TURKEY, Random Notes, 1926, G. A. Higlett, Harris Publications Limited

Section II


1909. Jaffa Overprint.

In the Yvert & Tellier catalogue there is listed a series of stamps under the Nos. 139 to 145, consisting of six values of the 1908 issue, stated to be overprinted in commemoration of the accession of the Sultan. They are priced at from 40 to 500 francs each.

This overprint was never sanctioned by the Constantinople authorities. It was a purely local speculative issue, made for getting money out of collectors. To achieve this aim, and secure admission to the catalogues, so as to create a market for the stamps, a good number of letters were passed through the post bearing these overprinted stamps. It was probably done by, or in connivance with, local postal officials.

Because of its high catalogue quotations, this series has also been imitated by the forger, and such imitations are to be found printed also on other issues than the correct one.

1911. Commemorative Overprints.

In order to commemorate the visit of the Sultan to Macedonia, etc., in June, 1911, the postal authorities had a number of stamps in stock overprinted with, inter alia, the names of the four towns he visited, for sale in those places, viz., Monastir, Pristina, Salonika and Uskub.

These stamps are nearly always met with unused, as the issues seem to have been almost entirely bought up by dealers and speculators promptly upon issue. The following translation of a circular in German from a dealer at Salonika to a London stamp firm gives a contemporary history:

Salonika, 8th July, 1911.

A great philatelic event has happened just recently. On 26th June last, the day of the departure of the Sultan from Salonika for Constantinople, the Imperial Turkish Post here issued new stamps to commemorate the arrival of the Sultan in Macedonia.

Within an hour this very limited issue was feverishly bought up by collectors.
The quantity of stamps which arrived at the Turkish post office was about 25,009 francs worth. Up to the present none of these stamps have been used for franking letters. The values range from 2 paras to 50 piastres, and each hears an overprinted inscription in Turkish In commemoration of the Sultan's journey" with the date in the centre, and beneath it the name " Salonique " in French.

It makes a splendid set, some stamps having the overprint in red, and some in black.

I have a complete series of these stamps from the 2 paras, to the 5 piastres. The series is as follows :-



1 stamp of 2 paras
4 stamps of 3 paras
4 10
4 20
4 1 piastre
4 2 piastres
1 stamp of
4 stamps of 5


As you may see from the above, each value of this issue consists of 4 different stamps, each bearing the special overprint, excepting the 2 paras and the 2 ½ piastres, of which there is only one variety each. As long as the supply lasts, I could therefore let you have the set, comprising 26 stamps from 2 paras to 5 piastres as above for 17 fr., as used at Salonika and Uskub. This is the lowest price I can accept at the moment on account of the sensational demand. The 2 paras alone has been sold here at 5 fr., and the price will rise in a few days on account of the small issue and the great demand.

The issue of these stamps was made for Salonika, Uskub, and Monastir only, to serve as a commemoration of the Sultan's journey to our part of the country. They were not seen in any other Turkish cities.

In reference to the 10, 25, and 50 piastres values, I can supply you with these values, subject to being unsold, at frs. 5, 12 and 23 respectively. Payment, cash on delivery of the goods. The stamps of 10 piastres have one variety only, and those of 25 and 5o piastres two varieties each.

I await your prompt reply and subscribe myself with all respect,

(Signed) P. S. ABASTADO.

The author of this circular seems to have got supplies of both the Salonika and Uskub overprints, and he had heard of the Monastir overprint, but at this time he knew nothing of the similar overprints for Pristina.

This local and contemporary account is quite sufficient for a history of these stamps.