Beginning in 1926, definitive French stamps of the Semeuse Type and the Pasteur Type were re-valued to fulfill a shortage of smaller denomination postage stamps.
Beginning in 1929, the high-denomination allegorical Merson Type definitive stamps were finally retired. They were replaced by what the Yvert-Tellier Catalog calls the "Monuments and Sites" series. For our purposes, we'll call them "Pictorial Definitive"
postage stamps. The French would continue this practice of issuing
higher denomination pictorial definitive stamps throughout the 20th
Century, creating some of the most beautiful commemorative postage stamp issues in all of
The twelve re-valued definitive French stamps shown above were issued between 1926 and 1927. They are as follows:
The 25 C. on 35 C. Violet exists with a double overprint, and the 50 C. on 65 C. Rose exists with an inverted overprint.
These four 3 Fr. pictorial definitive French stamps were issued between 1930 and 1931. They come in four types which are all shown above.
The Reims Cathedral or actually, Notre-Dame de Reims is actually situated on the site of a basilica founded in 400 by St. Nicaise. Clovis, the first King of the Franks, was baptized there by St. Remi in 496.
The cathedral was damaged by fire in 1210, but it was repaired and expanded over time. The cathedral, as it is today, was completed sometime during the 14th Century. The coronation of every French monarch, up until Charles X in 1825, has been held in the Reims Cathedral.
These two 5 Fr. pictorial definitive French stamps were issued between 1930 and 1931. They come in two types which are both shown above.
Mont Saint-Michel or St. Michael's Mount is an island commune in Normandy, located about a half mile off the coast. The island, as of 2009, is 247 acres in size, and it has a population of 44.
The island has been of strategic importance since ancient times, and since the 8th Century, it has been the seat of the monastery, from which it gets its name. Legend has it that the Archangel Michael appeared to St. Aubert, the Bishop of Avranches, in 708, and instructed him to build a church on the rocky islet.
Mont Saint-Michel is one of France's most recognizable landmarks, and it is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, drawing more than three million visitors each year.
These three 10 Fr. pictorial definitive French stamps were issued between 1929 and 1931. They come in three types which are all shown above.
These three 20 Fr. pictorial definitive French stamps were issued between 1929 and 1931. They come in three types which are all shown above.
The Pont du Gard is an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge that crosses the Gardon River of Southern France. It is part of the Nimes Aqueduct, a 31 mile long aqueduct constructed by the Romans during the early 1st Century. The aqueduct was closed in the 6th Century, following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.
The Pont du Gard is the highest and the best preserved of all the Roman aqueduct bridges, and it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1965.
The 2 Fr. pictorial definitive French stamp shown above (Y&T #258, Sc. #263) was issued in 1931.
The Arc de Triomphe (Triumphal Arch) in Paris is one of the most famous monuments in the World. It stands in the Place de Charles de Gaulle, formerly the Place de l'Étoile, at the Western end of the Champs-Élysées.
The arch was constructed between 1806 and 1836. It is 164 feet high, 148 feet wide, and 72 feet in girth. The arch was built to honor those that fought and died during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. The insides of the arch is inscribed with many of their names. In a vault underneath the Arch is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.
With the arch being so wide, during the 1919 victory parade, Charles Godefroy flew his Newport biplane through the middle of the arch, an event that was captured on newsreels at the time.