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Telegraph stamps of the World

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Bogus British Guiana British Honduras Cyprus G.E.A. Greece Liberia Malaya Mauritius New Zealand Poland Turkey
Bogus British Guiana British Honduras Cyprus G.E.A. Greece Liberia Malaya Mauritius New Zealand Poland Turkey



Most countries used a telegraph system at one time or another, but relatively few are mentioned on this site so far.
Largely that is because it has grown out of the book by Steve Hiscocks that used narrowly defined criteria for listing.
It did not include postage stamps used for telegraphic purposes, or even stamps that were intended for both postal and telegraphic purposes.
The media of the internet does not suffer from the same financial constraints of publishing s book, so for some countries I have gradually
widened the scope from Hiscocks' original inclusions.
Here I hope to add information about telegraphy in countries unlisted by Hiscocks for various reasons.
I know that some people will have no interest in this, however I also know that some will be very interested. .



These are 'stamps' that purport to be Telegraph stamps but have been produced privately, presumably for the sole purpose of making money
out of collectors who may believe them to have philatelic value. Some are more persuasive than others, but they all misrepresent themselves.
I am surprised that some of these have not landed the perpetrators in prison, but then perhaps they did.
Similarly I am surprised that the growing number of 'forgeries', 'reproductions' etc., appearing on eBay that
appear to be copies of genuine stamps produced on a home printer.
They are often described as "From my deceased grandfathers old collection. I know nothing about stamps, please make your own mind up",
or something equally disingenuous. Personally I think more policing is well overdue as collectors are being defrauded.
Anyway, this is my attempt to shed some light.

Bogus Cyprus KGV £2  Bogus Malta QV ½d  Bogus Malta KGV £5  Bogus Malta KGV £10

The above purport to have been produced by existing countries with the authority of the Crown and most with significant face values.
There is no evidence that such stamps were ever legitimately printed or even contemplated. I think they are Illegal stamps.
Hopefully whoever produced these is in prison for a very long time.

The stamps below indicate that they were for use on the Island of Lundy in the mouth of the Bristol Channel of England.

Bogus Lundy 1  Bogus Lundy 2  Bogus Lundy 3  Bogus Lundy 4
Bogus Lundy 5  Bogus Lundy 6
Bogus Lundy 7

This last item is particularly egregious. It purports have been produced in 1898, a time when the Post Office had a monopoly on telegraphs,
by De La Rue & Co. in a quality well below their normal standard, and appears to be signed Gerald King !
Some collectors have paid significant sums of money for these items, believing them to be genuine. Why is this man not in prison ?
Images courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
Further information and/or examples are invited.

:——————— END OF BOGUS ———————:

British Guiana

With one exception, all these images come courtesy of Les Bottomley

British Guiana-1


British Guiana-Wiki
This image from Wiki Commons.


Seen from 1946 to 1949.
British Guiana-2British Guiana-3


British Guiana-4


British Guiana-5

Mackenzie or McKenzie is on the Demerara River about 57 miles (91km) south of Georgetown.
A wireless-Telegraph station list for 1910 shows only Georgetown, which itself was not in the 1906 list.



British Honduras

Jeff Turnbull (well known to the Perfin Fraternity) has kindly sent me these images which he says relate to two dies recorded in the World Perfin catalogue.
The description there is "Telegram punch on Postal issues". I may be wrong (it is not unknown) but I take it that these were used as cancels,
perforated through stamps and form together, though the 50c with additional handstamp is a puzzle. The stamps are of 1938 and were used until 1953.
These are fairly high values as you would expect, but there were also $2 and $5 values.

British Honduras perfins
British Honduras perfins-back

British Honduras perfin-3
The perfins are at various angles and I think the usage was similar to that in Eritrea.


British Honduras perfin-2

DEPT on 25c




These may not be telegraphic, but they are punched high-values and are cancelled with "CANCELLED" in a box.
Cyprus-RL-1955-1   Cyprus-RL-1955-2   Cyprus-RL-1955-3
Images from RL.



G. E. A.

I already show some with British Army cancels, but there was other telegraphic usage outside that scope.

GEA-RL-1c   GEA-RL-3c   GEA-RL-6c   GEA-RL-10c
Images from RL.




