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Formosan Republic Black Flag Stamps 2nd Issue (Die II)

Uploader: NIKKOPublication: 2016-08-02
Basic Information Category: Stamps & Postcards Subcategory: Stamps (Cancelled) Year: 1895 CE Century: 19 CE Country of Origin: Taiwan Issuer: Formosan Republic
SpecificationLength: 3.1 cm Width: 2.9 cm
The Formosan Republic Black Flag 2nd Issue stamps are the 2nd series of stamps issued by the ill-fated Formosan Republic (台灣民主國, literally Taiwan Democratic State) in 1895. The Republic only lasted for 184 days, from May 23rd to October 21st, 1895 when the capital city, Tainan, fell into Japanese hands. The 2nd issue also has 3 stamps: a blue 30 mace (錢), a red 50 mace and a blackish purple 100 mace.

The printing die of the 2nd issue is believed to be manufactured domestically in Taiwan, but the engraving quality is still poor. The paper is a vast improvement over the 1st issue. Starting from the 2nd issue, they started using imported paper from the British with watermarks of “1101”. The perforation, however, was poorly executed and varied from 11.3 to 11.4.

Please note that the 2nd issue recognized philately nowadays is different from the 2nd issue mentioned in the documents before 1930s. Before the 1930s, people believed that there were only 2 issues of Formosan Republic stamps. The 3rd issue was not recognized by the philatelists until 1924, when H.R. Oldfield found irregularities among his “2nd issue” stamps. Even C.A. McCallum, the creator of the Formosan stamps, did not mention there were more than 2 issues in his memorandum. Therefore, the “2nd issue” mentioned in the documents before 1930s are actually the 3rd issue nowadays due to the rarity of the 2nd issue. The easiest way to differentiate whether the stamp belongs to 2nd issue or 3rd issue is by looking at the tail of the tiger. The tiger tail of the 2nd issue points to the upper left while the tiger tail of the 3rd issue points upward. Please note that there is a so-called the 4th issue that is almost identical as the 3rd issue but has a green 30 mace instead of the common blue and a brownish 50 mace; it often has signs of excessive wears at the four outer corners of the stamps. The authenticity of the 4th issue is still under debate and should not be mistaken as the 3rd issue.

The cancels on the stamps are marked “Formosan Republic‧Taiwan”.
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