Welcome to the web site dedicated to British Commonwealth UPU 'Specimen' Stamps
- All you need to know about British Commonwealth 'Specimen' stamps
- Visit our forums and contact other collectors with similar interests.
- Post your wants and advertise what you have for sale or to swap.
- Fill the gaps in our images section.
Towards the end of the nineteenth century as it became apparent that international postage would become an important part of world communication, the need arose for there to be uniform rules and procedures. A series of postal conferences from 1874 ended with the setting up of the Universal Postal Union (UPU). This still has its home in Berne and which is now part of the United Nations..
An essential element to ensure that the correct postage had been paid in the country of origin, was that of identification. Thus stamps were sent by the issuing authority to the UPU for distibution to member countries. Those of the British Commonwealth were generally either overprinted or perforated 'specimen'. How and how many of these stamps filtered back into the philatelic world remains a bit of mystery. But there is no doubt that scarcity remains a considerable factor in their interest to collectors.
'All Countries' I hope provides a comprehensive guide with equivalent Stanley Gibbons and Scott catalogue references together with the identification of the various 'specimen' overprint, handstamp or perforation applicable to each stamp. Whilst 'Individual Countries' indicates what I have (an 'x' in the sixth column shows a complete set which might be available for sale) and in the next two columns, what I am seeking and odd stamps that again may be available. 'Standard Overprints and Perforations' as well showing the most common forms used and the the printers involved, also gives some useful notes for identifying differences. Beware particularly of forgeries (all too often unmounted) of the perforated stamps.
My personal interest is in building complete sets from broken sets and odds and ends. Though stamps that are toned, damaged or without gum are of no interest.
If you are interested in buying, selling or swapping please contact me.
Whether as a collector or dealer, if you are interested in 'Specimen' stamps and would like to be added to my link page, don't hesitate to contact me.