Thursday, November 30, 2023

Thailand 2023 WSC

The Thailand 2023 World Stamp Championship is currently underway. Let's wait and see how the visitors and judges respond to my book...

The Philatelic Manual

Local Issues of Independent State of Croatia
Međimurje • Banja Luka • Šibenik I & II • Dalmatia

Aleš Marinšek

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Late usage of Vuk stationery

At first, this was the latest use of  Vuk 1.50 din stationery I had seen...

Vuk 1,50 din stationery, sent from Lazarevac (11.VI.45) to Belgrade via Valjevo (11.VI.45), where it was censored by the military censor. Late usage.

However, I found one with a significantly later usage date. The usage date is magnificent: 25.XI.46. So, more than 17 months after my previous one...

Vuk 1,50 din stationery, sent from Novi Sad (25.XI.46) to Belgrade. Very late usage.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

1945 Montenegro - Letter from Šavnik

 Only a few postal items sent from Šavnik in the spring of 1945 are known...

Registered letter, franked with 180 occupation din (letter 80 din, registration 100 din), sent from Šavnik (26.V.45) to Bari Italy, censored by the military censor in Šavnik (cachet: "ВОЈНА ЦЕНЗУРА / == ШАВНИК =="), travelled via Nikšić (28.V.45), Cetinje (31.V.45) and Dubrovnik (2.VI.45) where it was handed over for trans adriatic delivery (cachet: "GL. PRREKOJADR. VOJNA POŠTA JUG. ARMIJE - CHIEF TRANS-ADR. MILIT. MAIL YUG. ARMY"). From Švarc's correspondence. Certificate Veličković. Very scarce item.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

1944 SENTA, Rubber provisional postmark

The Senta National Liberation Committee's "Book of Postal Items" proves that the rubber provisional postmark was used in Senta in late 1944 and early 1945. 

1944 Senta National Liberation Committee's "Book of Postal Items"

A page from the book showing the rubber provisional cancellations.

1944 Senta provisional issue, letter, properly franked with 30 f, sent from Senta (2.I.1945) to Mol, cancelled with rubber provisional canceller "ПОШТА / __ ★ 194 / СЕНТА" (= "POST OFFICE / __ ★ 194 / SENTA")Latest known use of the Senta issue. Only two Senta letters with this cancellation are known.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

1945 MOSTAR, 50/7 Kn on offset paper

50/7 Kn on offset paper is the rarest paper of the Mostar provisional issue. Only 50 stamps were overprinted on this paper. Price ranges from 700 EUR and up. Therefore, check for a 50/7 Kn on offset paper whenever you see this set. Here are some tips you can follow: 
  • The overprint is shifted to the right and down
  • Offset paper is a non-transparent, white colour with white and shiny gum (see here)
  • The stamp with gum thickness is between 0.085 and 0.095 mm (see here)

1945 Mostar provisional issue, No. 9, 50/7 Kn on offset paper. Only 50 stamps could exist. Ex Tiberio. Note that the overprint is shifted to the right and down - all 50 stamps have the same shift, so this could be a first indicator that you may have this rare stamp.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Balkanfila 2023

I will participate in the XIX International Philatelic Exhibition Balkanfila in Belgrade. I prepared two exhibits: the manual "Local Issues of Independent State of Croatia" (see here) and the new, one-frame exhibit, "1944 Senta Provisional Issue." See you in Belgrade from 12. to 14. October ...

1944 Senta Provisional Issue

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

The earliest Transadriatic censorship

The Transadriatic route was established sometime in the early summer of 1944. Censorship was a joint task between Yugoslav and Allied forces. The earliest known Transadriatic censored item is a letter shown below...

1944 Transadriatic mail, letter sent from Bari (10.VII.44) to Split, censored in Bari by censor No. 603. The sealing label "Examined by Allied Transadriatic Censorship" is used. At that time, Split was still occupied by the German army, so partisan couriers organized local delivery to recipients. The recipient's name and address have been blacked out for security reasons before delivery.
The earliest known Transadriatic censored item.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Unusual use of Ustasha stationery

After liberation, the communist authorities strictly prohibited occupation symbols, including the Ustasha flag and coat of arms. Therefore, it is very unusual to see a 1942 commemorative stationery with a large Ustasha coat of arms used after the liberation.

Commemorative stationery for the 1942 exhibition of aircraft models sent from Zagreb (22.V.45) to Negotin, Serbia by military post and censored by the military censor. Unusual use of stationery with Ustasha symbols under the new regime.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Getting help from AI

I was at a local philatelic meeting today. As always, it was nice to meet fellow philatelists and browse through piles of letters, stationery and stamps. 

The lively event at the meeting.

Among other things, I also found interesting military stationery from the Second World War sent from a 331st Special Work Battalion. 

Military stationery sent from the 331. Compagnia Speciale Lavoratori (= 331st Special Work Battalion).

