The France & Colonies Philatelic Society has published a number of short specialised studies on particular aspects of French philately.
The following titles are offered subject to availability. Members’ prices are shown. Postage and packaging extra.
Please contact the Society by
The list may be viewed or downloaded here
Back numbers of the Journal may also be available.
|The Postal History of French Forces in Tunisia 1900-1920 and the South Tunisian Campaign 1915-1917 by David Trapnell
|Fakes and Forgeries of the 20th Century French Postage Stamps, by Dr. R G Gethin, published 2006 (See bekow)
|Tables of French Postal Rates 1849 to 2011 by Derek J Richardson, 4th edition, published 2011 - PDF only
|Postal and Airmail Rates in France and Colonies 1920-1945 by Robert Picirilli - (See below) PDF only
|Censorship of Civilian Mail in Madagascar during World War Two Handstamps and Labels, by John Parmenter with Alain Hurpet et.al. (See below)
|The Sower – a Common Little French Stamp, by Ashley Lawrence FRPSL. (See below) Temporarily unavailable.
|The Development of French Postal Communications in the Algerian Sahara by Peter Kelly FRPSL, FSPH. (See below) available from the author:
|Dakar to Tombouctou Communications and Postal History in French Soudan by Peter Kelly FRPSL, pub 2018 available from the author:
|French Transsaharan Mails and History, Post Offices and Communications in Niger by Peter Kelly FRPSL, FSPH. (see below). The third book in the French West African and Saharan series available from the author:
If you wish to obtain any of these titles or back numbers of the Society Journal please write to or email the Society publications stockist
(details at top of page).
An invoice including postage at cost will be sent with any purchases. Payment is possible via PayPal to the
for which 4% needs to be added to the total price to cover charges: please ask for further details.
Fakes and Forgeries of 20th Century French Postage Stamps by Dr. R G Gethin
There are 152 pages with full colour illustrations, many of them 400% enlargements of the stamps.
For a preview of a few sample pages in PDF format click on Forgeries Book.
Published 2006. A few copies still available at £25.00 + p&p
Contact our stockist details of whom are at the top of the page.
The Sower, a Common Little French Stamp by Ashley Lawrence FRPSL
Designed by Louis-Oscar Roty (1846-1911), the Sower is unique in philately.
Since her first appearance on silver coins in 1897, she has graced the coins
and postage stamps as the symbol of France for more than a hundred years.
In its 256 pages, my book, published by the Society, describe her origins and her
extraordinary postal history. The variations in the design of the lined and cameo Sowers;
her appearance in booklets, coils, postal stationery, money-stamps and other formats;
the printing processes, overprints, varieties, are explained in detail, with profuse illustrations in full colour.
“The Sower, a Common Little French Stamp” retails at £25.00, plus postage & packing.
Paypal or UK cheque accepted.
"Dakar to Tombouctou” Communications and
Postal History in French Soudan by P.R.A. Kelly FRPSL
Review: Michael Round – April 2019
This important new book was brieﬂy noticed in the last F&CPS Journal (ref. 1); fellow member Peter’s own full-page ﬂyer alongside (ref. 2) added further information. To recap, brieﬂy: the text, in six monographs, tells the story of communications in French Sudan (gateway to the Sahara, as it were), mostly during the pre-airmail period (1900-40) when the pioneering element was strong, the actual process difficult and the sheer mileage daunting. The total picture is an eye-opening reminder of the routine courage, stamina and ingenuity shown by a handful of men in a vast area mastering unfamiliar conditions, restrictions and climate.
Mail was transported by a mixture of boats and trains, the boat part crucially dependent on seasonal ﬂuctuations on the Niger River, which have Monograph 1 to themselves. Monograph 2 explains that postal services effectively arose, so to speak, on the back of the telegraph service (c. 1880); Monograph 3 describes the TPO (convoyeur) service between Kayès and Koulikoro. Monograph 4 stresses the role of the Niger River itself in the process – which, when it ran smoothly, connected outgoing mail with the fortnightly mailboat from Dakar. Just one hiccup anywhere along the route would effectively delay mail by a further fortnight if not more. Monograph 5 describes to-and-fro services in 1906, while Monograph 6 covers the introduction of airmail and subsequent related activities up to 1940.
