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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 07:40:09 am 
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Hi.

Over the last quite a few months I've been putting together a display of the Sudan "Camel Postman" series of stamps. I entered the first 9 pages (a 9 page competition) in our local club annual competition evening, and it came top in that category.

The story behind how this classic stamp design was first developed is quite entertaining - read on! The classic "Camel Postman" design continued in use for over 50 years, with a similar image continuing in use to this day.

Comments and further contributions welcomed. Enjoy :)

(PS. A total of 11 pages)

Dave.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 07:41:36 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 07:43:00 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 07:44:16 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 07:45:21 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 07:46:34 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 08:22:44 am 
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Quite nice, a favorite issue for me. :D

If you have more, please continue showing them.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 08:44:33 am 
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One of my favourites too. Congratulations Dave on your exhibit and thank you for sharing.

Are you thinking of exhibiting it again elsewhere?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 08:48:33 am 
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A lovely display, thanks for sharing.
I've always liked the Camel Postman issues...
If anyone has the 1954 postcard shown above available perhaps they can contact me off-thread.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:53:42 am 
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Really nice! Thank you for sharing.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 13:14:15 pm 
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Really nice!
I have seen also these stamps overprinted "School" intended for training of postal workers.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 17:51:09 pm 
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Very nice. Something that can be built on to become more specialized.

I've picked up a few loose stamps and some covers, thinking to start a collection of these.

Harder to buy this material on eBay nowadays though. :evil:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 20:57:22 pm 
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Very nice, one of my favourite stamps...now just save up those $$$ to buy the OSGS, and those Army Service ones :D

I also think the Sudan Postage Dues are amongst the most attractive ones around, not just boring numbers on a piece of paper..and of course if you want to expand from the Camels the 1941 Tuti Islands are just superb.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 21:52:45 pm 
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There are also Camel Postman stamps overprinted PASSPORT listed in Barefoot. A total of nine stamps, plus seven varieties.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 22:45:19 pm 
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Thanks all for your comments - I enjoyed putting it together.

I have more various bits & pieces that I've collected, firstly -

TheRoyalCounty wrote:
A lovely display, thanks for sharing.
I've always liked the Camel Postman issues...
If anyone has the 1954 postcard shown above available perhaps they can contact me off-thread.

I asked about the commemorative postcard in this thread - http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=43735&p=3233134 - but still none the wiser over what it is commemorating.

Image


Every now and again one of these pops up on ebay or delcampe, but generally for about ÂŁ30-40. I had a quick search but can't find any current ones. Fortunately I picked up my one from a chap in Canada for a 'best offer' - about ÂŁ7 inc postage rings a bell. I bought it as I thought it would make a nice introduction on the first page of the display - which I think it does.

Where the others get a price of ÂŁ30-40 from (because they don't seem to sell) I don't know as I can't seem to find out what it was for :!: I asked one seller if he knew what it was for - he didn't - I think he googled and found this stampboards discussion :)

If anybody knows - please tell :)

Dave.


Last edited by DaveR on Fri Jun 07, 2013 23:00:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 22:57:37 pm 
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ernelopez wrote:
Really nice!
I have seen also these stamps overprinted "School" intended for training of postal workers.

Regards
Ernesto

A sample of school overprints on the 1948 small camels -

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3 & 4 milliemes missing, assuming they used them.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 09:13:51 am 
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DaveR
I read the postcard thread, sorry can't help with commemoration reason...
I did find one example online but for the life of me I can't find it now...seller was in Italy, wanted €50+ from memory - I'll wait!!

Anyway, sorry to de-rail your thread...

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 06:42:52 am 
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HalfpennyYellow wrote:
There are also Camel Postman stamps overprinted PASSPORT listed in Barefoot. A total of nine stamps, plus seven varieties.

