Bangladesh: 1971/72: Provisional Overprints & Handstamps on Pakistan

This is a complex, but very interesting, field of study. We are hampered by having no literature at all to help us. Any identifications of location given in this article come either from pencil annotations in the Lawrence Kenneth railway thematic collection or from occasional lots sold online. Most of the information below should be treated with caution as we have been able to verify very few of the locations given for stamps with a handstamp.

In cases where we have been unable to provide a location, we have quoted the scan reference. If you are able to place any of these stamps geographically, please email us and use this reference for clarity.

Our study is limited solely to the 1971 Pakistan 'Boy & Train' stamp, overprinted at many locations when Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, broke away from West Pakistan and gained its independence in 1971. Local handstamoing (and occasionally machine-overprinting) of Pakistan stamps took place from December 20th, 1971 onwards and these remained valid for postage until April 30th, 1973.

The Pakistan stamps of 1961 (2 x railway centenary), 1969 (Dakar Station) and 1970 (Expo tracks) can also be found overprinted, but we think it very unlikely that any of these were still available in post offices at the time the local handstamping took place. Where encountered, they are very likely to have been handstamped by favour or, more probably, will be private philatelic creations. Whilst the vast majority of the overprints are quite primitive handstamps, giving ample opportunity for 'creative philately' after the event, there are many different authentic handstamps too. Covers or used copies with legible postmarks can be invaluable in helping to identify locations whilst, on used stamps with a legible date, one can be confident that anything cancelled before December 20th, 1971 will be a forgery.

Colour of Overprint: The overprints occur most commonly in Violet, frequently also in Black and less commonly in Red.

Language(s) of Overprint: Both unilingual and bilingual overprints are found, in Bengali (also known as Bangla) and/or in English.

Style of Overprint : In order to facilitate searches through the illustrations, we have chosen to group first by Colour of Overprint, then by sub-groups according to Language(s) used. Where this still resulted in quite a large group, we have further divided the sub-group according to the format of the overprint and, in general, within these sub-groups, we have ordered the stamps according to the length of the word 'Bangladesh' in English, or, where the overprint is in Bengali only, according to the length of the text part of the Bengali overprint. Please note the images of the stamps are not all reproduced in the same proportions.

Stamps Bangladesh Provisional Overprint on Pakistan Train & Boy design - Jessore Invtd

Index to Listing
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BLACK OVERPRINTS:
( i ) : Overprinted in BENGALI only
( ii ) : Overprinted in ENGLISH only, with Bangladesh in one word
( iii ) : Overprinted in ENGLISH only, with Bangla Desh in two words
( iv ) : Overprinted in BOTH languages, Bengali on top
( v ) : Overprinted in BOTH languages, English on top

RED OVERPRINTS:
( vi ) : Overprinted in BENGALI only
( vii ) : Overprinted in ENGLISH only
( viii ) : Overprinted in BOTH languages

VIOLET OVERPRINTS - Unilingual Overprints
Note: Stamps which would qualify in more than one of the groupings in this section are listed in the FIRST grouping in which they qualify.
( ix ) : Overprinted in BENGALI only : Bar below text or Overprint in Two Lines
( x ) : Overprinted in BENGALI only - in ONE word
( xi ) : Overprinted in BENGALI only - in TWO words
( xii ) : Overprinted in ENGLISH only - BANGLADESH in ONE WORD in Upper Case ( i. e. Capital Letters )
( xiii ) : Overprinted in ENGLISH only - BANGLA DESH in TWO WORDS in Upper Case ( i. e. Capital Letters )
( xiv ) : Overprinted in ENGLISH only - Bangladesh or Bangla Desh in Lower Case ( i.e. small letters )

VIOLET OVERPRINTS - Bilingual Overprints
Note: Stamps which would qualify in more than one of the groupings in this section are listed in the FIRST grouping in which they qualify.
( xv ) : Framed Overprints
( xvi ): Overprints with Bars
( xvii ) : ENGLISH on top
( xviii ) : BENGALI on top : English word(s) Bangladesh or Bangla Desh in Lower Case ( i.e. small letters )
( xix ) : BENGALI on top : Bengali text longer than, or equal to, English text in length .
( xx ) : BENGALI on top : ALL OTHER bilingual violet overprints with Bengali on top.

OVERPRINTS COVERING A VERTICAL PAIR OF STAMPS
( xxi ) : All such pairs, in any colour of overprint

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BLACK OVERPRINTS : ( i ) : Overprinted in BENGALI only

Chittagong Kapasia Unidentified
Left to Right: 1. Central Government Office in Chittagong ( Bengali 11.5 mms wide ) ***** 2. Kapasia ( Bengali approx. 46 mms wide ) ************* 3. Bhairab Bazar P. O.. ( Bengali 21 mms wide )

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BLACK OVERPRINTS : ( ii ) : Overprinted in ENGLISH only with Bangladesh ( or BANGLADESH ) in one word, length of word ' Bangladesh ' given.

Government of Bangladesh Dinajpur 34.5 mm wide Left to Right : GOVERNMENT OF BANGLADESH ( violet-black opt ) ************** Dinajpur ( BANGLADESH 31 mms wide ) ********** Unidentified ( Ref: BD-Uni-Eng-unid-34mm ) BANGLADESH 34.5 mms wide
Note : The GOVERNMENT OF BANGLADESH overprint is reported to exist in black, as opposed to violet-black, as shown here.

37mm wide 6mm high 37 mm wide 4m high Faridpur 1. Unidentified ( Ref: BD-Uni-Eng-unid-37-6mm ) 37mm wide, 6mm high *** 2. Unidentified ( Ref: BD-Uni-Eng-unid-37-4mm ) 37mm wide, 4mm high ******************* 3. Faridpur ( 18.5 mms )

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BLACK OVERPRINTS : ( iii ) : Overprinted in ENGLISH only with Bangla Desh ( or BANGLA DESH ) in two words, length of word ' Bangladesh ' given.

27 mm wide 32 mm bars 32 mm wide - no bars Bangladesh 1971 provisional stamps train Dacca Court
1. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-Uni-Eng2-unid-27mm ) 27mms *** 2. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-Uni-Eng2-unid-32mm-bars ) 32 mms wide *** 3. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-Uni-Eng2-unid-32mm ) 32 mms wide *** 4. Dacca Court 31 mms

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BLACK OVERPRINTS: ( iv ) : Overprinted in BOTH languages, Bengali on top, length of the English word 'Bangladesh ' given.

Bengali at top 14.5 mm Bengali at top 19.75 mm Bangladesh stamps local postmaster handstamps 1971 Bengali at top 20.5 mm Bengali at top 27.5 mm
1. Unidentified ( Ref: BD-Beng-first-unid-1 ) 14.5 mms ** 2. Unidentified ( Ref: BD-Beng-first-unid-2 ) 19.75 mms ** Unidentified ( Ref: BD-first-Top-unid-3 ) 20.5 mms ** Unidentified ( Ref: BD-Beng-first-unid-4 ) 27.5 mms

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BLACK OVERPRINTS : ( v ) : Overprinted in BOTH languages, English on top, length of the English word 'Bangladesh' given.

Press Notice Jessore Jessore Invtd
Left to Right : 1. Press Notice ( machine opt, often used in Jessore ) 17 mms ******** 2. Jessore Official Issue ( machine opt ) 25.5 mms ************ 3. Jessore Official Issue ( machine opt) Inverted 25.5 mms

English at top 14 mms English at top 26 mms English at top 28.5 mms English at top 44 mms
1 Unidentified(Ref: BD-Eng Top-unid-14mm)14 mms ** 2. Unidentified(Ref: BD-Eng Top-unid-26mm)26 mms ** 3. Unidentified(Ref: BD-Eng Top-unid-28mm)28.5 mms * 4. Unidentified(Ref: BD-Eng Top-unid-44mm) 44 mms

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RED OVERPRINTS : ( vi ) : Overprinted in BENGALI only. Length of Bengali text given.

Bengali 13.5 mms Manikganj Chittagong Port
Left to Right : 1. Unidentified (Ref : BD-R-Beng-13mm ) 13.5 mms ************************ 2. Manikganj 14.5 mms ************************* 3. Chittagong Port 15 mms ( violet-red overprint )

Bengali 18 mms Shalar-Dari-Jessore Bengai 21 mms
Left to Right : 1 Unidentified ( Ref : BD-R-Beng-18mm ) 18 mms ********************** 2. Shalar-Dari-Jessore 21 mms ********************* 3. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-R-Beng-21mm ) 21 mms

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RED OVERPRINTS : ( vii ) : Overprinted in ENGLISH only.

Dinajpur semi-circle Sbibaloy P.O. Possibly Kuhrna
Left to Right : 1. Dinajpu 19 mms *********************** 2. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-R-Eng-semi-circle ) ********* 3. Shibaloy P. O. ( see note below ) ********** 4. Possibly Kuhrna ( requires verification ) 46 mms
Note to 3. above : Overprint appears the same as that identified as Chowddagram-Comilla in section ( xiii )

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RED OVERPRINTS : ( viii ) : Overprinted in BOTH LANGUAGES, length of English word ' Bangladesh ' given.

Shibalay Bilingual 17 mms Bilingual 23 mms
Left to Right : 1. Shibalay ( boxed opt ) Bangladesh 20 mms ************** 2. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-R-Biling-17mm ) 17 mms ( Bengali on Top ) **** 3. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-R-Biling-23mm ) 23 mms ( English on Top )

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VIOLET OVERPRINTs : ( ix ) : Overprinted in BENGALI only, either with bar below text or with overprint in two lines. Length of Bengali text given.

Chowmuni with bar - 21 mms with bar - 41 mms
Left to Right : 1. Chowmuni ( two - line overprint ) ************************** 2. Unidentified( Ref: BD-V-bar-unid-21 ) 21 mms ****************** 3. Unidentified( Ref: BD-V-bar-unid-41 ) 41 mms

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VIOLET OVERPRINTS : ( x ): Overprinted in BENGALI only - in ONE WORD. Length of Bengali text given.

Comilla Joydevpur Joydevpur Inverted Opt Jessore NPO
Left to Right : 1. Comilla 15 mmms ********************** 2. Joydevpur 18 mms *********************** 3. Joydevpur Inverted Overprint 18 mms ************* 4. Jessore NPO 19.5 mms

Unidentified 20.5 mms ( heavy ) Unidentified 20.5 mms ( light ) Narayanganj
Left to Right : 1. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Beng-unid-20 heavy ) 20.5 mms ******* 2. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Beng-unid-20 light ) 20.5 mms ********* 3. Narayanganj 21 mms
Note: The first and second stamps above are probably from the same location, but the lack of detail on the heavier overprint makes this hard to verify.

Narayanganj heavy Unidentifid 22 mms Unidentified 23 mms
Left to Right : 1. Probably a heavy opt of the preceding Narayanganj 21.5 mms ********* 2. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Beng-unid-22 ) 22 mms ********* 3. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Beng-unid-23 ) 22.5 mms

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VIOLET OVERPRINTS : ( xi ): Overprinted in BENGALI only - in TWO WORDS. Length of Bengali text given.

Unidentified 21 mms Unidentified 22 mms Unidentified 24 mms
Left to Right : 1. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Beng-Two-unid-21 ) 21 mms ********** 2. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Beng-Two-unid-22 ) 22 mms ********** 3. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Beng-Two-unid-24 ) 24 mms

Unidentified 31 mms Deopara Mymensing Moheskhali-Chittagong
Left to Right : 1. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Beng-Two-unid-31 ) 31 mms ********************** 2. Deopara Mymensing 39 mms ************************ 3. Moheskhali-Chittagong 47 mms

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VIOLET OVERPRINTS : ( xii ): Overprinted in ENGLISH only - BANGLADESH in ONE WORD in Upper Case ( i.e. Capital Letters ). Length of word ' BANGLADESH ' given.

Government of Bangladesh Unidentified 21.5 mms Shalutikar
1. Overprint in Grey-Violet, very similar to one listed under Black opts ************* 2. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Eng-UC1-21 ) 21.5 mms **************** 3. Shalutikar, Sylhet 2.5 mms

Unidentified 23 mms Akhavra Unidentified 28.5 mms
Left to Right : 1. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Eng-UC1-23 ) 23 mms ************ 2 Akhavra 27 mms (see note below )************************** 3. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Eng-UC1-28 ) 28.5 mms
Note: The Akhara stamp above is missing the ' H ' from ' BANGLADESH '. We do not know whether this is a variety or a constant error.

Karhakati Rajshani - two lines below Rajshani - one line beow
Left to Right : 1. Karhakati ( boxed opt ) 33 mms ********************** 2. Rajshani 34.5 mms - with appearance of TWO bars at foot **************** 3. Rajshani 35 mms - with appearance of sold bar at foot

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VIOLET OVERPRINTS : ( xiii ) : Overprinted in ENGLISH only - BANGLA DESH in TWO WORDS in Upper Case ( i.e. Capital Letters ). Length of 'BANGLA DESH' given.

Maijdi Noakhali Unidentified 29 mms Comilla Chowddagram-Comilla
Left to Right : 1. Maijdi Noakhali 24 mms ************ 2. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Eng-UC2-29 ) 29 mms ******* 3. Comilla 31.5 mms ********************** 4. Chowddagram-Comilla 32 mms ( see note below )
Note to 4 above : Overprint appears the same as that identified as Shibaloy P.O. in section ( vii )

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VIOLET OVERPRINTS : ( xiv ) : Overprinted in ENGLISH only - Bangladesh or Bangla Desh in Lower Case ( i.e. small letters ). Length of text given.

Mehekour-Kustia Unidentified 17 mms Rajshani Left to Right : 1. Mehekour-Kustia 17 mms ***************************** 2. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Eng-LC-17 ) 17.5 mms ******************* 3. Rajshani 19 mms
Note : The first two stamps above may well be from the same location, with a worn handstamp applied to the left stamp .

Unidentified 21 mms Unidentified 47 mms People's Rep.
Left to Right : 1. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Eng-LC-21 ) 21.5 mms *************** 2. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Eng-LC-42 ) 42 mms ************** 3. On cover , postmarked Dacca ' People's Republic of Bangladesh '

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VIOLET OVERPRINTS : ( xv ) : Bilingual : Boxed ( or otherwise framed ) overprints. Length of English text given.

Jiban Nagar Sunaganj Sylhet Manikganj 1 Manikganj 2
Left to Right : 1. Jiban Nagar 2 mms ********************* 2. Sunagang Sylhet 17.5 mms ********************** 3. Manikganj ( 1 ) 19.5 mms ***************** 4. Manikganj ( 2 ) 21.5 mms

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VIOLET OVERPRINTS : ( xvi ) : Bilingual : Overprints with bar or bars in the design. Length of English text given.

Unidentified 20 mms Barasik Ho Unidentified 29 mms Dacca Shbar
1.Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Bi-Bar-20 ) 20 mms ********* 2. Barasik Ho 25.5 mms ********************** 3. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Bi-Bar-29 ) 29 mms ******** 4. Dacca Shbar 36 mms

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VIOLET OVERPRINTS : ( xvii ) : Bilingual : English on top. Length of English text given.

Unidentified 20 mms Unidentified 22 mms Unidentified 28.5 mms.
1. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Bi-Eng-20 ) 20 mms : ************************* 2. Unidentified ( BD-V-Bi-Eng-22 ) 22 mms ******************** 3. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Bi-Eng-28 ) 28.5 mms
Note: Stamp No. 1 above is on a cover postmarked TEMPORARY P.O. / DA 314 / 5 FEB

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VIOLET OVERPRINTS : ( xviii ) : Bilingual : Bengali on top. English word ' Bangladesh ' in Lower Case ( small letters ). Length of English text given.

Unidentified 16 mms Kholna Manikganj-1
1. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Beng-bangla-16 ) 16 mms ********************* 2. Kholna GPO 17 mms ****************************************** 3.Manikanj 19.5 mms
Note: The right-hand stamp above is on a cover from Manikganj 31 MAR 1972. The mint stamp immediately following appears to have the same handstamp.

Manikganj.2 Chandpur Noahkali
1. Manikganj 19.5 mms ( see footnote immediately above ) ******************* 2. Chandpur 20 mms ************************************** 3. Noahkali 21 mms

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VIOLET OVERPRINTS : ( xix ) : Bilingual : Bengali on top : Bengali text longer than, or equal to, English. Length of English text given.

Unidentified 18.5 mms Maybe Dacca - 1 Maybe Dacca - 2 Unidentified 21 mms 1. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Bi-Beng-Long-18 ) 18.5 mms ******** 2. Dacca?? ( Ref : BD-V-Bi-Beng-Long-19-1 ) 19.5 mms **** 3. Dacca?? ( Ref : BD-V-Bi-Beng-Long-19-2 ) 19.5 mms ******* 4. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Bi-Beng-Long-21 ) 21 mms Note : No. 3 above is on a cover from a Dacca address, whilst No. 2 appears to be a mint example of the same overprint.

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VIOLET OVERPRINTS : ( xx ) : Bilingual : Bengali on top : Other : Length of English Text given, length of Bengali text also given in some cases for clarity.

Unidentified 15 mms Chittagong GPO Unidentified 18 mms Unidentified 24 mms
1. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Bi-Other-15 ) 15 mms ********** 2. Chittagong GPO 15.5 mms *************** 3. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Bi-Other-18 ) 18mms *** 4. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Bi-Other-24 ) 24 mms

Unidentified 25 mms Bangpur Unidentified 25 mms Unidentified 25.5 mms
1. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Bi-Other-25(18) ) 25 mms **** 2. Bangpur Bazaar 25 mms ****************** 3. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Bi-Other-25(20) ) 25 mms *** 4. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Bi-Other-26 ) 25.5 mms
1. Bengali text is 18 mms long *********************** 2. Bengali text 20 mms long, ' H ' is narrow **** 3. Bengali text 20 mms long, ' H ' is wide ************ 4. Bengali text is 20.5 mms long

Unidentified 25 mms Brahman-Baria Unidentified 29 mms
1. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Bi-Other-25(23) ) 25 mms, Bengali 23.5 mms ******** 2. Brahman-Baria 28.5 mms ******************************* 3. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Bi-Other-29) 29 mms

Unidentified 32 mms Narayanganj Bogra
1. Unidentified ( Ref : BD-V-Bi-Other-32 ) 32 mms *********************** 2. Narayanganj HO Post Office 33 mms ********************** 3. Bogra 34 mms

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OVERPRINTS COVERING A VERTICAL PAIR OF STAMPS

( xxi ) : All such pairs, in any colour of overprint

Feni Noahkali ( red ) Feni Noahkali ( violet ) Khairabad Barisk
1. Feni-Noahkali overprint in RED ************************************* 2. Feni-Noahkali overprint in VIOLET ***************************** 3. Khairabad Barisk

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The main content of this article was written in May 2010 with minor additions and amendments since. We hope you have found this article helpful but it should be borne in mind that it is largely based on evidence from a single source and that we have not been able to verify most of the claims with regards to geographical location.
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