XIANNING DISTRICT SURCHARGE LABEL
BAMBOO SHOOTS DESIGN
The postal surcharge label of the Xianning District of Hubei province is especially interesting. To my knowledge this is the only surcharge label issued to coincide with the issue of a postage stamp. In this case, the Bamboo set issued on June 15, 1993.
The label was
issued at first in a sheet of 30 (6 x 5), then I was told that it changed to a
5 x 6 format. However, I have been
unable to confirm this change. Perhaps one of you have an example of the later
sheet size. The 6 x 5 sheet is made of
two sections of 3 x
2 3 4
There is one
interesting variety in the 6 x 5 sheet, in position 25 is the wide spacing of
the 93- and 5 variety, see figure
2. This is the only major variety in the
sheet. However, there are three items to
look for. The first is the stamp without
the back printing, figure 3. One sheet
was found without the printing and was broken into singles, pairs etc. Thus the total of the stamp without overprint is 30
copies. Few have been seen for sale and
is considered very scarce. There is an
essay prepared but not issued, see figure 4 for an example. Please note the red number added. This is considered very rare. In addition, there is another essay that has
the overprint in red instead of black. I
have not seen this item as it is very rare and may not exist outside of
Now back to the question of first day - figure 5 is an example of a first day cover on June 15. So far, all covers I have seen are in conjunction with the postage stamp issue that date. The label was used until June 30 before being terminated by the postal authorities.
Figure 6 is an example of other than the first day of usage, this being Wenquan, postal code 437100 dated June 26, 1993. It seems that covers of the first day are much more common than the regular usage. Perhaps collectors tended to save the first day cover more frequently.
I am sure that you are aware of the excellent catalog on line by D&O Trading Company. They are certainly one of the most reliable dealers of the surcharge labels, with an excellent search capability to assure you find the item. If you have not before, go to www.dandotra.com and have fun!