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Ceylon Circuit


Ceylon became a Crown Colony in 1802 but the central mountainous kingdom of Kandy became a protectorate from 1815. 1817 saw the whole island become a colony.

The capital is Colombo but a multitude of other cancels are obtainable – some of which are shown here, courtesy of John Cooper.



From the ancient kingdom itself comes this postcard to the U.S.


The 3 cent printed stationery postcard, (the inland and India rate), is uprated with a 9 cent to cover the foreign postcard rate of 12 cents.


The single ring cancel is of Kandy, 10pm 30 De 35.



From a suburb of Kandy comes this registered double weight (NB manuscript “55”) cover to Canada.


Of the 50c charged, 20c is registration but the balance covers the foreign rate of 20c (1st oz), plus 10c (2nd oz), instead of the empire rate of 9c plus 9c.


A village in the Central Province is the starting point of this airmail cover to Germany.


The 50c and definitive 5c (tied by Agrapatna cds for 21 No 35) serve the foreign rate of 20c and the airmail fee to Europe of 35c when sent via Karachi.


Mount Lavinia

From a beach retreat in a suburb of Colombo comes this postcard to Holland bearing two of the 6c - each cancelled Mount Lavinia for 19 Se 35 - representing the foreign postcard rate of 12c.


This is the main town in the Hambantota district, (Southern Province) – devastated by the 2004 tsunami. This airmail cover to Somerset, thence forwarded to London, carries 9c on the front with a 50c Jubilee & 10c definitive to the rear – the total of 69c reflecting the 9c empire rate and 60c U.K. air fee when directed via Madras.



Another airmail cover to the U.K. sent at the 69c rate – thus presumably via Madras.

This time it is from Ratnapura – “City of Gems” – and dated: 7 Ju 35.


50c, 20c and 6c are affixed to the reverse of this registered insured AR cover to India. Counted as an inland rate (6c) with registration (15c) and Advice of delivery (5c), this leaves the 50c which is sufficient for insurance cover of 200 rupees – despite the manuscript 250 rupees. It was posted in Pettah, a neighbourhood of Colombo known for its markets and bazaars.

Slave Island

The name of this Colombo suburb refers to where slaves were held under Portuguese rule.

This cover to South Africa was sent at the empire rate (9c) and registered (20c) and was postmarked Slave Island (31 Au 35).


Like the earlier shown 3c printed stationery postcard, this one to Germany is uprated by 9c for the foreign rate – this time cancelled Mirigma – a town in Gampaha district of the Western Province and hometown of the island’s first Prime Minister, D.S. Senanayake.


Reflecting the empire postcard rate is the 6c on this one to London. It is cancelled Matugama – another town in the Western Province and 64 kilometres south of Colombo.


The first ounce foreign rate was 20c – hence its use on this cover to the Dutch East Indies. Simply addressed to a city’s district, one hopes it found Mr Frantzmann. The stamp is cancelled (12 Au 35) Lindula – a town in the Central Province.

Some other postmarks…



AJA June 2017

Some previous articles are available as PDF's by clicking their titles below:



    “Variety Values" - Bruce Davies's campaign to secure values for used examples of varieties

    "Fragmented Fiji" - Some postmarks of Fiji

    "Absentee Rupee" - The Mauritius 1 rupee as a stranger to postal rates

    "Postal Usage of the Egypt Seal" - Nick Levinge looks at the Crowned Circles of the forces bases

    "Over Fifty Shades" - Something wrong with the colour?

    "Ghana Guide" - Some postmarks of Gold Coast

    "Vanuatu Voyage?- A look at Hong Kong used in New Hebrides

    Surfing the Solomon Sea” - The few operating post offices in the Solomon Islands

    “Security Punch” - A look at the Jubilee’s perfins by Jeff Turnbull

    “Morocco Now and Then” - A tour of the British post offices in Morocco

    “Fault lines of the Falklands” - Part two of Ralph Riddell-Carre’s analysis

    “Straddling the Straits” - Some postmarks of the Straits Settlements

    “Set and Match” - Can full set covers be non-philatelic?

    “Boating around The Bahamas” - Some postmarks of The Bahamas

    “Serial Salutes” - Some of the Silver Jubilee’s own anniversaries

    “Mauritius Meanderings” - Some postmarks of Mauritius

    “A Cat among the Penguins” - A suspect Falklands cancel

    “Cycling Cyprus” - Some postmarks of Cyprus

    “Scars of Conflict” - How the Jubilees were affected by war

    “Bech Trek” - Some postmarks of Bechuanaland Protectorate

    “Specimen Specifics” - A look at the various uses of the word SPECIMEN

    “Hong Kong Hike” - Some postmarks of Hong Kong

    “Aden Funnel” - Covers from and through Aden

    “Grenada Guide” - Some postmarks of Grenada

    “In The Frame” - A look at some frame plate flaws

    “Basuto Byways” - Some postmarks of Basutoland

    “Cyprus Cypher” - Chris Georgallis examines the colony’s Madame Joseph forged postmarks

    “Trinidad Tour” - Some postmarks of Trinidad & Tobago

    “Commercial Ceylon” - A look at the perfins of the colony

    “Guiana Panorama” - Some less common British Guiana postmarks

    “Where were they then?” - From the more recent stamp-issuing territories

    “Cautious Mauritius” - A variety of Mauritius perfins

    “Madame Joseph’s Masquerades” - Some examples of forged first day covers

    “Tag Wrestling” - A look at the higher postal rates through parcel labels

    “AR” - An article on Avis de Reception by David Handelman

    “The Fleury Flair” - Hugo Fleury’s designs for the Jubilee

    “Split the Difference” - Some occurrences of bisects among the Jubilees

    “Specimen Fundamentals” - Notes on U.P.U. requirements & some forged examples

    “Windsor Spoofs” - Gerald King’s alternative Jubilees

    “Puncturing Oz” - Some speculations about Australian perfins

    “Perforating the Silver Jubilee Stamps”- An article on GB by Harvey Russell

    “Nauru’s Split Personality”  - Split “B” variety on the 2d value?

    “In Camel’s Clothing” - The Egyptian seal’s booklet

    “Rural Disservice” - The Cyprus low value forgeries

    “Canadian Precancels” - The only precancel involvement with the Jubilee

    “Phoenix-like Sphinx” - Some notes about the Egyptian seal

    “Fag Tax” - Observations on South West Africa’s cigarette duty overprints

    “From the collection of...” - Jubilee items from some illustrious collectors

    “Prize-less Specimens” - Beware of forged specimen stamps

    “Dubious Jubilees” - Spoofs, parodies and bogus overprints