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Telegraph stamps of the World

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  I have re-numbered these in the light of new information, though leaving references to the original designations.  
I have now brought the prices up to date and added currency selection.
The new designations have 'RH' numbers (Revised Hiscocks) to avoid confusion.
CheckList         Setup

 

For information on the early Telegraphs in Iran, see IranicaOnline.org
See also iranphilately.org for the Iran Philatelic Study Circle (IPSC, in English).

 

IRAN (Persia).

 

Arabic-numerals

Perso-Arabic variant ۰ ۱ ۲ ۳ ۴ ۵ ۶ ۷ ۸ ۹

In case your arabic is a little rusty, here are the numbers 0 to 9

 

Though the Shah of Persia was anxious to improve communications, both within his country and to the outside world, the work was
hampered by several factors. Firstly the route passed through regions having different cultures and languages and secondly localities
distrusted the motives of the Shah and saw the telegraph as a threat to their level of autonomy, particularly so with the nomadic tribes.

Details of the work done by Ernst Höltzer of Siemens, together with maps can be found in this pdf.


In the north - Tehran( تهران‎‎ ), Rasht( رشت ), Tabriz( تبریز‎ ), Jolfa( جلفا‎‎, then on the Russian border).
In the south - A contract of 1862 between the British and Persian governments was to provide a line from Tehran to Bushire ( بوشهر‎ ) on the Persian Gulf.
This went via Kashan( کاشان ‎), Isfahan( اصفهان ), Abadeh( آباده‎ ), and Shiraz( شیراز‬ ). Due to problems, this work was taken over by the IETC in spring 1864 (see below)

INDO-EUROPEAN TELEGRAPH DEPARTMENT (IETD) 1863.

A branch of the British Government of India, based in London. It was agreed that Iran should build a line stretching from Khanaqin (across the Ottoman frontier from the
Iranian town of Qasr-e Shirin (قصرشيرين‎)) through Tehran and onward to Bušehr, supervised by a British engineer, Lt. Colonel Patrick Stewart, CB. RE.
The route was: Khanaqin(خانقين), Kermanshah(کرمانشاه‎), Hamedan(همدان‎), Tehran(تهران‎‎), Qom(قم‎), Kashan(کاشان), Isfahan(اصفهان), Dowlatabad(دولت آباد), Abadeh(آباده‎), Dehbid(ده بيد‎),
Morghab(مرودشت‎,مرغاب‎), Sivand(سيوند‎), Shiraz(شیراز‬‎), Dasht-e Arzhan(دشت ارژن), Kazerun(كازرون‎), Konartakhteh(كنارتخته‎), Borazjan(برازجان‎), Bushire(بوشهر‎).
Dowlatabad gave me some trouble as there are 27 places by that name in Iran. I have marked what seems to be the most likely one.

Completion of their segment through Persia in 1864 completed the Indo-European Telegrafenlinie (short Indolinie).
Due to unreliability of the line with frequent breaks caused by weather and terrain, with long delays for repair, at the end of 1865
it was decided to add another line. This was laid along the route Aleksandrów Kujawski (Poland), Kerch, Julfa, Tehran.

Persian Gulf cables of 1864

Submarine Cables were laid in the Persian Gulf from 1864, initially from Fao(الفاو‎), to Bushire(بوشهر‎), Cape Mussendom(جَـزِيـرَة مُـسَـنْـدَم), Gwadar(گوادر‬‎) and Karachi(کراچی),
which connected overland to Bombay (now Mumbai), Calcutta and the rest of India.
The Cape Mussendom connection was on a small island, now called Telegraph Island off the Musandam Peninsula.
In 1868, that section was cut out and diverted instead to go through Henjam Island(جزیره هنگام) and Jask(جاسک‎) instead.
In 1869 another cable was added from Bushire to Jask. A further cable from Jask to Muscat(مسقط‎) was laid in 1901.

A list for 1910 shows a Government Radio Telegraph installation at Jask that is not in the 1906 list.

