The Faroe Islands and their Posts

THE PHILATELIC REGISTER is owned, published and edited by Ian Lasok-Smith

Contact Address: 6 Hough Green, Chester, CH4 8JG.  Email: has replaced the montly issue of The Philatelic Register. The change in format has been dictated by the need to have a format that is more sustainable with regards the time required to keep it updated. As was The Philatelic Register, this evolving resource is FREE, users just need to register (only name and email address required) on the site to gain full access to article content.  All articles may be downloaded and printed or saved to PC. The site has been constructed on a WordPress platform and as such  has afforded much more versatility and new opportunites compared with original format.

I hope that as it evolves this new format will make it easier to fulfill the “Mission Statement” that encompasses the inspiration behind the original idea.

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The most important purpose of the site is to provide a varied and expanding repository of knowledge and in doing so also try to recognise and preserve the work of many dedicated philatelists over the years. There will be regular postings but not at any specified times. The most recent postings appearing in “Latest Postings” in the sidebar.

The content of the site will be fully searchable using the search engine on the site.

Ian Lasok-Smith.  Owner, Publisher and Editor “The Philatelic Register”

Philatelic Traders Society (Gold Membership)

The Ionian Islands in Philatelic Retrospect

Due to their geographical implications, with Corfu effectively guarding entrance to the Adriatic, the history of ownership of this relatively small group of islands has been volatile over the centuries. Initially settled by Greeks in 1200 BC, over the centuries; Romans, Venetians, the French, the British (the United Statews of the Ionian Islands), Italians (WWII occupation) and Germans (WWII occupation) have variously laid claim.

In a short series of articles published in Stamp Collecting Weekly in 1949 in the August 6th,13th and 20th issues “Philhellene” detailed some of the philatelic ramifications as they related to various powers.

The articles may be downloaded from the link below

The Ionian Islands in Philatelic Retrospect

Postal Markings of Normandy

The province of Normandy has a distinct history and perhaps more connection with Britain than the rest of France. Most of this history predates any formal postal service. In an article published in Philatelic Magazine December 23rd 1965 by William Piggott, the author provides a brief account of the history of the province and then provides some detail with regards the early postal history from 1792.

The article can be downloaded from the link below

Postal Markings of Normandy

The Pneumatic Mail of Vienna and Paris

Pneumatic post or pneumatic mail is a system to deliver letters through pressurized air tubes. It was invented by the Scottish engineer William Murdoch in the 19th century and was later developed by the London Pneumatic Despatch Company.

The use of Pneumatic Mail in Vienna and Paris was described in two articles published in Stamp Collecting Weekly issues of September 6th 1963 and September 11th 1964. The articles authored by P. Schoenmann.

The articles can be downloaded from the links below.

The Pneumatic Mail at Vienna

The Pneumatic Mail of Paris

An account of the London Pneumatic Despatch Company may be found on the link below



The Date Stamps of France 1849-1876

A long and detailed article was serialised in “Stamp Collecting Weekly” between November 2nd 1951 and April 11th 1952.It was written by Wilfred Bentley, the subject being the date stamps of France.  I emphasise date stamps as the same author had previuosly written two articles published in   in “Stamp Collecting Weekly” covering the Grille, Paris Star and Lozenge cancellations of around the same period.  These earlier articles are  also in The Philatelic Register archive.  Although the terms “date stamp” and “cancellation” are used quite loosely and often interchangeably there is a very distinct  and important difference difference.

The main purpose of a date stamp is to record a a date and sometime a time of receipt and as such often did not touch the stamp.  The purpose of a cancellation is just to ensure a stamp cannot be reused.

The complete article can be downloaded from the attachment below.

Date Stamps of France 1849-1876

The Grille, The Paris Star and other Cancellations of France

This article by Wilfred Bentley should be read along with a previous article of his  published on The Philatelic Register (The “Lozenge of Dots” Postmarks).

The article which can be dowloaded from attachment below covers a range of other cancellations in use between 1849-1876 including the “Grille” more or less the equivalent of the British Maltese Cross.

The Grille, The Paris Star and other Cancellations

The “Lozenge Dots” Postmarks of France

For a long time the postal authorities in France were concerned that the ordinary date stamp would be inadequate as a cancellation in preventing the reuse of postage stamps. A number of experiments were undertaken, even that of the use of an “explosive” charge fastened to the back of stamp.

In 1852 a circular was issued to postmasters annoucing the cancellation of stamps with a lozenge or in some instances a star of dots.  These dots being small conical points that penetrated paper.

The articles that can be downloaded from the attachment below, detail the use of these cancelations between 1852 and 1876. The articles by Wilfred Bentley were published in “Stamp Collecting Weekly” between April  and June 1950.

The Lozenge Dots Postmarks of France

The Republic of Venice Posts

The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a sovereign state and maritime republic in parts of present-day Italy (mainly northeastern Italy) that existed for 1100 years from AD 697 until AD 1797. Centered on the lagoon communities of the prosperous city of Venice, it incorporated numerous overseas possessions in modern Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Greece, Albania and Cyprus. The republic grew into a trading power during the Middle Ages and strengthened this position during the Renaissance. Citizens spoke the Venetian language

The republic was ruled by the doge, who was elected by members of the Great Council of Venice, the city-state’s parliament, and ruled for life. The ruling class was an oligarchy of merchants and aristocrats. Venice and other Italian maritime republics played a key role in fostering capitalism.

In the article that can be downloaded from the attachment below Richard Harlow describes the complexities of and the difficulties encountered in collecting and studying the postal history of The Republic of Venice

Republic of Venice Posts