Philatelic Treats from PNG

Since 1981 our collector friend, Manfred Künzel, showed special items from his PNG collection. The column was named "aus meiner Schmankerln-Kiste". "Schmankerln" are delicacies in Southern German dialect. We would like to revive this tradition here.


"Our aim is not to show very expensive items, but rather the unusual, in one word philatelic treats from PNG. Even a relatively small collecting field like PNG is rich in special items, be it covers, stamps or postmarks."





A spectacular Perforation ...

... appears on a 5 Toea make-up value, dated February 2017.


The recapture of New Guinea

In 1994 the USA issued a block of stamps commemorating events of World War 2.

One of the stamps documents the recapture of New Guinea by Allied Forces in 1944.

Liberia has something in common with PNG

Liberia issued in the year 2000 a series of 190 stamps portraying heads of state, government leaders, and political personalities, from all over the world.

At the same time the summit conference of the United Nations took place in New York.

A stamp was issued at the time with reference to PNG.

Mekere Morauta (*1946), prime minster of PNG from 1999 until 2002 was the subject of the issue.

Ein ungewöhnliches Stempeldatum


Cancellations showing the date February 29 occur only once every four years, surely this is not a very common occurrence.

Using the Remainders

Throughout the 1980s a large number of surplus remainder stock originating from FDCs and commemorative covers for special postmarks were utilized by the PNG Philatelic Bureau.

To avoid waste and disposal, these covers were used for postal purposes. The overprinted postal indicia, as well as an imprint for the Philatelic Bureau, are found in a variety of colours.

Postage Paid indicia in blue
Postage Paid indicia and Philatelic Bureau imprint in red

coil stamps

Only a few PNG stamps were used to produce coils to be delivered to the post offices.

PNG coil stamps are imperforate on the vertical sides, and perforated horizontally. With closer inspection, the collector will take note of the perforation in which the holes at the centre are larger, diminishing in size towards the outer left and right margin.




The quantity of stamps per coil, as well as the value per coil, is noted on the coil wrapper.

The greater part of these coil wrappers were most likely destroyed and dealt with as waste paper.

30. OC.35

Opening of Port Moresby Post Office

After WW II Port Moresby post office opened on October 30, 1945 with "PMG'S DEPT C1" Relief postmarker. Already on the first day problems with the date setting occured as shown in the illustrated example.

Receiving Postmarks

From Boroko a special receiving postmark for express mail is known.


These postmarks allow to even set the time exactly, which should be done for express mail anyhow.

It is remarkable that the Boroko express mail cds allows only for 12 hours to be set. There is no setting for a.m. or p.m.

Contrary to the Boroko version the Sydney version of the express mail cds allows to set 24 hours.

Registration and machine cancellations

Registered mail with machine cancellations belong to the unusual examples in a PNG collection. One probably would only find one machine cancelled registered letter among a 1000 letters with machine slogan cancellations.

Philatelic Section, Port Moresby

The first date stamp for the Philatelic Section of the Port Moresby Post Office was withdrawn from official use without any plausible reason.

Just a few "favour cancellations" are known early September 1959.

Manuscript cancellation

Because defective or lost date stamps were as a rule quickly replaced with Relief date stamps, it is unusual to see a manuscript cancellation on PNG frankings.

Just as the accompanying piece from the Training Post Office for new postmasters proves that it was an approved practice, we show a registered cover from Kairuku that has been manuscript cancelled.

Cover is endorsed with an an arrival backstamp from Pt. Moresby 28.AU.58

Subsequently cancelled

Uncancelled stamps were belately cancelled in the recipient's country.

Double Overprint

Why we have a double overprint on the marginal imprint on some of the 1994 issued stamps is still an unanswered question.



Incoming Mail to New Guinea

Even incoming mail to PNG is interesting from a postal historian's perspective – here we have a heavily franked parcel card from The Netherlands. On our home page you will find a link to a webpage specializing in Incoming Mail.




1991 Royal Visit to PNG

On the occasion of the September 6, 1991, visit of the Duke of York to Papua New Guinea a special cancellation was released. However, it was not released by the PNG Post Office.

UN Flags

In 1984 there appeared a stamp for Papua New Guinea that was issued by the United Nations in a series entitled "Flags of the Nations"

Donation labels


Stamp-like donation labels appeared in 1993. The proceeds from the sale of these labels supported the work of saving wetlands.

The labels were printed as a setenant strip of four plus centre label, as well as in blocks.

They had no validity as postage.


Conservation labels used on mail

Although these labels were not to be considered as stamps and were not officially sanctioned, they occasionally were found used on mail.

Kerema 28.06.2000


The Millennium Problem (2000)


Note upside down use of 7 in lieu of 0.

This practical solution was used on all steel CDS not having 00 for year (20)00.


The sender can save up to 50% in postage fees with mass mailings destined to all postal boxes or house holders within the designated community. This is basically unaddressed ad mail. It is recognized by the item being addressed to the "Box Holder" or "House Holder".

For collectors this type of mail is not too common, since no stamps are applied to the mailing, and most of it is destined to the waste basket.


Personalized Stamps

From the counter set of the personalized stamps, it has been reported that the K3.00 stamps is known setenant with the K0.85 stamp design. Surely it can be considered as a small rarity.

0,85K normal
3K normal
3K error

Also from the same series, we have an attached blank label, that should not exist.

Gutter Pairs

Until now there have been only two stamp issues, from which gutter pairs were available at the post office counter. These issues are the 60th Birthday Issue (1986) and the Golden Jubilee issue of 2002.




United Nations Day

In PNG we have discovered two different dates for the United Nations Day


It deals with the October 29th error setting in the adjustment of the machine cancel.


Cut-outs from postal stationery

Even cut-outs from postal stationery are postally valid in PNG as the accompanying examples show.

cut-out from A27 - 23.04.1998
cut-out from A15 - 14.08.2001


Typographic Error at the Philatelic Bureau

Official correspondence from the Philatelic Bureau in 1979, and for some time thereafter, had the error:



Two different Issuing Dates?

The re-valued crab issue of 1998 shows two different issuing dates on FDCs for Port Moresby and Boroko. 

The official release date nationwide for this issue, including Boroko, was May 28, 1998.

as it should be
a special feature from Kimbe

Date stamp lacking the country designation.

Many PNG post offices were supplied with new rubber date stamps in 2006 - 2007.

Among these the post office at KIMBE received this extraordinary date stamp.

Instead of the country designation, the date stamp shows the town's name duplicated in the bottom of the arc.

Date stamp lacking the town designation

Only the Mail Exchange date stamps without town designation are found with five different numbers, 7 to 11, that are assumably used from Boroko.

Date stamp lacking the country and town designation.

In one of the Postage Paid date stamps from Boroko we noticed the lack of country and town designations.

Date stamp with dual country designation

The slogan machine cancel in use at Kieta in 1980 may have two different country designations: TP&NG as well as PNG


White stripe in background colour of S.G. 42 (Scott 155) that was not covered by the printing ink.

Inverted parts of circular date stamps

In the Aitape cds the number "2" is inverted, in the Finschhafen cds the number "8".

Aitape 24.11.69
Finschhafen 27.02.85 + misspelled R-label only one "H"

Wrong FDC cancel

First Day Cover 75 years stamps in PNG with FDC cancel of Panorama series.

wrong cancel
correct one