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Netherlands Indies

or Dutch East Indies

1st April 1864

Occupation - Innovations

  Dutch Colony 1

  Netherlands Indies Sc1 Sc2  

imperf, no wmk, engraved
Printed by The Mint, Utrecht

Description Date Issued Scott# SG# Mi# Y&T# Notes
10 cents lake 1st April 1864 1 1     imperf
10c lake 1868 2 2     perf 12½x12


The Netherlands Indies comprised the islands of Sumatra, Java, the Lesser Sundas, Madura, most of Borneo, Celebes, the Moluccas, western New Guinea and a large number of small islands [1].

Netherlands Indies changed its name to Indonesia in 1948, sovereignity was transferred by the Dutch at the end of 1949 and the Republic of Indonesia was declared on 15th August 1950. Dutch New Guinea, which had used Netherlands Indies stamps until 1949, issued its own stamps from that date.

Japanese Occupation
1943 Sc-N43 SG23

Occupation Issues

Japan occupied the Netherlands Indies from 1942 until 1945. Scott [1] notes that “a great variety of overprints” were used and no effort is made to categorise or number them.The catalog then lists stamps for use in the following (a representative sample is shown):

  • Java and Sumatra, Netherland Indies Sc-N1-N4, SG1-4
  • “Java (also Sumatra Borneo and Malaya)”, Sc-N5-N14, SG7-14
  • Sumatra, N15-N37
  • Issued under Nationalist Occupation, N38
That last is described as prepared before the occupation but “issued in 1945 by the Nationalists (Indonesian Republic) … not recognised by the Dutch”. Gibbons' approach, while starting similarly, diverges from Scott. The occupation issues are dealt with in more detail on the Indonesia page.

Floating Safe / Marine Insurance
1921 Sc-GY1 SG-M257


Floating Safe stamps
These (also, more prosaically referred to as Marine Insurance stamps) were issued by the Netherlands and Netherlands, for mail shipped between the two countries. Mail with this additional stamp was carried in a special safe designed to float and be recovered if the ship sank. The service was introduced in 1921 and discontinued in 1923 through lack of interest.

Sources: ScS [1], ScC, SGP4.

Images from David Olson.

FI ref: 117, 623, 632 Page credit: NB

Page created 26 Jan 2016 Page updated 27 Feb 2016