South Vietnam, Festival of erring Souls,September 3rd, 1952, Michel Nr. SVN 82-86, Blocks 6-10; Five stamps in nominals of 40c, 70c, 80c, 90c and 3.70P were issued in perforation 13.0. There was also a carnet or booklet that contained imperforate sheetlets of all values and printed on normal stamp paper.

Here is the mint stamp set

and here the postally used stamp set

Here is the regular booklet. Apart from the 6.50P face value of the stamps a charge of 43.50P was levied to support war invalids.

Front of the booklet

Back of the booklet

Individual sheetlets contained in the booklet

Not many of these booklets were cancelled as most collectors preferred to not subject them to postal abuse and keep them mint in their collection. As a result cancelled specimens are fairly hard to find. Heres one of them with the corresponding First Day cancel/cachet. The editor has never seen any of these individual sheets used on a letter.

A very rare variety of the booklet was prepared for a stamp exhibition in Japan. It appears that two versions of it exist. One has all the characteristics of the scans below but also shows a reference to the Japanese Exhibition, while the other does not reference the specific exhibition. While the contents and the back of the booklet was the same as the one above, the exhibition booklet front cover page differs in a number of ways. The most important differences can be seen in the flag. The red lines inside the flag are much thinner than on the original and the printing of the words “BU’U-DIEN” show different accent marks and there is no horizontal line in the “D” of “DIEN”. According to the Society of Indochina Collectors only 200 of these booklets were prepared and sold. The sale price was the same as the original booklet (50P). These booklets only come up once in a blue moon and are always eagerly snapped up by collectors at a multiple of the price of the original booklet.

Detailed scans of the areas with the most difference from the original.

Do not mistake the rare booklet for a booklet that contains the perforated stamp set with red First Day Cancels and that basically served as a First Day Cover. While the words “BU’U DIEN” are written in the same manner as on the rare booklet, the red strips inside the flag are wider (as in the original booklet) and of course the contents is totally different. Also there is a inscription on the back of the booklet and the sales price was only 13P (6.50P for the stamps and 6.60P as a surcharge for war invalids).

Front of the booklet

Back of the booklet

Inside of the booklet

Rare multiple franking of the 40c value (10) paying an overall postage of 4P on an international letter sent from Hue to France.

Mixed franking of four 40c Erring Soul stamps plus the 10c, 60c and 3P stamps from the Landscapes/Bảo Đại set for an overall postage of 8.90P on an international air mail letter sent in September of 1953 to a helicopter company in the United States.

Mixed franking of the 40C Erring Souls stamp plus the 40. Birthday of Bảo Đại (partially missing) paying an overall postage of 1.90P on consular mail from the State Department at the Saigon Embassy to the United States. Vietnamese Law specified that Vietnamese stamps had to be used even on items transported by private companies or parties. As a result the State Department was forced to apply Vietnamese stamps although the letters would be transported via diplomatic pouch. A blue hand stamp indicating the consular mail was applied. The letters would then be cancelled by U.S. cancels (primarily in Washington D.C:) prior to delivery.

Mixed franking of the Festival of Wandering Soul stamps paying an overall postage of 3.30P on an international air mail letter sent from Saigon to France in September of 1952.

Very rare gutter pair franking of the 3D Bao Dai stamps together with Landscape and Wandering Soul stamps from the same set paying an overall postage of 13.20D on an international letter sent from Saigon to Italy in November of 1954.

Mixed franking featuring the 30c and 50c Nam Phương stamp together with values from the Landscape and Erring Soul stamps paying an overall postage of 3.20P on an air mail letter sent from Saigon to France in May of 1955. This was apparently not sufficient as upon arrival French postage due stamps in the amount of 13 French Franks were added. The 30c Nam Phương stamp is quite hard to find on postally used cover.

Rare multiple franking of the 70c value (4) paying an overall postage of 2.80P on an international letter sent from Nha Trang to France in November of 1952.

Mixed franking of the 70c nd 80c value paying an overall postage of 1.50D on a local air mail letter sent from Tourane to Saigon in October of 1952.

Mixed franking of the 80c Erring Souls stamp plus the 10c and 60c Landscape set for an overall postage of 1.50P on a local letter setoff rom Bien Hoa to Saigon.

Mixed franking of the 90c Erring Souls stamp together with the 60c Landscape stamp paying an overall postage of 1.50P on a local letter setoff rom Hai Phong to Saigon.

Mixed franking of five of the 3.70P Erring Soul stamps together with a whole host of other SVN stamps for an overall postage of 122P on an international air mail letters sent from Saigon to Goodyear in the United States in December of 1972. The Erring Soul stamps were declared invalid on December 31st, 1955. The means by the time they were used in this mailing they were invalid. Nevertheless, it appears the postal clerk did not notice this error and the letter was transported without any remarks.

Mixed franking of the 4P and 6.30P Air Mai stamps together with the 3.70P Festival of Searching Souls stamp paying an overall postage 14P on an international air mail letter sent from Saigon to the United States.

An Aerogramme with the design of the Festival of Erring Souls was issued with a 3.50P nominal. It appears that this postage covers aerogrammes to Europe and Not America. Here is an aerogramme that was sent using the French military postal system in January of 1952 that had been set up immediately after the return the French in September/October of 1945. It can be recognized by the “Poste Aux Armees” cancels that were used within the system.

Aerogramme sent using the civilian postal system in March of 1954 fromSaigon to the United States.  Red propaganda cachet on front that states “Peace without Slavery”.

Late usage of the aerogramme in October of 1956 sent from Sadec to Fort Benning in the United States. Fort Benning is a very large U.S. Army military base that apparently was used to train Vietnamese ARVN soldiers. The 3.50P postage apparently was no longer sufficient to cover the postage so stamps from the Landscapes, Geneva Agreement and Erring Souls were added paying an overall postage of 8.50P. Saigon transit cancel on the reverse.

Registration Nr. 200040

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