CARRIER PIGEON

Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first postage stamp. The issue was ordered in the beginning of the year 1940 but appeared first in July 1940, when Soviet Union already had taken over the country.

Design by Karl Tael (Doll), showing a carrier pigeon over an airplane.

Paper: Greyish chalk-surfaced paper. A very limited numberof sheets of the 15 senti value were printed on pure white chalk-surfaced paper. These stamps are rare.

Gum: yellowish, smooth and shiny.

Print: Printed in sheets of 200, arranged in two panes of 100 each, separated by gutter. Register crosses (two) can be found on top and bottom of the printing sheet. Printing Order numbers appear on the two first printings only. Two additional printing orders were issued to the GPW - August 30 and November 23, 1940. Only part of the last order was delivered, the rest was cancelled. The last delivery of the 10 and 15 senti values was made as late as December 4, 1940. The number of stamps printed will be shown individually under each stamp, whereby the number of stamps destroyed in 1941 has been deducted. The following table provides information about the number of stamps sold over the counter and about the remainders, which were sold to the public during the German occupation:

      Sold over
    the counter:

Remainders:
3 senti     1.200.147 1.357.853
10 senti     2.110.164 758.336
15 senti     3.297.622 1.498.378
30 senti     288.250 158.850

Perforation: 14 x 13 1/2. The imperforate 15 senti value originates from the unperforated remainders in the GPW and was never sold over the counter.

Proofs exist. Please, read this article about "Carrier Pigeon proofs" (in German).

Forgeries: After the war a number of so called proofs in various colours has appeared. These were made with genuine plates, stolen from the GPW, on different papers. The print is mostly unclear and poorly executed.

Valid: The issue was supposed to be sold over the counter until November 30, 1940 and to be valid until January 31, 1941. Both these deadlines seem to have been extended. Genuine covers are known as late as from June 1941. Mixed franking with Soviet stamps are in existence.

Literature:
Julius Bleyer:
Eesti postmarkide autodafeid (The destroying of Estonian stamps), Eesti Filatelist No 22/23, 1978 (in Estonian with summary in English).

206 Ei - 196
Mi - 160
Zu - 167
SG - 156
YT - 175
Sc - 150
 
Day of Issue:
1940-07-30
Perforation:
14 x 13 1/2
Issued:
2.600.000
SI DPM 1940-07-30 - 1940-12-06
SI rare

3 S. Orange

0.15 0.20  

SI
MU
MI

    35:-
10:-
5:-
  Block of four 5x 10x  
B:1   Dark orange +0.30 +0.30  
E:1 Damaged numerals +0.50 +0.50  
E:2 Damaged frame +0.50 +0.50  
F: Printing Order Nos:      
F:1 T.103 -22.II 1940 - 600.000 +12:-    
F:2 T. 545 -3l.VlI 1940 - 600.000 +12:-    
G:1 Orange 20:-    

 

207 Ei - 197
Mi - 161
Zu - 168
SG - 157
YT - 176
Sc - 151
 
Day of Issue:
1940-07-30
Perforation:
14 x 13 1/2
Issued:
2.960.000
SI DPC, PC-Finland, Sweden 1940-07-30 - 1940-12-06

10 S. Violet

0.15 0.10  

SI
MU
MI

    6:-
7:-
4:-
  Block of four 5x 10x  
B:1   Dark violet +0.15 +0.10  
E:1 Colored dot in design +0.50 +0.50  
F: Printing Order Nos:      
F:1 T. 104 - 22.11 1940 - 1.000.000 +10:-    
F:2 T. 570 - 10.Vlll 1940 - 600.000 +12:-    
G:1 Violet 20:-    

 

208 Ei - 198
Mi - 162
Zu - 169
SG - 158
YT - 177
Sc - 152
 
Day of Issue:
1940-07-30
Perforation:
14 x 13 1/2
Issued:
4.900.000
SI DL, L-Finland, Sweden 1940-07-30 - 1940-12-06

15 S. Brownish red

0.15 0.10  

SI
MU
MI

    5:-
6:-
4:-
  Block of four 5x 10x  
A:1 Imperforate +3:- -  
A:2 Imperforate gutter pair +8:- -  
B:1   Dark brownish red +0.15 +0.10  
C:1 White chalk-surfaced paper +200:- +100:-  250:-
  Block of four 8x 8x  
E:1 Damaged frame +0.75 +0.75  
E:2 White spot in 1(5).Pos. A75 +1:- +1:-  
E:3 White dot in design +0.50 +0.50  
F: Printing Order Nos:      
F:1 T. 105 - 22.11 1940 - 1.200.000 +10:-    
F:2 T. 571 - 10.VIII 1940 - 800.000 +12:-    
G:1 Dark brownish red 20:-    
G:2 Brownish red 3:-    

 

209 Ei - 199
Mi - 163
Zu - 170
SG - 159
YT - 178
Sc - 153
 
Day of Issue:
1940-07-30
Perforation:
14 x 13 1/2
Issued:
480.000
SI IR, R-L-Finland, Sweden 1940-07-30 - 1940-12-06
SI Scarce

30 S. Blue

1.50 0.75  

SI
MU
MI

    35:-
--
20:-
  Block of four 5x 10x  
B:1   Dark blue +1.50 +1:-  
E:1 Damaged frame +1:- +0.50  
E:2 Colored dot in design +0.50 +0.50  
F: Printing Order Nos:      
F:1 T-106 - 22. II 1940 - 120.000 +15:-    
F:2 T-546 - 31. VII 1940 - 200.000 +15:-    
G:1 Blue 20:-    

Please note that all prices are estimates in USD, based on the average retail market of 1985, when the original catalogue/handbook was written. The prices are considerably higher today.