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Manchurian Local Overprints 1945 - 1947

Japanese Kerr 13.


Other Names
Chōshun Chang Chun Changchun Zhǎngchūn


  長春 Hsinking (New Capital) Ch'ang-ch-un  
  (Kirin) 新京 Changchun (Map)  
  Map of 1945



Changchun First Issue

    10f + 10f  
  6.5mm (wide) Spacing   4mm (narrow) Spacing  
  The above are a Nationalist issue. This is a typeset (Sung No 4. Lead Typeface) black, 4 character, overprint reading 郵政 Chinese Post. The character spacing can be 4mm (in both directions) or 6.5mm (Kerr shows 6mm). Machine printed on sheets of 100 stamps.

According to Chiu, the narrow spacing was only on sale for 2 hours before stocks were recalled, making this issue very scarce. Published price lists do not seem to reflect this but perhaps the fact I have yet to run across a copy does.


Changchun Second Issue





Issued from 18th September 1945. Overprinted by the Northeast Printing Press.

- This is a set of two stamps as shown. These stamps were distributed to other towns local to Chang Chun and could be found in use as far away as Harbin. See Chung Chan postmark on cover below. The top four characters read 中郵政 Chinese Post, left Temporary Use, right 北東 North East.

NOTE - Examples of these stamps overprinted with "SPECIMEN" in English are fakes. These usually appear on fake specimen sheets.






Block of 4 with double "Hua" error, see duplicated characters in the top row of the top right-hand stamp.

  Block of 4 with double "Zheng" error, see duplicated characters in the top row of the bottom left-hand stamp.


                Duplicated "Hua" Character,     occurs on stamp #8 on each sheet


Duplicated "Zheng" Character
occurs on stamp #15 on each sheet                      



Misplaced (upwards) Overprint




Overprint Misplaced and Inverted





Missing "Zheng" stamp #95          Broken 暫 "Zan" stamp #87   



Double Overprint



Covers, such as this, were very important when it came to tracing the towns represented by these chops. Many of the unidentified chops will remain that way unless a cover or stamp is found with a readable postmark of origin.

This is one of several examples all identical and addressed to Wah Ching Ling in Hang Chow all cancelled on the same day. The envelopes are all sealed and it is fairly obvious that these were prepared by a dealer for sale to customers in the West. Similar examples were posed in Mukden (Shen Yang) probably by the same dealer.



Changchun Third Issue


2/2/1946 25/1/1946 25/1/1946  
25/1/1946 25/1/1946 25/1/1946

The above are a Nationalist issue. Overprinted by the Kuo-Feng Printing Press and issued during January and February 1946 (Chiu.)

 This is a typeset (Sung No 4. Lead Typeface) machine printed overprint in black on sheets of 100 stamps. The four characters read 中華民國 Chinese Republic. This set of six stamps has many known variations, all can be found inverted or misplaced, some with characters missing or repeated, etc.,

(Inverted) (Inverted and unlisted)




(Mirror Offset unlisted)


(Inverted with a double unlisted)

  Combined Issue Cover  
  This is an interesting cover because it shows that stamp dealers were quickly back in business after the war. This cover has a local postmark dated 3rd February 1946 and has examples of both 2nd and 3rd,  Changchun overprints.

This cover appears to have been cancelled at 哈爾濱道裡 Harbin Daoli Post Office and this is perfectly possible as these stamps were distributed to, and used by many different Post Offices as the Nationalist Army Progressed. The value of Y1.20 is typical of the cost of an airmail letter to Japan at this time, however the cover is unaddressed.

Harbin stamp dealers made a lot of money at this time by having Manchurian Local Overprints cancelled to order. They bought MLO's from all over Manchuria and had them cancelled by compliant Harbin postal staff, officially or unofficially. They may have even have obtained stolen cancel hand-stamps for this purpose. This cover is an example of this.

 Such covers may be interesting but this completely misses the point of the stamps being local - as such, to have any value, covers need to represent legitimate postal use from the local post office with a local cancel.

  5Y on 10f Pale Blue Opt   5Y on 10f Black Opt  
  This is a set of two stamps (shown above) with a pale blue or black 5Y surcharge and a thick line to delete the original 10f  value.  
    5Y on 1Y    
  This is a red 5Y surcharge with bar over the series with a  hard black 4 character overprint reading 中國郵政 Chinese Post. This is the only stamp in this set.

Image courtesy of Steve Jensen.

  A set of one stamp with a hard red 5Y surcharge.  

All of the overprints known for Chang Chun are shown above.


These stamps have been identified by using Volume II of the Stamp Catalogue of China by Shui-Hon Chan and the four booklet guide The Local Overprinted Stamps of Manchuria 1945-7 by Allen D Kerr (published 1978 and now out of print). Both works are essential for anyone delving seriously into this subject.