Vienna & Philadelphia printings, Repoeblik Indonesia, 1949

In 1948 Indonesian representatives in New York placed an order with J. & H. Stolow & Co. for Repoeblik Indonesia stamps. The primary purpose of the stamps was propaganda although Indonesian officials say that they also intended to have the stamps issued in Indonesia.

The initial series of stamps were inscribed Repoeblik Indonesia and were delivered from the printers in January 1949. However, a spelling reform had changed the name to Republik Indonesia, and a new series was prepared with the new spelling.

Most stamps were printed by the Austrian State Printer in Vienna except the three high values of 5, 10, and 25 R, and the blockade stamps inscribed Repoeblik. These were printed by the E.A. Wright Bank Note Company in Philadelphia.

   Blockade series

To commemorate the failure of the Dutch blockade a series stamps was issued showing scenes of the air and sea blockade, the running of the bloackades, as well as harbour and airfield views.

   U.P.U. issue

Special UPU stamps were issued on December 1, 1949, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Postal Union. The series depicts the Indonesian archipelago, the World Postal monument in Bern, and a water buffalo breaking its chains.

In addition to normal postage and airmail (pos udara) stamps, there were also official stamps (overprint RESMI), express mail, express airmail, and postage due stamps.

Subsequently there were also five commemorative overprints applied to the stamps:

  • 2. Republik Indonesia Serikat 27 Des. ’49 (also with Desember written out in full)
  • 3. RIS
  • 4. RIS Merdeka
  • 5. RIS Djakarta

Used stamps are only known with philatelic cancellations. The initial Repoeblik stamps were delivered in January 1949. The first day of issue is uncertain as both 17.8.1949 and 17.12.1949 have been mentioned.

The first stamps inscribed Republik were the Blockade stamps which were delivered in September 1949. The regular stamps inscribed Republik were delivered in April 1950.

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