12th Provisional Seen From Yemen

Bruce Conde

Copyright 11 November 1957
Linn's Stamp News, Sidney, Ohio USA 45365
Reprinted with permission from the November 11, 1957 issue of Linn's Stamp News

Just after finishing a complete round-up of the South Arabian kingdom of Yemen's eleven 1957 provisionals and rushing the article off to Linn's, my post office clerk-supplier of current covers, used-on-piece, and used stamps, showed up with a single copy of still another design.

Yemen - "e"-type 4 bgs on 1 bg overprint

Originating in Sana'a, this example of Scott's No. 51 (the French-printed Mokha coffee tree 1 bogshah definitive of 1947) sports the newest and most horrible of the 4 bogash provisional surcharges yet seen. The type "e" overprint, described in this paper October 14 was applied upside down, inverted, as is the case with perhaps 20 percent or less of the "e" surcharges on the 2 bogash basic stamp of the same series.

It is debatable that we can call this an invert, however, as the normal posiiton of the "e" overprint is on its side, with the "Ye" of "Yemen" reading downwards, from the upper left corner. It remains to be seen whether this stamp will appear in quantities with the surcharge in the usual position (horizontaly applied) for the "e" type.

It also remains to be be seen if this is another one of those freak releases (like the extrememly rare "Type c" surcharge of a year ago) or if it is to be a regular run-of-the-mill proposition. Thus far no other copies have appeared in normal commercial correspondence in Taiz, at least not within the eagle-eyed range of my voracious clerk.

I pay him double the single rate for on-the-piece specimens with legible cancels and triple for covers, so he rarely let a "customer" receive an inland letter without making a sporting attempt to strip him of stamp, stamp-on-piece, or even the cover. This nets me about 300 undamaged singles, 50 on-piece examples, and 30 covers per month, all through the efforts of the clerk who discovered this latest provional just described.

Collectors will have to be careful in the future about distinguishing this item from the earlier (1949) Nos. 66 and 66a, with the "a" and "b" types of surcharge, repectively, particularly sine the arrangement is vertical, as is the case of the earlier two.

A week after the discovery of the above described overprint, a second example was encountered. It, as had been the first, was of Sana'a origin, but — unlike the former — carried the overprint in the normal (sideways) position.