INDO-EUROPEAN TELEGRAPH COMPANY (IETC) 1868.

The Indo-European Telegraph Company, was owned and operated by the Siemens Company.
Siemens had a concession from 1868 to 1925 to build and operate a line from Tehran to the Russian
border town of Tiflis (now Tbilisi), from where it continued on to Poti, Kerch, Odessa, Warsaw, Thorn, Berlin, Hamburg and London.
Tehran was already connected to the lines of the Government of India, via Isfahan, Bushire, Gwadar, Karachi and Bombay.

On April 12, 1870, messages could be sent from London to Calcutta in 28 minutes.

Some good detailed maps can be found at mapsland.com. Spellings of place names differ.

Iran - Map

TELEGRAPH SERVICE

Stamps are known with the words 'TELEGRAPH SERVICE' across them at any orientation in black or dark blue.
It has been suggested that this is part of a security overprint of the Indo-European Telegraph Company. This handstamp is mentioned by Steve Hiscocks, who also mentions that Walter Morley included these in his 1900 catalogue.
Rolf Lamprecht tells me that the company in Iran was called "INDO-EURÖPÄISCHE TELEGRAPHENGESELLSCHAFT".

It is generally agreed that this is a cancel used on postage stamps paying for Telegraph Services.
However, it has to be asked, if these were cancels, why do so many stamps need an additional cancel ?
Perhaps it would be more accurate to describe them as a cachet.
I have seen a photocopy of a cover, from Iran to the Telegraph Department in Calcutta bearing an 1891 10Ch stamp, with هندوستان (India) in the top-right corner.
This has 'TELEGRAPH SERVICE' diagonally across the stamp, with an additional oval Iranian cancel, so this may be standard practice on Telegrams.

It is possible that these were like the roller overprint first used on Costa Rican stamps. Both those and these can have different parts of two overprints.

These are known on stamps of 1891 and 1894 series. It would be interesting to know what they did before and after these.

These are known on stamps of 1891 and 1894 series.


1891 Perf. 10½ or 11½
.

Iran - 1891 - 1ch Iran - 1891 - 10ch Iran - 1891 - 10ch Iran - 1894 - 1k Iran - 1894 - 2k
Type TS1   (RH-S1)   1ch Perf. 11½ Type TS1   (RH-S5)   10ch Perf. 11½
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht
Type TS1   (RH-S6)   14ch Perf. 10½
Courtesy of Les & Paul Bottomley
Type TS2   (RH-S7)   1k Perf. 10½
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht
Type TS2   (RH-S8)   2k Perf. 11½
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht

RH # Type was 1891 Description Seen Mint Used
RH-S1 TS1 - 1ch black 3 - -
RH-S2 TS1 - 2ch brown 1 - -
RH-S3 TS1 - 5ch deep blue 1 - -
RH-S4 TS1 - 7ch grey 1 - -
RH-S5 TS1 - 10ch rose-carmine 2 - -
RH-S6 TS1 - 14ch orange 3 - -
RH-S7 TS2 - 1k green 3 - -
RH-S8 TS2 - 2k orange 1 - -
RH-S9 TS2 - 5k ochre yellow 1 - -

Currency:
Pre-1925
5 Dinars = 1 Chahi.
20 Chahis = 1 Kran.
10 Krans = 1 Toman.
Post-1925
1 Rial = 1 Kran
100 Dinars = 1 Rial
10 Rials = 1 Toman

 

1894   -   Low denomination Perf. 12½.     High denomination Perf. 11½ x 11.

