Tuesday 11 February 2020

1601. 🇵🇬 New Items Inscribed Papua New Guinea - Bogus Or Something Else?

  Currently offered for sale on an internet auction site by a vendor in China are several sets of stamps with the name of Papua New Guinea inscribed on them all with Chinese themes and inscribed in Mandarin. These are similar to an ‘issue’ made up of 40 stamps sold in 8 se-tenant strips of 5 from Papua New Guinea on the subject of Chinese facial make-up reported in Blog 1499 (28 August 2019) and a single stamp reported in Blog 1501 (5 September 2019) which was on the subject of ‘Great Victory of the Cultural Revolution’. The Post PNG philatelic bureau internet site does not mention any of these philatelic products nor for that matter does the internet site of the country’s usual philatelic agency, the USA-based IGPC, so I would normally expect that all of these items are bogus.
  But unlike numerous bogus items pouring out of some internet sellers based in Russia, these items apparently of Chinese origin seem more sophisticated if only because they are perforated and issued mostly as individual, postally usable stamps rather than being in the form of impractical imperforate miniature sheets. The items also bear a remarkable similarity to items released from time to time by IGPC, which has an office in Beijing, with the name of Grenada printed on them (see Blog 1184 (26 February 2018) among several others and on which inscriptions are mainly in Mandarin and subject matter is entirely relevant to China and has nothing to do with Grenada. 
  I wonder if these PNG items originate from the same source as the Grenada products actually handled by IGPC. Does someone in China actually have a contract to produce this stuff which is clearly aimed at the philatelic market in China? We may note that in the past year or so the government of The People’s Republic Of China has been attempting to strengthen its relations with PNG and when a new prime minister, James Marape, came to power in PNG in June 2019 he asked the Chinese government to refinance completely PNG’s government debt, a sum amounting to A$11.8 billion. The Chinese government is well known for donating postage stamps to foreign postal services as a means of highlighting its good international relations with those countries so the question arises as to whether these PNG items originate from a similar source.
  It will be interesting to see if the true nature of these items becomes apparent over the next few months. Bogus or not, they’re not for my PNG collection as the themes have nothing to do with the country. I suspect that the average mail sender in PNG would have problems understanding what these stamps are about if they were put on sale in a PNG post office given that they are inscribed completely in Mandarin apart from the country name.

New items inscribed ‘Papua New Guinea’:-

2020 - Mao Zedong’s quotations from the Chinese Cultural Revolution - 1 se-tenant strip of 5 different stamps.

2020 - Quotations of Mao Zedong during the Chinese Cultural Revolution - 11 stamps 2 se-tenant strips each of 5 different stamps plus a single stamp.

2020 - Scenes from the Chinese Cultural Revolution - 8 stamps.

2020 - Scenes from the Chinese Cultural Revolution - 9 stamps.

2020 - Peking Opera master Mei Lanfang - 8 stamps


  1. Tha stamps have useless low face values from 4t up to 50t, in British currrency 1p up to 11p. I think they are bogus and the 2019 issues too.

  2. I agree with Stewie. The low values are suggesting they are bogus. It costs K1.60 to send a domestic letter so you'll need a lot of 8t stamps to make that up. Also, 1t and 2t coins were withdrawn in 2006. It's probably still possible to issue stamps with values such as these (and you just pay the total rounded to the nearest 5t), but it seems illogical to release so many of these.

  3. The designs of these "stamps" is that of various PRC issues from the 1960's or 1970's differing only by changing the country name.

  4. I've sent an email to PNG Post to clarify the validity of these stamps.

  5. Go on, put them on Stampboards and let's see the reaction!

  6. China has the greatest number of philatelists of any country, and most of those are "patriotic", in that they only collect Chinese stamps, and those of other lands that celebrate Chinese themes. This is the main reason why IGPC operates a big office in Beijing, as they can then place orders for stamps with Chinese printers, then despatch wholesale quantities to stamp shops all over China. This explains why almost every Post Office on the planet today just loves to celebrate the Chinese New Year every year with a new issue and minisheet, since they have learned from experience that such issues will be purchased in absurdly huge quantities by Chinese dealers to supply their large collector base.

    In the case of the new PNG issues, these are stolen images from "classic" Chinese stamps. The Mei Lan-fang set of 1962 is one of the more desirable (as well as beautifully-designed and well printed) sets of stamps of China, and of course, in Chinese symbolism, "8" is a lucky number. (That's the reason the Chinese Post Office kept the letter rate at 8 fen for many years, even after it became uneconomic to do so, because everyone loved sticking a lucky 8-fen stamp on their letters: it wished "good luck" to the recipient.)

    The PNG stamps showing Mao's poems are again stolen images, being stolen from China's "Wen" stamps issued during the Cultural Revolution, a time when philately was illegal, and many folks had their stamp collections seized and destroyed. Consequently, the "wen" stamps are outrageously hard to find today, and every Chinese collector would love to have them. Since they can't, most will be happy to buy these PNG lookalikes, and I would hazard a guess that IGPC printed these in huge quantities; probably a larger print run than any other previous PNG stamp.