Today in Postal History

Faroe Islands Local Use
January 21, 1919

This is a seemingly simple cover used locally in the Faroe Islands.
The Faroes are about 400 km north northwest of Scotland on the way to Iceland.

The cover received two Thorshavn CDS on January 21.

The stamp selection is what makes this cover most interesting.
During January, 1919, the post office ran out of 2 ° stamps.
The Denmark 5 ° green King Christian X of 1913 was
handstamped with a 2 ěRE surcharge (Scott Faroe Islands 1).
(Find this stamp in your catalog for a surprise!)
The surcharged stamp was used in conjunction with an
unsurcharged copy of the 5 ° stamp (Scott Denmark 97).
The surcharged stamp was in use from January 12 to January 24, 1919.*
15,500 of the surcharged stamps were issued.

The handmade surcharge was applied using the leg of a chair!

During this shortage of stamps the the 4 ° blue of 1913 (Scott 88) was also bisected to provide a 2 °.
The bisect was used from January 3 to January 23, 1919.
4,000 bisected stamps were issued.
On cover use of the bisect is also quite pricey, valued at $1000 in my 1999 Scott's Classic.

In addition, wrappers were bisected to provide 1,600 stamps.
The bisected wrapper was in use from January 6 to January 24, 1919.
There were a few other stamps and wrappers which were bisected for this usage.

*Thanks to Knud-Erik for the extensive details on the Faroe Islands surcharges and bisects.


Today in Postal History
January February March April May June
July August September October November December

Pastnotes Index - The First 300 and the Next 208
provides more tidbits about stamps and collectors.

Comments? Send me an e-mail
Please include a reference to this item.