Heilongjiang Province (黑龙江省) Local Issue, Harbin (哈爾濱)

Harbin (哈爾濱) – Date of Liberation: 1946 (April 28)


This map only gives rough impression about area and location.

Some catalogs (for example Mizuhara / JPS) list Kerr 54.10-13 (his catalog number is VDB284-VDB287) as a stamp issue which belongs to the Liberated Area. He wrote the date of issue for this set was May 16, 1946. After some research I have the opinion this set does not belongs to the Liberated Area. Let me summarized the reasons why I came to this conclusion:
– in May 16 three of the four overprinted stamps can’t be practical use for any postal rate (only the highest denomination 5 角 matches a local letter)
– genuine used covers does not exists
– the overprint “Chinese Republic” (“中華民國”) for this issue was very seldom used as an overprint by the CCP
– finally by some logic: The CCP found the red overprinted stamps, threw (or sold them to local stamp dealers) them all away and produced identical overprinted stamp just with black instead of red overprinted color. Sounds for me bit strange behaviors.

Actually I’m still wondering what happend between April-August 1946 in Harbin with the postal service? Which stamps where used? Has anyone here an answer? Especially as the postal service between Harbin and Andong, Dailan, Shandong, Hebei and other Liberated Areas was opened again on May 22, 1946!

1st stamp issue (Kerr 54.18-21):

Commemorative Issue: Stamps Overprinted “In Commemoration of 1st Anniversary of Recovery” and Surcharged (1946)
Issued: 1946 (August 15)
Issued by: Harbin Postal Administration (哈爾濱郵政管理局) in Harbin (哈爾濱)
Overprint: “In Commemoration of 1st Anniversary of Recovery” and Surcharged (“光復週年紀念” 改值郵票)
Print: Machine-overprinted with offset
Overprint by: Harbin Dongji Printing House (哈爾濱東記印刷所)
Currency: Northeast Currency (東北幣)

All stamps of this issue shown here. 

This issue is listed in all catalogs for Liberated Area, for example as Yang NE326-329.

Printing proofs:

Cover (typically hard up to unreadable cancel from Harbin):

2nd stamp issue (Kerr 54.14-17):

Commemorative Issue: Stamps Overprinted “In Commemoration of Victory” (1946)
Issued: 1946 (September 2)
Issued by: Harbin Postal Administration (哈爾濱郵政管理局) in Harbin (哈爾濱)
Overprint: “In Commemoration of Victory” (“勝利紀念”)
Print: Machine-overprinted with offset
Overprint by: Harbin Dongji Printing House (哈爾濱東記印刷所)
Currency: Northeast Currency (東北幣)

For the previous issue at least covers with the 5 角 / 2 分 denomination exists, but for this issue commercial covers are unknown. Being strickt we could say there are some doubts if this issue was regularly issued, but it seems some official records confirmed these stamps were issued (see: 中华全国集邮联合会, Northeast Area volume, page 165) so I will list them here. The base stamps of this issue were printed in a very huge quantity so you will be able to differ various color shadings and paper-type varieties in a close examination. I will not deepen this topic here, but if someone assembled a specialized collection about the varieties I would happy to show the research here.

All stamps of this issue shown here. 

Printing proof:

This issue is listed in all catalogs for Liberated Area, for example as Yang NE330-333.

3rd stamp issue (Kerr 54.22-25):

Commemorative Issue: Stamps Overprinted “In Commemoration of Double 10” (1946)
Issued: 1946 (October 10)
Issued by: Harbin Postal Administration (哈爾濱郵政管理局) in Harbin (哈爾濱)
Overprint: “In Commemoration of Double 10” (“雙十紀念”)
Print: Machine-overprinted with types
Overprint by: Harbin Dongji Printing House (哈爾濱東記印刷所)
Currency: Northeast Currency (東北幣)

Here we can say the same as for the previous issue. No commercial covers known and as the same base stamps were used, you can find as well various color shadings and paper-type varieties in a close examination. For the 1 元 / 10 元 you can find an overprint variety: “民圖” for “民國” at pos. 48 (possible also at some other positions).

All stamps of this issue shown here. 

Overprint variety:

This issue is listed in all catalogs for Liberated Area, for example as Yang NE334-337.

PS: A big warning I need to tell to collectors: The 4 元 / 50 元 was issued by mistake with a red instead of  green overprint. This variety is very rare, all red overprinted stamps offered in auctions in the past years were without exception dangerous overprint forgeries, so please be careful! 


Remarks:
– Not all shown sets exists (at least one stamp of each set) genuine used on domestic covers.

Not shown:
– Kerr 54.1-9: Set is used known by many commercial covers (even international covers). This set was issued by the GMD under the allowances of the Soviet Army in Harbin.
– Kerr 51.10-13: See above. Possible an official local issue, more information is necessary to come to a final conclusion.

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