BATUM BRIT OCC 1920 50r on 50k yellow, SG44a
Batum British Occupation 1920 (1 Apr) 50r on 50k yellow, type 8 surcharge (with '50' cut) in black, block of 4 showing the transfer types of the underlying stamp (DC/BA), SG44a.
A fine mint block of four with original gum (lower pair being unmounted mint). Some typical gum creasing as mostly seen with this stamp issue and minor marks, but a scarce block.
A scarce surcharge stamp as only 7,160 were originally issued.
Provenance: Ceresa handstamp on reverse.
Stanley Gibbons catalogue value: £92+.
Batumi (formerly Batum) is a city on the Black Sea coast and capital of Adjara, an autonomous republic in southwest Georgia. The city was under Russian rule at the beginning of World War I, but local unrest led to Turkey entering the city in April 1918, followed by the British in December, who stayed until July 1920.
During the British occupation, the stock of postage stamps started to run out, and so in February 1919 the administration produced its own stamps. These were imperforate, depicted an aloe tree and were inscribed БАТУМСКАЯ ПОЧТА (BATUMSKAYA POCHTA), or "Batum Post."
The British later overprinted these with "BRITISH OCCUPATION", and surcharged the remaining Russian stamps in a variety of styles. Inflation also took hold, and by 1920, the tree stamps, which had been as little as 5 kopecks, had to be reprinted in denominations up to 50 rubles.
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