Here's a used example of a "Passport" revenue stamp, for the receipt of visa fees, from the 1927 Wmk SG series - courtesy of Mr Red Guy :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 07:14:35 am 
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SMSSLT wrote:
Very nice, one of my favourite stamps...now just save up those $$$ to buy the OSGS, and those Army Service ones :D

When I was collecting the various camel postmen for my display I wasn't particularly looking for the officials, but have amassed a number of them from the various random purchases I made. I haven't sorted them out yet - but here's a random few.

Army Service:

Image

and various 5 piastres officials:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 08:10:05 am 
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Hi, these are the stamps that exist with a passport overprint (Barefoot numbers given):

#1 - 5p (SG 45) perfined SG and handstamped PASSPORT in violet (c. 1927)
#2 - 5p (SG 45) opt PASSPORT in violet-black (c. 1928)
#3 - 10p (SG 46) opt PASSPORT in violet-black (c. 1936)
#4 - 5p (SG 106) opt PASSPORT in violet-black (1948)
#5 - 10p (SG 109) opt PASSPORT in violet-black (1948)
#6 - 20p (SG 110) opt PASSPORT in violet-black (1948)
#7 - 50p (SG 111) opt PASSPORT in violet-black (1948)
#11 - 50p (SG 139) opt PASSPORT in violet (1951)
#12 - 50p (SG 139) opt PASSPORTS in violet to dark violet (c. 1955)

Nos. 2 to 11 also exist with a "flat S" variety, where the tail of the second "S" in "PASSPORT" is less curved.

Your stamp is Barefoot 2, of c.1928.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 03:36:08 am 
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Cheers Halfpenny.

Is that another set to add to the list to collect :?: - No, no, must resist ... :lol:

I started to have a good sort through my accumulation of officials last night, so there may be some more to show sometime.

Anybody have their own "camel postman" to show :?: :?:

Dave.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 00:12:00 am 
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Really enjoyed your display Dave. I've only got a couple of covers (not collected, these were sent to family) but seeing the issues set out like that does start me thinking about expanding...

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 21:55:36 pm 
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Namaste wrote:
Really enjoyed your display Dave. I've only got a couple of covers (not collected, these were sent to family) but seeing the issues set out like that does start me thinking about expanding...

Image

cheers

Hi Namaste.

Thanks for posting your covers.

From the 1947 Gisburn & Thompson catalogue - the postmarks shown above are the retta, or rhomboid cancellation - used to cancel mail collected on trains, steamers and outlying districts where no stationary post office existed. These items were then handed over on arrival at the first stationary post office and the stamps themselves cancelled with this cancellation.

An impression of the Post Office date-stamp being placed on the envelope near the stamps - as can be seen on your envelope, but sadly unreadable.

The retta cancellation varied from 10x10 dots to 17x18 dots. Difficult to count them on the screen - but yours looks like the 17x18.

Thanks - Dave.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 07:26:48 am 
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Inspired by DaveR's superb display of Camel Postmen, I took the plunge...
Just a small lot bought online for less than the price of a pint, they are currently in a Desert Magic (appropriate!!) but examples of each watermark seen so far.
Next step a crash course in trying to determine the correct issue based on the Arabic text.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 04:00:15 am 
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Welcome!

I was fortunate to pick up a couple of reasonable collections on feebay, before they banned them! Delcampe has greatly increased their Sudan range, but no sellers on there appear to sell collections - just sets or small accumulations. Local fairs were the best source to 'fill the gaps'.

The altered Arabic inscription, at the foot of the image, is only on the 1948 set -

Image

The original Arabic inscription is -

Image

For info on the Arabic value in the frame, see here - http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=18849&p=3277597#p3274833

Have fun - Dave.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 08:24:02 am 
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Thanks Dave
Picked up a small lot from feebay; the seller listed it as 'that country that cannot be named'!
A few MH examples were included along with some Postage Dues, I bought simply to 'get things started' and as I say for only a few €'s so expectations were low.

