A Short Introduction To The Philately Of Palestine

Part 3: The First Overprint Issue "Jerusalem I" (1920)

After transition to the civil administration and separation of Transjordan a new series of stamps, specific to Palestine, had to be prepared. Postmarks were recast on 1.07.1920 by excising the military abbreviations OET and OETA EEF.

In parallel to Transjordan it was decided to overprint the EEF stamps at hand as a provisional arrangement until new stamps had arrived from London. Preparation of overprint plates and production itself was placed with the printing shop of the Greek Orthodox Convent in Jerusalem. An overprint block consisting of three lines was devised:

Type 4
FLSTIN Arab 8mm
PALESTINE English 14.75mm
PLSTINH AI Hebrew 13.75mm
Fellow collector Peter Green reminded me that the Hebrew wording was the result of a decision taken by the Advisory Council, a body chaired by the High Commissioner Sir Herbert Samuel, with 12 official and 10 non-official members (the latter consisting of four Moslem, three Christian and three Jewish members):

The Jewish members of the Council objected to the Hebrew transliteration of the word "Palestine", on the ground that the traditional name was "Eretz Yisrael", but the Arab members would not agree to this designation, which, in their view, had political significance. The High Commissioner therefore decided, as a compromise, that the Hebrew transliteration should be used, followed always by the two initial letters of "Eretz Yisrael", Aleph Yod, and this combination was always used on the coinage and stamps of Palestine and in all references in official documents.

Source: A Short History of Zionism, by Israel Cohen, London 1951.
Thanks to Peter Green.

Two types of overprints can be discerned: a first setting (T4 I) with some 24 sub-types, and a second setting (T4 II) with 12 sub-types. The expert philatelist can differentiate the second setting into five plate arrangements. Some of these arrangements are found on a few values only.

The stamps used for this local overprint were from the typographed issue continually reprinted since 1918, type T3. All the errors and varieties of that issue, including perforation and shades, appear also on the overprinted stamps---in addition to new vanities. This can be said for all four different Jerusalem overprints.

tiberias_V (44K) tiberias_R (33K)

Front and backside of a collector's cover: Registrered overseas letter from Tiberias to Basel (Switzerland),
franked with ten values of the first overprint issue (SG nos. 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 / 16, 27, 28, 19)
and one value from the second local overprint (SG no. 41).
Cancelled with TIBERIAS / A / 9 JA 21 (Sacher 2), transition markings: HAIFA / REGD / B / 10 JA 21 (Sacher D1, only
known in use for 14 days), travelling P.O. KANTARA HAIFA / T P O SOUTH / + / 11 JA 21 (Sacher TD3, in variant
with an inversed U in SOUTH), transit postmark PORT SAID / R / 12.JA.21 12.15 A. and BASEL / BRIEFTRÄGER /
V / 21. I. 21 .24
, as well as arrival marking BASEL 19 / KLEINHÜNINGEN / 22. I. 21.--8.
Blank registration label R / No. 15 with manuscript addition of a 9 (Sacher 4). Sacher lists as earliest known date 16.01.1921.

022_cover (35K)

Commercial cover of the Anglo-Palestine Company, sent registered to England, there redirected from Shortlands (Bromley) to Ilfracombe (Devon). Franked with the 2p overprint of September 1920 (SG no. 22), cancelled with JERUSALEM / 5 AU 21 (Sacher B1 or B2). Registration label: R / JERUSALEM / No. 1143 (Sacher RE) with manuscript "7" in red.
Postmarks on reverse:: REGISTERED / LONDON / 17 AU 21 (red), SHORTLANDS / BROMLEY.KENT / 18 AU / 21, and REGISTERED / PADDINGTON [...] / 18 AU 21 / M.

Noteworthy varieties:

  1. Watermark: missing crown K (1p); inverted watermark S (2p);
  2. Rough perforation RP (1m, 2m, 3m, 4m, 1p, 2p, 5p);
  3. New perforation K14:14 (2m, 3m, 5m);
  4. various overprint varieties (partly on only one setting or arrangement), offset on reverse, vertically or horizontally shifted.
025_shift (29K) 018_shift (48K)

Pair of 10p stamp (SG no. 25) with vertically slightly shifted overprint. In extreme cases the sequence of the three overprint lines can be reversed. The 3m stamps (block of four, SG no. 18) show horizontally shifted overprints. Images courtesy: ebay..

SG Michel Value Issue Colour Design Paper Watermk. Perf. Setting Overpr.
1615 I1 m1.09.1920sepiaT3 a gumm.W100K 15:14, RPI, IIT4 S
16 a--(brown) I, II
16 b--(d'brown)II
1716 I A2 m 1.09.1920blaugrünT3 agumm.W100K 15:14, RPI, IIT4 S
1817 I A3 m1.09.1920gelbbraunT3 bgumm.W100K 15:14, RPI, IIT4 S
1918 I4 m1.09.1920rotT3 agumm.W100K 15:14, RPI, IIT4 S
19 a--(carmine scarlet)
2019 I a A5 m1.09.1920gelborangeT3 bgumm.W100K 15:14I, IIT4 S
20 a--(orange)
2120 I1 p1.09.1920s'blauT3 bgumm.W100, Inv.K 15:14, RPIIT4 Si
21 a--(deep indigo violet)W100K 15:14I, II
2221 I2 p1.09.1920grünolivT3 agumm.W100, KK 15:14, RPI, IIT4 S
22 a--(olive)W100K 15:14I
2322 I5 p1.09.1920d'lilaT3 agumm.W100K 15:14, RPI, IIT4 S
23 a--(violet)K 15:14
2423 I9 p1.09.1920olivgelbT3 bgumm.W100K 15:14I, IIT4 S
24 a--(yellow bistre)
2524 I10 p1.09.1920ultramarinT3 bgumm.W100K 15:14I, IIT4 S
25 a--(bright ultramarin)
2625 I a20 p1.09.1920grauT3 bgumm.W100K 15:14IT4 S
26 a--(slate grey)I, II
2716 I C2 m--blaugrünT3 agumm.W100K 14:14IIT4 S
2817 I C3 m--gelbbraunT3 bgumm.W100K 14:14I, IIT4 S
2919 I b C5 m --rotorangeT3 bgumm.W100K 14:14I, IIT4 S
29 a--(d'orange)

Back to the Introduction

Back to the Zobbel Homepage

[Created 8.07.2002, last revised 31.03.2007]
[www.zobbel.de – Dipl.-Bibl.(FH) Tobias Zywietz – all rights reserved]