Monday, August 31
Republik Maluku Selatan
The South Moluccas are a group of 150 islands between Indonesia and Australia, south of Malaysia. They are not a major world power, they are certainly not a sovereign nation; they do not have an indomitable army, navy, or air force. They are not a predominant world economy. And they have never printed official, legal postage stamps for themselves.
Henry Stolow, a certain stamp dealer operating in Berlin and New York, ordered 150 sets of these stamps from Austria in 1955 and apparently sold and distributed these. Being that there is no Republic of South Moluccas, inclusion of these stamps into any responsible philatelic collection spelled disaster for the collector. Why would he do such a thing? Vengeance? Power-mongering? Simple whim? The world may never know.
And yet somehow I have come into possession of two of these stamps. How? From where? I have no idea. I was just cleaning out my stationery supplies and I found a small, yellowing paper packet with several stamps in it. One's from Romania, one's a Bulgarian stamp celebrating with 100-year mark of the April Uprising, one's from Poland and it features a thistle. But here are also two bogus stamps from a fake nation, which I actually think (given their history) makes them especially cool.