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TOPIC: Hello and some advice please

Hello and some advice please 7 months 3 weeks ago #187

Hello
Bill Lusty - new to the society.
I've been collecting France and colonies since I was a kid. I've been a member of my local stamp club in Dawlish over the last few years.
I'm just trying to develop my collection into something more sophisticated than filling my Davo album. I'm writing up a display of France at War.
I've got the stuff from my existing collection and have gathered some balloon mail covers & postal stationary. I've got military covers and POW mail from both World Wars.
I'm looking for information on the liberation overprints of 1944/1945. I have a number of these. Whether they're genuine or not I'm not certain.
Is there a reference for the different overprints I can access (or a past article from the journal)?
I'm also after material pertaining to the Indochina War if anyone can point me in the right direction.
Best wishes - I'm trying to make the annual get together in March. I hope to meet some of you in person then.
Bill
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Hello and some advice please 7 months 2 weeks ago #188

  • mlbister
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Hello Bill

Welcome to the Society.

The 'bible' on liberation overprints is 'Catalogue Libération' by Pierre Mayer. It contains excellent illustrations to aid identification and, where known, the dates of issue and printing numbers. He died some years ago but his book does come up from time to time in auctions.

The decision to overprint stamps to mark the liberation of a town was made locally but as the lines of communication between the Administration des Postes in Paris and the regional offices were often disrupted the correct procedures were not always followed.

Once communications were restored, the P.T.T. conducted an investigation into the conditions in which the operation of overprinting had been authorised and effected as well as the means adopted to put the overprinted stamps on sale to the public. A communication from the P.T.T. dated 22 November 1944 contained a list of issues “which have been overprinted on the instructions of an authority qualified by circumstances and which have been wholly placed over the post office counters of the locality or region concerned.” This means that stamps overprinted by the local philatelic society and sold from a park bench to its members did not qualify! Only 12 out of over 160 towns were deemed by the P.T.T. as having fulfilled the criteria and therefore having produced an authorised and postally valid issue. Three other towns were added subsequently to the original list making a total of 15 authorised issues.

The 15 towns are Aigurande, Bordeaux, Châlons-sur-Marne, Chambéry, Châtellerault, Cherbourg, Décazeville, Loches, Lille, Lyon, Méasnes, Niort, Poitiers, Pons and Tours. These are the essential ones to collect and few demand high prices other than Poitiers Type III. Some of the unauthorised items do make attractive additions to ones collection and have interesting stories associated with their production, However, beware of forgeries which are easily created with modern technology. If you are going to spend big money ensure that it is certified and/or signed. Pierre Mayer signed a lot of his stamps but in old age even he made mistakes.

Some issues, particularly after the demonetisation of Pétain stamps on 1 November 1944, were overprinted and put on sale as souvenir vignettes usually as a means of raising funds for prisoners of war, the Red Cross and other war related charities and were never intended to be postally valid.
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The following user(s) said Thank You: blusty

Hello and some advice please 7 months 2 weeks ago #189

Thanks for the very helpful advice.
Best wishes for Christmas
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