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FRANCE 1927 onwards

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France 1917-1924


1927 Lafayette and Washington, inscription "LEGION AMERICAINE SEPTEMBRE 1927"

  90 c red
  1.50 F blue

These stamps exist with error 'missing or displaced value inscription'. This error could occur since the value was printed separately from the rest of the stamp. I've also seen the 1.50 F imperforate.

90 c with '90 c' placed on top instead of the bottom.

I've seen a forgery of the 90 c with missing value inscription.


1927 Berthelot

  90 c red

  '10 FR' on 90 c red (airmail stamp, RRR)

The airmail stamp '10 FR' (and a double bar on the old value) on 90 c was issued on the paquebot 'Ile-de-France'. The surcharge was applied in New York authorized by the French consul general on 3000 stamps. On some stamps the distance '10 FR' and the double bar is larger (6 1/2 mm instead of 4 1/2 mm).A hydroplane would leave the paquebot so the mail would arrive earlier in France. The same surcharged was also applied to a 1.50 Pasteur stamp. Many forged surcharges exist.

I've seen modern computer generated Hialeah forgeries of this stamp (imperforate), also of the 10 F on 90 c surcharged stamp (also imperforate).


1927 Caisse D'amortissement

'Caisse d'amortissement'

  1.50 F + 8.50 F blue 


1929 Joan of Arc, sitting on a horse, inscription "1429 ORLEANS 1929"

  50 c blue


1929 Various monuments

  90 c red ('Le Puy en Velay', 1933)
  2 F brown (Arc de Triomphe, 1931)
  3 F grey (Cathedral of Reims, 1930)
  5 F brown (Mont St.Michel)
  10 F blue ('Port de la Rochelle', La Rochelle harbour)
  10 F brown (La Rochelle harbour)
  20 F brown (Pont du Gard)


1930 100 years of Algeria belonging to France "CENTENAIRE ALGERIE"

  50 c blue and red


1930 'Le Sourire de Reims' (sculpture at the cathedral), Caisse d'amortissement

  1.50 F + 3.50 F lilac


1930 Colonial Exhibition

  15 c grey
  40 c brown
  50 c red
  1.50 F blue
  1.50 F blue (different design, larger size)


1931 Caisse d'amortissement

  1.50 F + 3.50 F green


1932 Peace issue

  30 c green
  40 c lilac
  45 c olive
  50 c red
  55 c violet (1937)
  60 c brown (1937)
  65 c brown
  65 c blue (1937)
  75 c green
  80 c orange (1938)
  90 c red
  90 c green (1938)
  90 c blue (1938)
  1 F orange
  1 F lilac (1937)
  1.25 F olive
  1.25 F red (1939)
  1.40 F lilac (1939)
  1.50 F blue
  1.75 F lilac

  '50 =' (red) on 55 c violet (1941)
  '50 =' (red) on 65 c blue (1941)
  '50 =' (red) on 75 c green (1941)
  '50 =' (red) on 80 c orange (1941)
  '50 =' (red) on 90 c blue (1941)
  '50 c =' on 1.25 F olive (1934)
  '80 c =' (red) on 1 F orange
  '1 F =' on 1.25 F red (1941)
  '1 F =' (red) on 1.40 F lilac (1941)
  '1 F =' (red) on 1.50 F blue (1941)

These stamps exist with overprint 'F.M.' or 'F' (military frank stamps).

Postal forgeries of the 50 c 'Peace' issue; the 'c' after '50' has a smaller loop. The general design is much more 'rough' than the genuine stamp

Overprint 'Besetztes Gebiet Nordfrankreich',issued during World War II. Certified genuine; see France World War II locals etc. for more details.



1933 Portrait of A.Briand, P.Doumer or Victor Hugo

  30 c green (A.Briand)
  75 c lilac (P.Doumer)
  1.25 F brown (Victor Hugo)


1934 Dove of peace

  1.50 F blue


1934 Portrait of Jacquard Lyon

  40 c blue


1934 Jacques Cartier with ship

  75 c lilac
  1.50 F blue


1935 Normandie (ship)

  1.50 F blue

Specialists distinguish two shades of blue for this stamp.


