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La poste de Papeete en 1875
 
Before 1862 Usage of stamps of the universal issues for the French Colonies without special Indication of the country of origin
1862 - 1892 Usage of the same stamp issues with local overprint
1892 - 1958 Stamp issues inscribed: `Etablissements Français de l`Océanie`
From 1958 Stamp issues inscribed: `Polynésie Française`
 
  Usage of the same stamp issues with local overprint
The 2 postmen and the post office commis at Papeete in 1897.
Papeete: Departure of the mail to San Francisco, circa 1887.
  In 1882 the use of unoverprinted stamps of the general colonial issues was discontinued on Tahiti as in most other French territories. Differences in the value of local currency and the danger of speculation led to the desirability of having specific postage stamp issues for each individual territory or group of territories. In Papeete, for instance, the Chili plaster and the American Dollar were used as much or even more frequently than the French Franc.
Curiously enough, the first specific issue for Tahiti did not include the country name in the overprint, which merely contained the value designation between two heavy horizontal bars. The overprint was made from a wood block and applied by hand to each individual stamp. The first overprints are exceedingly rare; only one of the values was printed in a quantity of over 5.000, of the others not more than 50 copies each were made. In 1884 a second set of overprinted stamps was prepared, this time however the overprint included the word: Tahiti.

Because of the uncertainty and infrequency of communications the Papeete P.O. has more than once suffered from a lack of supplies of postage stamps. This was also the case in June 1884, when the postmaster ingeniously solved his problem by applying the overprint directly to letters, cards and wrappers.
In 1893 two rather controversial stamp issues appeared, consisting of stamps of the General Issues overprinted either diagonally with the word TAHITI, or horizontally in two lines with 1893/TAHITI.
Many values of these sets are extremely rare because only very small quantities of the original stamps were available for this purpose. In some cases supplies were so short that it was impossible to send the required amount to the bureau of the Universal Postal Union in Berne.

The sad result of this situation was not only excessive speculation, but also that the scarcer values have been extensively forged by shrewd but unscrupulous persons or reprinted at the request of stamp dealers. To the honest philatelist, these years are a very black page in the postal history of Tahiti.
 
 
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