I have seen it claimed that 'dash circles' as the perimeter of a cancel is an indication of telegraphic usage.
I know of British usage where this is certainly not the case, however there may be some truth in the case of Greece.
The first 4 images are courtesy of Les Bottomley who first drew my attention to these. The next two are mine.
For the purposes of interpreting place names and dates, some (upper-case) Greek Letters are similar to English (A, B, E, I, K, M, N, O, T, X, Y, Z)
but some are different (Γ→G, Δ→D , Η→EE, Λ→L , Ξ→KS, Π→P, Ρ→R , Σ→S, Φ→F, Ω→O.
Greece cancel 1  Greece cancel 2  Greece cancel 3  Greece cancel 4
Greece cancel 5  Greece cancel 6

They start with ΤΗΛ. ΓΡ. which is an abbreviation of ΤΗΛΕΦΩΝΙΚΟ ΓΡΑΦΕΙΟ meaning TELEGRAPH OFFICE, followed by the place name.
According to Les, they were in use from 1900 to as late as 1969, but mostly 1911 to 1935, with 3mm high lettering and 36 dashes in the circle.
I think Les was taking this from another source, but does not say what that source was. He said there were about 136 named cancels.

This has a cancel saying ΤΗΛ. ΓΡ. ΛΙMNΗΣ or LEMNOS TELEGRAPH OFFICE. With the punch hole it could easily be thought to be telegraphic.

Greece card piece

The complete item though looks like this. It appears to be a commercial card with two punch holes that are 3.125 inches (80mm) apart, a standard filing guage.

Greece card whole

Such cancels may well have been used on stamps telegraph forms, and even more likely on delivery envelopes, but they were also on other things.

Telegram Seals.

A few are known and shown in the section on seals.




The Liberia Telecommunications Corp., was established in 1973 as the sole fixed line telephone operator in Liberia.
It was re-organized in 2007 as Libtelco. This image of a delivery envelope is all that I have seen. Further information and/or images would be appreciated.

Liberian Tell
Image courtesy of Les Bottomley.




For Expedience I include Federated Malay States and the individual states here.

Federated Malay States $25
$25 (top value) used in Kuala Lumpur.

Sultan Zenalabidin 1910.

Trengganu 5c block Trengganu 30c
Trengganu $1


Sultan Badaru'l-alam 1921.

Trengganu 10c   Trengganu 30c   Trengganu 50c   Trengganu $1
These images are all courtesy of Les Bottomley.




The JIBO 10.VI.52. Army Signals cancel of 10 June 1952 indicates a military presence, presumably left over from WWII.
The next day the 2 stamps were cancelled at Port Louis on the Northwest coast.
Army Signals Cancel - JIBO-1952
The image comes courtesy of Anders Uggla from Sweden, who tells me that the King's African Riffles Regiment was there at the time.
The code should either indicate this regiment, or perhaps the location of their camp.


The EIMM 3.XII.54. or possibly ETMM 3.XII.54. Army Signals cancel of 3 December 1954
A 2½d British stamp was added and cancelled the same day, again at Port Louis.
Army Signals Cancel - ETMM-1954   Army Signals Cancel reconstruction
The other side indicates the location of the cabin where this was probably written aboard H. T. 'LANCASHIRE'
formerly HMT Lancashire before the mainmast was removed.
It was returning from the "Far East" back to Britain. The Army Signals cancel was presumably applied aboard the ship and the card handed to the
Mauritius postal authorities on docking. Images courtesy of Anders Uggla.



New Zealand

NZ Stamp Duty 3/- NZ Stamp Duty 5/- NZ Stamp Duty £4 and £10
Image courtesy of Les Bottomley. Image courtesy of tanstamps on Delcampe.
Click image for listing.
Images courtesy of Andrew Higson.

Victorian Stamp Duty Postal Fiscals used 1905 and 1908 for something related to Telegraphs.
It is by no means certain what exactly. The 3/- could have been used to send a telegram,
but the £4 and £10 are perhaps more likely to have been used for multiple sendings or accountancy.
Does anyone know more about this usage ?


NZ 3d NZ Telegraph NZ Telephone
3d Postage & Revenue used for Telegraphs in 1912
Courtesy of Les Bottomley.
2/6 Elizabethan used for Telegraphs
Courtesy of pc-filatelie.
10/- Elizabethan used for Telephones
Courtesy of Les Bottomley.

