Samoa might have the rarest postage stamps in the world?

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Samoa might have the rarest postage stamps in the world?

Post by BrianBURU »

MODS: Please do not merge this thread. It will be ideal to showcase Samoan rarities.
___________________________________________
Samoa Observer https://www.samoaobserver.ws/category/samoa/103688

In search of Samoa's rare stamps
SAMOA
Observer1.jpg
___________________________________________
By Talaia Mika 25 May 2023, 11:00AM
___________________________________________

A stamp collector from Newcastle in England has flown over 15,000 kilometers to Samoa to prove his theory that Samoa might have the rarest postage stamps in the world.

Paul Woods in an interview with the Samoa Observer said one of the rarest Samoan stamps was used to seal the deal for the Treaty of Berlin in the 1880s when deciding on Samoa's independence which not many Samoans know much about.

"One of the Treaties of Berlin, and this was a Treaty where all three of the big powers guaranteed independence for Samoa in terms of administration but they also issued these stamps," he said.

"I'm hoping when I'm in Samoa to see if I can find some more of these stamps and they would've been very rare, they would've been used for property deals and property deeds.

"I'm not sure if the Samoan government really knows how rare some of the stamps are in Samoa and until I've got a reasonable value as well, but I want to do some research about the Samoan stamps.
Observer2.jpg
"I've written a variety of articles so far and when I was in New Zealand a few weeks ago, I entered a big stamp exhibition and won a gold medal for stamps which included some Samoan stamps as well. The feedback I got was that I needed some more and better Samoan stamps.

"I found some Samoan stamps from 1891 and that was for the new Supreme Court that was established in Samoa."

Another rare Samoan stamp was used on the deed of Robert Louis Stevenson's sale of the house according to the stamp collector.

"Robert Louis Stevenson's house was sold in 1894 and that will have special stamps put on it to ensure that the tax was being paid on the sale of the property so that's a very rare document and should be in your new RLS museum.

"I visited the RLS museum on Saturday but they didn't seem to have the document there so it must be somewhere but if it could be fun, it's quite important.

Mr. Woods is an accountant by profession. He was the city treasurer of Newcastle before he retired a few years ago.
Observer3.jpg
He then developed an interest in stamps which included stamps from New Zealand and recently the ones from Samoa.

He said he plans to do a thorough research on Samoan stamps to find out the first one ever printed to the rarest one.

Mr. Woods anticipates that the Samoa government is aware of the research of the rare stamps in the country.

"They have some value, they're not worth millions of pounds but they have some valued stamps and I don't think the people of Samoa understand or appreciate that they have some values," he added.

Another rare Samoan stamp was bought for the Supreme Court and was about $3,000 tala which he explained was reasonably valuable based on the cheap cost of living at the time.

He is to visit the new Samoan museum to ask them about the stamps.

When he was in Wellington, New Zealand, he found Samoan stamps from the older administration in the 1920s. These are big sheets of stamps and are worth about $30,000 to $40,000 tala.

Mr. Woods will be in Samoa for three weeks.

___________________________________________
By Talaia Mika 25 May 2023, 11:00AM
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Stamp Duty.jpg
Indeed, the 1914-28 series of duty stamps shown above were not the first to be used for revenue collection in Samoa. Although the SG Part I catalogue does not list them, almost a quarter of a century earlier, ARTICLE VI. SEC.2. (D) of the 1889 Berlin Treaty adopted the use of stamps for the collection of revenue on real estate transfers. Specifically:

2. Upon deeds of real estate, to be paid before registration thereof can be made, and without payment of which title shall not be held valid, upon the value of the consideration paid ½ per cent.

3. Upon other written transfers of property upon the selling price 1 per cent.

Evidence of the payment of the last two taxes may be shown by lawful stamps affixed to the title paper, or otherwise by the written receipt of the proper tax collector.


