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Moroccan Locals and Maghzan Cachets  
 

 
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United States
144 Posts
Posted 12/11/2017   01:14 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Greaden to your friends list  Get a Link to this Message
Does anyone here collect Moroccan local stamps from the period before 1912 when the French Protectorate was established?

In the 1890s, several European entrepreneurs set up local postal routes complete with stamps for specific routes. The Sultan attempted to compete with a postal service of his own. Instead of stamps, he used cachets that were directly stamped on the covers in colorful inks made from cobalt, or saffron, or poppies, etc. Nobody has yet figured out what the colors meant, but a complete collection would require each color from each city of origin.

Those that were octagonal were for private mail, while circular ones were for official mail. The Arabic calligraphy provides the name of the city of origin along with a statement that the mail is protected by Allah. Few Europeans used the Sultan's postal service and

They are known as Maghzan cachets: Maghzan (or makhzen, transliteration varies considerably) refers to the part of Morocco controlled by the Sultan, as opposed to the areas run by tribes (or bandits, depending on your bias).

Here is an octagonal marking from Rabat:



The Arabic script on the cover specifies that it is meant for an addressee in Marrakesh.

Given that Europeans tended to avoid the Sultan's mail services, as the competitors provided such services as registered mail as an alternative to protection by Allah, I was surprised to find a cover with an inscription in English.

You see "By Moorish Courier", in the place where one normally expects "par avion", or "par ballon montee", etc. The mail was carried by a a man who managed to run 100 km each day in what must have been 100F heat. I wonder if I should doubt the authenticity of covers that were not damaged by sweat.

I googled the addressee. Kaid is an Arabic term for a cheiftain. But Maclean is not exactly an Arab name. Harry Aubrey de Vere Maclean was a Scotsman who the Sultan hired to run his army. His strategy was to use him to fend off the French and Germans who were coveting Morocco.

His plan B, by the way, was to hire alchemists in Fez to figure out how to turn all Christians into fish. Neither worked, which is why there is a whole chapter in Scott about French Morocco.

Maclean brought his bagpipes, that somehow melded with traditional Moroccan instruments. He mixed his traditional tartan with berber gear. I acquired the cover just before Halloween, and considered dressing as Maclean, but nobody would get it.

In any case, it is an interesting cover. If you have any stamps from that period before the Protectorate, please post them here.
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Posted 12/11/2017   06:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add nigelc to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Greaden,

Lovely cover and a great story.

What a character! Here's the man himself from Wikipedia:



I'd love to collect this period but so far I've only found these two, from the Mogador - Marrakech service.

They're not in great condition but I'm quite fond of them.

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Nigel
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Posted 12/11/2017   07:17 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

I am not sure I understand all this.
Would the "Cherifien Post" be pertinent in this thread?

I have 1897 Moroccan Private Post of Salvador Hassan (Tangier to Tetuan)

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Posted 12/11/2017   07:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Posted 12/11/2017   07:43 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

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Posted 12/11/2017   08:11 am  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I don't actively collect them, but I have a few (unsure whether they're all legit) and would like more -





While we're here, anyone know anything about these? Denominated in centimes, with a Tanger CTO. Presumably Cinderellas?

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Posted 12/11/2017   08:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add nigelc to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Very nice range Geoff
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Nigel
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Posted 12/11/2017   10:46 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add perf12 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
GeoffHa a mention in this link 'fantasy stamps':
http://aps-web.fr/timbres-de-fantaisie/
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Posted 12/11/2017   11:29 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Cjd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree, Geoff, more is (almost) always better, but that's a good start.

The Cherifien stamps are found in lots of shades, and two distinct formats. The first printing has very narrow margins and the second printing has much larger margins. You have a mix of both there. As you add more, you might track the two "sets." Billig has the first printing as 25 May 1912 and the second printing as February 1913.

For the handstamps, Billig lists colors of black, purple, blue, red and green, with black and purple common (so to speak) and red and green "very rare."

Your three mystery stamps are listed under Tetouan to Alcazar as "Bogus Issues 1909(?)" with a set of seven different stamps, including a 5c on 10c surcharge.
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Edited by Cjd - 12/11/2017 11:31 am
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Posted 12/11/2017   12:03 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, everyone - I shall make a new corner for the bogus stamps!

I have a feeling that, some time ago, Krelyea posted pictures of some of the stamps that Greaden began the thread with.
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Posted 12/11/2017   3:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Wow! nice collection Geoff.
Lots there I have never seen before.
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Posted 01/12/2018   08:09 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add nigelc to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yesterday, I was lucky to see the most amazing collection of Moroccan postal history at a society display in London.

This included examples of all the different colours of both the octagonal and circular "Cachets Maghzen" handstamps from all the towns, all on cover!

There were also many covers from all the local courier postal services, many covers with the Cherifien service stamps, many covers from the French, British, Spanish and German post offices, and many combination covers with stamps and markings from different services.

The quality and depth of the collection was stunning and it was all beautifully mounted and written up.

I'm sure I'll never see another collection like this one!


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Nigel
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Posted 01/12/2018   4:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Tim H to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Nigel, you're rubbing in the misery. I had to wait in all day yesterday for a plumber who never arrived, and missed the display. It sounds amazing.
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Posted 01/12/2018   5:02 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Nigel - you're right, this is jaw-dropping!

http://www.rpsl.org.uk/documents/di...0111_001.pdf
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Posted 01/13/2018   3:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add nigelc to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes Geoff,

Jaw-dropping is an excellent description!

There were 52 frames in this diaplay, most with 12 album pages.

16 frames (192 album pages) related to the postal history of the Moroccan Local and Sherifian Posts!
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Nigel
Edited by nigelc - 01/13/2018 3:41 pm
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Posted 01/13/2018   4:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Renden to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have 114 stamps dating to the French Proctetorat history, Maroc (Morocco)

I am building an album for a Maroc Swimmer who emigrated to our area a few years ago. All descriptions are in "French" and he will add "Arabic" to the pages.
Once finished, I shall post the pages for our SCF friends.

1891-1956 is the period of the French Proctetorat (Protectorat Francais) ending in Maroc's independence.

Cheers !



Rene
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