Monday, August 31

Republik Maluku Selatan

Here are two stamps that should not appear in any reputable collection, apparently. They are known as bogus stamps, are not official postage, and were printed by a private interest on behalf of the South Moluccas.

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.


Justin said...

Apparently you do not know the History of the South Moluccas very well.. The Dutch East-Indies now known as Indonesia were known as a federation The Indonesian Republic and The East-Indonesian State.
The South-Moluccas were part of the 2nd one the EAST-Indonesian state. They had the right to opt out of this state if Sukarno could not keep his promise to forfill the wishes of this different state. When Sukarno and his troops invaded the capital of East-Indonesia the South Moluccas already knew that they were to be obsorbed into the Indonesian Republic that's why they proclaimed the Independent Republic of the South-Moluccas remember it was still a federal structure back in the days. On August 17 1950 Sukarno proclaimed the Indonesian Republic with all the areas included. The RMS was proclaimed 4 months earlier when they still had the right to opt out of the Federal structure to become an independent country. The 150 stamps were created to promote the RMS and gain Recognition they were spread over many continents and countries they still have that right to call them selves independent. Today they are recognised by a few united nations members, but still have to be recognised world wide because they are still occupied by the Indonesian Government.

malukucollection said...
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