Home CD index CD volume 1 index CD volume 2 index
Preview of Stamps Catalogue CD : VOLUME 1

FRENCH COLONIES, GENERAL ISSUES 1859-1877

Colonies Françaises, Emissions générales

Return To Catalogue - French colonies, general 1881 issue - French colonies, overview - French colonies, postage due stamps - French colonies forgeries - France overview

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


Stamps used in the french colonies, general issues for all colonies.

1859 Eagle, imperforate

  1 c olive
  5 c green
  10 c brown
  20 c blue
  40 c orange
  80 c 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 c *** ***  
5 c *** ***  
10 c *** *  
20 c R ***  
40 c *** ***  
80 c R R  

The surcharges '5 c. R' on 40 c orange and '25 c. R' on 40 c orange were used in Reunion. The 10 c exists printed together with another 10 c which is turned 90 degrees, the so-called couche variety (often incorrectly called tete-beche):


Two 10 c stamps with a 'couche' variety with a 'PD' cancel

Some typical cancels:

Forgeries?


An 'Anchor' cancel on a 10 c value

Forgeries and reprints:


(A dot in the leaf)

In the genuine stamps, there must be a dot in the leaf at the upper right hand side as shown in the above image. For information concerning forgeries of these stamps, click here.

Reprints also exist, they have brighter colours than the original stamps. I have no further information.

 

1871 Napoleon III, imperforated

1 c green 30 c brown 80 c red

  1 c green
  5 c green
  30 c brown
  80 c red

For stamps in the same type, but perforated, see France Napoleon III issues.

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 c R R  
5 c RRR RR This stamp is difficult to distinguish from the normal imperforate France stamps.
Check the cancel and the slightly different color.
30 c RR R  
80 c RRR RR  

A surcharge '5 c. R' on 30 c brown was used in Reunion.

 

1872 Ceres type, imperforated

Image obtained from a Harmers auction Guaranteed genuine 20 c blue 'Ceres' imperforated 25 c blue 30 c brown 'Ceres', imperforated colony issue 40 c orange 80 c red 'CCH' (Cochin China) cancel

  1 c green
  2 c brown
  4 c grey
  5 c green
  10 c brown
  10 c brown on red
  15 c brown (2 types)
  20 c blue
  25 c blue
  30 c brown
  40 c orange
  80 c red

The 4 c only seems to have been used in Cochin-China.

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 c R ***  
2 c RRR RRR  
4 c RRR RRR This stamp was only used in Indochina
according to my 1931 Yvert & Tellier catalogue.
5 c *** **  
10 c brown RR R exists tete-beche
10 c brown on red RR ***  
15 c RRR RR Large value inscription
15 c RR *** Small value inscription
20 c RRR RR Exists tete-beche
25 c R ***  
30 c R R  
40 c RR R Exists with '4' large
80 c RRR RR  

These stamps, but perforated were issued for France. Don't confuse these stamps with the imperforate Bordeaux issue of France. The Bordeaux issue has different facial expression and the top of the head does not reach as far towards the ring with pearls as in above French Colonies stamps. Possibly the easiest way to distinguish them are the 'R' of 'REPUB.' and the 'C' of 'FRANC'; they are quite close to the left and right borders for the French Colonies issue, while they are far away from the borders in the Bordeaux issue.

Image obtained from a Harmers auction
Left: French colonies 2 c stamp, right: a 2 c Bordeaux issue


Reunion stamp

A surcharge '5 c. R' on 40 c orange was used in Reunion.

Small '15' Large '15'
(Small and large value '15')

For the specialist: the 15 c brown exist in two types, with small numbers '15' and with large number '15'.

'B62' cancel

The above stamp has a special cancel from one of the British colonies 'B62': Hongkong.

 

1877 Peace and commerce type of France, now imperforate (often referred to as 'Sage type' after the name of the designer)

'Peace and commerce' colony issue, 1 c green imperforated 2 c brown on yellow 'Peace and commerce' imperforated colony issue 4 c green

  1 c green
  1 c black on blue
  2 c green
  2 c brown on yellow
  4 c green
  4 c brown on grey
  5 c green
  10 c green
  10 c black
  15 c grey
  15 c blue
  20 c brown
  20 c red on green
  25 c blue
  25 c black on red
  25 c yellow
  30 c brown
  35 c brown on yellow
  40 c red on yellow
  75 c red
  1 F olive

These stamps exist in similar types as those of France.

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 c green R R Type 1
1 c black on blue R *** Type 2
2 c green R *** Type 2
2 c brown on yellow R R Type 2
4 c green R R Type 1
4 c brown on grey R R Type 2
5 c R *** Type 2
10 c green RR *** Type 2
10 c black RR R Type 2
15 c grey RR RR Type 2
15 c blue RR R Type 2
20 c brown RR *** Type 2
20 c red on green RR R Type 2
25 c blue R *** Type 2, a rare shade of blue exist of this stamp
25 c black on red RRR RRR Type 2
25 c yellow RR RR Type 2
30 c R R Type 1
35 c R R Type 2
40 c *** *** Type 1
75 c RR RR Type 1
1 F R R Type 1

Reprints

Reprints were made in type 2, also of some non issued values: 3 c yellow, 15 c yellow, 20 c blue, 25 c red and 5 F lilac.