Useful info provided thanks; now I've given them a soak and removed old hinges etc. I can see the watermarks clearly and with your input on the Arabic have been able to ident each with only one exception that has an almost invisible wmk.

I spent an interesting last evening reading up on the issues; some great stuff found including Sudan Study Group and Sudan Studies Society of UK.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 00:41:15 am 
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TheRoyalCounty wrote:
... the seller listed it as 'that country that cannot be named'!

Yes, you have to be a bit imaginative in searching - but some stuff is still there :!:

I think the ones you're having trouble with with the almost invisible watermark may be the 1941 wartime printing on ordinary paper, with the 'SG' watermark.

The SG catalogue says the ordinary paper is thick, smooth and opaque.

Dave.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 01:07:06 am 
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Other "Camel Postmen" are to be found on the postal stationary -

A 1903 5 millieme letter, from Khartoum to Berber - 5 millieme was the inland postal rate.

Image

From Gisburn & Thompson's book - 1902, came printed on buff, yellowish and white.

And an overprinted 2 on 4 millieme 1909 postcard.

Image

From Gisburn & Thompson's book - 1907, overprinted due to a reduction in postal rates. Un-overprinted examples are known, but not used.

Picked up at the Stafford Stamp Fair yesterday. There were quite a few unused examples, but I find ones used for their intended purpose much better.

Dave.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 08:32:44 am 
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SMSSLT wrote:
... now just save up those $$$ to buy the OSGS, and those Army Service ones :D

Have now sorted out some of my accumulation of Officials.

Here's the OSGS (On Sudan Government Service) series from 1902-12, Wmk Star & Crescent.

Image

Image


The 10 Piastres is unused, used being rather pricey :!:

Dave.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 08:52:26 am 
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Nice set.
I was actually planning to respond to your earlier posts...re: SG watermark and covers.
The SG wmk is a devil to see on some and your guidance on the 1941 printing is useful, thanks

I enjoyed seeing the covers, I just spent the last hour checking some online; an interesting one caught my eye, cover to US with 2 Piastre solo, Khartoum CDS - the interest coming from the 1945 Shallal-Halfa TPO backstamp....at US$9 I'm procrastinating!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 07:24:24 am 
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SMSSLT wrote:
... the 1941 Tuti Islands are just superb.

1941

Wartime Provisional Issue

Printed by the Indian Security Press, Nasik, Bombay, in offset-lithography.

Perf: 14 x 13½ (millieme values) & 13½ x 14 (piastre values)


Image


In 1941 De La Rue & Co. in London were having printing difficulties due to bombing damage and it was essential to obtain a new source of Sudan stamps.

The design selected was taken from the cover of a booklet then being issued in Sudan. The image is of a group of palm trees on the banks of the Nile, with Tuti Island in the background. Tuti Island is at the confluence of the White Nile and the Blue Nile, where they join to form the Nile, between the two cities of Khartoum and Omdurman.

The “Palms” image was taken from a black & white sketch by Miss H M Hebbert, which itself had been prepared from a watercolour, also by her. The artist was the sister of Major H E Hebbert, Director of Posts & Telegraphs.

The “Palms” issue (or the "Tuti Island" issue) was only ever intended to be a provisional issue, and was gradually replaced as new supplies of the “Camel Postman” became available from London.


Image


I already had a few of these, but I couldn't resist the complete set at the Stafford Stamp Fair last weekend :D

Dave.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 08:17:58 am 
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Here's a 'quair' one. Just found this for sale on Sandafayre under Aden.

Quote:
ADEN - 1929 overlaid Sudan & GB on piece, Paquebot cancel


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 21:59:53 pm 
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After a visit to the recent York Stamp Fair, here's the Officials SG (Sudan Government) set from 1936-46 - overprinted on the 1927-41 definitive series.

This set consisted of both chalk-surfaced paper and the wartime ordinary paper for some values, and only one or the other for other values. I haven't got as far as sorting into these different printings yet ...

