Republik Maluku Selatan cinderellas: widely circulated
I was working on my next post when I was distracted with this topic, so I decided to write a rather spontaneous post about it. This blog post idea actually came from a discussion in the Brazilian forum http://selosdobrasil.forumeiros.com , where the doubt regarding the classification of stamps of South Moluccas appeared. This confusion is not new, and I was myself intrigued when I got some stamps from this interesting part of the world, some years ago (picture from my collection shown above). Unfortunately I did not find academic papers or online books mentioning it, and my only two sources to be quoted are in German, mentioned bellow.
As you may see around the internet, this place attempted independence from Indonesia in 1950 and was temporarily successful until 1951, when its government went to exile in the Netherlands. This means only during this period the republic actually existed and its issues can be collected. These appear as overprints on Indonesian or on Dutch East India stamps and are the only actual collectibles (please see the image from the Basel Land Philatelic Association (free translation) bellow).
The government in exile did, however, issue stamps since then, mostly trying to call attention to their plea. These appear with the symbol of the Indonesian currency “Sen” or “R” before the number. They may be considered cinderellas and should only be collected as such.
A third batch of stamps from the Republic of South Moluccas, according to what I have read, has quite a particular story. Henry Solow, a stamp dealer, gave around 150 different issues to be printed in Austria, where the legality was not confirmed by the entity beforehand. These have been sold all over the world as being the real deal, confusing collectors from all around. These issues are mint and present the symbol “k” by the value on the stamp (I’m not sure what K really means).For this reason, these stamps are bogus and you should mention what they are before swapping them with other collectors (unless, of course, you know they collect bogus, which some people do, and;or are aware of its status). These will also not be found in reputable stamp albums, unless clearly stating what they really are.
Well, if some of you have the “real deal”, I also advice to check it, since there are many forgeries of them around (many noted to be mint). If you have the government in exile stamps or Mr. Solow’s ones, please do not exchange them around unless you make it clear what they really are. Let’s trade cinderellas as such and stop bogus stamps running around unnoticed!
Sources (both accessed February 26, 2013) in German:
Der Spiegel (article from 24.11.1964; 48/1964) „Gold aus der Zahnlücke“: http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-46275104.html
Briefmarkensammler-Verein Baselland „Maluku Selatan“ (N/A): http://www.briefmarken-bl.ch/eigene-artikel/briefmarken-ohne-land/maluku-selatan/index.php
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