Friday, 31 July 2009

Somaliland 1p Machin

Yesterday,whilst I was having a relaxing couple of hours in the sun I started chatting with a lady called Vanna from Holland who as it turned out was a stamp collector. The subject soon turned to Machin definitive stamps as she informed me that she had a large collection of Machins that were printed by Enschede. She knew her stuff and was very knowledgeable on the subject.

As our conversation went on she informed me that Somaliland issued Machin stamps. These apparently were overprinted for use there.

She explained to me that the story goes way back to the mid 1990s. Someone came up with an idea to use British stamps with an overprint, but it was rejected for fear of the locals not understanding and the possibly of ethnic reprisals. She continued that the overprint idea was in fact dropped or abandoned.

New Somaliland stamps were quickly designed and printed by Harrison and sons but the new stamps could not be finished on time. This left an urgent need for stamps and it more or less forced the British government to issue the said overprinted Machin stamps after all, these had already been printed.

From what I have discovered since, these Machin stamps were withdrawn after a few days, it emerged that the natives did get restless and reactions to them were indeed rather negative.

As I had not heard of these Somaliland Machins before so I thought a little investigation was in order. Doing a google search I found this, which gives a little more information. Unfortunately I could not find a picture to show you.

"In 1996 the territories which had formerly made up British Somaliland attempted to secede from Somalia, which had been formed by the combination of British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland. The contemporary 1p British "Machin" stamp appeared overprinted, allegedly for use in the breakaway republic from April 1996; the choice of the British stamp was reported at the time to be a tribute to their former contented days as a British protectorate"

For more information on British stamps with overprints visit the GB Overprints Society

1 comment:

Adrian said...

They're also mentioned in Deegam's handbook and I seem to remember that Rushstamps usually had a couple for sale, sio maybe you can find a pic on their website or in their brochure if you happen to have one at hand!