In 1912 the French stamps were re-issued as the French objected the use of British colonial watermark paper for French stamps. So a special paper was made for
this re-issue: large sheets of 60 stamps with the letters "R" and "F" in the sheet. See below.
Engraving: Leonard Vincent Phillips (De La Rue)
Design: Jules Giraud, land-surveyor in Port Vila
Printing: Thomas De La Rue & Co., Ltd. ♦ modified 1912 issue
First Day: First day in Paris at the Agency: April 19, 1912, in Port-Vila sometime in 1913
Perforation: 14 ♦ Watermark: R & F in sheet. The stamps have no watermark or parts of the letters
This series exists with overprint "SPECIMEN"
I will use the year 1912 as year of issue. Hals/Collas and Stanley-Gibbons say 1913 was the date of legitimate use. But it was possible to buy these stamps in Paris and send them to Port-Vila in oron a letter
to be sent back. We cannot control this on the covers but this would have been legitimate use either.
The 1912 French Watermark RF in Sheet
S.-G.: F22-Yv: 38
Sc. : **-Mi: 47
S.-G.: F23-Yv: 39br>
Sc. : **-Mi: 48
S.-G.: F24-Yv: 40
Sc. : **-Mi: 49
S.-G.: F25-Yv: 41
Sc. : **-Mi: 50
S.-G.: F26-Yv: 42
Sc. : **-Mi: 51
S.-G.: F27-Yv: 43
Sc. : **-Mi: 52
S.-G.: F28-Yv: 44
Sc. : **-Mi: 53
S.-G.: F29-Yv: 45
Sc. : **-Mi: 54
S.-G.: F30-Yv: 46
Sc. : **-Mi: 55
S.-G.: F31-Yv: 47
Sc. : **-Mi: 56
S.-G.: F32-Yv: 48
Sc. : **-Mi: 57
The 1912 Definitive Series: French Issue on RF Paper, issued 1912 in Paris & 1913 in Port-Vila.
At left & right: R and F as watermarks on the complete sheet.
The image shows what it can look like on a single stamp.
Part of a sheet with the "F"
An "F" part sheet from the reverse - (watermark a bit graphically enhanced.)
5c sheet: SG F22
5c sheet: SG F22.
20c sheet: SG F24
20c sheet: SG F24. Part of watermark visible at top right
20c sheet: SG F24
20c sheet: SG F24. No watermark at all