This website is dedicated to only one french stamp: the red 0,50F Marianne de Béquet. It can seem surprising because this stamp only occupies two or three lines in non-specialized catalogs. Nevertheless, as I will try to show, this study led me to a wide spectrum, complex and however fascinating search, that is not likely to end soon.

It should be noted that this stamp was printed during a pivotal period for definitive stamps in France:

  • definitive implementation of two-tiered postal service;
  • generalization of automatic mail sorting;
  • setting up of the five-digit zip code;
  • arrival of High output rotary presses (R.G.R. presses); in fact, only test printings are known on this kind of press for the stamp 0,50F Marianne de Béquet;
  • deletion of stamps overprinted C.F.A. in the Réunion department;
  • use of tropical gum for stamps susceptible to suffer from humidity (coil stamps, overseas territories);
  • end of the use of three-colour intaglio rotary printing machines (TD3 presses) (almost, because there will still be some rare printings on this press for the stamp Sabine de Gandon);
  • introduction of phosphor bands on definitive stamps for the discrimination and sorting of mail, with adaptation of the overprints with phosphor bands to TD6 presses;
  • setting up of various types of phosphor ink;
  • changes concerning the mail use of stamps (taxation of orders of forwarding linked to the size of the city, abolition of military franking, creation of four levels of registering, ...);
  • ...

All these events are more than enough to justify my technical and philatelic interest to this stamp.

This website will be developed into three parts:

  • A technical study presenting the stages leading to the birth of this stamp, its genesis and special printings linked to this stamp;
  • The study of the various presentations of the stamp. The stamp 0,50F Marianne de Béquet was produced in sheets, booklets and coils. We will describe all the known aspects for every presentation. We will also show in this part the varieties affecting this stamp, by trying to explain the technical cause of these varieties;
  • The mail study of this stamp. In this part, we will present covers on postal rates (for France and for foreign countries), postal services concerning the routing of mail, services offered by the Post office and using stamps and, finally, a marcophile study on post offices, sorting offices, railway mail, maritime mail, military mail, automatic processing of mail, internal administrative postmarks of the departments of the Post office, various types of cancellation postmarks, non cancellation postmarks, rules of taxation and diverse more or less curious elements.

All items presented on this website belong to my personal collection, except when a copyright is explicitly mentioned. Naturally, if Internet users have items that can complete or improve those shown on this website, it will be a pleasure to join them to this website, by quoting their owner in the way he or she will wish (if he or she wishes). It is naturally possible for me to envisage an acquisition of these items by exchange or by purchase.

This website presents knowledge I was able to acquire in the field of philately. It is more or less sure that errors, inaccuracies, omissions will have skipped into this study. If you find such errors or inaccuracies, do not hesitate to let me know. It is with a lot of humility that I will rectify them.

Note: I am a French philatelist. Since English is not my native language, I am sure that some awkward turns of phrase or even poor translations can be found throughout the articles published on this site. If some English or US readers are ready to suggest me improvements to the text of my articles, I will not fail to take into account their remarks in order to improve the linguistic part of this site. Thank you in advance to those who will accept to play that game.

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