And further:

SEC. 4. It is understood that “dollars” and “cents,” terms of money used in this act, describe the standard money of the United States of America or its equivalent in other currencies as specified below:
Currency-600.jpg
It is for this reason that whenever examples of the Supreme Court stamps appear for sale, they are always designated in dollars and cents. They are definitely not from American Samoa as some have surmised.

Prospective collectors may also be interested in yet another related field, and that is the Consular Service stamps which supplemented those used by the Supreme Court.

Apia, as distinct from Samoa, was under a tripartite system of administration with British, German and US consuls serving their own nationals. Deeds were duly recorded by them in their respective consulates for an additional fee, and entered into register books.

The British books occasionally contained consular stamps and seals in various colours, which continued to be used even after the German annexation of Samoa in 1900. Stamps, for example, from the reign of Queen Victoria were value surcharged in blue or red, while those from the King Edward VII era pre-printed.

Unfortunately, the British consular archives suffered an ignominious fate after the death of the last consul in 1916. They became derelict, and it was not until 1920 that they were finally relocated to New Zealand for preservation. For this reason they remain incomplete due to theft, vandalism, and destruction by natural elements, however the following images show some survivors:
1895 Seal
1895 Seal
1913 Seal
1913 Seal
1913 Stamp
1913 Stamp
___________________________________________

So, is the Supreme Court stamp one of the rarest Samoan stamps as Mr Woods asserts? It is certainly the rarest revenue stamp, but in my opinion, it is the 1891 postage stamps perforated 12½ with a 7mm watermark (SG 49-56) that deserve the crown, but I would say that wouldn’t I? In particular:
L: SG 49 (1 known), R: SG 50 (4 known used)
L: SG 49 (1 known), R: SG 50 (4 known used)
L: SG 53 (2 known mint), R: SG 56 (3 known used)
L: SG 53 (2 known mint), R: SG 56 (3 known used)
It should be noted that a number of used copies of SG 53 do exist, only two of which are mint. A mint copy of SG 56 also exists. Of the three known used copies of this stamp, one is in the Royal Philatelic Collection, while the other is completely faded so that despite the numbers the one shown above is in reality the only known fine used example available to collectors. SG 49, 50 and 56 are unpriced in the catalogue due to their extreme rarity.
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Re: Samoa might have the rarest postage stamps in the world

Post by BrianBURU »

When I first saw the stamp shown on the left below, I was convinced that it was SG 51 from the 1891 issue mentioned above, simply because it appeared to match the orange-yellow colour of that stamp. Upon actual examination however, it turned out to have a 6mm watermark and a definite yellow colour, which did not match the usual brown-orange of SG 23, were it from the 1886 issue.
R: SG 23 (both are perforated 12½ with a 6mm watermark)
R: SG 23 (both are perforated 12½ with a 6mm watermark)
I then recalled that when Volume V of The Postage Stamps of New Zealand was published in 1967, the printing of the 2d stamps on July 6 1887 was considered to be perforated 12½.
Page 563 from The Postage Stamps of New Zealand
Page 563 from The Postage Stamps of New Zealand
Subsequent to that belief the above printings table was amended by A. R. Burge in March 1969, in a landmark article in Philately from Australia (pages 9-17). Henceforth, the July 6 1887 printing was deemed to be perforated 12x11½ with a 6mm watermark, and the 2d value designated yellow (SG 29).

So, was my yellow stamp a colour variety of SG 23 (1886), or a perforation variety of SG 29 (1887)? The possibility of it being a colour changeling also crossed my mind until I saw the illustration of these stamps by R. P. Odenweller.
L: SG 29 (yellow), R: SG 29 (3 yellow-orange)
L: SG 29 (yellow), R: SG 29 (3 yellow-orange)
Since the faint postmark shown on the right stamp above is also a match, what we appear to have here is indeed a perforation variety of SG 29 (1887), in which case it is unique. Was the information in Volume V partially correct after all? It is not unreasonable to assume that two different perforating machines were employed in July 1887, which would explain the frustration felt by Burge in his follow-up article in the same journal as he wrote in March 1973 (page 10) “But why is it that so few copies of the stamps perf 12x11½ on the 6mm paper have been found? Reasonable quantities of the perf 12½ stamps, apart from the 6d, appear to exist out of the one printing of 12,480 of each value. The former are practically non-existent…..”. Why indeed!
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Re: Samoa might have the rarest postage stamps in the world

Post by Catweazle »

Is Paul Woods a member here?

