1895 First Issue

1895, January 29
Designed by J. Lagrange and engraved by Eugene Mouchon.
Printed by typography on unwatermarked paper in sheets of 300 cut into 150 stamps (10 x 15) in six panes of 25 stamps (5 x 5). Number "4" (for 1894) appears 3 times in the gutter between each pair of panes. A number indicating printer and date is below stamp 148. Perforation 14 x 13½.
SC: 1-7. SG: 1-7. MI: 1-7. YV: 1-7.
¼ g Green - Menelik II 
a. Gutter pair
2 ½ g Red - Menelik II
a. Gutter pair
3 1 g Blue - Menelik II
a. Gutter pair
4 2 g Brown - Menelik II
a. Gutter pair
5 4 g Claret - Lion
a. Gutter pair
6 8 g Mauve - Lion
a. Gutter pair
7 16 g Black - Lion
a. Gutter pair
1. Of the total of 2,816, 860 stamps printed, Chefneaux brought 135,000 sets (945,000 stamps) to Ethiopia in January, 1895. 
2. The stamps remaining in France were offered to collectors by Paris stamp dealer A. Maury. These were later offered at a discount off face at the Univerisal Exhibition in Paris in 1900, many purchased by the stamp dealer Forbin.
3. The first mail using this issue was posted in Harar on January 29, 1895 by L. Chefneux to A. Maury in Paris.
4. Postally used copies and covers command a premium. Forged cancellations are plentiful.
5. This issue was declared invalid for postage without a control overprint on July 18, 1901.
The production of "facsimilie" stamps was a legal business during the late 19th and early 20th century if the stamps were "obsolete" in the country of origin. The most famous creator of these "art objects" was Fournier who, as with his competitors, advertized his creations as imitations. Awards were given at stamp exhibitions for the best quality imitations. As such, they were not forgeries, a later brand applied by collectors who were looking for more than a space-filler.
For comparison the original is typographed, perforated 14 x 13½.
FACSIMILIE 1 - Fournier
Lithographed. Perforated 14 x 14.
See differences HERE.
Usually overprinted with an imitation control handstamp and imitation cancel. Imperforate sheets of 25 were sold from his estate with "facsimilie" printed on the reverse.
Lithographed. Perforated 11½.
Crude portrait with beard pointed forward. Also exists on the Lion design. On both, E. MOUCHON touches frame.
Cancelled Maltese Cross.
Lithographed. Perforated 11.
Back of neck nearly straight. Not known on Lion design.
Cancelled IMITATION around 4 concentric circles. 
Lithographed. Sewing-machine perforated 11.
Also exists on Lion design. On both, last N of engraver E. MOUCHEN is small.
Cancelled Maltese Cross.
Pages below prepared by Ulf Lindahl

    Revised: August 12, 2002