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Telegraph stamps of the World

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These were said to have been used for the pre-payment of wireless telegrams at half a dozen stations in Tibet during the late 1940's.
The stations reported were at Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyamda, Gartok, Chamdo and Nagchu. The last of these is otherwise known as Nakchu Kha or Hei-ho.
The stamps depict Snow Lions, a National Symbol of Tibet which is entirely fictional, though Tibetan Mastiffs would make a good substitute.

Tibet Map
This is an attempt to show the approximate locations of the known stations. They all fall inside whar is now the Tibet Autonomous Region.
Drawing border lines as of the 1940's is complicated by maps often being undated and some borders being disputed. No offence to anyone is intended.
Names is also problematic as places have Tibeten names and Chinese names which may be rendered in current pinyin, outdated pinyin or Tibetan pinyin.
In addition to this, rivers often flow through several countries in which they are called by different names. I have labelled one as the Mekong, but
this it has many other names such as the Lancang river. The Yarlung Zangbo is known in India as the Brahmaputra.
The Salween is also called the Nu or Nujiang (with jiang, 江 meaning river)
Telegraph Stations
GaGartok (now called Garyarsa.)
Na Nagchu, now rendered as Nagqu, also called Nakchu Kha or Hei-ho
GyGyamda or Ngapo Zampa or Gongbo Gyamda
StarStations in Nepal
Blue Star1903 Field Telegraphs in Sikkim, Tibet.   1922 Line from Gyantse to Lhassa.
Country colour key
Tibet Autonomous Region, corresponding to
Ladakh (part of Jamu & Kashmir)
Aksai Chin (then part of Jamu & Kashmir)
Amdo, now part of Qinghai Province, China
Now Sichuan Province, China. Was part of Kham
Yunnan Province, China
Burma, now called Myanmar


1949 or 1950 Printed in sheets of four on very rough greyish-buff native paper of variable thickness.
No watermark, no gum. Imperf.

Tibet sheetlet of H1 Tibet sheetlet of H2
Tibet sheetlet of H1 Tibet sheetlet of H2
Images courtesy Ed Boers

Tibet sheetlet of H5
This is a modern fake of a sheet of the 25 sang. note the lack of colour around the edges and nail marks.


Tibet H1 Tibet H2 Tibet H3
Type 1 - ½ sang Type 2 - 1 sang Type 3 - 5 sang
Images courtesy Ed Boers


Tibet H4 Need scan
Type 4 - 10 sang, courtesy Ed Boers Type 5, 25 sang, courtesy: Sarfaraz of traditional-india.


Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
H1 1 ½ sang, yellow to orange yellow 18.00 18.00
*H1a           olive green 48.00 48.00
H1b           sheet of 4 80.00 80.00
H2 2 1 sang, purple (shades) 16.00 16.00
*H2a           carmine 60.00 60.00
H2b           sheet of 4 75.00 75.00
H3 3 5 sang, deep blue green 75.00 75.00
H3a           pale sea green 100.00 100.00
H3b           sheet of 4 600.00 600.00
H4 4 10 sang, blue (shades) 47.00 47.00
*H4a           purple 60.00 60.00
H4b           sheet of 4 200.00 200.00
H5 5 25 sang, vermilion 25.00 25.00
H5a           brownish red 30.00 30.00
H5b           sheet of 4 120.00 120.00

* I have it on good opinion that these do not exist other than as modern reproductions/forgeries.
H3, the 5 sang is normally found with narrow margins. Wide margins are scarce and worth a premium.


Tibet H1 Tibet H2 Tibet H5
Type 1 - ½ sang Type 2 - 1 sang Type 5 - 25 sang
Three more used examples, courtesy of Ed Boers

If anyone can provide scans 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.


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Last updated 2nd. Feb. 2017

©Copyright Steve Panting 2012/13/14/15/16/17 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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