He should be, because I dare say some of our other members would be fascinated by his research and might even be keen to help where they can.

Is it just me or are Pacific islands stamps seeing increased interest in recent years?

Has anybody got a copy of that article in Philately from Australia (pages 9-17)?

Burge also published A Postal History of the Samoan Islands in 1987, followed by Volume 2 in 1989. I wonder if there's more information in either of those volumes?
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Re: Samoa might have the rarest postage stamps in the world

Post by BrianBURU »

When R. J. G Collins wrote about the 6d stamp in The Stamps of the Pacific Islands in 1924 (page 42) he remarked that “copies of the stamp with the perforation 12½ are exceedingly scarce, only two specimens having been recorded in Australia and New Zealand.

Some twenty years later Romney Gibbons confirmed this when he wrote in 1941 in SAMOA Notes on the Postal History 1882-1900 on (page 6) “So scarce is the stamp in its first (12½) perforation that its existence was for many years doubted.” and again on (page 7) “I may say that during the past twenty years only one copy (a used specimen) has passed through my hands.

It took until 1969 for the stamp to be finally declared to be from a separate small printing in March 1891, and not a proof as had been believed until then. This was made possible after an examination of a copy of the stamp by A. R. Burge and K. J. McNaught, almost certainly during 1968.

It is tempting to think that the 6d stamp on the left may have been the subject of that examination. It is from the estate of J. R. Hughes with whom I corresponded on and off before his death in 2011. I distinctly recall him mentioning that he bought it from the estate of J. H. Powell of Sydney, whose Samoa collection was sold by Robson Lowe in two sales during 1975.
SG 54 started the search for other values
SG 54 started the search for other values
The first sale included the used 6d stamp as lot 647, at an estimate of $80, with a description that it was a “very fine example of this rarity”. Despite the lack of an illustration in the catalogue, it sold for $310. It is likely that due to the limited number available for sale Powell bought it from Ritchie Bodily whose name appears on the 1967 certificate illustrated below. We can never be certain of the connection of course but the dates seem to fit.
6D Certificate 800.jpg
In addition to the date of printing, the second thing that has become obvious about these stamps is that they were first used in Samoa either on May 22, or on May 26 1891. These dates correspond with the arrival of the steamer Mariposa at Tutuila on her way from Sydney to San Francisco.
L: SG 50 MAY 22 with a rare adjoining stamp
L: SG 50 MAY 22 with a rare adjoining stamp
L: SG 55 MAY 22, R: SG 51 MAY
L: SG 55 MAY 22, R: SG 51 MAY
In my next post I will revise my currently accepted theory, published in the 2004 Odenweller Samoa book, regarding the reason why such a small printing was made in the first place.
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Re: Samoa might have the rarest postage stamps in the world

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Image

Signed by none other than Sir John Wilson, who was then Keeper Of The Royal Collection, and multi times President of the RPSL. :)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_John_Wilson,_2nd_Baronet

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Re: Samoa might have the rarest postage stamps in the world

Post by BrianBURU »

Problems

Just prior to the publication of his book in 2004 Odenweller corresponded with me regarding certain new information that I had uncovered for possible inclusion in it. One of those items concerned the reason for the small printing on March 7 1891. My theory, that the reason was that sample stamps needed to be supplied as part of the UPU membership application process then underway by the Australian Colonies and New Zealand was published starting on page 369.

