World Stamps

By Henry Gitner

Malayan War Memorial stamps hard to find

January 31, 2014 08:04 AM

Malaya — Thailand was a reluctant ally of the Empire of Japan in World War II. The Thais wanted to remain neutral, but caved in under the threat of Japanese invasion. Thailand declared war on the United States and Great Britain but did little to participate in the war, aside from allowing Japanese forces to pass through their territory on the way to attack British possessions. Thailand also allowed the Japanese to use its air, sea and communications facilities and provided economic support to the Japanese war effort.

As a reward for Thailand‘s cooperation, after the Japanese conquered the British colony of Malaya, they ceded the four northern states of Malaya — Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Trengganu — to Thailand.

In December 1943, Thailand issued a set of six War Memorial occupation stamps (Scott 2N1-2N6) for use in those occupied states. These are not common stamps.

The 2014 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values the set in unused hinged condition at $148.50. I recently saw a set without gum in unused condition sell for $100 in an online auction. I think this set would be a good buy in the $100 to $150 price range.


Tip of the week

United States— Some collectors specialize in inauguration covers, a type of special event cover that commemorates the ceremony in which a president formally takes office.

Dwight David Eisenhower was the 34th president of the United States. As general of the Army, he had previously served as supreme Allied military commander for the Western Allies in World War II.

Eisenhower served two terms as president. His inauguration for his first term was Jan. 20, 1953. His second inauguration was Jan. 20, 1957, which happened to be a Sunday.

He was officially sworn into office on that day, but most of the events taking place in connection with the event were actually held Monday, Jan. 21.

You wouldn’t think that it would be difficult to find an inauguration cover for President Eisenhower’s second term dated on the day of his inauguration, but it is. Because Jan. 20 was a Sunday, most of the inauguration covers that were serviced are dated Jan. 21, 1957.

Inauguration covers dated Jan. 21, 1957, are typically priced between $5 and $30, depending on the cachet.

A small number of cacheted covers were serviced with Jan. 20, 1957, Washington, D.C., postmarks. These generally sell for $20 to $30 more than equivalent covers serviced with the Jan. 21, 1957, date. Keep your eyes open, and you might get lucky. — H.G.