POLL: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

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Is it a Stamp, Fake or Cinderella?

Poll ended at 02 Oct 2021 03:06

It’s a Stamp
10
43%
It’s Fake.
0
No votes
It’s a Cinderella
13
57%
 
Total votes: 23

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POLL: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by Robustian »


B46EFEE1-547C-474A-A654-1491AE9D848A.jpeg

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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by phrag99 »

Can't see the point of this thread.

A fake or a cinderella is still a stamp, albeit not a postage stamp nor a revenue.

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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by Bachius »

Greetings from Spain.

Sovereign Order of Malta is undoubtedly a special subject of public international law, since it does not have a territory as such. However, it is a state that mints coins, issues stamps, governs itself (with, among other things, courts) and is a member of numerous international institutions such as the United Nations and FAO. The Order of Malta maintains diplomatic relations with a hundred states and has signed some sixty postal agreements.

As a Sovereign Order, the Order of Malta can, like other states, mint its own currency and issue its own stamps. The first issue dates from November 15, 1966 and is a set of 9 fairly basic bicolor vignettes with some of the symbols of the Order.

The stamps correspond to the currency of the Order, in this case the scudo or the tari and the grani (1 scudo = 12 Tari = 240 Grani).

The face value of the new issues changed in 2005. Since then, the stamps have a value in euros. Initially, the Order's seals were printed by Thomas de la Rue in London. They are now produced by Cartor Security Printing, in France.

Over the years, more and more stamps have been issued with the symbols and flags of the Order, costumes, some famous masters, and, more regularly, paintings with religious effigies and the missions of the Order.

Santo Natale 1973.jpg
Classic stamps of the world until 1940. Spain and Italy. Basic stamps.

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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by faro »


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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by Robustian »

phrag99 wrote:
18 Sep 2021 05:13
Can't see the point of this thread.

A fake or a cinderella is still a stamp, albeit not a postage stamp nor a revenue.
The point was to try out the Poll feature.

Apparently it was no point in doing that.

Thanks for sharing, makes it so much more fun to be here.

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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by lesbootman »

Robustian wrote:
18 Sep 2021 09:41
phrag99 wrote:
18 Sep 2021 05:13
Can't see the point of this thread.

A fake or a cinderella is still a stamp, albeit not a postage stamp nor a revenue.
The point was to try out the Poll feature.

Apparently it was no point in doing that.

Thanks for sharing, makes it so much more fun to be here.
Don't give up Robustian, many of the participators on Stampboards have a few miles on their clocks and it is common knowledge that some old men are renowned for being grumpy.

Some of the younger ones can be grumpy too if you catch them on an off day :D

It is all part of life's rich tapestry so don't be put off, carry on regardless and hopefully you'll enjoy the experience.
Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind!

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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by Robustian »

Bachius wrote:
18 Sep 2021 05:29
Greetings from Spain.

Sovereign Order of Malta is undoubtedly a special subject of public international law, since it does not have a territory as such. However, it is a state that mints coins, issues stamps, governs itself (with, among other things, courts) and is a member of numerous international institutions such as the United Nations and FAO. The Order of Malta maintains diplomatic relations with a hundred states and has signed some sixty postal agreements.

As a Sovereign Order, the Order of Malta can, like other states, mint its own currency and issue its own stamps. The first issue dates from November 15, 1966 and is a set of 9 fairly basic bicolor vignettes with some of the symbols of the Order.

The stamps correspond to the currency of the Order, in this case the scudo or the tari and the grani (1 scudo = 12 Tari = 240 Grani).

The face value of the new issues changed in 2005. Since then, the stamps have a value in euros. Initially, the Order's seals were printed by Thomas de la Rue in London. They are now produced by Cartor Security Printing, in France.

Over the years, more and more stamps have been issued with the symbols and flags of the Order, costumes, some famous masters, and, more regularly, paintings with religious effigies and the missions of the Order.

Image
I got quite a lot of them from an auction.

Hadn’t seen them before and as always got curious about them.

The only reason I created this thread was to try the poll option.

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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by polisciguy2011 »

Definitely a stamp in my mind, though I am biased as I collect the early issues of the SMOM! I've always had an interest in Crusader history, and the SMOM claims continuity with the Knights Hospitaller (later the Knights of Rhodes and Knights of Malta).