This issue was then left to idle after the publication, but in 2018 I started to dwell deeper into the subject as a result of which a number of problems surfaced which appeared to negate the original conclusion. The primary of these was the timing of the UPU Conference Resolutions, simply because only 8 days elapsed between the first resolution in Sydney, and the issue of the stamps in New Zealand. This lead-time, coupled with the printed quantities, turned out to be highly problematic, indeed fatal for the published theory. Let me expand on the lead-time first:

In September 1890 the Australian Colonies and New Zealand, were invited by the Austrian Government to send delegates to the Postal Union Congress to be held in Vienna on May 20 1891. This invitation and the terms of the application to enter the Union were debated at the Inter-Colonial Postal Conference in Sydney between February 26 and March 10, 1891. The New Zealand representatives at the Sydney conference were J. G. Ward, Postmaster General, and William Gray, Secretary to the Post Office and Telegraphs.

On February 27, 1891 it was resolved that the colonies should accept the invitation to be present in Vienna, and that their representatives should advocate the admission of Australasia into the Postal Union, on certain terms.

On March 9, 1891 it was resolved that each of the colonies should take steps to ensure adequate representation in Vienna.

On March 10, 1891 the resolutions were adopted and signed.

Obviously, the Samoan stamps were not the first order of business so that it is almost certain that an order for the printing would not have been placed prior to the adoption of, or indeed the signing off, of the resolutions in Sydney on March 10, let alone the pending future outcome of the admission proceedings in Vienna the following May.

Furthermore, the New Zealand delegate did not attend the Vienna Congress. As per the resolution of March 9, 1891, the governments of each of the colonies nominated and instructed their official representatives to attend the Postal Union Congress in Vienna. The chosen New Zealand delegate was Sir F. Dillon Bell, its London based Agent-General, but he did not attend, since he was unable to leave London due to illness.

The lack of communication between Sydney and Wellington in a timely manner therefore is fatal to the theory. In fact shipping data shows that there were no sailings between Sydney and Auckland or Wellington at all. The Manapouri and the Wairarapa both sailed before the Sydney conference had even begun.

Secondly, the printed quantities do not make sense. The Secretary of the New Zealand Post Office took delivery of 600 ½d, 600 1d, 600 2d, 360 4d, 360 6d, 240 1s, and 120 2s6d stamps on March 7 1891 despite the knowledge that the number of Universal Postal Union members was fixed at approximately 80 at the time. Accordingly, the number of stamps of each denomination printed, as samples, should have also remained fixed. There was no need to print 600 stamps of some denominations but only 120 of others. If not for the UPU, what then are the remaining possibilities?


Compensation

During 1890 and 1891, the public ridiculed the New Zealand Post Office for skimping on gum on postage stamps. One irate letter to the editor read:

SIR – I would like to draw the attention of the Post Office authorities to the disgraceful way in which postage stamps are issued to the public, viz., there is a mixture (supposed to be gum) at the back of them, but if you affix a stamp to a letter you will probably hear when it has reached its destination it will be off, the end party then having to pay double postage. And not alone this, I find that letters addressed to myself come frequently the very same way. I have heard several business people complain of this, the cause being not sufficient gum. I am, &c., COMMERCIAL.

Such letters to the editor continued well into the second half of 1891, despite a reassurance by the Government Printer that “complaints which were at one time made respecting the gum used have been remedied, leaving nothing to be desired in that respect.” Judging by the following letter from the British Consul T. B. Cusack-Smith Davis also received a batch of poorly gummed stamps:

Dear Mr. Davis, – I have received complaints by this mail that my letters arrive insufficiently stamped and that the stamps are so badly fixed on that they arrive loose and in several instances have not arrived at all. My father in law has it appears complained also to the General Post Office in London which I am sorry for. Miss Jones also writes the same story. They don’t like paying 5d and 1/ - for all the rubbish I scribble. Will you please take care in future to avoid these annoying complaints.

One possible reason for the small printing, therefore, may have been a gesture of goodwill to appease or to compensate Davis.