Image

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 16:31:41 pm 
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Many many years back, I had found these fascinating. I collected about 50 odd camel stamps of various kinds. Some of these are :

Image

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 16:33:39 pm 
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Another one is related to the opening of the legislative assembly:

Image

Sorry, I do not intend to derail this thread. Shall post more images only after permission.

Thanks and regards.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 05:38:21 am 
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birder wrote:
Sorry, I do not intend to derail this thread. Shall post more images only after permission.

Hi Birder.

Please, carry on. Any Sudan "Camel Postman" most welcome :)

Dave.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 23:29:27 pm 
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DaveR wrote:
I entered the first 9 pages (a 9 page competition) in our local club annual competition evening, and it came top in that category.

Here's the "Wallace Cup" for that competition category - Our club Chairman had been decorating, and it took him a while to get back into his spare room :!: :lol:

Image

Hopefully an inspiration to others in their local club competitions. I've heard locally that many club members don't enter their club competitions as the "usual suspects" always win - this wasn't that onerous to put together. :)

Dave.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 21:07:50 pm 
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Congratulations Dave, very well deserved.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 21:16:02 pm 
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At a recent sale at Spink in London (Collector's Sale 13027 on 9 July 2013) there was a lot of very nice Sudan material and having seen your display I was very nearly tempted. I did resist but thought I would post a few of the auction lots here.

This one was by far the most impressive IMHO.

Image

Quote:
1921 (5 July) De La Rue "Colour Scheme" Appendix sheet, bearing issued 1898 2m. to 10p. with suggestions written alongside each for new values to be used and the 2p. crossed through in red ink with new colours written alongside, and a 3m. small format photographic essay pasted in the space for the 5m. value; fine and unique.

provenance:
Col. J.R. Danson, 1977
Colin Boston, 2000
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 00:49:05 am 
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Hi Chris.

Thanks for the scan and details of the Spinks auction. I've been having a look through their auction catalogue - all a bit too pricey for me, but some very interesting items - I'm just a hobby collector :!:

When the "small camels" were introduced in 1921 they consisted of the 1, 2, 3, 5, 10 & 15 milliemes (10 milliemes being 1 piastres). The "large camels" were retained for the 2, 5 & 10 piastres, but on chalk-surfaced paper.

Interesting colour trials. They show the colours of the new "small camels" by using some of the old "large camels", with an essay of the new "small camel" shown against the 5 millieme. I can't read what's written by this stamp, but this wasn't the design finally used.

Interestingly as well, the 2 piastres changed colour from black and blue to purple and orange-yellow. Looking at your scan I think I can just make out, against the 2 piastres, Purple Centre / Orange Border / See Sudan (... something ...).


Lt. Colonel John Raymond Danson, from whose collection this originally came, had a world renowned Sudan collection (amongst other countries) which after his death on 18th June 1976 was broken up and auctioned. It was auctioned by Robson Lowe in Geneva 28/29th April 1977 followed by London 10th November 1977.

His collection is also extensively referenced in the Gisburn & Thompson 1947 Anglo-Egyptian Sudan catalogue. It must have been the definitive collection!

Thanks Chris - Dave.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 21:55:23 pm 
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Congratulations to DaveR for being named Poster of the Month for August 2013. Of course, this being Stampboards, there is a very practical benefit to this - you have won an Australian 2012 Year Book with stamps of face value of around $100.

See this thread:

http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=8100&start=1200

Congratulations. Please contact Glen to arrange for delivery of your prize.

Norm

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 23:37:35 pm 
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Back in June -

MargoZ wrote:
One of my favourites too. Congratulations Dave on your exhibit and thank you for sharing.

Are you thinking of exhibiting it again elsewhere?

Over the summer I started looking at expanding it to 16 pages - and have just submitted it to the North West Federation Convention competition, being held in Horwich, Bolton on Saturday 26th October.