1936 Canadien monument at Vimy, inscription "1914 - VIMY - 1918"

  75 c red
  1.50 F blue


1936 Jean Jaures

  40 c red
  1.50 F blue (different design)



  1.50 F blue (aeroplane and ship)
  10 F green (aeroplane and map)


1937 International Exhibition in Paris, inscription "EXPOSITION INTERNATIONALE PARIS 1937"

Small size (man with horn)
  20 c lilac
  30 c green
  40 c blue
  50 c orange

Larger size (man opening curtain revealing a globe)
  90 c red
  1.50 F blue


1938 Ceres issue

  1.75 F blue
  2 F red (1939)
  2.25 F blue (1939)
  2.50 F green (1939)
  2.50 F blue (1940)
  3 F red (1939)

  '1 F' (red) on 1.75 F blue (1940)
  '1 F' (red) on 2.25 F blue (1941)
  '1 F' (red) on 2.50 F green (1941)


1939 Mercury issue

(1938 'Mercure' issue)

  1 c brown
  2 c green
  5 c red
  10 c blue
  15 c orange
  15 c light brown
  20 c lilac
  25 c green
  30 c red
  40 c violet
  45 c green
  50 c blue
  50 c green (1941)
  60 c orange
  70 c lilac
  75 c brown

  '50 =' (red) on 75 c brown (1941)

Inscription "POSTES FRANCAISES" (1942)
  10 c blue 
  30 c orange
  40 c violet
  50 c blue

Overprinted "RF" (inscription "POSTES FRANCAISES", 1944)
  10 c blue 
  30 c orange
  40 c violet
  50 c blue

Overprinted "Festung Lorient" issued for the town of Lorient in Bretagne when it was cut off from the rest of France; see France World War II locals etc. for more details.

War forgery
Left genuine stamp, right British war forgery. There are two horizontal lines on the forehead in this forgery. There is a white blotch on the cheek at the right hand side (from our perspective). Also the top horizontal bar of the '5' ends too low when compared to a genuine stamp.

War forgery of the 30 c (right) and a genuine stamp (left). As in the above forged 25 c, there are two horizontal lines on the forehead in this forgery. There is a white blotch on the cheek at the right hand side (from our perspective). I've seen a sheetlet of 16 stamps, with four blocks of 4 stamps with an empty space between them. The forgeries are perforated 15 x 14.


1940 Iris

Another war forgery (left) and genuine 'Iris' 1.50 F orange (right); in the forgery, the torch has wavy lines below the flame (slightly above halfway the flame and the top of the hand), while a straight line can be found in the genuine stamps. The British war forgery was printed in sheets of 20 (5 x 4)

Zoom-in of the torch of the forged stamp

  80 c brown
  80 c green
  1 F green
  1 F red
  1 F blue
  1.20 F violet
  1.30 F blue
  1.50 F orange
  1.50 F light brown
  2 F brown
  2.40 F red
  3 F orange
  4 F blue

The Iris stamps appeared from 1939 to 1944.


1941 Petain issue

Petain in circle 'POSTES' written on top
  20 c lilac
  30 c brown
  40 c blue

Petain with hat
  50 c green
  60 c violet
  70 c blue
  70 c orange
  80 c brown
  80 c green
  1 F red
  1.20 F brown
  4 F blue (two types, '4' different)
  4.50 F green (two types, '50' small or large)

Petain in circle
  1.50 F red
  1.50 F brown
  2 F green
  2.40 F red
  2.50 F blue
  3 F orange

Frontal view of Petain
  5 F green
  50 F black (larger size)

Overprinted and surcharged
  '+ 50 S N' (red) on 1.50 F blue

I've seen a pneumatical mail card ("CARTE PNEUMATIQUE") with a 3 F orange design.

Resistance forgery:

Petain 1941 1F50 issue; left genuine, right resistance forgery

Of the 1941 Petain issue postal forgeries of the 1F50 made by the resistance exist (the so-called 'Maquis' forgery or French underground forgery), the lines on the face are not as well done and the '5' has no white lines in it (the genuine has). Apparently 43200 sheets of these forgeries were made according to 'Postal Forgeries of the World' by H.G.L. Fletcher. Each sheet contains 96 stamps. The forgeries are perforated 11 1/2 (the genuine stamps 14 x 13 1/2). I've also seen an imperforate block of 4 stamps with a violet seal covering all four stamp on the back, the inscription reads: 'Atelier des faux DEFENCE DE LA FRANCE....'. It was apparently used to send forbidden journals from February to June 1944.

British intelligence forgeries

British intelligence forgeries of the values 30 c, 50 c, 70 c, 80 c, 1 F, 1F20, 1.50 F and 2 F also exist.

Genuine 30 c left, British war forgery at the right hand side.

In the intelligence forgery of the 30 c, the letters "ta" of "Vital" (bottom right corner) are separated, while they are printed together in the genuine stamps.

War forgery of the 50 c stamp, there should be an extra eyelid in the right eye of Petain (difficult to distinguish) and there is a dot behind the word "HOURRIEZ" in the right bottom corner.