Iran - 1894 - 1ch Iran - 1894 - 2ch Iran - 1894 - 5ch Iran - 1894 - 8ch
Type TS3   (RH-S10)   1ch Perf. 12½
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht
Type TS3   (RH-S11)   2ch Perf. 12½
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht
Type TS3   (RH-S12)   5ch Perf. 12½
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht
Type TS3   (RH-S13)   8ch Perf. 12½
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht

Iran - 1894 - 10ch Iran - 1894 - 1k Iran - 1894 - 2k
Type TS4   (RH-S14)   10ch Perf. 11½ x 11
Courtesy of Les & Paul Bottomley
Type TS4   (RH-S16)   1k Perf. 11½ x 11 Type TS4   (RH-S17)   2k Perf. 11½ x 11
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht

The handstamp on RH-S14 is clearly different to the usual (rubber) handstamps.
It may be a steel handstamp, perhaps used later and/or at a different location.

RH # Type was 1894 Description Seen Mint Used
RH-S10 TS3 - 1ch lilac 1 - -
RH-S11 TS3 - 2ch blue-green 1 - -
RH-S12 TS3 - 5ch ultramarine 1 - -
RH-S13 TS3 - 8ch brown 1 - -
RH-S14 TS4 - 10ch orange 3 - -
RH-S15 TS4 - 16ch rose 1 - -
RH-S16 TS4 - 1k red and yellow 3 - -
RH-S17 TS4 - 2k brown-orange & pale blue-green 2 - -
RH-S18 TS4 - 5k violet-blue and silver 0 - -
RH-S19 TS4 - 10k red and gold 0 - -
RH-S20 TS4 - 50k green and gold 0 - -

 

 

Tabriz Telegraph Stamp.

There is some uncertainty about the usage of this item.
the word 'Gheimat Dah Shahi' ( قیمت ده شای ) is written in farsi in the lower part of the stamp, it translate to 'Price Ten Shahis'.
Anyone attempting to read these would be well advised to start with Nastaʿlīq script.
I would be really interested to know the results.

The images below are taken with a camera. There is some distortion and I do not know the scale.
Images provided by Behruz Nassre of the Iran Philatelic Study Circle (IPSC, in English). Many thanks Behruz.

Iran - Tabriz-Stamp-1 Iran - Tabriz-Stamp-2 Iran - Tabriz-Stamp-3 Iran - Tabriz-Stamp-4

There is significant difference in detail between these. It looks like each was individually drawn.
It would be interesting to know how many were in the sheet and what the perforation was.

Iran - Tabriz-Envelope-front
Iran - Tabriz-Envelope-back

John Barefoot also illustrates these, though with a different cancel.
I am told that the cancel on these reads "News and Telegraph" and that it was probably the telegraph office's cancellation mark.
John stresses that the stamp was used like a seal (in the Western sense), but it was not unusual to put stamps on the back as an additional security measure.
The thing that intrigues me, is that the fee is normally paid by the sender and the stamp affixed to the originating form that stays at the sending office.
These stamps are affixed to the delivery envelope. I would be really interested to know the usage of these !

RH # Type was Description Mint Used Used on envelope/form
RH1 TT - 10ch blue - - -

 

 

Iran issued charity stamps from 1918 to 1921, and again from 1950 to 1976.

Steve Hiscocks knew about the second period, and Since their use with telegrams was obligatory, he included them.
However, at least some of the earlier series were also obligatory for sending telegrams, I will include them also.

1918 to 1921 series:

The information and images for these come from Behruz Nassre of the Iran Philatelic Study Circle (IPSC, in English).
Behruz recommends a Revenue catalog of Iran that he says lists all the telegram related stamps. Details:

"Revenue Stamps of Iran", by Baharaeen & Brooks, 2003
ISBN-10 0972825304
ISBN-13 9780972825306
EAN: 9780972825306

 

1918/9 issue - Tehran.

During World War I, following drought and poor harvest in 1917, there was a lot of hardship in Iran.
The area worst hit was the North-West of the country around Rasht, Khoy and Tabriz.
To raise money for relief efforts, Tehran placed a tax of 1 chahi on post cards, domestic letters, parcel post and telegrams.
This was obligatory in Tehran. Foreign letters were exempt, but the tax was also levied on legal documents with a variable, calculated rate.
Hamadan city made plans to do the same, but they were not implemented.

