The 1893 French Military Franchise Essays.
In anticipation of British agreement, essays of a military franchise label were prepared in Nouméa by one Lt. Col. Delauney.
Pre 1895 Era
All known types of essay sheets are shown here.
These copies are all we know of. They come from the Ruecker,
Treadwell, Blinco, Crompton & Klinger collections.
Some are from now unknown collections.
This is a paper on the essays by Jeff Blinco.
This is a typical news paper note in 1883.
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In an effort to gain an official French presence in the New Hebrides, the authorities in Noumea
proposed in 1893 that each power establish a permanent military force on
certain islands in the group, in order (it was claimed) to quell native
unrest. In anticipation of British agreement, essays of a military franchise
label were prepared by one Lt. Col. Delauney. The labels were intended
to provide a subsidy of 25c per letter for soldier's mail. They were prepared
in Noumea in imperforate, ungummed sheets of four, by lithography.
The British rejected
the proposed military occupation, possibly sensing the real rationale behind
it. The essays became redundant and were never officially used. Quantities
printed were not recorded but are believed to have been small.
We named the stamps A B C D.
We suggest the following names:
General Differences in the different designs:
Stamp [A]: Banner empty - Banner with serifed "NLES HEBRIDES".
Stamp [B]: Label empty - Label with PROTECTORAT.
Stamp [C]: Banner empty - Banner with serifed "NLES HEBRIDES".
Stamp [D]: Label empty - Label with PROTECTORAT.
Top stamps in both designs: Label round at right in both designs.
Bottom stamps in both designs: Label with angled line at right.
Stamp [A] in both designs: Banner nearly reaches bottom inner frame line.
Stamp [B] in both designs: Banner has unserifed "NLES HEBRIDES".
Stamp [C] in both design: Spelling error PPOTECTORAT
Stamp [D] in both designs: Banner has unserifed "NOUVLES HEBRIDES".