Eventually I'd like to get a complete run, but the later/more modern years are so expensive on the secondary market, at least that I have seen. Year sets seem to run into the hundreds of $US, though I'm not particularly sure why when the older ones are available at very modest prices). Part of the problem is very few dealers in the United States seem to carry them, given that I do not believe Scott has ever listed them (when I try and buy them, I tend to have to use older editions of the Italian Sassone catalogue).

They're definitely well-designed and unlike a lot of micro stamp issuing entities, SMOM has done a good job of keeping its issues pretty closely related to its own history, Catholic history, or the Order's charitable works worldwide.

For me, a cinderella needs to lack any postal validity whatsoever, and while there may be limited validity to SMOM stamps (only some countries recognize them, as was noted by a poster above!), I put them on a par with stamps issued by the United Nations, which are only valid for postal purposes when used on-site in NYC, Geneva, or Vienna.
--Zach

Collecting Interests: Benelux, Germany, Sarawak, KGV Silver Jubilee, Australia, Newfoundland

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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by Robustian »

polisciguy2011 wrote:
18 Sep 2021 09:53
Definitely a stamp in my mind, though I am biased as I collect the early issues of the SMOM! I've always had an interest in Crusader history, and the SMOM claims continuity with the Knights Hospitaller (later the Knights of Rhodes and Knights of Malta).

Eventually I'd like to get a complete run, but the later/more modern years are so expensive on the secondary market, at least that I have seen. Year sets seem to run into the hundreds of $US, though I'm not particularly sure why when the older ones are available at very modest prices). Part of the problem is very few dealers in the United States seem to carry them, given that I do not believe Scott has ever listed them (when I try and buy them, I tend to have to use older editions of the Italian Sassone catalogue).

They're definitely well-designed and unlike a lot of micro stamp issuing entities, SMOM has done a good job of keeping its issues pretty closely related to its own history, Catholic history, or the Order's charitable works worldwide.

For me, a cinderella needs to lack any postal validity whatsoever, and while there may be limited validity to SMOM stamps (only some countries recognize them, as was noted by a poster above!), I put them on a par with stamps issued by the United Nations, which are only valid for postal purposes when used on-site in NYC, Geneva, or Vienna.
There nice but doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the collection.

I have quite a lot of them. When I reach the 30/30 rule or was it 60/60? don’t recall right now.
Then i’m gonna be open to trade.

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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by polisciguy2011 »

Definitely understand that; they are a gray area in terms of collecting, and I have seen people categorize them as cinderellas or fantasy issues as often or even more often than as stamps.
--Zach

Collecting Interests: Benelux, Germany, Sarawak, KGV Silver Jubilee, Australia, Newfoundland

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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by Robustian »

You just can’t keep everything :)

Already have a large amount of stamps that need sorting and categorisation,
so they will just be lying around.

And that’s pointless, better someone who wants them get them.

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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by Robustian »

lesbootman wrote:
18 Sep 2021 09:49
Robustian wrote:
18 Sep 2021 09:41
phrag99 wrote:
18 Sep 2021 05:13
Can't see the point of this thread.

A fake or a cinderella is still a stamp, albeit not a postage stamp nor a revenue.
The point was to try out the Poll feature.

Apparently it was no point in doing that.

Thanks for sharing, makes it so much more fun to be here.
Don't give up Robustian, many of the participators on Stampboards have a few miles on their clocks and it is common knowledge that some old men are renowned for being grumpy.

Some of the younger ones can be grumpy too if you catch them on an off day :D

It is all part of life's rich tapestry so don't be put off, carry on regardless and hopefully you'll enjoy the experience.
I know, been working in the service industry for 25 years and I’ve met them all.

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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by Phila-Tourist »

polisciguy2011 wrote:
18 Sep 2021 09:53
I put them on a par with stamps issued by the United Nations, which are only valid for postal purposes when used on-site in NYC, Geneva, or Vienna.
I visited the SMOM post office in Rome twice. It appears quite legit - stamps, postmarks, bilateral postal agreements, a proper (albeit weird) subject of international law. Sending the usual tourist postcards is easy. Registered mail takes much more effort, but is also possible.