Surcharged stamps , used in several french colonies (without indication of the colony name):

Nossi Be

'25' on 40 c

Tahiti

Image reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com

'25 c' on 35 c, '25 c' on 40 c

Reunion

'5 c. R' on 30 c brown '5 c. R' on 40 c red '10 c. R' on 40 c red '20 c. R' on 30 c brown


"30" on 40 c stamp, fiscally used stamp from French India in 1882. A "30" on 35 c also exists.

These stamps, but perforated were used in France. Don't confuse these stamps with square cuts from envelopes of France, which are often offered as French colony stamps, examples:


Square cuts from France exist of the following values: 1 c black, 2 c brown, 3 c red (sometimes offered as a rare 'proof'!), 5 c green, 10 c black, 15 c blue and 25 c black. Note the French cancels (Gers, Aisne, Var, Finistere....).

Stamp of the French colonies used in Mayotte:

Cancelled 'MAYOTTE'
Probably cancelled to order (oblitération de complaisance).

Forgeries

I haven't seen many forgeries of these stamps, but be careful with perforated stamps with their perforation being cut off or cuts from postal stationary of France which are very often offered as French Colonies stamps (check the cancel). Nevertheless there appears to be a set of forgeries. The "S" of "POSTE" is very strange and the "L" of "REPUBLIQUE" is aligned with the left line of the central rectangle. In the genuine stamps, this line is aligned with "LI" of this word. There are many other small differences.

I've seen pairs of these forgeries in the values 15 c, 20 c, 25 c, 30 c, 35 c, 40 c and 75 c with various cancels "HELLE VILLE 1E/17 SEPT 8?", "LIBREVILLE CONGO ?? 1E/15 DEC", "DIEGO SUAREZ 2E/16 JANV 92" and "? PIERRE MIQUELON 1E/6 ?", "NOUVELLE CALEDONIE 2E/26 FEVR".


I think this forgery of the next issue was made by the same forger? It has the same defective "E" in "FRANCAISE".


Not sure what is this, a mystery item in a similar design, but with "REPUB FRANC" at the bottom, 25 c red, with a cancel consisting of tiny dots.


Left: forgery? Right: genuine stamp. Note that the "15" is smaller in the forgery.

 

For French colonies, general 1881 issue, click here.


Obliterations

Before 1876 the stamps of the french colonies were cancelled with 3 or 4 letters (different for each colony) in a diamon like shape with dots. The following letters exist:

  ASI = Asinia (French Guinea), 1863-1878 (blue)
  CCH = Cochin-China
  GAB = Gabon, 1862-1876 (blue or red)
  GOR = Gores (French Guinea), 1863-1879 (blue)
  GPE = Guadeloupe (Pointe-a-Pitre and Basse-Terre) 1871-1910 (blue)
  GNE = French Guinea (might not exist?)
  INDE = French India (Pondichery 1863-1877 and Karikal 1870'2-1890's)
  MQE = Martinique, 1864-1879 (blue)
  MYE = Mayotte (might not exist?)
  NCE = New Caledonia (does not exist?)
  NSB = Nossi Be, 1864(?)-1876 (blue)
  OCN = Oceanic Settlements (Papeete), 1864-1876
  R or REN = Reunion (might not exist?)
  SEN = Senegambia and Niger (might not exist?)
  SNG = Senegal
  SPM = St. Pierre and Miquelon
  T1  = Tonkin, 1870's (blue)

Examples:

CCH cancel, Cochin-China
("CCH" Cochin China cancel, together with an anchor cancel)


("GAB": Gabon)

'INDE', French India
("GPE" Guadelupe and "INDE" French India)


("GOR" Gorée cancel)

'MQE' Martinique 'SNG' Senegal
("MQE" Martinique and "SNG" Senegal)


"NSB" Nossi Be cancel

Image obtained from a Roumet auction
"OCN" cancel

From 1876 on, ordinary cancels were used in the french colonies.


Special cancel: anchor (overseas mail, 'Poste Maritime'), this cancel can also be found on stamps of France (second image).

Other mute cancels were used in (source "The Lozenge Obliterations of French Colonies by R.G.Stone" 1977):


French colonies stamps with a 8x8 dotted diamond cancel.


Noumea (New Caledonia) 8x8 (smaller) dots cancel.


India, 9x9 dots cancel

From a Roumet auction which states this is a Guadeloupe cancel
7x7 dots cancel, not sure if this is from Guadeloupe or Reunion?

  Senegal (St.Louis); a 8 by 8 dotted diamond shape in blue color from 1860 to 1864.
  Guiana (Cayenne): a 8 by 8 dotted square from 1860 to 1876 (with one or more corner points often missing).
  Noumea; a 8 by 8 dotted diamond shape (but much smaller than the Senegal one, only 15 mm), used from 1870 to 1876.
  Guadeloupe; a 8 by 8 dotted diamond shape (but more squeezed than the Senegal one), 
     used from 1869 to 1879 in Pointe-a-Pitre (black?) 
     and from 1862 to 1877 in Basse Terre (blue color).
  India (Yanaon) as the Guadeloupe cancel used in the 1860's but with a 9 by 9 dots.
  Mayotte: Similar to the dotted cancels with letters, but with an empty space in the center (used from 1864? to 1880); 
     applied in blue color.  
  Reunion: 7 by 7 dotted diamond shaped (usually in blue) 

Postage due stamps

For postage due stamps of the French Colonies, click here.


Stamps - Timbres-Poste - Briefmarken - Postzegels

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer