Egypt: 1921 French Overprint Variations

In an earlier blog, we introduced the French issues of the Egyptian Ports of Alexandria and Port Said. The blog explored the postal issues of the British and French Post Offices and in particular, considered the French key plate designs of ‘Blanc’, Mouchon’ and ‘Merson’. The French continued to use French currency on these stamps until 1921 when the Egyptian currency in milliemes was overprinted. The overprints for Port Said were applied over two lines comprising figures and words – some applied in Paris and others at Port Said itself. An interesting point of note for the philatelist is that it’s possible to distinguish between the two.

The 1921 Port Said stamp issue carry overprints in two distinct type-faces. The usual overprint type-face with the figures and letters carrying flourishes and curvature were applied to the stamps in Paris.

Overprints applied to the stamps locally at Port Said used a type-face that was a thicker block format for the numbers and a thinner type-face for the word ‘Millememes’.

These variations applied to all the designs in the 1921 issue, that is on ‘Blanc” Mouchon’ and ‘Merson’ designs, with the result that a total of approximately 28 stamps make up the complete set registered in most catalogues with values stretching from the modest to several £100 for both mint and used. Stamps with the local overprints tend to command the higher catalogue values. A further modification occurred on the 1925 issues for both Alexandria and Port Said with an overprint of three bars through the French currency.

To view postal issues of the Egypt, please visit the M&S Philately HipStamp store.

Published by billmandsphilatelycom

William (Bill) Matthews has been a philatelist for more than 60 years. He has a particular interest in the postal history of the British Commonwealth including most notably, the issues from Australia, Canada and New Zealand. However, he also has specialist interest in the postal history of Egypt, Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea, Sarawak, Sudan and the Italian States as well as a fine collection of overprints.

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