The illustrations are luxurious. I counted 11 maps and over 60 different postcards. They remind us how grateful we are (are should be) for the official custom of repeating a postmark alongside the stamps, rather than just cancelling them. Many of those illustrated here are joyously legible, and even those that aren’t at least give us two goes at deciphering Stage 1 of any journey. Contemporary postal regulations have been clearly scanned practically in toto: those whose originals were unscannable have been carefully copied into the text. The complex political changes of the period – all that bewildering Haut-Sénégal-et-Niger and Sénégambie-et-Niger business – are diagrammatically presented for maximum clarity. Like Gabon-Congo elsewhere on the continent and (more pertinently) the later République Soudanaise, the political period Haut Sénégal et Moyen Niger (1899-1902) produced no stamps so inscribed (though three postmarks), and the earliest items of mail used Sénégal stamps. A helpful Appendix spells all this out for the easily confused among us, and may inspire straight stamp collectors to re-examine their postmarks.
A ﬂint-eyed professional copy-editor might have revised some punctuation, excised a few repetitions, and split many very long sentences. Readers in no need of such spoon-feeding, however, will find this a scrupulously researched archive, destined to become the go-to reference for years to come, its illustrations an irresistible magnet to would-be postcard collectors and the whole publication an inspiration to other serious collectors to record their findings for the benefit of all.
1. Journal of the France & Colonies Philatelic Society, Vol 68 No 3, December 2018, p. 139.
2. ibid, p. 138.
96pp, card cover, A4 format, fully illustrated in colour; published by the author with the support of the Stuart Rossiter Trust; available from the
The Development of French Postal Communications in the Algerian Sahara
This is the author’s second book on French African postal history following on from “Dakar to Tombouctou – Communication and postal history in French Soudan”. This new book looks at the expansion of French interests in the Algerian Sahara, outlining the postal history and development of communications, new military and civilian post offices in a difficult physical terrain and often in hostile conditions.
Attention is also given to the problems associated with the establishment of a frontier between Algeria and Morocco, another area of interest to postal historians. A large number of maps and other detailed information accompany the large selection of covers that illustrate this study which covers the period from the 1880s to WW1 with a few later examples where this is thought to be useful.
Available from P.R.A.Kelly by
A4 224 pages. Full colour. Soft back, card covers.
Weight 1.1kg inc. packaging.
Cost: £25 (euro 27.50) Payment: UK or euro cheque, or via PayPal.
Plus postage & packing: U.K. £3.10; Europe £10.55; U.S.A £24.33; Australia £23.43.
Other locations or payment methods, please contact author by
Postal and Airmail Rates in France and Colonies 1920-1945,
Robert Picirilli pub 2011,
FCPS available in PDF format (77MB in several small files) cost £20. Contact the
A very fine work based mainly on primary sources that are effectively only available in the Library of Congress and the Centre des Archives d'Outre-Mer in Aix-en-Provence (CAOM)
Censorship of Civilian Mail in Madagascar during World War Two Handstamps and Labels
by John Parmenter with Alain Hurpet, Colin Spong, Joh Groenewald and Etienne Coré
La censure du courrier civil à Madagascar pendant la seconde guerre mondiale Répertoire des cachets et des étiquettes by John Parmenter with Alain Hurpet, Colin Spong, Joh Groenewald and Etienne Coré
A bilingual publication FCPS jointly with Col.fra, is now available,
Price -£10. (plus postage)
U.K. £2.20 Payment: U.K cheque or Paypal Europe £4.00 Payment by Paypal or cheque in Euro (Euro 15 in all). U.S.A £6.40 Australia £7.00 Canada, S America, Africa, India £6.20 Payment by Paypal.
Available from P.R.A.Kelly. Paypal address and all enquiries by
Extracts from the publication were featured in Journals 297 and 298, with Michael Round’s review in Journal 293.
French Transsaharan Mails and History, Post Offices and Communications in Niger by Peter R..Kelly FRPSL, FSPH.
The third book in the French West African and Saharan series.
A full review is available on page 108 of the F&CPS Journal 299.
Card-backed, A4 180pp in full colour.
For further details, chapter breakdown, costs and postage rates click here
Available from P.R.A.Kelly by