Unified Vietnam, Provisional Overprints, April 25th, 1984, Michel Nr. 1440-1442; Vietnamese inflation remained very high in the early 1980’s amounting to 25.5% in 1980, 69.6% in 1981, 95.4%% in 1982, 49.5% in 1983 and 64.9% in 1984. Due to this development the Vietnamese Postal Authorities had no choice but to finally change the domestic standard letter rate, that had been held stable since 1959, from 12xu to 30xu in 1981. The rate moved up to 50xu in 1983. There were still a number of sheets of old 12xu stamps in postal archives that hence had become less useful. Hence the authorities decided that the old stamps that were still available in large numbers should be overprinted with a new 50xu nominal. This was the case mostly for the stamps listed under Michel Nr. 1126A and 1132 which were overprinted in large numbers. The same was true to a much lesser degree for Michel Nr. 1125A of which only relative few sheets were still available. Klewitz annotated his collection that the overprint of Michel Nr. 1125A was inadvertent. It may also have been experimental as other low value nominals from the early 1980’s were overprinted but in the end were not issued. Michel prices the overprint on Michel Nr. 1125A 50% higher than the other overprints but given their relative scarcity this may be too little. The cliches used in the overprints appear to be fashioned by hand as each one is slightly different from the other. The height of the number 5 for example varies from 5 to 6mm, the zero can be shaped from almost round to very oval and the shape of the word “xu” is different from overprint to overprint. It also appears that the overprint was done only on a certain part of the sheet, so that each sheets had to be overprinted in multiple steps. This can be seen due to the vertical alignment of the overprints within the same sheet.

Here is a mint pair of the relatively scarce Michel Nr. 1440 which is the overprint on Michel Nr. A1125. The overprint on the left is smaller than the one on the right stamp.

Here is a mint pair of Michel Nr. 1440 on which the right overprint  shows a printing error.

Detail scan of the affected area.

Here is a mint block of four Michel Nr. 1440 that comes from the middle of the sheet. The left overprint is positioned significantly higher than the overprint on the right stamp. Also, the left stamp shows a partial double overprint.

Detailed scan of the affected area.

Mint block of eight Michel Nr. 1441 which comes from the center of the sheet. The base stamps are of the very deep color variety. The left four stamps show an overprint that is too low while the right four stamps shows an overprint that is a little too high and that has partially failed.

Mint block of twelve Michel Nr. 1441 stamps of the very light base color variety of the stamps.

This mint block of fourteen stamps from the bottom left corner of the sheet. It clearly shows that the overprint was executed in at least two different stages. The left overprint is normal while the one on the right four most stamps is way too high and basically outside of the stamps image.

Here is a similar error on a mint block of eight of Michel Nr. 1441 that comes from the center of the sheet. Here, the right overprint was set much too close to the left overprint.

Mint block of twenty-one stamps which show a slanted overprint that goes higher from left to right.

Mint block of fifteen Michel Nr. 1441 the shows an overprint that was set much too low and is partially outside the stamps image.

Mint block of four Michel Nr. 1441. All stamps show a smeared overprint.

Mint block of four Michel Nr. 1441 that shows a misplaced and smeared overprint.

Mint block of four Michel Nr. 1441 on which the top two stamps show  partial failure of the overprint, while the bottom two stamps show no sign of the overprint. Also, the paper has a pinkish hue.

Mint pair of Mixchel Nr. 1441 with the left stamp missing the 5 in “50”.

Mint pair of Mixchel Nr. 1441 with the right stamp missing the 0 in “50”.

Mint block of six of Michel Nr. 1441 on which the middle left stamp shows the overprint error of “6” instead of “5”.

Detailed scan of the affected area.

Mint block of four Michel Nr. 1441 that shows a double overprint.

Detailed scan of the affected area.

 

Another mint block of six Michel Nr. 1441 that shows a double and smeared overprint.

Detailed scans of the affected area.

Mint block of fifteen Michel Nr. 1441 on which the two bottom rows show a horizontal double perforation strike.

Here is a mint block of four of Michel Nr. 1441 on which the top left base stamp shows a partial failure of the pink color run.

Detailed scan of the affected area.

