Type 2 overprint Type 1 overprint Type 2 overprint Type 1 overprint

  'V.R.' on 'Two Cents.' on 1 p blue
  'V.R.' on 'Six Cents.' on 3 p green
  'V.R.' on 'Twelve Cents.' on 6 p red
  'V.R. 2d.' on 'Six Cents.' on 3 p green
  '2d.' (red) on 'V.R.' on 'Six Cents.' on 3 p green
  'V.R. 2d.' on 'Twelve Cents.' on 6 p red

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks
Two types of 'VR' overprint for each value,
type 1: 'VR' normal, type 2: 'V' with horizontal bar in middle (gothic)
2 c on 1 p RR R Both types
6 c on 3 p RRR RR Both types
12 c on 6 p RR R Both types
2 p on 2 c on 1 p RR RR Both types
2 p (red) on 6 c on 1 p RR R Both types
2 p on 12 c on 6 p RRR RR Both types
Other fancy 'VR' overprint

'VR' on 1 c blue 'VR' on 6 p red

'VR' on 6 p red

  1 p blue
  'Two Pence' on 3 p green
  'Four Pence' on 3 p lilac
  6 p lilac

These stamps have no watermark. Imperforated stamps exist.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks
1 p *** ***  
2 p on 3 p *** *** Exists without 'Two Pence' surcharge: ***
4 p on 3 p *** **  
6 p *** ***  

Stamps with overprint 'D' (large or small as shown above) are fiscal stamps.

Forgeries:

A nice website on forgeries of these stamps can be found at: https://www.pisc.org.uk/fijiforgeries.html It seems that Spiro, Mercier and an unknown forger have made forgeries of the basic stamps.

1) Spiro forgeries:

Forgeries! \

Spiro made some forgeries of these stamps. Spiro forgeries are the most common of all forgeries of these stamps. The 3 p and 6 p value have pearls in the circle as in the design of the 1 p. But the genuine stamps don't have pearls in the design (except for the 1 p), but white and green dots in the 3 p and a zig-zag line in the 6 p. In the genuine stamps the dark space below the base of the crown is almost flat, in the above forgeries it is very curved. The forgery of the 1 p can also be distinguished by the normal "Y" in "PENNY", in the genuine stamps the "Y" is very wide. Often, guidenlines can be seen near the perforations in the Spiro forgeries.

The wide 'Y' in the 1 p blue, genuine Zig-zag line in the 6 p
(Genuine)


(Forged 3 p 'pearls', should be 'dots')

Forgery! with pearls!

The above stamps are also Spiro forgeries, the cancel with three circles and lines in the center was never used in Fiji. The next stamps also have the same cancel . There are pearls in the 3 p and 6 p values (see the remark about Spiro forgeries above):

Forgery! Forgery! Forgery!

Spiro forgeries even exist imperforate:


(Imperforate Spiro forgeries)


Spiro(?) forgeries with a "53" cancel, a circle with parallel bars and a "909" cancel. These cancels exist on forgeries of many other countries as well.

2) Mercier(?) forgeries

Forgery, '2d' should be red! Forgery!

I've been told these are Mercier forgeries, but I think they are probably made by the forger Oneglia. Oneglia offered these forgeries for the first time in his 1906 catalogue. All three unsurcharged stamps were forged.
In his 1 p forgery, there are too many pearls (65 instead of 55), and the base of the crown is rounded instead of being flat. The 1 p forgery also exists imperforate (without cancel).
In his 3 p forgery, the correct pattern for the circle is used, but the base of the crown is rounded instead of being flat (I've also seen the 3 p forgery without any overprint).
In his 6 p forgery there are pearls in the circle instead of the zig-zag pattern of the genuine stamps (similar to the Spiro forgeries, the Spiro forgeries have 55 pearls, Mercier's forgeries have 56 pearls). I've also seen the 6 p forgery with a 'VR' overprint only.
Although I'm not entirely sure, it looks like these forgeries have the typical bars with "G" cancel as can be found on many other Oneglia forgeries.

3) Other forgeries

In the next forgery of the 6 p, the words "FIJI" and "POSTAGE SIX PENCE" are in red on a white background (like the genuine 1 p and 3 p). However, the genuine stamps have these words in white on a red background!

The next 1 p and 3 p forgeries have a rounded bottom of the crown and are printed quite blurly. The 6 p forgery has the ornaments in the circle too pronounced.


