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Telegraph stamps of the World

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Bogus British Guiana British Honduras Greece Malaya Mauritius New Zealand Poland
Bogus British Guiana British Honduras Greece Malaya Mauritius New Zealand Poland



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 somw will be 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




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.




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.

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.



New Zealand

NZ Stamp Duty 3/-  NZ Stamp Duty £4 and £10
Image courtesy of Les Bottomley. 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 Telephone
A 3d Postage & Revenue used for Telegraphs in 1912 and an Elizabethan used for Telephones. Images 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.



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 9th. April 2021

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