My first attempt at anything formal like this - I will report back :)

Dave.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 01:32:12 am 
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Now here's an interesting little item just found on-line - BRITISH AFRICA ERROR OF COLOUR! 1927 Arab Postman/Camel Rider, SG#41var V.RARE!! - bidding starts at ÂŁ4,999.

Image


I thought I'd seen something about this in Gisburn & Thompson's book -

Quote:
Note - No forgeries of the "Camel" stamps have been recorded, but attention is drawn to specimens of the 5 milliemes with sage-green (instead of the normal brown or olive-brown) centre, which periodically turns up and causes speculation as to its status. Collectors are warned that this is a worthless colour-changeling. A copy has been submitted to Messrs. De La Rue & Co., who definitely confirm that the colour in question was never produced by them. They ascribe the change to contact with some form of bleaching-agent and point out that this vindicates them in their policy of using fugitive inks which would produce colour changes of this nature if anyone tried to tamper with the stamps, eg, by endeavouring to remove cancellations from them.

A series of experiments carried out on this particular stamp by Colonel Danson has conclusively shown that strong sunlight has the same effect as a bleaching-agent, and will alter the centre to the sage-green colour mentioned. It should be noted, however, that this applies only to certain (and very few) printings of this denomination, but it is probable that the majority of colour-changelings of this description have been caused by such exposure to light.

As is oft said here - "knowledge is power"!

I'll send this quote to the seller and see what he says. I may even offer him a couple of quid.

Dave.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 01:55:02 am 
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DaveR wrote:
I'll send this quote to the seller and see what he says. I may even offer him a couple of quid.

Dave.


I'm sure he'll be delighted to hear from you! (Not).

Anyway, here's my one and only copy of a "Camel Postman", which I like for obvious reasons.

Image

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 02:08:14 am 
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Hi Clive.

Thank you for posting that - nice example.

From "the book" - A cancellation "A R" in an oblong, of which at least four varieties exist, is sometimes found. This signifies "Avis Reception", and is placed on receipts for parcels, as well as letters where a receipt is required.

There was a small group of those for sale recently, but went for more than I was willing to part with!

Dave.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 05:55:31 am 
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I must say I was curious about the use of this particular 'AR'. I have only ever encountered this type of marking on the cover and not on the stamp itself.

I was not aware of its parcel use. You mentioned the high price of the lot you saw; does that reflect that these are not that common?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 06:35:17 am 
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Hi Clive.

I'm not entirely sure what 'Avis Reception' means, so I've been looking it up.

From wikipedia - "Acknowledgement of receipt (equivalent terms include avis de réception (UPU term), Aviso de Recibo, advice of receipt, advice of delivery (UK and much of the Commonwealth), return receipt requested/required/wanted/demanded (US), Rückschein (Germany), ricevuta di ritorno (Italy), zwrotne potwierdzenie odbioru (Poland), and many others; the standard abbreviations are AR and AD) is a postal service which returns to the sender of a letter (usually registered; in the case of a parcel, it may be insured) a form or card signed by the recipient. This is evidence that the letter was received, and these forms (or cards) are frequently seen with legal endorsements (exhibit A, for example)."

So I don't think the "AR" cancellation would have been on the parcel or letter, it would have been on the receipt that was then sent back to the sender to acknowledge receipt of the parcel or letter.

The only ones I've seen are yours and the recent ones I saw for sale, which were just the stamps, not attached to anything.

I've deleted my watched item now, but I think it was about 8 stamps and went for about ÂŁ40 if I remember correctly.

If anyone knows more :?:

Dave.

PS - A simpler definition I've just found:

Avis de Reception:
Permits the sender, upon payment of a fee, to be notified of confirmation of delivery.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 06:45:22 am 
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I actually have examples of 'AR' applied to (Hong Kong) letters; not on the stamps themselves. These are quite thin on the ground, particularly early ones. They certainly attract higher prices in auction.