Telegram Seals.

A few are known and shown in the section on seals.




TELEGRAF used at Łuków.
Image courtesy of Les Bottomley.

Telegram Seals.

Seals-pg-45bc Seals-pg-46aa
Poland-13 Poland H6a

A range of seals are known and shown in the section on seals.




Like many countries normal postage stamps were often used to pay for telegraphic services. The only way to recognise them is by the cancel.
Arabic numerals
These are the Arabic numerals, 0 to 9 readig left to right.

25K stamp of 1917 First some history. Back in the days of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey used Ottoman Turkish for official purposes.
This was basically written in Arabic, but contained a lot of loan words from Arabic and Persian.
Roll on 1928, as part of the sweeping reforms of Atatürk, Turkey adopted a new modified Latin alphabet.
However it was not just that, many of the loan words were replaced by new Turkish words.
"Telegraph" in Ottoman Turkish had been "Bitlis", written (Persian, right to left) as something like
In modern Turkish it would be "Telegraf" which in Arabic is

Look at the stamp on the left. The Scott catalogue says it is a 1916-18 25 Piastre stamp.
The 25 in Arabic is clear enough, but it doesnt say Piastres (پیاستر), it says Kurush (کوروش), which Scott says
was used from 1926. For those (like me) that rely a lot on machine translation, the Turkish you get is
the modern version. Here's a tip though, try translating as Persian or Arabic.

The stamp is courtesy of Yalcin Kahramanlar (yvc140 on Delcampe, click image for listing)
He describes it as "Bitlis (Telegraph)" Postmark. The postmark could be clearer,
but allowing for it being Ottoman rather than Persian, could be

Something to look out for.

A list of places on Turkish postmarks can be found at :


Similarly to Persia, Money was raised to fund infrastructure by taxation on postal and telegraphic services.
This was done by using Charity stamps that were mandatory on certain days.

1927 2½k Air Post Tax 1932 2½k RA9 Post Tax 1943 3k Child Protection Tax - TELEFON cancel
1927 2½k Air Post Tax Stamp 1932 used 2½k Post Tax Stamp "TELEFON" on 1943 3k Child Protection Tax Stamp
Image courtesy of John Barefoot. Image courtesy of Rodney Cork. Image courtesy of Rodney Cork.

This requires some background since it contradicts information in both the Michel and the Scott catalogues (at least), which also contradict each other.
This was originally brought to my attention by Rodney Cork, a member of ONEPS, by showing me the "TELEFON" example. From there I looked at the Scott comments
for the "Postal Tax Stamps" and the "Postal Tax Air Post Stamps" which indicated that both were obligatory on certain days for certain things,
and stipulated 3k was required for telegrams sent by the latter. Strangely though, there was no 3k value of the Air Post type.
I mentioned this to John Barefoot who pointed out that it was very similar to what the Michel catalogue says, except that said 5k for telegrams.
This prompted John to look at his Turl Pullari Katalogue 1973 (in Turkish), that quoted the laws that instigated these taxes.
It turns out that it was the 2½k for telegrams, to be used on 20 days each year from 1926 (29 June) until 1934.
For the Air Post stamps, there was only a single issue of the 2½k stamps, the one shown, but for the non-air post types, there were a number of issues,
but they could also be used for parcels etc.

Having said that, Michel #17, issued in 1932 was for 2½k. From 1936 to 1938, Michel numbers 37 to 42 were various overprints on Michel #17. Michel #17 was a "Kinderhilfe" (Child aid) issue.
In 1928 there was a "Roter Halbmond"(Red crescent) issue of 2½k, Michel #10. There were further 2½k Red Crescent issues in 1935(#29A), 1938/43(#45I, #45III) with a single overprinting, #24.
To me that says that the Red Crescent 2½k stamps were not affected by the Tax, but the Child Aid 2½k stamps were primarily used for the Tax.


Telegram Seals.

A range of telegram seals were also used in Turkey, here are some at half scale :

Seals-pg-54ab   Seals-pg-54cc   Seals-pg-54ca   Star & Crescent only.   Railway - CCDD



As always, If anyone can provide further information and/or scans to help with this page, 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.


Last updated 16th. June 2022

©Copyright Steve Panting 2012/13/14/15/16/17/18/19/20/21/22 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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