Batum British Occupation 1920 (1 Apr) 25r on 25k orange-yellow, type 7 surcharge in black, block of four on piece, centrally cancelled by '5 3.20' circular date stamp, SG43.
A fine used block of four. The upper pair with a minor crease and small scissor cut between at right, but remains an attractive and very scarce used block. The cancel presumably was backdated in error.
Upper pair with minor crease, and small scissor cut between at right, but an attractive and very scarce used block.
Most interesting is the cancelation dated on 5th March 1920 prior to the official first day of issue on 1st April 1920 and presumably backdated in error.
A scarce surcharge stamp as only 2,792 were originally issued.
Provenance: Romeko guarantee handstamp on reverse.
Stanley Gibbons catalogue value: £180+.
Batumi (formerly Batum) is a city on the Black Sea coast and capital of Adjara, an autonomous republic in southwest Georgia. The city was under Russian rule at the beginning of World War I, but local unrest led to Turkey entering the city in April 1918, followed by the British in December, who stayed until July 1920.
During the British occupation, the stock of postage stamps started to run out, and so in February 1919 the administration produced its own stamps. These were imperforate, depicted an aloe tree and were inscribed БАТУМСКАЯ ПОЧТА (BATUMSKAYA POCHTA), or "Batum Post."
The British later overprinted these with "BRITISH OCCUPATION", and surcharged the remaining Russian stamps in a variety of styles. Inflation also took hold, and by 1920, the tree stamps, which had been as little as 5 kopecks, had to be reprinted in denominations up to 50 rubles.
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