first issues > countries > eastern rumelia, south bulgaria

Eastern Rumelia,
South Bulgaria

1st July 1885

Europe 27, 27a

ER1
  Eastern Rumelia Sc1 xxx

perf, wmk, print
Printed

Scott lists 40 stamps (Gibbons 50) which fall into three broad categories:

1880
Sc1-9
SG1-5
Handstamped overprints of Turkish stamps.
1881-84
Sc10-19
SG6-12
Stamps of Eastern Rumelia (Roumelia in Gibbons).
1885
Sc20-40
SG13-50
Overprints of the Eastern Roumelia stamps: two overprint types (lion and framed lion), each with two variants.

From 1885 onwards the stamps of Bulgaria were used.

Description o/p Date Scott# SG# Mi# Y&T#  
Overprints of Turkish stamps
½ piaster on 20 paras green b 1880 1 1   4 sucharge
10pa black and rose b 1880 3        
20pa violet and green b 1880 4 2   3  
2pi black and buff b 1880 6 3   4-5  
5 pi red and black b 1880 7 4   6  
10pa black and red lilac o/p a a 1880 8     1  
10pa black and red lilac both overprints both 1880 9 5   2  
Eastern Rumelia stamps
5pa black and olive perf 13½   1881 10 6   7A  
other values perf 13½   1881 11-14 7-10   8A-11A  
5pa and other values perf 11   1884 15-19 11-12   7B-11B  
Overprinted Eastern Rumelia stamps
5pa black and olive, Type a lion overprint in blue   1885 20 13      
other values, lion overprint   1885 21-32 14-34   1-5  
5pa black and olive, Type b framed lion overprint in black§   1885 33 43      
other values, framed lion overprint   1885 34-40 35-50   6-11  

Two overprints were used, (a) "ROUMELIE ORIENTALE" printed vertically and (b) a large "R.O".
There are two varieties of the lion overprint, (a) four toes on each foot, (b) three toes each. The overprints can be blue or black.
§ With the framed lion, in type (a) he first characted of the inscription is circular, in type (b) it is oval.
There are perf variations in both overprint types, for which the reader is referred to the catalogues.
Yvert & Tellier start again at #1 with the 1885 South Bulgaria overprints.

ERO1a
ERO1b
ERO2a
ERO2b
ERO3a
ERO3b
vertical
R.O
Lion
Framed lion
   
Type a
Type b
Type a
Type b

ERum10
image
image
Eastern Rumalia
Lion
Framed Lion
1881 Sc10 Sg6 1885 Sc20 SG13 1885 Sc33 SG43

The catalogues warn that forgeries are commonplace.

This is the third consecutive European entity (after Bulgaria and Bosnia & Herzegovina) whose creation resulted from the 1878 Congress of Berlin that followed the Russo-Turkish War. Easterm Roumelia rejected Turkish rule and joined Bulgaria in 1885 as South Bulgaria.

Mackay [1, p.127] observes that the Eastern Rumelia 1881 issue were the first stamps to feature four languages (Turkish, Greek, Bulgar and French) in four scripts (Arabic, Greek, Cyrillic and Roman).