MICHEL refuses to list the stamps. Decades ago they did a bit of an investigation and basically concluded that these were no postage stamps because SMOM mail reaches its destinations abroad only because it is repacked by the Italian international exchange post office in an outer envelope (one per dispatch per destination country) that is franked with Italian stamps. The SMOM stamps thus have no postal purpose and would at best be seen as local stamps paying for the letters' initial short trip in Rome. In the destination country, the envelope is opened and the SMOM letters are delivered to their addressees, who have no idea that the letters travelled under cover.

1.jpg

2.jpg

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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by polisciguy2011 »

Oh, that is fascinating! So the outer envelope is disposed of by the receiving postal authority as part of the bilateral postal agreements? Or is this something Poste Italiene has organized on its own?
--Zach

Collecting Interests: Benelux, Germany, Sarawak, KGV Silver Jubilee, Australia, Newfoundland

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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by Number-O-Ne »

Robustian wrote:
18 Sep 2021 09:51

I got quite a lot of them from an auction.
There's a reason for that. :D

I also speak Italian and follow the (eternal) SMOM discussions on an Italian message board. Bachius and Polisciguy2011 pretty much sum things up.

A couple historical notes:

First postal agreement of SMOM was in 1982 with Chile.

The country where the HQ is located is (obviously) Italy. A postal agreement with Italy was not signed until 2005.

Many Italian collectors say anything issued by SMOM before 2005 can not be considered as valid stamps. Opinions differ, but pre-2005 issues are not popular.

Even considering the date of first postal agreement as date of validity, there seems to be little doubt about the status of the issues between 1966 and 1982: donation receipts for a charity, ie cinderella. SMOM is a great charity that has helped countless lives, but those earlier issues are still not philatelic material.

The issues after 2005 are more widely accepted as postage stamps at the level of UN issues. These are have Euro as currency and hold their value slightly better than the earlier ones.



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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by polisciguy2011 »

Number-O-Ne, I think you just helped solve my lengthy search for the reason why everything post-2005 is more expensive than the earliest issues ending in the 1980s! You learn something new every day on stampboards! :D
--Zach

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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by satsuma »

It all depends on how you define the categories and if those definitions are sufficient to allocate the issues to any one of them or further categories are needed.

If you define a fake as an unauthorised copy of something else to defraud the unwary buyer; then it is not a fake.

If you define a cinderella as a label promoting an event or cause, which may be attached to an envelope, but without an expectation that it is sufficient in itself to ensure carriage to its intended destination; then it is not a cinderella.

So, does that make it a stamp, as is generally understood; a sub-category of stamps in general; or something else?

If you define stamps as an issue which at least some members of the UPU will routinely recognise as valid for carriage to an international destination; then it is a stamp.

These definitions may not be consistent with everyone else's; and issues from the Vatican, United Nations, Antarctic Territories, and the Hutt River Province may indicate just three categories are insufficient.

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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by Global Administrator »

Robustian wrote:
18 Sep 2021 09:51

The only reason I created this thread was to try the poll option.
Rule #1 of creating Polls - always head it as that in heading and always offer a

Not Sure

or

Don't Know

option. :lol:

Gets a TON more responses.

I just fixed the first bit - cannot add anything now re new options as all votes then vanish.
.
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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by Robustian »

Global Administrator wrote:
18 Sep 2021 16:11
Robustian wrote:
18 Sep 2021 09:51

The only reason I created this thread was to try the poll option.
Rule #1 of creating Polls - always head it as that in heading and always offer a

Not Sure

or

Don't Know

option. :lol:

Gets a TON more responses.

I just fixed the first bit - cannot add anything now re new options as all votes then vanish.
Thanks for the notes.

I’ll probably try anew some other time with a more interesting subject.

This one basically put me off a bit.


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Re: POLL: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by gavin-h »

Like Lundy Island (and I mean "real" Lundy, not that dreadful Gerald King rubbish!), there are advocates for these stamps servicing a genuine postal requirement. They will talk them up, give them (often arbitrary) value and benefit from trading in them.

Others suggest that the postal requirement is so narrow and restricted that they have no legitimate need or purpose and are simply pretty labels sold to tourists and collectors.

Personally, I don't collect these and categorise them as "Cinderellas", but then again much of the Soviet Zone of Germany material that I do collect is seen that way by some. A classic example of "One person's trash is another's treasure". :idea:

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Re: POLL: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by Robustian »

gavin-h wrote:
18 Sep 2021 23:31
Like Lundy Island (and I mean "real" Lundy, not that dreadful Gerald King rubbish!), there are advocates for these stamps servicing a genuine postal requirement. They will talk them up, give them (often arbitrary) value and benefit from trading in them.

