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
The stamps were valid for use within the U.S. but were rarely used
The Offices in China overprints are an area ripe for continued study.
New plate numbers and positions are still being discovered.
K1, 2¢ on 1¢,
Plate number 13222 L
K2, 4¢ on 2¢,
Plate number 9199 T
K3, 6¢ on 3¢,
Plate number 8473 T
K4, 8¢ on 4¢,
Plate number 12551 R
K5, 10¢ on 5¢, Plate
number 13275 T
K6, 12¢ on 6¢,
plate number 7828 T
K6 var, 12¢ on 6¢,
overprint to left, plate number 7834 T
K7, 14¢ on 7¢,
Plate number F12562 T
K8, 16¢ on 8¢, olive green,
Plate number 7742 B
K8a, 16¢ on 8¢, dark olive green,
Plate number 7742 B
K9, 18¢ on 9¢,
Plate number 6918 L
K10, 20¢ on 10¢,
Plate number 8438 T
K11, 24¢ on 12¢, dark claret,
Plate number 7037 L
K11a, 24¢ on 12¢, claret brown,
Plate number 6934 B
K12, 30¢ on 15¢,
plate number 7927 R
K13, 40¢ on 20¢,
plate number 7033 R
K14, 60¢ on 30¢,
Plate number 6927 B
Scott K15, $1 on
50¢, Plate number 7040 T
K16, $2 on $1,
number 5782 B
K17, 2 Cts. on 1¢,
Plate number 11792 T
K18, 4 Cts. on 2¢,
Plate number 13129 R
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This page last updated May 27, 2009.
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