On the other side of the stationery is written date 12.9.43 and the illegibly written name of the city. I started looking for information about this battalion, but since it is a narrow area and a rare example, I needed help finding something concrete. I could not even decipher the name of the city. So I decided to try the use of artificial intelligence (AI). Below is a conversation between me and an OpenAI chat system that impressed me.

A conversation between me and the OpenAI chat system helped me discover the city from where the stationery was sent. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

What's going on?

I am getting a lot of questions about what is happening on this blog. Yes, lately I have plenty of other activities so that philately may be a bit neglected. It will probably be like this for some time. However, I am still available for certification and questions over email.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

1945 MARIBOR, Base stamp error

I recently got a stamp with an interesting error...

1945 Maribor provisional issue, No. 8 with missing "1" in "12". Signed Ercegovič.

Missing "1" and some red paint inside "2" suggest that there was some dirt on the cliché during the printing. This mistake is unknown to me. I think it is an occasional error fixed by cleaning up the cliché as soon as it was noticed.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

1945 MARIBOR, Partial & reverse overprint

Although it is most likely that the entire margin of one sheet was folded, so all ten stamps from the right edge were partially overprinted on reverse, this is the only piece I have seen so far...

1945 Maribor provisional issue, 15 pf (Mi. 9) partial overprint and overprint on reverse due to paper fold. Attractive and very rare.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

The Manual

I am very proud that the manual is now included in the library fund of the Royal Philatelic Society London...

Local Issues of Independent State of Croatia
Međimurje • Banja Luka • Šibenik I & II • Dalmatia

Monday, February 28, 2022

London 2022

I just returned from the London 2022 International Stamp Exhibition. Very glad as this was my first philatelic gathering after the pandemic, and another Large Vermeil medal for my 1941 Međimurje exhibit.



My exhibit

Sunday, January 2, 2022

My philatelic plans for 2022

Top three goals:
  1. Edit and sort parts of the collection that are not yet consolidated
  2. Finish the new book
  3. Make an 8-frame exhibit
The mockup of my upcoming philatelic manual.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

1945 SPLIT, Unused Small Petar

First, you have to read the following post: "1945 SPLIT, Small Petar". Interestingly, unused "Small Petar" stationery is even rarer than those travelling. Only two pieces are known to me.

1945 Split provisional issue, unused "Small Petar" stationery.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021


Dear Visitor,

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Saturday, December 18, 2021

1943 ŠIBENIK, Early usage

The first commercial use of the First Šibenik Issue known to me is from the 21st of September 1943 ...

Fragment of stationery hand overprinted with First Šibenik Issue cachet and franked with two 50 cents stamps of the First Šibenik Issue, cancelled by "SEBENICO / RACC. ASSIC." canceller on 21.9.43. Early usage! From well-known Novak correspondence. Certificate Vilfan.

The dry strike on the stationery is almost invisible. However, you can clearly see the overprint using the proper colour separation technique.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

LJP, 4444

Usually, collectors specialize their collections with postmarks carrying interesting dates. In most cases, these are dates related to historical events or maybe dates of issuing stamps (first day). However, I know some of them who collects dates that are attractive from a numerological point of view ...

Stationery of 75 cents, sent from Ljubljana (4.4.44) to München. From a numerological point of view, probably the most notable date of the period of occupation of the Ljubljana province.

Monday, December 6, 2021

1945 MOSTAR, Mirrored Z

Three different rubber censorship cachets were used in Mostar. One was "VOJNA / CENZURA" (= "MILITARY / CENSORSHIP"), the other "ЦЕНЗЫРИСАНО!" (= "CENSORED!") and the third "CENZURA" (= "CENSORSHIP").

The last one is interesting because it contains mirrored letter Z. It is unknown whether this was an error in the preparation of the rubber cachet or whether the cachet was of Italian origin where the mirrored Z represents S as CENSURA in Italian means CENSORSHIP.

Forerunner of the 1945 Mostar provisional issue, letter sent from Mostar (15.III.45) to Dubrovnik, free of charge as the sender was a military person, censored in Mostar with "CENZURA" cachet.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

LJP, Letter to France

I have a nice foreign letter travelled with several TPO's ...

Letter, franked with 1.25 Lire definitive and rare 2.50 Lire express delivery stamp, sent from Ljubljana (12.1.42) to Saint Rémy de Provence in France, in transit over several travelling post offices, twice censored by Italians and Germans. 

From the postmarks, we can identify the following journey:
  1. 12.1.42 - Post office LUBIANA 1 / LJUBLJANA 1
  2. 13.1.42 - Railway post office MESS. LUBIANA - TRIESTE / TURNO 17
  3. 13.1.42 - Railway post office AMB. TRIESTE - VENEZIA 345
  4. 13 or 14.1.42 - Railway post office MESS. VENEZIA - MILANO
  5. 14.1.42 - Railway receiving office MILANO FERR. CORRISP.
  6. 14 or 15.1.41 - Italian censorship UFFICIO CENSURA POSTA ESTERA / III
  7. 15.1.42 - Post office for abroad POSTA ESTERA / MILANO
  8. German censorship
  9. Delivery to the addressee

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

LJP, Post office Krmelj

The Germans occupied the Krmelj in April 1941. During this first German occupation, the post office operated. They used an old one-line KARMEL seal and a newly made German two-circle KARMEL (STEIERM) postmark with counter code A. On October 8, 1941, the Germans left Krmelj to the Italians. The post office continued to operate until the late summer of 1942, when it was closed. It was reopened on January 1, 1943, until August 14, 1943, when it was finally closed. The Italian administration used a two-circle Italian postmark with the inscription KRMELJ / (LUBIANA). During the second German occupation (autumn 1943 - May 1945), the post office Krmelj remained closed.