Robert Louis Stevenson

The importance of the cover shown below far outweighs its appearance. It may have spent most of its life in a dusty attic, but its potential importance is impressive. The cover is rare not only because it is the only one known with a solo 2s6d stamp perforated 12½ but also because of its possible link to the 1891 small printing.
Stevenson 1000.jpg
Furthermore, it is from the Robert Louis Stevenson correspondence, measures an impressive 330x130mm, and according to the franking weighed about 5 ounces, or 10 times the standard rate. It was addressed to his mother in Edinburgh, Scotland, postmarked on July 19, but left Apia aboard the Monowai on July 20, 1893.

As mentioned in the first post above, one of the three used 1891 2s6d stamps (SG 56) resides in the Royal Philatelic Collection. That stamp was used a year earlier, on March 31 1892, and obviously represents payment for an item of equally considerable weight. Now, this is pure conjecture on my part, but is it possible that it also franked a mail item from Stevenson? He was a prolific writer, with much of his correspondence requiring high postage due to bulk. It was not unusual for Stevenson to send draft book manuscripts and other packets back home.

I will go even further now, and ponder whether the real reason for the 1891 small printing was to supply them directly to Stevenson, for his own in-house use? The timing certainly supports this! He arrived in Apia in 1889, built his house at Vailima during 1890, and settled in by mid-1891. Is it out of the question that he also placed an order for stamps by then? I don’t think it is. A special small printing for a noted person is certainly possible. Stevenson could have placed the order either directly, or through postmaster Davis.

In fact there is circumstantial evidence that it was his mother, Mrs Stevenson, who delivered the stamps back to Samoa in person. In her book Letters from Samoa 1891-1895 she writes that she visited New Zealand where she spent a week in Wellington late in April (page 46) and that she returned to Apia on May 15 1891 (page 51). This ties in nicely with what we know because the printing of the stamps was completed in Wellington on March 7, and first used in Samoa on May 22.


Conclusion

The idea that the small printing was due to a gesture of goodwill on the part of the New Zealand Printing and Stationery Department to appease or to compensate Davis is plausible, but ultimately weak because government departments are not known for their generosity.

In many ways the possible link to Stevenson seems to be a better fit, due to the few surviving items discussed above however it still feels as though the last word is yet to be written. More research is required, but in all honesty, we may never know for sure due to a lack of irrefutable evidence.
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Re: Samoa might have the rarest postage stamps in the world

Post by David Smitham »

I find it hard to believe that the NZ P & T department would sell Samoan stamps in N Z to a customer. Surely if an order for 600 etc., stamps was placed with the NZ Government Printer by the NZ P & T department it would have been for and on behalf of the Samoan post office to whom the stamps would be delivered? I am well aware that in more recent times (since Samoa’s independence?) Samoan stamps have been sold in NZ to collectors, but 130 years ago?

It may well be that the stamps intended for the Samoan post office travelled on the same boat as did Mrs Stevenson to Apia, but would she have had the necessary funds on hand to purchase all these 2/6d stamps, assuming that the postal authorities in Wellington allowed her to purchase them directly?

I may well be wrong, but in this instance time is not exactly on our side so we may never know!

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Re: Samoa might have the rarest postage stamps in the world

Post by Global Admin »

BrianBURU wrote: 03 Jun 2023 12:10
In September 1890 the Australian Colonies and New Zealand, were invited by the Austrian Government to send delegates to the Postal Union Congress to be held in Vienna on May 20 1891. This invitation and the terms of the application to enter the Union were debated at the Inter-Colonial Postal Conference in Sydney between February 26 and March 10, 1891. The New Zealand representatives at the Sydney conference were J. G. Ward, Postmaster General, and William Gray, Secretary to the Post Office and Telegraphs.

On February 27, 1891 it was resolved that the colonies should accept the invitation to be present in Vienna, and that their representatives should advocate the admission of Australasia into the Postal Union, on certain terms.

On March 9, 1891 it was resolved that each of the colonies should take steps to ensure adequate representation in Vienna.

On March 10, 1891 the resolutions were adopted and signed.

Obviously, the Samoan stamps were not the first order of business so that it is almost certain that an order for the printing would not have been placed prior to the adoption of, or indeed the signing off, of the resolutions in Sydney on March 10, let alone the pending future outcome of the admission proceedings in Vienna the following May.