Others suggest that the postal requirement is so narrow and restricted that they have no legitimate need or purpose and are simply pretty labels sold to tourists and collectors.

Personally, I don't collect these and categorise them as "Cinderellas", but then again much of the Soviet Zone of Germany material that I do collect is seen that way by some. A classic example of "One person's trash is another's treasure". :idea:
That’s very true.
The poll is exactly 50/50 right now so it seems that it’s a divider.

I usually avoid if they aren’t listed in any of the bigger Stamp catalogs.
Some times though the need to keep is bigger.

Witch Soviet zone material is considered as Cinderella?
I collect them too and find the whole period around WWII very interesting.

I posted a few of them in this thread, among other materials.
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=96655

Cheers, Stellan.


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Re: POLL: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by Robustian »

Thank you very much:
gavin-h
satsuma
polisciguy2011
Number-O-ne
Phila-tourist
Bachius
For excellent information.

And lesbootman for the well needed encouragement.

Cheers to you all. Stellan.

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Re: POLL: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by gavin-h »

Robustian wrote:
19 Sep 2021 00:03

Witch Soviet zone material is considered as Cinderella?
I collect them too and find the whole period around WWII very interesting.

I posted a few of them in this thread, among other materials.
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=96655

Cheers, Stellan.

Hi, Stellan,

Thanks for your comments.

Much more about the "Russians in Germany" on this thread:

https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=16899

Many examples of zone-wide, regional and local issues there (and of course the currency reform provisionals!)

Stanley Gibbons refuses to list all of the 1945-46 local issues and only gives very basic treatment to the regional issues. Thus, some collectors in this country shun them. I can't speak for elsewhere but I suspect USA and Scott are similar.

Some were, of course, issued speculatively or to raise funds for rebuilding but for many of those issues, if you wanted to post a letter in, say Spremberg in that period, you had no choice but to use those stamps.

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Re: POLL: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by Robustian »

gavin-h wrote:
19 Sep 2021 00:28
Robustian wrote:
19 Sep 2021 00:03

Witch Soviet zone material is considered as Cinderella?
I collect them too and find the whole period around WWII very interesting.

I posted a few of them in this thread, among other materials.
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=96655

Cheers, Stellan.

Hi, Stellan,

Thanks for your comments.

Much more about the "Russians in Germany" on this thread:

https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=16899

Many examples of zone-wide, regional and local issues there (and of course the currency reform provisionals!)

Stanley Gibbons refuses to list all of the 1945-46 local issues and only gives very basic treatment to the regional issues. Thus, some collectors in this country shun them. I can't speak for elsewhere but I suspect USA and Scott are similar.

Some were, of course, issued speculatively or to raise funds for rebuilding but for many of those issues, if you wanted to post a letter in, say Spremberg in that period, you had no choice but to use those stamps.
Very interesting thread, thanks.
Some really nice covers.

I have a few from the era that’s been difficult to pin point so I posted a question there as well.


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Re: POLL: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by HalfpennyYellow »

Number-O-Ne wrote:
18 Sep 2021 12:36
First postal agreement of SMOM was in 1982 with Chile.
The first postal agreement was not with Chile but with the Republic of Malta on 4 March 1975. It lapsed on 28 February 1978 and it was never renewed, so Malta no longer recongises SMOM stamps. The next postal agreement was with Nicaragua in 1977.

Source for the above: SMOM and Malta issues, article by Carmel G. Bonavia (revised by A. Bonnici) in the Journal of the Malta Philatelic Society (vol. 44/1, April 2015), pages 27–35

As a side note, when Poste Magistrali was set up in 1966 it wasn't the first postal service run by the Hospitallers. While they were based in Malta, they established a Commissary of Posts in 1708 and this postal service ran until Hospitaller rule ended in June 1798 with a French invasion. Postal items from this era tend to be rare and expensive.