A one chahi revenue stamp was used for Telegrams. They were the 1915 coat of arms revenue issue, printed by Majlis Press,
and pre-cancelled before affixing to the receipts. There were additional values for other purposes.
The stamps were perforated 11½, with a frame size of 20 x 29.5mm. They were, at least initially, handstamped with "Charity Usage" (Masaaref Kherieh) in Farsi.

Recorded Usage:

StampHandstampFromTo
RevenueType a21 Feb. 191819 Jan. 1919
RevenueNone9 Jan. 19198 Mar. 1919
RevenueType b27 Jan. 191911 April 1919
PostageNone30 Mar. 191926 May 1919

Telegrams could use either revenue or postal stamps.
Handstamp types are shown below.

Iran - 1918-1 Iran - 1919-1 Iran - 1919-2 Iran - 1919-3
Iran - 1918-T1 For a short while, no hand stamp was used, then
the new type was used on the new colour of stamp.

The stamps seem to take on the colours
of the receipts.
Or perhaps they both become subject to 'aging'.
Iran - 1919-T2 Iran - 1919-T2
Type a on the 1ch violet. No hand stamp. Type b on 1ch brown-orange Type b, as last but on a white receipt.

These were stuck on the back of the telegraph receipts. Since they were pre-cancelled, they are not tied.
(Images half normal size.)

Iran - Receipt-1

Iran - Receipt-2-Front   Iran - Receipt-2-Back

RH # Type was Description Mint Used Used on Receipt
RH2 TR - 1ch Violet, Type 1a handstamp - - -
RH2a   - No handstamp. - - -
RH3 TR - 1ch Brown-orange, Type 1b handstamp - - -
RH3a   - No handstamp. - - -

 

 

1918-21 issue - Tabriz.

On the withdrawal of Turkish occupying forces in late October 1918, a tax was levied to help infirmaries and orphanages.
The stamps were in sheets of 25, perf. 11½ with writing in Farsi meaning "Infirmaries and orphanages of Tabriz"
in the top two lines, followed by the value in digits, then the value in words.
Varieties of the 2ch iclude ١٠٠ missing and the ١ inverted.

Recorded Usage 28 October 1918 to 20 March 1921:

UsageTax RateMarked
Post Card1 chahi (50 dinars)٥٠
Domestic Letter1 chahi (50 dinars)٥٠
Foreign Letter1 chahi (50 dinars)٥٠
Parcel Post2 chahis (100 dinars)١٠٠
Telegraph2 chahis (100 dinars)١٠٠
Legal Document 2 or 3 chahis (100, 150 dinars) ١٠٠ or ١٥٠

Iran - Tabriz - Davoud Iran - Tabriz - Davoud
Half size receipt.

Iran - Tabriz - pair
Here is a consecutive pair of receipts numbered 11756 and 11757. It can be seen that they were not cancelled.

RH # Type was Description Mint Used Used on Receipt
RH4 TC - 100d red and yellow - - -
RH4a   - ١ inverted. - - -
RH4b   - ١٠٠ missing. - - -

 

 

 

1950 to 1976 issue.

Red Lion and Sun stamps:

The 2.25r (until 1962) and 2.5r (after) were used in sending telegrams. Steve Hiscocks also listed the 2r value,
but I understand from Werner Lade that the 2r was normally used for parcels, with the 0.5 r being used for registered letters.
However, since the correct stamps were not always available, mixed frankings using the 2r and 0.5r values were sometimes needed.
They were usually affixed to the backs of carbon-copies of the telegraph receipt books kept in the telegraph offices.

From March 1950 (Persian year 1329) a tax was levied on registered letters(50 Dinar, or ½ Rial), parcels(2 Rials) and telegrams(2.25 Rials, rising to 2.50 Rials in 1962).
The design portrays the "Red Lion and Sun", Iran’s Red Cross organisation at the time.
This organisation and Tuberculosis Aid were beneficiaries of the Tax.