Furthermore, the New Zealand delegate did not attend the Vienna Congress. As per the resolution of March 9, 1891, the governments of each of the colonies nominated and instructed their official representatives to attend the Postal Union Congress in Vienna. The chosen New Zealand delegate was Sir F. Dillon Bell, its London based Agent-General, but he did not attend, since he was unable to leave London due to illness.

Secondly, the printed quantities do not make sense. The Secretary of the New Zealand Post Office took delivery of 600 ½d, 600 1d, 600 2d, 360 4d, 360 6d, 240 1s, and 120 2s6d stamps on March 7 1891 despite the knowledge that the number of Universal Postal Union members was fixed at approximately 80 at the time. Accordingly, the number of stamps of each denomination printed, as samples, should have also remained fixed. There was no need to print 600 stamps of some denominations but only 120 of others. If not for the UPU, what then are the remaining possibilities?

James Bendon's superbly useful 'Specimen Stamps' hard cover book adds some useful info.

600 has nothing to do woth UPU I'd suggest. June 1892 is where the big hike of numbers printed occurred. Until then only 345 stamps of each type were sent to UPU.

Countries were supplied with 3 copies, and then 4 copies, then 5 copies at various times. See notes below as to relevant dates.

It appears to me **NO** Samoa stamps of this time period ever went to UPU?

1.jpg
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Re: Samoa might have the rarest postage stamps in the world

Post by BrianBURU »

David Smitham wrote: 03 Jun 2023 13:38 It may well be that the stamps intended for the Samoan post office travelled on the same boat as did Mrs Stevenson to Apia, but would she have had the necessary funds on hand to purchase all these 2/6d stamps, assuming that the postal authorities in Wellington allowed her to purchase them directly?
I am not suggesting for a minute that Mrs Stevenson purchased the stamps, but rather that she may have collected them on her son’s behalf. Note the final sentence in the second last paragraph above the conclusion: “Stevenson could have placed the order either directly, or through postmaster Davis.
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Re: Samoa might have the rarest postage stamps in the world

Post by BrianBURU »

Global Admin wrote: 03 Jun 2023 14:41 It appears to me **NO** Samoa stamps of this time period ever went to UPU?
I agree with you on that!
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Re: Samoa might have the rarest postage stamps in the world?

Post by BrianBURU »

Since David brought up the subject of money, I would like to add that the Samoa post office did not pay face value for its stamps. The plates were kept by the New Zealand government printer who printed from them when requested. As was customary at the time Davis would have paid upfront for the engraving of the dies and the preparation of the printing plates, but after that the stamps were his property. According to the record books the cost of paper, printing etc. was £1/18 per 100 sheets of stamps, and presumably this was also what he paid.
Record book entry for 1891
Record book entry for 1891
Some time ago I did a calculation to work out the cost of each printing. As can be seen the total during the entire operation of the post office was £279/1/2 for stamps with a face value of £85,760/5/0. This was not all profit of course, as he had to meet other running expenses.
Printing cost of stamps
Printing cost of stamps
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Re: Samoa might have the rarest postage stamps in the world

Post by VFND55 »

BrianBURU wrote: 03 Jun 2023 12:10 Problems

Conclusion

The idea that the small printing was due to a gesture of goodwill on the part of the New Zealand Printing and Stationery Department to appease or to compensate Davis is plausible, but ultimately weak because government departments are not known for their generosity.

In many ways the possible link to Stevenson seems to be a better fit, due to the few surviving items discussed above however it still feels as though the last word is yet to be written. More research is required, but in all honesty, we may never know for sure due to a lack of irrefutable evidence.
I think your conclusion is very plausible given the facts about the notoriety of R.L. Stevenson.

A note from "Letters from Samoa" writes, Mrs. Stevenson's youngest brother, who was Marine Engineer to
the Colony of New Zealand up to his death in 1869, and was greatly esteemed. A glacier in the Alps of the South Island is named after him.