Images obtained from https://www.pisc.org.uk/fijiforgeries.html

4) Forged overprints

genuine stamp with forged overprint?
A genuine (?) stamp with forged overprint.


A forged 'VR' overprint made by Fournier, the image was taken from a 'Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries'.

 

1879 Crown with "V R" (Victoria Regina)

  1/2 p grey
  1 p blue
  2 p green
  2 1/2 p brown
  4 p lilac
  6 p red

These stamps sometimes show parts of a sheet-watermark.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks
1/2 p * * Issued 1892, several perforations
1 p * * Various perforations, imperforate stamps also exist
2 p ** ** Various perforations
2 1/2 p * * Issued 1892, several perforations,
cancelled to order: c
4 p * * Issued 1892, several perforations,
exists cancelled to order: *
6 p *** ** Various perforations, cancelled to order: *
Surcharged

'1/2 d.' on 1 p blue '2 1/2 d.' on 2 p green '5d' on 4 p lilac 'FIVE PENCE' on 6 p red

  '1/2 d.' on 1 p blue
  'Two Pence' on 3 p green
  '2 1/2 d.' on 2 p green
  'Four Pence' on 1 p lilac
  '5 d' on 4 p lilac
  'FIVE PENCE' on 6 p red

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks
1/2 p on 1 p *** *** Perforated 10
2 p on 3 p ** ** Perforated 12 1/2
2 1/2 p on 2 p ** ** Perforated 10, two types, distance
between '2' and '1/2' 1 mm or 2 mm (***)
4 p on 1 p *** ** Perforated 10
5 p on 4 p *** *** Perforated 10, issued 1892
5 p on 6 p *** *** Perforated 10, issued 1892, two types
'FIVE' and 'PENCE' 3 mm or 2 mm apart

Typical cancel 'sunburst':


I've also seen this cancel on KEVII and KGV stamps.


This is supposed to be a rare double printed 2 1/2 p stamp. However, it has the same "SUVA 15 DEC 00" which was applied specially for stamp collectors on stamps of the next issue.....


Mystery item: 1 p yellow, imperforate with large margins and small cancel consisting of parallel lines.

 

1881 Queen Victoria

1 Sh brown

  1 Sh brown
  5 Sh black and red

These stamps sometimes show part of a sheet-watermark. Several perforations were used.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks
1 Sh ** ** Cancelled to order: **
5 Sh *** *** Cancelled to order: **

Forgeries, examples:


(Senf Forgery)


Bottom part of a forgery with the word "FALSCH" written in red at the bottom, right through the imaginary perforation.

The above forgery is a primitive forgery of the 5 Sh stamp made by Senf, note the very strange form of the chin of the Queen. The perforation was actually printed originally by Senf, but has been carefully cut out by someone in the above forgery. This also eliminates most of the word "FALSCH" (=forgery in German), which was printed at the bottom of the stamp (through the perforation) in red colour. This forgery is also described in the book 'Album Weeds'.

Could this be a Fournier forgery?
Fournier forgeries

Fournier has made forgeries of the 1 Sh stamp. He offers it in its '1914 Price-list of philatelic forgeries' as a first choice stamp for 1 Swiss frank. The following partly perforated sheet comes from a Fournier album (after he died albums with his forgeries were made to warn collectors against his forgeries) and I think the above stamp might also come from such an album (of course Fournier offered his stamps perforated). I've seen the forgeries perforated 11 1/2 and 12 1/2. They often bear the cancellation "NAUSORIPOR 5 MAR 1902 FIJI". The Fournier forgeries are quite deceptive, but they have the white area in the neck slightly different.

Fournier forgeries!

2 1/2 p blue, forgery!
Here a Fournier forgery with a "REGISTERED 2 SP 92 PALMERSTON" cancel which also can be found on forgeries of Cook Islands.


A different forgery of the 1 Sh value, the lines forming the central circle are not very well done. The face of the Queen appears different.

The government of Fiji also made stamps for stamp collectors by applying a cancel to them. The cancels used were a circle with "SUVA 15 DEC 00" and "SUVA DE 9 19 01". The stamps below are such cancels, it has also been applied to other stamps: the 2 1/2 p VR issue, the 4 p VR issue, 6 p VR issue, the 1 Sh, the 5 Sh, a non-issued 5 Sh grey and orange-red (new plate, issued in 1922) and the 1 p lilac and 5 p of the canoe issue. Examples:

For 1891-1920 issues and miscellaneous stamps of Fiji click here.


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