Revolution Philately

Virtually every historical event has a philatelic component and revolutions and changes in government are no different. Illustrated above are some Iranian items that we found recently in a collection. These were portrait obliterations on Iranian stamps issued in 1925. Ahmad Shah was officially deposed as Shah of Persia in October of 1925 and the Pahlavi dynasty (which ended in the last Iranian revolution in 1979) took over the official reign of government, though this faction had been in de facto control for several years. These stamps have a quasi official status (as provisional revolutionary issues often do). The portrait of the old Shah was obliterated as if cancelled and the stamps were sold and used for several months until officially overprinted issues proclaiming the new government were issued. There may well be similar issues associated with the Egyptian revolution (“revolution” has become a bit of a pejorative term so that it is not typically used for a popular uprising such as Egypt is experiencing, though what is going on has all the makings of a bonafide revolution) and wise collectors would be on the lookout for any overprints or postal markings that the current political disturbances may cause. No one I know has made a thematic collection of worldwide Revolution postal history, though this would be a fine specialty and one that would combine the finer aspects of postal history and political history.

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