These stamps were in use until June 1980, when the "Red Lion and Sun" became the "Red Crescent Iran".
Since the 2.5R stamp was not always available, a 2R + 50d or five 50d stamps were sometimes used instead.
In principle therefore, all values were sometimes used for telegraphs, I will list them all.
As always, it is for the individual to decide what to collect.
Listed by Scott as RA1-RA11.

The early issues have 7 or 8 lines to each 'sunray' in the design. From 1976 there were only 5:
Early            1976
A comparison of the top-left corners. Note that the new design is a bit larger.

 

1st issue - 1950 (26 March) Offset Litho. White wove unwatermarked paper. Perf. 11. Sheets of 100.

Iran - H1 Iran - H2 Iran - H3
Type RL1  -  RH5   50d   /۵٠ Type RL1  -  RH6   2r   ٢/ Type RL1  -  RH7   2r.25   ٢/٢۵

 

RH # Type was Description Mint Used Used on Receipt
RH5 RL1 - 50d green and carmine 7.30 0.40 -
RH5a RL1 - imperf. 130.00 - -
RH6 RL1 H1 2r violet and lilac-red 2.50 0.55 -
RH6a RL1 - imperf. 130.00 - -
*RH7 RL1 H2 2r 25 brown and carmine 4.40 0.20 -

* I have corrected the colour, it was previously listed as the colour of the 50d postage type.

 

Iran - Watermark W1 Iran - Watermark W2
Hiscocks Type W1 Watermark (Iranian watermark WM2) Watermark Type W2   دولت شاھنشاھى ايران (The Imperial Iranian Government)

Watermark images adapted from the catalogue of Werner Lade.
Now shown as viewed from the front. The watermarks on all these stamps are quite large, only a portion can be seen on each stamp.

 

2nd issue - 1955 (August) As above but watermarked type W1. Perf. 11.

Iran - H4 Iran - H5
RH8   -   50d   /۵٠ RH9   -   2r.25   ٢/٢۵

 

RH # Type was Description Mint Used Used on Receipt
RH8 RL1 - 50d emerald and carmine 90.00 1.65 -
RH9 RL1 H3 2r 25 brown and carmine 4.80 0.10 -
RH9a   H3a         imperf. (and displaced centre) - - -
RH9b   H3b         displaced centre - - -

 

3rd issue - 1957 As above but watermarked type W2. Perf. 11.

Iran - H6 Iran - H7 Iran - H8
RH10   -   50d   /۵٠ RH11   -   2r   ٢/ RH12   -   2r.25   ٢/٢۵

 

RH # Type was Description Mint Used Used on Receipt
RH10 RL1 - 50d green and carmine 2.50 0.50 -
RH10a RL1 - centre inverted 310.00 - -
RH10b RL1 - imperf. between vertical pair 85.00 - -
RH11 RL1 - 2r violet and carmine 1.55 0.50 -
RH12 RL1 H4 2r 25 brown and red 0.35 0.10 -

 

 

1962 Provisional. RH12 surcharged   ريال ٢/۵٠ (2.5 Real).   Perf. 11.

Surcharge - H9
RH13   -   2r 50 on 2r 25   ٢/۵٠

 

RH # Type was Description Mint Used Used on Receipt
RH13 (RL1) H6 2r 50 on 2r 25 brown and red (surcharge in dark blue) 0.65 0.10 -
RH13a (RL1) - overprint dispaced horizontally (perf through value) 7.75 - -

 

 

 

Iran - Watermark W3 Iran - Watermark W4
Watermark Type W3 Watermark Type W4
  دولت شاھنشاھى ايران (The Imperial Iranian Government)

Watermark images adapted from the catalogue of Werner Lade.
Now shown as viewed from the front. These two watermarks are quite similar except the center.
It is possible to get stamps without a portion of the center. W4 seems more common than W3.

 

4th issue - 1963 (October) As above but watermarked type W3. Perf. 10½.