The name Stevenson preceded the arrival of R.L. Stevenson in Samoa and may have established some recognition with the Gov. of New Zealand thus, approving transfer of postage stamps direct to Villa Vailima?

I believe, if there are any letters sent by R.L. Stevenson during the time he wrote "The South Sea Letters" to the publishers in 1891 and/or other manuscripts, among their archives might be a source to validate your conclusions?
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Re: Samoa might have the rarest postage stamps in the world?

Post by BrianBURU »

I agree that the answer must lie with Stevenson. He was such a prolific writer that the published set of his currently known letters by Booth and Mehew takes up eight thick volumes. Others, yet to be discovered, are scattered in collections and archives held by various institutions worldwide.

On top of this, lesser holdings exist from his mother and from his wife while in Samoa, so that it is difficult to know where to start. The stamps may be so rare simply because they are locked away somewhere. That’s assuming that they survived in the first place.
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Re: Samoa might have the rarest postage stamps in the world

Post by Catweazle »

VFND55 wrote: 04 Jun 2023 01:35
BrianBURU wrote: 03 Jun 2023 12:10 Problems

Conclusion

The idea that the small printing was due to a gesture of goodwill on the part of the New Zealand Printing and Stationery Department to appease or to compensate Davis is plausible, but ultimately weak because government departments are not known for their generosity.

In many ways the possible link to Stevenson seems to be a better fit, due to the few surviving items discussed above however it still feels as though the last word is yet to be written. More research is required, but in all honesty, we may never know for sure due to a lack of irrefutable evidence.
I think your conclusion is very plausible given the facts about the notoriety of R.L. Stevenson.
Well he also appeared on Samoan stamps, so he must have been admired:
Samoa 7d 1939 Robert Louis Stevenson (block of 4)
Samoa 7d 1939 Robert Louis Stevenson (block of 4)
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Re: Samoa might have the rarest postage stamps in the world?

Post by Paul2701 »

Hi I am pleased that my article about the possibility of Samoa having some of the rarest stamps in the World in the Samoa Observer has resulted in an excellent range of comments on this topic, including rare postage stamps.

Now that i have arrived back in the Uk from Samoa my research continues.

I believe that the Supreme Court revenue stamps are very rare. Article Vi of the 1889 Treaty of Berlin indicated that they would be used to pay fees on land at 1/2% or 1% of the value of the land. It would have taken time for them to be delivered to Justice Conrad Cedercrantz, who took up his position as the Supreme Court Justice in 1891. They may only have been used for 9 years until Germany took control of the Kingdom and it was divided into Samoa and American Samoa.

My research has identified that they could have been used on some very important documents which are unlikely to be available for collectors - including the disposal of Land and property on the death of Robert Louise Stevenson on the Island in 1894; the acquisition of land for the construction of Missions and Churches; and the acquisition of land in Pago Pago by the American Government in the 1890s. The estimated cost of the later land was $10,000 so a fee of up to $100 (1%) could have been required.

In terms of rarity in my research i have found references to high value Arms stamps being made and sent to Samoa by the New Zealand printer. My rare £100 overprint (possibly the only remaining mint example) - previously pictured was part of a sheet of 40 stamps sent in the 1950's. I have also found reference to 12 examples of the £1,000 stamps having been send to Samoa.

Unused copies of these and the £100 stamps were later destroyed in a fire in the post office. However, i believe that the rarest Samoa stamps were single high values that were sent out to Samoa e.g, One £400 stamp and other single examples of values such a £900 stamp.

These single stamps are what I believe to be the rarest revenue stamps in the world as only 1 stamp appears to have made. I am hoping that the Samoan Government can find and protect these for display in their new Museum.

Paul Woods
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Re: Samoa might have the rarest postage stamps in the world?

Post by Global Admin »

We are visiting Samoa during the next week.

Hopefully some more cool stamps pieces might be unearthed, that Paul somehow missed! :lol:

Glen
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Click HERE to see superb RARE & unusual stamps - FIXED low nett prices, high rez pix + NO 20% buyer fees!
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