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French post offices in Egypt


French post offices in Egypt

1899 Port Said overprint on 4-centime, used in 1900

The French post offices in Egypt were a system of post offices maintained by France in Egypt during the 19th century and the early years of the 20th century. They were primarily intended to facilitate commercial and trading interests that needed to communicate between France and points east.

The post offices were located at Alexandria and Port Said.

France issued postage stamps for each of these two, generally at the same time and with the same general charactistics, with the one overprinted or inscribed "ALEXANDRIE" and the other "PORT-SAID".

50-centime Type Merson design for Alexandria, issued 1902, this one used in the city in 1907

The first issue appeared in 1899; it consisted of the post office name (as described above) overprinted on the current "Type Sage" stamps, a total of 15 values ranging from one centime to five francs. A shortage of the 25c values at Port Said necessitated surcharges on the 10c value, reading "PORT SAID / VINGT / CINQ". A few of these were additional overprinted with "25" in red ink.

The first stamps inscribed for these post offices were the French designs of 1900 modified to include the post offices' names. The 15 values appeared in 1902 and 1903.

25-millieme overprint with bars obscuring the 10-centime value for Port Said, 1925

In 1921 the stamps were surcharged in Egyptian currency, at the rate of about 2.5 centimes per milieme. Several forms of the surcharge exist. In Alexandria, local surcharges read "4 Mill." etc., while in Port Said they read "4 / Milliemes", with the number in a sans-serif typeface. Soon after Paris-produced surcharges arrived in both offices; they read "4 / MILLIEMES" etc. A new round of surcharges in 1925 added black bars to obscure the French currency values.

250-millieme Type Merson for Alexandria, 1927

In 1927 and 1928 the old designs were reprinted but with millieme values substituted, ranging from 3 m to 250 m.

See also


  • Stanley Gibbons Ltd: various catalogues
  • AskPhil – Glossary of Stamp Collecting Terms
  • Encyclopaedia of Postal History
  • Rossiter, Stuart & John Flower. The Stamp Atlas. London: Macdonald, 1986. ISBN 0-356-10862-7


"Mm" as shown on some stamps means milliemes.

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