Iran - H10 Iran - H11 Iran - H12
RH14   -   50d   /۵٠ RH15   -   2r   ٢/ RH16   -   2r.25   ٢/٢۵

 

RH # Type was Description Mint Used Used on Receipt
RH14 RL1 - 50d green and carmine 1.40 0.32 -
RH15 RL1 H8 2r violet and carmine 1.80 0.35 -
RH16 RL1 H7 2r 50 brown and red. 0.65 0.10 -

 

 

 

5th issue - 1965-7 As above but watermarked type W4. Perf. 10½.

Iran - H0 Iran - 14
Type RL1 -   50d   /۵٠   RH17 Type RL1b -   50d   ۵٠ instead of   /۵٠   RH18

 

Iran - H15 Iran - H16
RH19   -   2r   ٢/ RH20   -   2r.25   ٢/٢۵

 

RH # Type was Description Mint Used Used on Receipt
RH17 RL1 - 50d green and carmine (/۵٠) 1.25 0.60 -
*RH17a RL1 - inverted watermark - - -
RH18 RL1b - 50d green and carmine (۵٠) 0.32 0.10 -
RH18a RL1b - imperforate bottom edge 32.00 - -
RH18b RL1b - imperforate top edge 42.00 - -
RH19 RL1 H9 2r grey-violet and carmine 1.65 0.30 -
RH20 RL1 H10 2r 50 brown and red 0.32 0.30 -
*RH20a RL1 - inverted watermark - - -
RH20b RL1 - horizontally imperforate 125.00 - -

*I have 2 examples of RH17, one of which has an inverted watermark.
I have 2 examples of RH20, both of which have inverted watermarks.

 

6th issue - 1976 As above. watermarked type W4 sideways, Perf. 13 x 13½. Sheets of 50.
John Barefoot points out that this is a re-drawn design with only 5 lines to each sunray.
These stamps are also noticeably larger than the earlier ones. They were used until June 1980.

Iran - H17 Iran - H18
RH21   -   50d   /۵٠ RH22   -   2r   ٢/

 

RH # Type was Description Mint Used Used on Receipt
RH21 (RL1) - 50d olive-green and carmine 1.50 0.25 -
RH21a   - with revolutionary overprint (see below) - - -
RH22 (RL1) H11 2r grey-violet and carmine 1.50 - -

Hiscocks added the following 3 notes:

Note 1. The date of No. 9 is uncertain.
Note 2. The use of these stamps was apparently discontinued in 1976.
Note 3. The above prices are much higher than those asked in Iran.
                The stamps are, however, relatively scarce outside Iran.

My note: My updated prices are generally lower than those quoted by Hiscocks.
They reflect prices in a catalogue that I can and have bought of via a supplier with access to Iran.
They thus reflect relative scarcity. Without such access, prices 5 to 10 times these may be asked.

 

Last printing in 1978.

 

This is known with a 1979 revolutionary overprint.
The writing I am told, is "جمهورى اسلامى ايران" which is Farsi for "Islamic Republic of Iran".

revolutionary overprint
RH21a - The status is unknown.

 

Cancels.

Here is a sample of some cancels seen. They are shown at half my normal scale.
These are generally found on the back of receipts.

Iran - cancel Iran - cancel
2r 25 brown and carmine
Courtesy of Werner Lade
2r 25 brown and carmine.

 

Iran - cancel Iran - cancel
2r 25 brown and carmine
2r 25 brown and red.

 

Iran - cancel Iran - cancel
2r 50 brown and red
Courtesy of Werner Lade
2r 50 brown and red
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht


If anyone can provide scans or information to help with this, I am happy to give appropriate credit.

 

 

Comments, criticisms, information or suggestions are always welcome.

Contact:     Emale

Please include the word 'Telegraphs' in the subject.

 

Alternatively Yahoo Group Yahoo-Group is a forum.

 

Last updated 30th. Aug. 2018

©Copyright Steve Panting 2012/13/14/15/16/17/18 except where stated.
Permission is hereby granted to copy material for which the copyright is owned by myself, on condition that any data is not altered and this website is given credit.

 

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