Paper – The Fiji Stamp [163]

Paper The Fiji Stamp

The Treaty of 1921 directed the transfer of the Post Office to Irish control at the end of the fiscal year on 1 May 1922.  This treaty did not come in effect until ratification by both the British Parliament and the Irish Dail which occurred on 14 January 1922.  Among the myriad of details to be addressed was the use of stamps.  The Irish wanted Irish stamps but the they had neither the expertise or equipment to print them, nor was a design approved, and time was short.  As an interim measure, current British stamps were overprinted Rialtas/ Sealdac/ na h’Eireann/ 1922 (Provisional Government of Ireland 1922) by both the Dollard Printing House, Ltd., and Messers Alex Thom & Co., Ltd., printers of Dublin.  (Figure 1).  They were released for sale beginning on February 17, 1922.

A competition was held to select the design, but the paper available had the British Royal Cypher watermark which was unacceptable.  A papermaker in Ireland was able to create paper with the desired watermark, but it varied from the paper previously in use.  A sample was sent to DeLaRue in late 1922 to test operation on existing typographic printing machines.  A plate from the 2d definitive issue of Fiji was on the press and a sample was sheet was run.   The result was slightly different in color, but otherwise acceptable. The sample was not perforated, and was cancelled with a pen by the printer.

The Government Printers at Dublin Castle was given the OK to start production, and the resultant 2d green stamp was released on December 6, 1922. (Figure 2).  The demand was such that printing and release of the remaining values were delayed until between February and October 1923.


Dulin, Cyril, Ireland, The Postal History of the Transitional Period, Dublin, Chapter 2.

Hamilton-Bowen, R., & Wolverton, L., Hibernian Handbook and Specialised Catalogue of the Postage Stamps of Ireland 1922-2019, Rodgau, Germany, 2020.