German two-circle KARMEL (STEIERM) postmark with counter code A used on 4.8.41 during the first German occupation. Very rare.

Friday, November 5, 2021

1941 MEĐIMURJE, Double overprint

Double overprints are very rare and known for values of 0.25 and 4 Din only...

1941 Međimurje local issue, 0.25 Din horizontal se-tenant pair with types "a" and "b" of coat-of-arms from the second printing with double overprint. Position 3,4. Certificate Marinšek.

For more about Međimurje as well as about other Local Issues of the Independent State of Croatia, get a free manual:

Local Issues of Independent State of Croatia
Međimurje • Banja Luka • Šibenik I & II • Dalmatia

Thursday, October 28, 2021

LJP Postmark Catalog

After a long period, I had some free time today, which I used to develop a catalog of postmarks of the Ljubljana Province. Here is a preview for one of the post offices showing different periods and different postmark origins. There were a total of 101 post offices, so worth mentioning that a catalog could be generated programmatically. 

Anyway, there is still a lot to do, so I hope to have some extra time soon ...

Ljubljana Province postmark catalog -  preview for post office Vrhnika.
(click for larger image)

Thursday, October 21, 2021

1945 MOSTAR, Overprint double

Overprint double occurred only on one horizontal row of No. 17, where one sheet was incorrectly inserted together with another sheet and received two plate strikes. So, altogether only 10 examples with double overprint could exist.

1945 Mostar provisional issue, No. 17 "War Tax" block of four from positions 1-2/11-12 showing overprint double on upper stamps. Ex Tiberio. Very rare!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

1945 LJUBLJANA, Podlipa auxiliary post office

During WWII, Podlipa had a small auxiliary office of the Vrhnika post office. The German army left Vrhnika on May 5 1945, and the next day the abandoned area was held by the Yugoslav army. Nearby Ljubljana and other parts of Slovenia were liberated on May 9. The new regime immediately suspended postal services in the territory of Slovenia - first informally and then, on May 12, also formally. The ban was in effect until June 6. On June 7, the stamps of the Ljubljana Provisional Issue were overprinted and delivered to the post offices in the following days...

Money order for 125.- Lira sent to auxiliary post office Podlipa, cancelled at Vrhika with german canceller OVERLAIBACH / VRHNIKA on 4.V.45. After the Germans left and after the suspension of postal service, it was cancelled with nationalized Italian canceller VRHNIKA on 6.VI.45. The money was paid out on 12.VI.45, and the money transfer order was liquidated with No. 5 of Ljubljana provisional issue on 13.VI.1945.
This is an extremely rare postal item used in a small auxiliary post office during the transition period between the two regimes.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Partisan mail from evacuation hospital

Partisan mail was operated by couriers who carried mail between branched relay stations. The senders or recipients were usually in mobile partisan units or stationary bases such as military hospitals. One of such hospitals was SVPB-E, an evacuation hospital that operated in two locations in Bela Krajina near the partisan airport at Otok village. Patients waiting to be evacuated by plane gathered here. The first evacuations were to Italy and later to Dalmatia...

Partisan letter, sent from SVPB-E (= "Slovenska Vojno Partizanska Bolnica - Evakuacijska" = "Slovenian Military Partisan Hospital - Evacuation") to SNOS (= "Slovenski NarodnoOsvobodilni Svet" = "Slovenian National Liberation Council", transit via relay station "RS 15" on 9.III.1945. Very rare!

NOV = "NarodnoOsvobodilna Vojska" = "National Liberation Army"
POJ = "Partizanskih Odredov Jugoslavije" = "Partisan Units of Yugoslavia"

Relay station "RS 15" was positioned in Kočevski Rog.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

LJP, A letter from Tivat

After the Italian occupation of Montenegro and the province of Ljubljana in 1941, the post between these regions was a domestic mail. However, due to the war circumstances and the censorship centres, the shipment routes were quite complicated...

Express registered letter, franked with 3 Lire, sent from Tivat (5.IX.41) to Novo Mesto (14.IX.41), censored in Bologna, transit via Munich and Trieste.

The cancellations show a complicated route:

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

PhilAdria's 26th auction

On October 23rd, the 26th Philadria auction will take place. A lot of exciting material and favourable starting prices. Online catalogue at or via Philasearch site at
26th auction catalogues.

There are six lots with my certificates:

Lots 417, 420, 421, 447, 468 and 469.
(click the image for enlargement)