Regarding the cost of recent issues, many of the euro-denominated SMOM stamps (ie. issues since 2005) have high face values - for example, they have a lot of miniature sheets denominated around €5 to €10.
Collecting worldwide postage and revenue stamps - focusing on Malta, British Commonwealth and revenues in general

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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by faro »

Phila-Tourist wrote:
18 Sep 2021 12:15
MICHEL refuses to list the stamps. Decades ago they did a bit of an investigation and basically concluded that these were no postage stamps because SMOM mail reaches its destinations abroad only because it is repacked by the Italian international exchange post office in an outer envelope (one per dispatch per destination country) that is franked with Italian stamps. The SMOM stamps thus have no postal purpose and would at best be seen as local stamps paying for the letters' initial short trip in Rome. In the destination country, the envelope is opened and the SMOM letters are delivered to their addressees, who have no idea that the letters travelled under cover.
If there's a consolidated package forwarded per country, which is then opened and distributed within the recipient country under SMOM's postal agreement, then the hop from Italy to that country is little different to the Royal Mail, say, paying for a bulk consignment of mail to be flown from the UK to another country.

The Royal Mail has to pay for this service (that was the justification for the recent covid-impacted price hikes for international postage, anyhow!), the air cargo company just chooses not to issue stamps for its provision.

Michel is drawing a squiggly line indeed and, as noted, a lot of what they list would be deemed "local" and inadmissible within SG's criteria since 1899 or thereabouts (with the obvious ugly exceptions, etc., yet again!)

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Re: POLL: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by Number-O-Ne »

HalfpennyYellow wrote:
19 Sep 2021 01:00
Number-O-Ne wrote:
18 Sep 2021 12:36
First postal agreement of SMOM was in 1982 with Chile.
The first postal agreement was not with Chile but with the Republic of Malta on 4 March 1975. It lapsed on 28 February 1978 and it was never renewed, so Malta no longer recongises SMOM stamps. The next postal agreement was with Nicaragua in 1977.

Source for the above: SMOM and Malta issues, article by Carmel G. Bonavia (revised by A. Bonnici) in the Journal of the Malta Philatelic Society (vol. 44/1, April 2015), pages 27–35

As a side note, when Poste Magistrali was set up in 1966 it wasn't the first postal service run by the Hospitallers. While they were based in Malta, they established a Commissary of Posts in 1708 and this postal service ran until Hospitaller rule ended in June 1798 with a French invasion. Postal items from this era tend to be rare and expensive.

Regarding the cost of recent issues, many of the euro-denominated SMOM stamps (ie. issues since 2005) have high face values - for example, they have a lot of miniature sheets denominated around €5 to €10.
Interesting to hear more information from Malta side. The postal agreement with Malta is not mentioned on Italian sources. Thanks for the additional knowledge and the article.

As a matter of fact, a postal agreement was also signed with Italy in 1979, but not finalized due to some bureaucratic issues. Even with available postal agreements with other countries, the postal material bearing SMOM stamps could not go through Italian territory, where the HQ is located. That's the reason for the oddity mentioned above by Phila-Tourist.

Given the precarious nature of Nicaraguan politics and its government in 1970s, I doubt the postal agreement of 1977 ever had any practical consequences. Still, I appreciate you letting me know about it. Wasn't mentioned on my sources.


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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by Phila-Tourist »

polisciguy2011 wrote:
18 Sep 2021 12:18
Oh, that is fascinating! So the outer envelope is disposed of by the receiving postal authority as part of the bilateral postal agreements? Or is this something Poste Italiene has organized on its own?
I think the point is that neither the Italian Post nor the UPU recognize(d) SMOM stamps, so to get the letters from Italy to their foreign destination requires an outer envelope with postage paid according to normal (Italian) postal rules. The destination country, presumably, having a postal agreement with SMOM, accepts SMOM stamps for in-country delivery. That is very different from Vatican or UN stamps, which may remain visible throughout the letter's journey and are UPU-recognized. This if of course vital since neither the Vatican nor the UN have any postal transport infrastructure and must piggyback on the Italian or US/Swiss/Austrian Post.

Note that the MICHEL discovery and disclosure of the outer envelope procedure happened long before the 2005 status change. However, even today MICHEL does still not list SMOM stamps.

