Home Catalogue index Volume 1 index Volume 2 index
Preview of Stamps Catalogue: VOLUME 1

FRANCE (overview)

Return To Catalogue - Ceres issues - Ceres, forgeries, part 1 - Ceres, forgeries, part 2 - Ceres, forgeries, part 3 - Napoleon III issues - Forgeries of the Napoleon III stamps - Essays of the first stamps - 1862 reprints of the first stamps - 1876 sage issue - 1900-1902 - 1903-1916 issues - 1917 onwards issues - Airmail stamps - Fiscal stamps - General issues for the french colonies - Cancels - Miscellaneous - Newspaper and Telegraph stamps - Postage Due Stamps, 1859 issue - Postage Due Stamps, 1881 onwards - Railway Parcel Stamps - Stamps issued during World War II - Liberation issues (1944-45) - France Fournier forgeries - Germany; 1945 French Occupation Zone

Note: on my website many of the pictures can not be seen! They are of course present in the catalogue;
contact me if you want to purchase it.

100 centimes = 1 Franc

All previous issued stamps of France were valid till 1914. This means that older issues can be found used very late, and even reprints are known to be used postally.

Ceres type, inscription 'Repub Franc' (1849-1875)

Go to the 'Ceres' issues Go to the 'Ceres' issues

These stamps were the first stamps issued in France (1849). They were replaced by stamps with the picture of Napoleon III in 1852. However, in 1870 a similar type was re-issued in Bordeaux (due to the French-German war) and later in the whole of France (1871). Finally, it was replaced by stamps of the so-called 'Sage' type.

For cancels on the first issues of France click here.

For forgeries of the Ceres type click here, here for part 2, here for part 3 (Fournier fogeries), or
here for Sperati forgeries 10 to 40 c 1849 issue, Sperati forgeries 1 F value of the 1849 issue or Ceres type, Sperati forgeries, part 3 (Bordeaux issue).

Napoleon III type (1852-1870)

Napoleon III stamp

These stamps were first issued with inscription "REPUB FRANC", later this was replaced by "EMPIRE FRANCAIS".

Forgeries of the Napoleon III stamps
Napoleon III issues, Sperati forgeries

France 1876 'Sage' issue

Example of the period 1876:

Typical example of stamp from 1873-1902
(Example of a so-called 'Sage' stamp)

France 1900-1902

Typical example of stamp from 1873-1902
(Examples, a so-called 'Mouchon', 'Blanc' and 'Merson' stamp)

1903-1916 issues

Typical exaple of a 1903-1920 issue
(Example, a so-called 'Semeuse' or 'Sower' stamp)

France 1917-1926 issue

France 1927 onwards

Later stamps often have the inscription "REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE", "FRANCE" or simply "RF".


Later issues, examples

'Pour les chomeurs intellectuels'


Some stamps that sometimes puzzle collectors have been issued for the occupied French territories in Germany after 1945, they have the inscription "ZONE FRANCAISE BRIEFPOST", examples:

Click on Germany 1945 French Occupation Zone for more information.

Stamps in the following design with inscription "POSTES" were issued in Alsace.


The most famous French catalogue is 'Yvert et Tellier', but others exist such as 'Ceres' or 'Thiaude'.

'Les faux de France (Tome I)' by Dusserre-Telmon (in French): this book seems to deal with French forgeries (I haven't been able to see this book myself).

'Les timbres faux pour tromper la poste de France' (translation: The postal forgeries of France), in French, by Dr. J. Grasset, editor P. de Meyere.

'Faux de Spérati en photolithographie des classiques de France' by Dr. J.M.Mazabrey; 40 pages (1979).


http://www.chez.com/memorial/ani.html, a must for the serious France collector (the website is in French). Contains tons of information on pre-philatelic cancels, stamps etc. etc; highly recommended!


I've included information about forgeries of French stamps, information can be found in the following files:

Ceres type (1849-1875), forgeries, part 1
Ceres type (1849-1875), forgeries, part 2
Ceres type Sperati forgeries 10 to 40 c 1849 issue
Ceres type Sperati forgeries 1 F value of the 1849 issue.
Ceres type Sperati forgeries, part 3 (Bordeaux issue)
Forgeries of the Napoleon III issues
Napoleon III issues, Sperati forgeries
France Fournier forgeries

Small French dictionary

Cérès: First stamps of France (also a famous French stamp catalogue)
Cote: Value
Faux: Forgery
Grille: Special cancel found on first stamps of France
Empire: Stamps with Napoleon III

(Example of a 'Millesime')

Millesime: gutter pair or two stamps joined together with a small white space in between, sometimes with a number on this small strip of paper
Neuf: Uncancelled
Non-émis: unissued
Oblitéré: Cancelled
Semeuse: Sower (many stamps of 1903 and onwards have this design)
Siège de Paris (some stamps issued in 1871 in the Ceres design)
Taxe: Postage due
Timbre: Stamp
Yvert et Tellier: a famous french stamp catalogue

Dealer Labels

Dealer label of Arthur Maury in Paris, 'Collections of stamps guaranteed genuine' the text reads in French.

Maury dealer labels, inscription "SERBMIT SIRAPAYRUAM"; when read backwards it says "TIMBRES MAURY A PARIS" (= stamps Maury in Paris).

Arthur Maury also perforated some stamps which he used in correspondence with his customers with "AM".

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer