Paper Heritage - Algerian Railways - Control Overprints:

This article deals only with the pictorial designs of the Algerian Railways (Parcel Post) issues. There were five pictorial designs, Gare de Philippeville, Renault Railcar, Micheline Railcar in an Oasis, Viaduct, Gare de Bone, the design for each value being shown in abbreviated form in the table below.

Since I originally wrote this article, there have been two editions of a new catalogue, Dallay, renamed under the Maury banner for the second edition and I have discovered a further catalogue as well. I have also run into more varieties myself. When time permits, I hope to update, and perhaps extend, this article.

The purpose of this article is a study of the control overprints CONTROLE DES RECETTES, meaning 'Contol of Receipts', i.e. an overprint applied presumably in the railways' accounts offices. In theory, all stamps should have this control but there are many examples of stamps which are found without the control. It has been suggested that stamps without controls are 'remainders', which seems very plausible. However, there were certainly some regularly-issued stamps, where the Control was accidentally omitted.

Algerian Railways .
The three stamps illustrated above, left to right:
1. Violet Control (the stamp has the listed variety 17F in the centre of the stamp, rather than at the right). The stamp in the commonest colour for this design, greenish-blue.
2. Without Control. The stamp is in the Deep Blue colour. Although this is rather less common than the greenish-blue, it is the shade more frequently encountered without Control overprint.
3. With Magenta Control. The only example I have seen.

Some values, mostly the scarcer ones, have not, so far, been reported without control, suggesting that, if they do exist, they will be rare, just an odd stamp which was missed. Many values are found without control in large quantities, which reinforces the idea that they are remainders. It is very probable that lack of security, probably at the printers', obliged the railway to apply the control to safeguard their revenue from the carriage of parcels.

Algerian Railways .
The three stamps illustrated above, left to right:
1. Control in Bluish-Grey. Stamp has variety Surcharge Double, One Inverted.
2. Control in Grey-Black. Stamp is the Dark Green type, usually on yellowish paper.
3. Control in Blue. So far, this colour of Control has only been reported on this value. The stamp is in Emerald, of which a higher proportion of stamps seem to be without Control (compared to the Dark Green).

For the majority of values, the standard colour for the control overprint is violet (deep to pale) or grey-violet. There are also several issues which have controls in a range of shades from grey to black, sometimes with a hint of blue or violet, leading, sometimes, to difficulty in deciding to which of these two main groups certain stamps should be assigned. The table below lists all the colours of which I am aware, thanks to the input of several customers.

Key to Table
Columns 1 and 9 : Yvert et Tellier catalogue numbers
Column 2: Stamp design (see first paragraph of article for fuller description)
Column 3: Face Value of stamp
Column 4: Colour of stamp (I have added extra shades of some of the green stamps and some of the blue stamps, where I know these to exist or, sometimes, suspect them to exist. If there is no positive comment about them, they have yet to be verified.
Column 5: A 'yes' indicates this stamp is known to exist, perforated, in the standard colour of handstamp Control, violet to grey-violet. A (yes) in brackets indicates that the stamp is believed to exist but not confirmed.
Column 6: No.C. stands for (perforated) stamp without Control overprint. A 'yes' in this column indicates it has been confrimed, a '??' means there is some doubt about its existence in this state.
Column 7: This column describes all other Control colours and varieties reported on perf stamps. Exceptionally, I have used this column to mention one Imperf stamp known without Control, Yvert 91.
Column 8: This is a listing of Imperf Stamps. As far as I am aware, these are only known with the standard colour overprint (see Column 5 above). A (yes) in brackets means the standard control has been assumed by me but not confirmed.
In 2006, an auction house offered FIFTEEN imperforate single stamps with widish margins, which I had not previously listed (or seen listed). However, none of these were marginal copies, which tends to create some doubt in my mind about them. I have marked the column with ~~ in the case of these stamps. Does anyone have imperforate pairs or marginal singles of these stamps ( marked ~~ ) please?

C. or Cont. is an abbreviation for 'Control' throughout.

... Algerian Railways Summary of Controls . ..
Yvert. Design Face Value. Stamp Colour Viol.(p). No.C. Other C. Imp.(V) Yvert
83 Gare Phil. 0f 6 black yes yes 83
84 1f 8 black yes yes 84
85 2f 4 black yes yes 85
86 3f black yes yes yes 86
87 Renault 2f 2 bluish-green yes 87
2f 2 grass green yes
88 2f 8 bluish-green yes 88
grass green yes
89 3f 3 bluish-green yes 89
grass green
90 Oasis 4f 15 grey-lilac yes 90
91 5f 55 deep lilac yes +Imp.w/out cont yes 91
92 8f 25 deep lilac yes yes 92
93 11f 05 bright deep lilac yes yes 93
94 16f 55 bright lilac yes yes 94
94A 16f 55 black yes 94A
95 Viaduct 2f 2 Orange yes yes 95
... . .. . .. . ..
98-109 set/12 manusc.surch yes (12 v) 98-109
... . .. . .. . ..
Yvert. Design Face Value. Stamp Colour Viol.(p). No.C. Other C. Imp.(V) Yvert
111 Gare Phil. 0f 9 orange-yellow/toned yes yes control in black 111
112 1f 8 orange-yellow/toned yes yes yes 112
113 2f 7 orange-yellow/toned yes yes yes 113
114 6f 3 orange-yellow/toned yes yes control in black 114
115 9f 9 orange-yellow/toned yes yes yes 115
116 13f 5 orange-yellow/toned yes yes control inverted 116
117 17f 1 orange-yellow/toned yes yes 117
118 20f 7 orange-yellow/toned yes yes yes 118
119 Renault 2f 7 dull green/straw yes (yes) 119
120 3f 9 dull green/straw yes ?? yes 120
121 4f 2 dull green/straw yes yes 121
122 5f 8 lilac/straw yes yes yes 122
123 8f lilac/straw yes 123
124 10f 3 lilac/straw yes yes 124
125 12f 5 lilac/straw yes 125
126 17f 4 greyish-lilac yes ?? yes 126
... . .. . .. . ..
Yvert. Design Face Value. Stamp Colour Viol.(p). No.C. Other C. Imp.(V) Yvert
130 Renault 3,2/2f 7 dull green/straw yes ~~ 130
deep blue-green/straw yes
131 4,1/2f 7 dull green/straw yes yes 131
deep blue-green/straw yes
132 4,6/3f 9 dull green/straw yes 132
133 4,9/4f 2 dull green/straw yes 133
134 5,2/3f 9 dull green/straw yes yes control in black 134
135 6,2/4f 2 dull green/straw yes yes 135
136 Oasis 6,2/5f 8 lilac/straw yes 136
137 7,4/5f 8 lilac/straw yes yes control in black 137
138 8,4/8f lilac/straw yes ?? 138
138a surch.inverted (yes) 138a
138b surch double, one inverted yes 138b
139 9,6/8f lilac/straw yes yes ~~ 139
(139) surch.inverted (139)
140 10,7/10f 3 lilac/straw yes 140
141 11,9/10f 3 lilac/straw yes yes 141
surch.double, one inverted yes
142 12,9/12f 5 lilac/straw yes ?? 142
143 14,1/12f 5 lilac/straw yes yes ~~ 143
143a surch.inverted yes 143a
144 18,6/17f 4 greyish-lilac yes yes control in black 144
... . .. . .. . ..
Yvert. Design Face Value. Stamp Colour Viol.(p). No.C. Other C. Imp.(V) Yvert
151 Renault 5f 2 emerald yes yes yes 151
152 9f emerald yes yes yes 152
153 Oasis 7f 3 magenta yes yes yes 153
154 9f 5 magenta yes yes yes 154
155 11f 8 magenta yes yes yes 155
156 14f magenta yes yes yes 156
157 18f 6 magenta yes yes control in black yes 157
157a (var.13f 6) 18f 6 var. magenta yes (yes) 157a
158 25f magenta yes yes yes 158
... . .. . .. . ..
159 Gare Bne 12f 4 greenish blue yes yes (yes) 159
grey-blue yes
160 18f 8 greenish blue yes yes (yes) 160
grey-blue
161 25f 2 greenish blue yes yes yes 161
... . .. . .. . ..
Yvert. Design Face Value. Stamp Colour Viol.(p). No.C. Other C. Imp.(V) Yvert
162 Renault 7f/5f 2 emerald yes yes (yes) 162
163 Oasis 18f 5/18f 6 magenta yes yes control inverted yes 163
Var. 13f 6 yes yes
163a surch.double (yes)
163A 20f/18f 6 magenta yes 163A
164 Gare Bne 15f/12f 4 greenish blue yes yes ~~ 164
grey-blue yes
165 20F/18f 8 greenish blue yes yes 165
grey-blue yes yes ~~
166 30f/25f 2 greenish blue yes yes ~~ 166
grey-blue yes
... . .. . .. . ..
Yvert. Design Face Value. Stamp Colour Viol.(p). No.C. Other C. Imp.(V) Yvert
167 Renault 8f /7f/ 5f 2 emerald yes yes 167
168 10f /7f /5f2 emerald yes yes control inverted 168
169 10f / 9f emerald yes ?? (yes) 169
170 13f / 9f emerald yes 170
171 Oasis 8,3/7f 3 magenta yes yes yes 171
172 10f 3/ 7f 3 magenta yes ?? 172
173 10,5 / 9f 5 magenta yes yes (yes) 173
174 12f 5/ 9f 5 magenta yes ?? ~~ 174
175 12,8/11f 8 magenta yes yes yes 175
176 14f 8/ 11f 8 magenta yes 176
177 15f/ 14f magenta yes yes (yes) 177
178 17f/ 14f magenta yes yes control double ~~ 178
control inverted
178a surch.double 178a
179 19,5/18f5/18f6 magenta yes yes control doubble 179
13f 6 for 18f 6
180 21f5/18f5/18f6 magenta yes yes 180
13f 6 for 18f 6
21f 5 surch inverted magenta yes
181 26f/ 25f magenta yes yes (yes) 181
182 28f/ 25f magenta yes yes ~~ 182
183 Gare Bne 17f/ 15f/ 12f 4 greenish blue yes yes ~~ 183
grey-blue
183a 17f in centre greenish blue yes 183a
184 22f/ 15f/ 12f 4 greenish blue yes yes control in black 184
grey-blue yes
185 23f/ 20f/ 18f 8 greenish blue yes yes control in black 185
grey-blue yes
186 30f/ 20f/ 18f 8 greenish blue yes yes 186
grey-blue
187 35f/ 30f/ 25f 2 greenish blue yes yes ~~ 187
grey-blue
188 46f/ 30f/ 25f 2 greenish blue yes yes control in black 188
... . .. . .. . ..
Yvert. Design Face Value. Stamp Colour Viol.(p). No.C. Other C. Imp.(V) Yvert
189 Gare Phil. 1f / 0f 9 orange-yellow/toned yes 189
189A 1f / 13f 5 orange-yellow/toned yes yes control in black 189A
1f / 13f5 orange-yellow/toned control in magenta
190 2f/ 1f 8 orange-yellow/toned yes yes cont.in Black;also Blue ~~ 190
191 3f/ 2f 7 orange-yellow/toned yes yes control in black 191
192 7f/ 6f 3 orange-yellow/toned yes yes 192
193 11f/ 9f 9 orange-yellow/toned yes yes 193
194 15f/ 13f 5 orange-yellow/toned yes yes 194
195 19f/ 17f 1 orange-yellow/toned yes yes 195
196 23f /20f 7 orange-yellow/toned yes yes control in black 196
196a surch.double, one inverted control in black 196a
197 Oasis 13f/10f 3/7f 3 magenta yes yes ~~ 197
198 15f/12f 5/ 9f 5 magenta yes yes ~~ 198
199 19f/14f 8/11f 8 magenta yes yes control inverted 199
200 24f/ 14f magenta yes yes control double 200
201 30f/ 28f/ 25f magenta yes yes 201
202 Renault 14f/ 4,1/ 2f 7 dull blue-green/straw yes control in black 202
dull blue-green/straw control in blue
202a 14F surch. double dull blue-green/straw control in black 202a
14F surch. double dull yellow-green/straw control in black
203 17f/ 10f / 9f emerald yes yes 203
left vertical bar missing from the 17F surcharge yes
204 19f/ 9f emerald yes control inverted ~~ 204
emerald control in blue
emerald cont.in blue-grey
... . .. . .. . ..
.

Additional control information on varieties:

1. The following controls exist on Imperf Between Pairs ( all vertical pairs ):

Yv. 84 1 f 8 Black : Top stamp with control, bottom stamp without control.
Yv. 84 1 f 8 Black : Top stamp with upright control, bottom stamp with inverted control.
Yv. 93 11 f 05 Bright Lilac : Top stamp with control, bottom stamp without control.
Yv. 94 16 f 55 Bright Lilac : Top stamp with control, bottom stamp without control.

2. The following stamps have been seen with normal ( violet ) controls :

Yv. 84a 1 f 8 Black : Stamp with Double Impression of Design
Yv. 90 var. 4 f 15 Grey-lilac : Stamp with Double Impression of Design **
Yv. 93a 11 f 05 Bright Lilac : Stamp with Double Impression of Design
Yv. 94a 16 f 55 Bright Lilac : Stamp with Double Impression of Design

** The Double Impression on Yvert 90 is not catalogued, but exists. I have not seen a copy of the 2 f 2 Bridge with Double Impression ( Yv. 95a ), but it probably has a normal control. .

Flag Counter introduced : June 2014 .
Flag Counter