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.
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, the production of military franchise
labels for New Caledonia and the New Hebrides was ordered by 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.
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.
Here we show a letter to this Lt. Col. Delauny ("SeSi" coll.)
17 January 1893
Local 15 centimes letter from Nouméa to Monsieur le Chef d'Escadron Delauney Directeur d'Artillerie (à Nouméa).
Julien Félix Delauney 1848 - 1898 : officier de l'armée de terre , Lieutenant Colonel
Chef d'Escadron de l'Artillerie de Marine en 1890. Il a été Inspecteur des études à
On lui doit le projet des timbres de franchise militaire de Nouvelle Calédonie et
ceux pour les Nouvelles Hébrides restés au stade d'essais.
La Caserne d'Infanterie
This is the place where Lieutenant Colonel Delauney was stationed.
reverse of the card
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".
Just a collection of singles here as they are at hand.
ex Millet coll.
ex Millet coll.
In December 2018 some so far unknown copies surfaced at the 8/9 January 2019 auction together with some singles: Cherrystone Auctions
Sheet #1 - "T" distance 16,2 cm
Sheet #2 - "T" distance 16,2 cm
In 2020 it looked like this (at Ceres): some further damage at top.
Single #1 - pos. 1,2
Single #2 - pos 1,1
Single #3 - pos 1,1
Single #4 - pos 2,1
Single #5 - pos 1,2
Single #6 - pos 2,2
Single #7 - pos 1,1
Single #8 - pos 2,2
According to the Cherrystone catalogue two of these are color reproductions on thick paper. It's hards to tell with images only
but we think that only one is a reproduction: The last one - #8.
In September 2019 two more so far unknown sheet copies were shown by Roumet together with a couple of singles, France
and four singles from Ceres, France
and four more