February 2020

Issue: 9

Volume: 50

Inside the February issue of GSM Robert Galland FRPSL showcases Wilding mail sent to or from areas of conflict, John Moody traces the philatelic history of Mauritania and Ubangi-Shari, and George James dips into a rogue’s gallery of fakes and forgeries.

Contents February 2020

Contents to Volume 50, Number 9


The latest philatelic news from around the world.

Society News

More reports from the nation’s Philatelic Societies.

Diary Dates

Forthcoming fairs and auctions.

Around the Houses

News of recent auction results.

New Collector

Following his article on surcharged stamps in last month’s GSM, Hugh Jefferies discusses the reasons behind various other types of overprinted stamps, including those for official and emergency use, and for newly introduced services.

GB News

We discover what the latest British stamps have to offer as Royal Mail celebrates Britain’s contribution to the early video game industry.

Wildings at War

Robert Galland FRPSL showcases Wilding mail sent to or from areas of conflict – from the Cold War era to the Indonesian-Malaysia Confrontation.

Freeling Correspondence and the Franking System: Part 2 Clarification and Complaints

In this concluding article looking at the Francis Freeling correspondence, we highlight a selection of letters that either seek clarification of the rules for the Free Franking privilege or contain complaints from those who have fallen foul of them.

Machin Watch

John Deering takes a moment to reflect on the past 12 months with an end-of-year round up of M19L Security Machins.

GB Specialised Supplement

The latest supplement to the Stanley Gibbons Great Britain Specialised Catalogue.


The latest book and catalogue releases read and rated.

British Colonial and Protectorate Stamps Part 20: Mauritius

The volcanic island of Mauritius is this month’s destination for Noel Davenhill as he continues his series charting the philatelic history of colonial stamps up to the early Elizabethan period.

The Early Swiss Stamp Issues: 1843-49

A detailed account of the first stamps issued by the cantons of Zurich, Geneva and Basel is given here by Marc Burgess of the Helvetia Philatelic Society.

England-Australia Air Race 1919

The first groundbreaking flight from England-Australia and the mail connected to it, in particular those with an Indian connection, is illustrated by Pradip Jain FRPSL.

Fakes and Forgeries of the British Empire

George James, Head of Commonwealth at Stanley Gibbons, dips into a rogue’s gallery of fakes and forgeries to show readers how to avoid the pitfalls of buying covers.

The First Issues of Danzig: German Stamps Overprinted 1920-21

Alan Wishart FRPSL takes a look at the German overprinted stamps used for the first issues of the Free City of Danzig.

South Africa: Transvaal Arms Issue 1870-77: Part 2

With several printers and numerous papers used, the stamps of the first South African Republic are notoriously difficult to identify. Lars Jorgensen RDPSA explains how to differentiate the stamps produced by the five different printers involved.

Francis Hugh Vallancey 1879-1950

Michael Peach examines the philatelic legacy left behind by Hugh Vallancey, a driving force of philatelic literature during the first half of the last century and an important figure in contemporary organised philately.

Stamp Hunting

In his regular look at the philatelic marketplace, Nimrod highlights the stamps of Northern Rhodesia that are worth keeping a collector’s eye out for.

The Adams Pick Up From The SS Leviathan

Mike Dovey of the TPO & Seapost Society outlines the pioneering technological developments of the late 1920s used to make the earliest attempts at transferring mail from ship to shore.

Gone But Not Forgotten

In another article on ‘dead’ countries, John Moody takes us to Africa to trace the philatelic history of two very different ex-French Colonies – Mauritania and Ubangi-Shari.

Stamp News in Brief

A summary of recent and forthcoming issues.

Shore to Shore

We highlight the latest new issues from the Isle of Man, Alderney and Jersey.


Alison Boyd investigates the stories behind some of the latest stamp issues from around the world.


Win a £50 Stanley Gibbons voucher.

Catalogue Column

Hugh Jefferies offers more collecting advice from the Catalogue Editor’s chair.

Catalogue Supplement

A 11-page update to the Stanley Gibbons Catalogue.