Genuine stamp left, war forgery of the 70 c right. The chin on the war forgery is very white. Also the shading of the moustache seems to be different (difficult to distinguish in this scan).

Genuine 1 F stamp at the left, war forgery at the right hand side.

In the 1 F intelligence forgery, the word 'LeMagny' has the 'M' and 'Y' slightly shorter. Also the words "POSTES FRANCAISES" are much brighter when compared to a genuine stamp.

Genuine 1.20 F left, war forgery at the right hand side.

The 1.20 F intelligence forgery was printed badly and has the shading in the moustache below the nostril different. There is a minicule dot behind the word 'Hourriez' in the forgeries, which is missing in the genuine stamps.

British intelligence forgery of the 1.50 F

Besides the above mentioned resistance forgery of the 1.50 F, there also exists a much rarer British intelligence forgery (with a very 'staring eye') or war forgery of the 1.50 F. They were printed in sheets of 20 (5x4) and perforated 14 x 13 1/2. The 'F' is almost solid in colour and the bottom of this letter is horizontal (in the genuine stamps it is slanting down at the right).

Left genuine 2 F Petain issue, right British war forgery. The war forgery has a 'staring eye', the '2 F' has no white lines in it. For some of these forgeries, there is no dot behind 'PIEL'.

Another propaganda forgery, Petain with in the shadow the face of Pierre Laval.

Another war forgery 1.50 F with the face of De Gaulle instead of Petain in the center, made in 1942 by the French underground.


1944 Arc de Triomphe issue

  5 c lilac
  10 c grey
  25 c brown
  50 c olive
  1 F light blue
  1.50 F red
  2.50 F violet
  4 F blue
  5 F black
  10 F orange

With black value 
  30 c orange and black
  40 c grey and black
  50 c olive and black
  60 c violet and black
  80 c green and black
  1.20 F brown and black
  1.50 F red and black
  2 F yellow and black
  2.40 F red and black
  3 F lilac and blue

These stamps were brought to France by the allied troups, when they landed in Normandy.


1944 Marianne facing the left ('Marianne de Dulac')

  10 c blue
  30 c light brown
  40 c dark blue
  50 c red
  60 c blue
  70 c brown
  80 c green
  1 F lilac
  1.20 F olive
  1.50 F red
  2 F brown
  2.40 F red
  3 F green
  4 F blue
  4.50 F black
  5 F orange
  10 F green
  15 F dark red
  20 F red
  50 F violet

Some non-issued stamps exist in a slightly different design (25 c green, 1 F red and 2.50 F blue): They have 'R' in the upper left corner and 'F' in the upper right corner. They are relatively rare, only 10,000 sets were prepared.


1944 Gallic cock and 'Marianne'

Gallic cock

  10 c green
  30 c lilac
  40 c blue
  50 c red
  2 F blue
  10 F violet
  15 F brown
  20 F black

Marianne facing the right ('Marianne d'Alger)

  60 c brown
  70 c lilac
  80 c green
  1 F violet
  1.20 F red
  1.50 F blue
  2.40 F red
  3 F green
  4 F blue
  4.50 F black
  5 F blue

These stamps were first put on sale in Corsica (after the landing of the allied troups). In Paris, they were put on sale on 15th November 1944.



In this design exists: 60 c blue, 80 c green 90 c green (with Afrr. Postes), 1 F red, 1F20 brown, 1F30 blue, 1F50 lilac, 2F green and 2F50 brown. Also 1F on 1F30 blue. I've seen postal stationary: 1F50 lilac.


1945 Marianne of Gandon

(1945 'Marianne of Gandon')

  1.50 F red
  2 F dark green
  2.40 F orange
  3 F brown
  3 F lilac
  3.50 F lilac
  4 F blue
  4 F violet
  4 F green
  4 F orange
  4.50 F blue
  5 F green
  5 F red
  5 F blue
  5 F violet
  6 F blue
  6 F red
  6 F green
  8 F light blue
  10 F orange
  10 F blue
  10 F lilac
  12 F blue
  12 F orange
  15 F lilac
  15 F blue
  18 F red

Slightly different type
  4 F blue
  10 F blue
  15 F lilac
  20 F green
  25 F orange

Larger size
  20 F green
  25 F violet
  50 F brown
  100 F red

Forgery of the 20 F stamp, made in Italy ('Faux d'Italie')

A postal forgery of the 15 F lilac stamp is described in 'Postal Forgeries of the World' by H.G.L.Fletcher.


Stamps of France with overprint "CFA" and surcharged were issued for Reunion, examples:

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer