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1917 Offices in China issues

For several years, the U.S. operated a postal system in Shanghai, China.  Other countries did the same in other enclaves, colonies or spheres of influence.  In 1917, the Post Office Department overprinted the then-current Washington-Franklin definitives at double their face value and supplied the stamps to the consulate in Shanghai.  The stamps were also sold to collectors and dealers through the Philatelic Agency in Washington.

Values on the lower denominations up to 40 on 20 (plate numbers < 9500) are from the original printing, whereas higher plate numbers ( > 10500) are from later printings, mostly to meet collector demand.  There were no later overprintings on the high values (60 on 30, $1 on 50, and $2 on $1); or if there were, they were overprinted on the same plate numbers as were originally used and are indistinguishable from the earlier printings.

The stamps were valid for use within the U.S. but were rarely used thus.

The Offices in China overprints are an area ripe for continued study.  New plate numbers and positions are still being discovered.


Scott K1, 2 on 1, Plate number 13222 L

Scott K2, 4 on 2, Plate number 9199 T

Scott K3, 6 on 3, Plate number 8473 T

Scott K4, 8 on 4, Plate number 12551 R

Scott K5, 10 on 5, Plate number 13275 T

Scott K6, 12 on 6, plate number 7828 T

Scott K6 var, 12 on 6, overprint to left, plate number 7834 T

Scott K7, 14 on 7, Plate number F12562 T

Scott K8, 16 on 8, olive green, Plate number 7742 B

Scott K8a, 16 on 8, dark olive green, Plate number 7742 B

Scott K9, 18 on 9, Plate number 6918 L

Scott K10, 20 on 10, Plate number 8438 T

Scott K11, 24 on 12, dark claret, Plate number 7037 L

Scott K11a, 24 on 12, claret brown, Plate number 6934 B

Scott K12, 30 on 15, plate number 7927 R

Scott K13, 40 on 20, plate number 7033 R

Scott K14, 60 on 30, Plate number 6927 B

Scott K15, $1 on 50, Plate number 7040 T

Scott K16, $2 on $1, Plate number 5782 B

Scott K17, 2 Cts. on 1, Plate number 11792 T

Scott K18, 4 Cts. on 2, Plate number 13129 R


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This page last updated May 27, 2009.

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