Mint strip of three of Michel Nr. 1441 on which the green color of the base stamp shows a double print.

Detailed scan of the affected area.

Complete sheet of 100 stamps (left and bottom selvage missing). As is typical the size and shape of the overprints are different from stamp to stamp. Field 52 shows a “5” that is 6.3mm tall, the one on Field 73 is 5.5mm tall and the one on Field 83 5mm tall.

Here is a piece of sixteen mint stamps of Michel Nr. 1442. The base color here is a very light yellow and the original stamp was printed in a black on yellow sequence. The overprint on the top eight stamps is in a normal position while the overprint on the lower eight stamps is quite a bit higher. Also the most right stamp in the third row shows the plate error on the original stamp of “dot in hat”.

Detailed scan of the affected area

Mint block of ten stamps. This time the original base color is yellow. The top four stamps show an overprint that is too low while the bottom six stamps are normal (from the middle of the sheet).

This mint strip of ten Michel Nr. 1442 (yellow-orange base color) shows that the overprint deviations also occurred laterally. Here the top six stamps have an overprint the is moved to the left while the bottom four stamps have a normal overprint.

Detailed scan of the affected area.

Here is a mint strip twenty-four stamps (only fourteen shown for technical reasons) that documents another lateral overprint deviation. The entire top row shows an overprint that is laterally correct but much too low. The bottom row overprint on the other hand is too much towards the left and it is also much too low.

On some sheets one can see that the overprint was probably done in some sort of manual process. Each sheet was inserted individually and then overprinted in multiple steps (Klewitz things it were two). Here is a mint strip of five Michel Nr. 1442 that shows an overprint that is much too low but that is also slightly slanted upwards towards the right.

Mint block of twelve Michel Nr. 1442 that shows an uniform overprint that is much too high and is partially outside the stamps. The overprint is also partially smeared.

Mint strip of eight of Michel Nr. 1442 (on yellow-orange base color) on which the bottom four stamps show a clear double overprint while the top four stamps are normal. Again, this shows clearly that the overprint was done in a number of individual steps on each sheet.

Detailed scan of the affected area.

Mint strip of ten Michel Nr. 1442 (yellow on black base color) that shows two errors. There is a vertical double perforation strike inbetween stamps and the overprint is double or smeared.

Detailed scan of the affected area.

Mint block of ten Michel Nr. 1442 (on yellow base color) which shows two vertical double perforation strikes inbetween the center stamps.

Mint strip of three Michel Nr. 1442 also on light-yellow base color. The right most error shows an overprint error. The 5 looks more like a 6. The error is repeated twice per sheet.

Detailed scan of the affected area.

Mint strip of four Michel Nr. 1442 on original ochre color that is much lower than normal.

Mint block of four (on dark yellow base color) that shows partial failure of the overprint.

Detailed scan of the affected area.

Mint block of six Michel Nr. 1442 (yellow base color) on which all three top stamps show a faulty overprint that is partially missing. The block must come from the middle of the sheet as top overprint is in the normal position while the bottom one is too high.

Mint block of four Michel Nr. 1442 (on orange-yellow base color) on which the two top stamps show an almost complete lack of the overprint.

Mint block of eight Michel Nr. 1442 (on yellow-orange base color) on which the bottom left stamp shows a totally smeared overprint.

Detailed scan of the affected area.

As indicated in the introduction above, the Vietnamese Postal Authorities experimented in overprinting other low nominal value issues with higher values in order to provide them with further use. This apparently happened with the 2xu, 3xu and 6xu nominal of the Total Liberation set. These stamps had lost their utility as simply too man single stamps would have been needed cover the 50xu domestic letter rate. However, it appears that the trial overprints were not regarded as a success. This may have to do with the fact that the color contrast between base stamp and overprint was judged to be not good enough or the fact that the overprint ink did not adhere very well to the paper the Total Liberation set was printed on (see the poor quality of the overprint in the samples below). At, any rate none of the overprinted Total Liberation stamps were ever issued. Only very few specimens of these trials have become known in the philatelic market. Ex Klewitz Very rare!