I'm sure I have some info in my tomes about AR. I'll scout around.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 08:41:17 am 
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I have found some information on 'AR'. In addition to the definitions you have found, the postal authorities in Hong Kong also referred to this service (in 1953) as 'advice of arrival'.

I have found about 15 different handstamps used by the main post offices there.

As covers exist with the handstamp on the actual cover, I presume that this was applied to indicate that the registered packet was accompanied by an AR, for the benefit of the receiving office. Perhaps certain (maybe all) post offices also applied the AR handstamp to the receipt stamp.


Quote:
Extract from the Post Office Guide 1953


Advice of delivery of registered postal packets

The sender of any registered postal packet may arrange at the office of posting, either at the time of posting or subsequently, for an advice of its delivery to be sent to him. The fee is 30 cents, which is payable by means of stamps affixed by the sender to a form provided for the purpose, and is due even if the registered packet proves to be (or to have been) undeliverable.

Inquiry as to the alleged loss or non-delivery of a registered packet must also be accompanied by a fee of 30 cents and should, if possible, be made upon the form used in applying for an advice of delivery. If it is found that the Post Office is at fault the enquiry fee will be refunded.


I would imagine that the procedure would have been very similar in every UPU country.

I can find references to this service as early as 1888, when it was known as, "Return Receipt for Registered Article".

I must admit I don't actually understand the last paragraph about making an 'inquiry' though. I would also like to understand the actual mechanics of this service. What did the AR actually comprise? Was it a form attached to the packet, with a detachable portion for return? How could it be, if one could make an enquiry after postage? Or was it a separate form sent with the packet or a subsequent mailing? Did it change over the years?

Nonetheless, all this adds a bit of flesh to an otherwise anonymous postal marking.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 00:59:02 am 
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Clive.

I have been doing some more exploring, and found a very interesting and informative 5 frame exhibit on "International avis de réception (AR) in the British Empire & Commonwealth", by David Handelman, Ottawa.

http://www.rfrajola.com/mercury/dh12.pdf

Found on Richard Frajola's web site - http://www.rfrajola.com/

I quote David Handelman's synopsis from his exhibit:

Quote:
International avis de réception (AR) in the British Empire & Commonwealth

Synopsis

Avis de réception (abbreviated AR throughout) is the official UPU term for the postal service which provides a card or form signed by the recipient of a (registered) letter to be returned to the sender, as evidence of delivery. It goes under many names, for example, acknowledgment of receipt, advice of delivery, return receipt requested/demanded/desired/wanted . . . , Rückschein.

Here, British Empire & Commonwealth means all British possessions, offices, dominions, occupied territories (at the time of their occupation), mandates, protectorates, and members of the Commonwealth.

This is a strictly postal history exhibit discussing international (as opposed to domestic — all items go from one country to a distinct one) AR service in the British Empire. AR material is generally very difficult to find in this group of countries (with the relative exception of India); seemingly AR service was highly unpopular with these postal administrations, so it is something of a challenge to find interesting material, even from the UK. We emphasize that this deals with international mail only — many countries had different treatment for domestic AR (for example, although UK switched to AR cards internationally, it persisted with domestic AR forms into the 1960s, and in addition, the AR fees were not always equal).

The evolution of AR and practises surrounding it are shown in this exhibit. Procedures concerning the forms to be signed and returned to sender (AR forms) changed twice (with the advent of the UPU Treaties of Vienna and Washington), and then the forms were (largely) replaced by AR cards, requiring different treatment. Many AR forms were to be returned under cover (rather than as folded letter sheets), requiring special AR covering envelopes, some official, some provisional. The registered envelopes that were sent with AR service (AR covers) reflect the change in procedures (for example, payment of the AR fee on the cover, form, or card — this varied both temporally and geographically). In addition, we show AR material that was mishandled by one (or more) post offices; often, incoming cards or forms were not signed or returned, even though the registered letter was delivered. Mistreated items appear throughout the exhibit.