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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by norvic »

Phila-Tourist wrote:
19 Sep 2021 02:16
polisciguy2011 wrote:
18 Sep 2021 12:18
Oh, that is fascinating! So the outer envelope is disposed of by the receiving postal authority as part of the bilateral postal agreements? Or is this something Poste Italiene has organized on its own?
I think the point is that neither the Italian Post nor the UPU recognize(d) SMOM stamps, so to get the letters from Italy to their foreign destination requires an outer envelope with postage paid according to normal (Italian) postal rules. The destination country, presumably, having a postal agreement with SMOM, accepts SMOM stamps for in-country delivery. That is very different from Vatican or UN stamps, which may remain visible throughout the letter's journey and are UPU-recognized. This if of course vital since neither the Vatican nor the UN have any postal transport infrastructure and must piggyback on the Italian or US/Swiss/Austrian Post.

Note that the MICHEL discovery and disclosure of the outer envelope procedure happened long before the 2005 status change. However, even today MICHEL does still not list SMOM stamps.
I wonder how the UPU's terminal dues work for these. I suppose the destination country charges Italy.
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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by Phila-Tourist »

faro wrote:
19 Sep 2021 01:22

If there's a consolidated package forwarded per country, which is then opened and distributed within the recipient country under SMOM's postal agreement, then the hop from Italy to that country is little different to the Royal Mail, say, paying for a bulk consignment of mail to be flown from the UK to another country.
Obviously, all postal administrations not operating their own aircraft pay carriers for transporting their mail bags. The point about the SMOM mail is that the Italian post does not recognize the customer-affixed stamps on an individual postal item and replaces them with internationally recognized Italian stamps. The mail bag going from Rome to Manila, for example, will contain hundreds of regular, customer-prepared letters with Italian stamps plus one forwarding envelope prepared by the Italian post, containing SMOM covers.

Presumably to save money and as a concession to philatelists, the outer envelope trick is used instead of sticking Italian postage on top of the SMOM stamps. Incidentally, I don't know who eventually pays the Italian postage. Maybe the Italian post absorbs the cost; maybe it bills the SMOM post office.

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Re: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by faro »

norvic wrote:
19 Sep 2021 02:29
I wonder how the UPU's terminal dues work for these. I suppose the destination country charges Italy.
They can only charge for one package but there may be multiple items to be distributed within that, so it is presumably by separate agreement or favour giving the small number of items?
Good question, though!
Phila-Tourist wrote:
19 Sep 2021 02:30
faro wrote:
19 Sep 2021 01:22

If there's a consolidated package forwarded per country, which is then opened and distributed within the recipient country under SMOM's postal agreement, then the hop from Italy to that country is little different to the Royal Mail, say, paying for a bulk consignment of mail to be flown from the UK to another country.
Obviously, all postal administrations not operating their own aircraft pay carriers for transporting their mail bags. The point about the SMOM mail is that the Italian post does not recognize the customer-affixed stamps on an individual postal item and replaces them with internationally recognized Italian stamps. The mail bag going from Rome to Manila, for example, will contain hundreds of regular, customer-prepared letters with Italian stamps plus one forwarding envelope prepared by the Italian post, containing SMOM covers.
Nor would the Italian post recognize Royal Mail stamps if the item was sent or forwarded from Italy.

Does it really matter who they choose to pay to forward the mail - whether a commercial mail carrier or more directly an aviation company - if the recipient country accepts the stamps on the deconsolidated items and forwards those without further charge, as appears to be the case?

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Re: POLL: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by Phila-Tourist »

It certainly does not matter to the recipient of the letter! The MICHEL position is not a very extreme rejection. MICHEL does not claim SMOM stamps are cinderellas, it only says they are not "full" postage stamps. Even that position is debatable because many locally valid stamps are listed by MICHEL. Some classical stamps were never valid beyond the country's borders! SMOM stamps have a particularly difficult stand because the issuing authority controls no territory. Sometimes MICHEL is slow in recognizing stamps of de facto regimes. They accepted Nagorno-Karabakh early on, but Abkhazia was only listed recently, and the Iraqi Region of Kurdistan is still unrecognized.

I am happy to include SMOM covers in my collection because SMOM is a subject of international law. By contrast, I do not collect questionable private stamps such as Lundy, even if they allegedly prepay a transport service, and I obviously ignore fraudulent fantasy stickers such as Oecussi-Ambeno.

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Re: POLL: Is this a stamp, fake or Cinderella?

Post by norvic »

Lundy stamps have been providing that service of getting postcards to the mainland and the national postal system since before I posted my first one in the mid-1950s.

There is nothing questionable about them.
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