British Levant

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The term “British Levant” is used by stamp collectors to describe the issues made by various British Post Offices within the former Turkish Empire: Beyrout (Beirut, Lebanon), Constantinople (Istanbul), Salonica (Thessalonika, Greece), Smyrna (Izmir) and Stamboul (a sub-office of Constantinople).

Following the depreciation of the Turkish piastre against sterling in 1884 it was decided to issue stamps surcharged in Turkish currency to avoid speculation. So from 1st August 1885, letter and registered charges were prepaid with surcharged stamps. However up until 14th August 1905, postcards and parcels continued to be franked with unoverprinted Great Britain stamps at the current rate of exchange. Only a limited range of values were stocked for this purpose.

Catalogue Listing >>
A specialised catalogue listing by each value, detailing varieties, marginal settings, usages and so on, with their market values.

Postage Rates >>
A detailed listing of the rates for postage for letters and postcards within sent internally and abroad.

Postmarks >>
A specialised catalogue listing each of the cancels known in use in the British Post Offices in the Levant.

Express D’Orient labels >>
A census of all the covers and cards with these labels recorded by me

References >>
A list of reference works that are much use to the British Levant collector.