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Newfoundland Stamps

Airmail Stamps of 1931-1943

The definitive air mail Newfoundland stamps appeared at the beginning of 1931.  These new flight-themed definitive stamps were designed specifically for use on all types of mail traveling by airplane.

WMK 214
Arms of Newfoundland
(Sheet Watermark)


Watermark 214, shown above, was not printed on each stamp, but across the entire pane, thus some of the stamps from these panes may show only a small trace of the watermark, or in some cases, no watermark at all.


The three pictorial definitive air mail stamps shown above were issued on January 2, 1931

According to the Scott Catalog, these Newfoundland stamps were printed on both unwatermarked paper and on paper with WMK 241 -- Arms of Newfoundland watermark -- across the entire pane of stamps.

According to the Stanley Gibbons catalog, these Newfoundland stamps were issued on January 2, 1931 on unwatermarked paper, and again on March 13, 1931 on paper with the Arms of Newfoundland watermark.

Typing these Newfoundland stamps can get a bit tricky here!  The stamps on the unwatermarked panes can not be told apart from the stamps on the watermarked panes that show no trace of the sheet watermark.  In fact, pairs from the later printings may be obtained, where one of the stamps shows a watermark, while the adjacent stamp does not show any trace of a watermark at all.

The technical attributes table below is based on the catalog listings.


  • 15 C.  (1931 - Unwatermarked - Scott #C6) - Dogsled with what appears to be a Sopwith biplane flying overhead.
  • 50 C.  (1931 - Unwatermarked - Scott #C7) - Vickers Vimy biplane leaving St. Johns carrying the first Trans-Atlantic air mail and passing over a packet ship.
  • 1 D.  (1931 - Unwatermarked - Scott #C8) - Routes of the historic trans-Atlantic flights.

  • 15 C.  (1931 - Watermarked - Scott #C9) - Dogsled with what appears to be a Sopwith biplane flying overhead.
  • 50 C.  (1931 - Watermarked - Scott #C10) - Vickers Vimy biplane leaving St. Johns carrying the first Trans-Atlantic air mail and passing over a packet ship.
  • 1 D.  (1931 - Watermarked - Scott #C11) - Routes of the historic trans-Atlantic flights.

IS THAT A SWASTIKA?


The short answer is Yes AND No!  Anyone familiar with the brutal historical periods of the 20th Century may be alarmed, when first looking at the symbols on the One Dollar denomination air mail stamp shown above.  The last time I saw one, outside of my stamp album, was many years ago, when I toured a 600 year old Buddhist temple in Macao.  The symbol appeared on the corners of the main altar there.

Swastika is derived from the ancient Sanskrit word "svastika" meaning a "lucky or auspicious object".  In German, it is called a "hakankreuz" or literally a "hooked cross".  This is actually a Worldwide religious symbol, dating back to the Neolithic Era (10,000 B.C. - 4,500 B.C.).  Unfortunately, the meaning of swastika was corrupted, when the German NAZI party used it as their heraldic symbol, during their brutal reign from 1933 to 1945.  There is a difference though, the historical swastika is shown upright, as it appears on the stamp above.  The NAZI symbol is tilted to the right.

The swastika was the national symbol of Ancient Carthage in 1,000 B.C. and the symbol is also used in Buddhism and Hinduism, even to this day.  The Ancient Romans, as well as other ancient European and Asian cultures, used it as a decorative symbol for "good luck".  Some of the native Indian tribes of North America used the symbol as well, which is the source the government of Newfoundland used for the design of the stamp shown above.  In this context, it signifies "good fortune" or maybe an allusion to the "auspicious events" described on the stamp!.

 

Lufthansa Dornier DO-X Seaplane


On May 19, 1932, the One Dollar denomination definitive air mail stamp of 1931 was overprinted and revalued for the return flight of the Dornier DO-X from New York via Newfoundland, to Berlin, Germany.

The overprint reads: "TRANS-ATLANTIC / WEST TO EAST / Per Dornier DO-X / May, 1932. / One Dollar and Fifty Cents".

This was one of the first large, passenger aircraft capable of trans-Atlantic flight.


On June 9, 1933, a new set of five pictorial definitive air mail Newfoundland stamps was issued.  The stamps are engraved, and they are printed on watermarked paper.

The designs feature aircraft and symbolic themes of Newfoundland.


  • 5 C.  (1933 - Scott #C13) - "Put to Flight".
  • 10 C.  (1933 - Scott #C14) - "Land of Heart's Delight".
  • 30 C.  (1933 - Scott #C15) - "Spotting the Herd".
  • 60 C.  (1933 - Scott #C16) - "News from Home".
  • 75 C.  (1933 - Scott #C17) - "Labrador, The Land of Gold".



On July 24, 1933 (Scott #C18), the 75 C. denomination definitive air mail stamp of 1933 was overprinted and revalued for the return flight of General Italo Balbo's Seaplane Squadron from the Century of Progress World's Fair in Chicago to Rome.

The overprint reads: "1933 / GEN. BALBO / FLIGHT. / $4.50".



The last Newfoundland air mail stamp was issued on June 1, 1943 (Scott #C19).  This stamp is engraved, and it is printed on unwatermarked paper.  The design features an Airplane over St. John's, Newfoundland.

After 1943, regular definitive Newfoundland stamps were used to pay postage on air mail letters.




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Newfoundland Stamps - Air Mail Stamps of 1931-1943






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