Stamps of Eastern Rumelia

23 Nov 2018  Fri

Eastern Rumelia or Eastern Roumelia was an autonomous province in the Ottoman Empire. Eastern Roumelia is famous for its postage stamps.

The 1878 Treaty of Berlin provided for the Ottoman Empire to issue special stamps for Eastern Rumelia. Initially, the Turkish government sent some 50,000 piasters worth of Turkish stamps overprinted with "ROUMELIE / ORIENTALE". New stamps specifically printed for Eastern Rumelia were sent from Constantinople and both versions were issued on 16 January 1881 to 1885.

The stamp depicts a crescent in the centre with Persian inscription inside it stating the name of the province and the ruling dynasty. The design of the stamps of 1881 listed the name of the province in four languages – Turkish, French, Greek, and Bulgarian – using four alphabets – Arabic, Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic.

On September 10, 1885, the existing Rumelian issues were overprinted with two different images of the Bulgarian lion, and then with the lion in a frame and "Bulgarian Post" in Bulgarian. From 1886 on, the province used Bulgarian stamps.

The above image shows three stamps from three different releases. The First stamp (starting from the left) is the first issue of 1881 when only two denominations of 20 Turkish para and 1 Turkish piastre were issued.

The second image is a stamp among the set of the second issue of 1884. Four different values were printed and released which were – 5 Turkish paras, 10 Turkish para, 20 Turkish para, and 1 Turkish piastre.

The last issue came in the year 1885 when two stamps of 10 and 20 Turkish paras were overprinted with the Bulgarian lion. This was the last issue of the Eastern Rumelia as since 1886 the province used Bulgarian stamps.

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