Although AR had been around (under different names) since 1809 (Austria, Retour Recepisse), none of the countries here adopted it, until UK as a founding member of the UPU was required to offer it beginning in 1875. (Not mentioned in UK postal guides until 1891, there is a real paucity of AR material well into the twentieth century.) Canada began to offer it on April Fool’s day 1879, which was the date of universalization of AR service — every jurisdiction that either was already a member or joined in the future was required to offer it from the time of joining.

Prior to 1 July 1892 (when the Treaty of Vienna became effective), the usual procedure concerning AR was as follows. A letter to be sent registered and with AR was taken to the post office, and the AR form was prepared, with the registration number, the address and the return address filled in. It would either be sent attached to the registered letter (which occurred in all known examples from the British Empire), or separately but in the same mailing. The AR fee would usually be paid in stamps on the form (although a few jurisdictions, such as India, required that the AR fee be paid on the registered letter). If delivery of the registered letter was successful, then the AR form would be signed by the recipient (failing that, the postal clerk), and the form would be returned — at no charge — to the sender. The form could either be sent as a folded letter sheet, or in a covering envelope, specially printed for this purpose. The form itself was returned as registered mail until sometime in the twentieth century, the actual date depending on individual postal jurisdiction.

There was no requirement to mark the registered letter with AR or anything similar, which means that without the form, it may be impossible to tell whether the registered cover was sent with AR (especially if the AR fee were paid on the form). There are in fact no known international AR covers mailed from anywhere in the British Empire in this period, but a number of forms exist, and several covering envelopes for the return of AR forms [abbreviated AR covering envelopes, or simply covering envelopes] are also known (and shown here), as are a few AR covers.

With the Treaty of Vienna (effective 1 July 1892–31 December 1898), two changes occurred. The first is that registered letters sent with AR must be so marked, either with AR (handwritten or stamped) or with avis de réception. The second required the AR form to be prepared in the destination country; this forced payment of the AR fee on the cover (in the previous period, jurisdictions could decide on their own where the AR fee was to be applied). This meant that if you sent out a registered letter with AR (abbreviated, AR cover) and it was successfully delivered, you would expect to receive back an AR form printed and prepared by the destination country. An exception to this was Jamaica (and probably Barbados), which continued to use pre-Vienna procedures (attaching the stamped form) throughout the period.

This somewhat awkward procedure was reversed by the Treaty of Washington (effective 1 January 1899). Now AR forms were again prepared at the office of origin, and each jurisdiction could again decide whether to require payment of the AR fee in stamps on the form or on the cover. For the British Empire, there is an easy subdivision. For all British entities in the Indian subcontinent, some middle eastern occupied areas, and (based on just a few examples) eastern African colonies, the AR fee was paid on the AR cover; in addition, it was the case for New Zealand. Elsewhere in the Empire, the fee was paid on the form, later on the AR card. [There are no official references for this, but this is what I have observed.]

Late in 1921, most (but not all) jurisdictions introduced AR cards to replace AR forms; these are roughly the shape and thickness of postcards, and did not require a covering envelope; as with AR forms, they were sent free through the mail, any stamps on them paying the AR fee (with one obscure exception). Again, the AR fee could be paid on the AR cover, or on the AR card, with the same grouping of countries.

The goal is to show the variety of material possible and the various methods of enacting AR, and how these evolved in time.

There are some similarities among the AR forms of the countries involved, but not much; the same applies to the format of AR cards and covering envelopes. Since AR involves two directions, it is important to deal with incoming AR material as well.

In addition to this and the exhibit, there are various forms and cards to be found on delcampe and feebay. Search for various combinations of avis de reception, delivery advice, receipt advice, etc.

As well, I've noticed that at some time the AR cards changed (in the case of US ones) from being returned to the sender, to only being returned to the originating Post Office.

Dave.


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