Registered air mail letter sent in March of 1985 from Ho Chi Minh City to Klewitz. The letter carries the entire overprint set including a pair of the rare Michel Nr. 1440. There are also stamps from the Friendship between Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and Harmful Insect sets for an overall postage of 46.30D (Including the red free frank for 50xu). Green Fulda custom cachet on front.

Registered letter sent in June of 1984 from Ho Chi Minh City. The letter carries the yellow/black overprint in the light-yellow base color plus stamps from the Karl Marx, Socialist Republic, Locomotive, Vietnamese Summit and other contemporary sets for an overall postage of 83.86D (including the red free frank for 23D). Green Fulda custom cachet on front. Fulda arrival cancel on the reverse.

Registered air mail letter sent in September of 1984 from Ho Chi Minh City to Klewitz. The letter carries the yellow/black overprint in two different base colors plus a block of six of the double rose overprints that shows different vertical heights of the overprint (from center of the sheet). There are also stamps from the Karl Marx, Union Congress and Defense and Production sets for an overall postage of 34.50 (the red free frank is illegible). Fragment of the green Fulda custom cachet.

Registered air mail letter sent in August of 1984 from Ho Chi Minh City to Klewitz. The letter carries the yellow/black Nguyen Trai stamp in different base colors, with an overprint that is too high and the base stamp without overprint. The letter also carries stamps from the Karl Marx, Five Year Plan, Asia Games sets and other contemporary NVN stamps for an overall postage of 47.92D. Green Fulda custom cachet on front. Fulda arrival cancel on the reverse.

Registered air mail letter sent in November of 1984 from Ho Chi Minh City to Klwitz. The letter carries four of the yellow/black and double rose overprints. The yellow/black overprint shows a vertical double perforation strike in-between stamps and the double rose overprint different colors of the base stamps (light green and dark green). Error stamps on postally used cover are very rare. There are also stamps from the Union Congress and Harmful Insects sets for an overall postage of 52D. The zero money red free frank was required to produce the R-label as it came out of the same machine. Fragment of green Fulda custom cachet.

Registered air mail letter sent in November of 1984 from Quan 5 (Cholon) to Klwitz. The letter carries a block of eight and a pair of the double rose overprints from the center of the sheet that shows different vertical overprint heights. There also is the yellow/black overprint that shows a vertical double perforation strike in-between stamps.  Error stamps on postally used cover are very rare. There are also stamps from the Ocean Fish and Union Congress sets for an overall postage of 52D. Green Fulds custom cachet on front.

Registered air mail letter sent in December of 1984 from Ho Chi Minh City to Klewitz. The letter carries strips and single stamps of the double rose overprint that show double perforation strikes inbetween the stamps, overprints that are at different vertical levels and overprints that were applied too low. Errors stamps on postally used cover are very rare. The letter also carries stamps from the Union Conference and International Peace Meeting sets for an overall postage of 60D. Fulda arrival cancel on the reverse.

Registered air mail letter sent in March of 1985 from Quan 5 (Cholon) to Klewitz. The letter carries a pair of the rare single rose overprint (one stamp shows a faulty overprint) plus a block of four of the double rose overprint. There are also stamps from the Friendship between Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, World Communication Day and Union Conference sets for an overall postage of 49.50D.

Registered air mail letter sent in May of 1985 from Ho Chi Minh City to Klewitz. The letter carries a pair of the rare single rose overprint that show a faulty smeared overprint, double rose overprints that show different vertical heights of the overprint as well as different base colors. There are also different base colors of the yellow/black overprint. Errors stamps on postally used cover are very rare. There are also stamps from the Friendship between Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, International Peace Meeting and  Ha Long Bay sets for an overall postage of 48.90 (inclduing the red free frank for 2.40D). Fragment of the green Fulda custom cachet on front.

Registered air mail letter sent in December of 1984 from Ho Chi Minh City to Klewitz. The letter carries half of the perforated Orchid set plus some stamps from the Ocean Fish, Union Conference and provisional overprint sets for an overall postage of 51D. The overprint block of four shows two different vertical levels of the overprint. Grey Fulda custom cachet on front.

Registered air mail letter sent in December of 1984 from Ho Chi Minh City to Klewitz. The letter carries the other half of the perforated Orchid set plus some stamps from the Ocean Fish, Union Conference and provisional overprint sets for an overall postage of 44.40D (the red free frank is illegible). The overprint block shows an overprint that is shifted too far to the right. Green Fulda custom cachet on front.

