North Vietnam, 13th Anniversary of the August Revolution 1945, August 19th, 1958; With the surrender of the Japanese occupying forces in August, 1945 after the U.S. had dropped the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a power vacuum existed in Indochina. The French colonial forces were still interned and the Japanese army knew it was basically a lame duck that had no hand in the future of the country. So, the Japanese basically had no longer any interest to contain the Viet Minh under Ho Ch Minh but, in fact, did everything they could to make it harder for the French to re-occupy the country. Ho Chi Minh seized the moment by seizing control of all the villages and towns in North, Central and South Vietnam. They immediately installed commissars to represent their interest and to corral the local population around their cause. This moment is called the August Revolution or August General Uprising. Two stamps in the denominations of 150D and 500D were issued. The 150D value was intended to cover the standard domestic letter rate, while the 500D value was used for letters mailed abroad. Perforation of the issue was 13.0. Sheets contained 100 stamps each.
Complete letters are rare. Here is an envelope sent shortly after the stamps were issued on October 1st, 1958. It features a single of the 500D stamp plus a 150D stamp of Handcraft Fair (3rd Series) for an overall franking of 650D. The cover was mailed by air mail to Czechoslovakia.
Post card from December of 1958 also sent to Czechoslovakia. It is interesting that apparently post cards were charged the same tariff as letters. The 650D franking includes a single of the 500D August Revolution stamp.
Another postcard sent in January of 1959 to Czechoslovakia paying the 550D air mail rate made up of the 500D August Revolution and the 50D Reunification stamp.
Rare multiple franking of the 150D value for an overall postage of 300D. This covered the standard surface rate to Eastern European countries, like Czechoslovakia. Note that the left stamp shows the plate error “broken M in NAM and broken frame lines below M”.
A similar franking to Lyon, France also carrying a pair of the 150D value. Normally the rate to Western European countries was a bit higher than that to Eastern European countries. It may have been a function of the very small size of this cover. The reverse features a very interesting propaganda cachet in English (“Down with U.S.-Diem”) a reference to the South Vietnamese Government under Ngo Dinh Diem. The cachet laments a massacre and concentration camps in the South. The editor has only seen this cachet one time so far. Very rare.
Another rare single franking of the 500D value from April of 1959 on a letter from the Vietnamese Red Cross to the International Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland.
Rare multiple currency franking by Xunhasaba sent as Printed Matter to Bad Ems, West Germany featuring a single 500D stamp in Old Dong plus two stamps in New Dong. The Old Dong was devalued 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959 so the stamps was worth 0.5 New Dong or 50 Xu. The overall postage therefore amounted to 74 Xu.
Interesting mixed currency franking sent by Xunhasaba in May of 1960 to England. England was an unusual destination at the time. The letter which contained the bulletin depicted above carried one of the Democratic Youth stamp, two additional stamps in new currency and one August revolution stamp denominated in Old Dong. The 500D stamp was devalued by 1,000:1 in March 1st, 1959 so was only worth 50xu in 1960. The overall franking hence amounted to 82xu.
Another multiple currency franking by Xunasaba carrying one of the 500D October Revolution stamps (worth only 50 xu after the 1,000:1 devaluation in March of 1959) plus 32 xu of stamps in New Dong for an overall postage of 82 xu. This is a very early und hence unusual mailing to the United States of America, a rather rare destination at the time. The bulletin announces the Unity of Cities issue of July 20th, 1961 (Michel Nr. 170-171).
Another multiple currency franking mailed under registration in October, 1960 to Prague, Czechoslovakia. The 500D stamp was worth 0.50 New Dong in 1960 or 50 Xu, so the overall postage amounted to 72 Xu. Registered letters are pretty rare. Original contents inside.
Similar mixed currency franking on a registered letter sent by the Czechoslovakian Embassy to a company in Czechoslovakia. Th letter carries the 500D October Revolution stamp that had been devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959 so was only worth 50xu at the time of mailing. Together with the other stamps the overall postage amounted to 72xu. That amounted to the correct tariff (12xu postage plus 60xu registration fee).
Spectacular mixed currency franking that includes a block of four of the 500D value. The Old Dong currency stamps amounted to 3,850D and were worth 3.85D in New Dong. Added were stamps in new currency worth 0.6 Dong for an overall postage of 4.48 New Dong. The letter is made of heavy cardboard and must have contained a pretty heavy content. Note the rare Official Service Stamps on the reverse. Foreign Embassies did have access to Service Stamps.
Cover mailed in December of 1963 to an extremely rare destination (New Caledonia). It carries a mixed currency franking of 500 Old Dong (worth 50 Xu in 1963) plus 0.25 New Dong for an overall postage of 0.75 New Dong or 75 Xu. Note the Hanoi-Paris hand stamp that indicates that a direct flight had been inaugurated by that time. Note that the 500D stamp shows the plate error “bridge in ornament bottom right”.
Air Mail letter sent from the Hungarian Delegation in Hanoi to Vienna, Austria in October of 1958. The letter carries an overall franking of 650D (300D surface rate plus 350D air-mail surcharge).
Exceedingly rare package wrapper cut from a stamp mailing by Xunhasaba from 1960. Most of them were simply thrown away. It features four(!) of the hard to find 2,000D value on cover and one of the 500D October revolution stamps. Both had been devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959 so were only worth 8.5 New Dong. Together with the stamps in new currency (30xu Fruits and 2xu Costumes) the overall postage amounted to 8.82D.
Mixed franking of normal and official stamps (Handicraft stamp from 1958) sent by a member of the Czechoslovakian Embassy (that had access to service stamps) with an overall postage of 950D
Registered air mail letter sent in February of 1986 as a mixed currency franking from Ho Chi Minh to Klewitz. This letter represents a very unusual mixture of three different currencies. The August Revolution stamps issued in 1958 were devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959 and then again by 10:1 on September 14th, 1985. So at the time of mailing they were worth only 0.045 nD. The stamps issued prior to the September, 1985 devaluation (August Revolution 1985, 35 Years Independence and Peace Meeting) were devalued by 10:1 so only worth 3.16 nD. Finally the stamps issued after September 14th (Musical Instruments, Reconstruction and Laos) were worth their full value of 20 nD. The overall postage hence amounted to 23.2 nD. Fragment of the green Fulda custom cachet on front.