World Stamps

Stamp Identifier: 1914-15 New Britain

Jun 23, 2014, 2 AM

Surcharged postage stamps

The island of New Britain today is part of Papua New Guinea, a country north of Australia in the Pacific Ocean. German New Guinea became part of the German Colonial Empire in 1884, but the island was captured by Australian forces in World War I. German stamps of the time inscribed “Deutsch-Neu-Guinea” or “Marshall Inseln” were then surcharged with new values in sterling currency, and “G.R.I.” (for Georgius Rex Imperator).

Surcharged registration labels

The G.R.I. overprint and value surcharge was also applied to black and red registration labels from eight locations for use as postage. Many of the New Britain overprints on stamps and labels are listed in the Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 with multiple varieties. Because nearly all of these stamps have significant value, forgeries of the overprints, some quite convincing, exist.