Registered air mail letter sent in October of 1984 from HO Chi Minh City to Klewitz. The letter carries the imperforate souvenir-sheet in blue-green pale yellow color plus stamps from the Ocean Fish and provisional overprint sets for an overall postage of 50D. The overprint on the rose stamps was mistakenly applied at top not bottom. Souvenir-sheets and error stamps on postally used cover are very rare.  Fragment of the green Fulda custom cachet on front.

Registered Air Mail letter sent in March of 1985 from Tan Binh to Klewitz. The letter carries a block of four of the 10D Friendship value plus blocks of four of the provisional overprints.  Two overprint stamps represent double printings of the overprint. Errors stamps on postally used cover are very rare. On the reverse there are stamps from The Ocean Fish and Sail Ship sets. The overall postage of the letter amounted to 50.9D.

Registered air mail letter sent in March of 1985 from Ho Chi Minh City which carries two blocks of four of the 50xu and 10D Friendship set. The 50xu stamps show a double printing of the blue color while two of the 10D stamps show plate errors (apostrophe over 1; blue dot in Cambodian flag). Error stamps on postally used cover are very rare. On the reverse there are also stamps from the provisional overprint and Union Congress sets for an overall postage of 51D. Green Fold custom cachet on the reverse.

Registered air mail letter sent in March of 1985 from Quan 5 (Cholon) to Klewitz. The letter carries four pairs of the Friendship set plus some stamps from the provisional overprint and Independence sets for an overall postage of 50.12D. One of the 50xu Friendship sets shows the plate error of “symbol on the Vietnamese flag”. Different vertical overprint placement on the 50xu Rose stamps.  The Independence stamp shows two sizes. Errors stamps on postally used cover are very rare. Green Fulda custom cachet on front.

Registered air mail letter sent in April of 1984 from Ho Chi Minh City to Klewitz. The letter carries a number of the 50xu and 10D Friendship stamps some of which carry the plate errors described above plus the Correggio souvenir-sheet and some of the provisional overprints for an overall postage of 70.5D (including the red free frank for 35D). Errors stamps and souvenir-sheets on postally used cover are very rare. Fragment of the green Fulda custom cachet.

Air mail letter sent in March of 1985 from Ho Chi Minh City to Klewitz. The letter features the entire imperforate Lenin set plus stamps from the Provisional Overprints and Union Conference sets for an overall postage of 30.5D. The overprint on the provisional Rose stamp is shifted to the right. Imperforate stamps on postally used cover are very rare.

Registered air mail letter sent in April of 1985 from Ho Chi Minh City to Klewitz. The letter carries the perforated Peoples Army souvenir-sheet plus stamps from the Provisional Overprints,  Friendship and Union Congress stamps for an overall postage of 68.50D (Including the red free frank for 5D). The Provisional Overprints shows vertical and horizontal overprint shifts. Souvenir-Sheet and error stamps on postally used cover are very rare. Fragment of the green Fulda custom cachet on front.

Registered air mail letter sent in August of 1985 from Ho Chi Minh To Klewitz. The letter carries a strip of three of the Communist Party stamp plus stamp from the Vietnamese Painters, Provisional Overprint, Friendship and Raffael stamps for an overall postage of 243.30D (including the red free frank for 172D). Green Fulda custom cachet on front.

Registered air mail letter sent in January of 1986 from Ho Chi Minh City to Klewitz. The letter carries the perforated Youth Festival and Aircraft souvenir-sheets and stamps from the Mushroom, Union Conference, Union Congress, Hai Phong Liberation, Friendship Treaty and Qing Army sets. There is also the rare 50xu provisional overprint rose stamp and the 1981 Military Free Frank. The Free Frank was not valid for international postage but was apparently accepted by the postal clerk nevertheless. The Vietnamese Government conducted a devaluation of the Dong on September 14th, 1985. This meant that all stamps issued prior to this date were only worth one tenth at the time of mailing. The overall postage hence amounted to 160.44 oD = 16.04 nD. plus the red free frank for 357 nD or 373.04 nD.

Registration Nr. 103620

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