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The France & Colonies Philatelic Society has published a number of short specialised studies on particular aspects of French philately.
The following titles are offered subject to availability.  Members’ prices are shown.  P&P extra. Please contact the Society publications
stockist John Parmenter, 23 Jeffreys Road, London SW4 6QU to check details (or by
 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

The list may be viewed or downloaded here
Back numbers of the Journal may also be available.

F&CPS Publications

No 3   

The Postal Markings of the Bureaux de Passe by Arthur Robinson, pub. 1977


No 6

Le Type Paix by Derek J Richardson, pub. 1983


No 7

Tables of French Postal Rates 1849 to 2011 by Derek J Richardson,
(4th edition, pub. 2011


No 8 

Subject Index to Four French Philatelic Magazines 1946-2000
compiled by Derek J Richardson, pub. 2004 


No 9

The Postal History of French Forces in Tunisia 1900-1920 and the South 
Tunisian Campaign 1915-1917
by David Trapnell 


Other Publications



The Development of Rates of Postage (France) by A D Smith, reprint 1981   



Fakes and Forgeries of the 20th Century French Postage Stamps, 
by Dr. R G Gethin,  pub. 2006 (details below)



The Sower – a Common Little French Stamp, by Ashley Lawrence FRPSL, 
Reprint available from the author - (see details below) 



A Handbook of French Philatelic Studies Journal, Special Edition, pub. 1974



Cumulative Index to Society Periodicals 1949 – 1997, by George Barker 



Les Feuilles Marcophiles No 238, 1984


Dakar to Tombouctou by Peter Kelly FRPSL, pub 2018 (Review and details below)

  Postal and Airmail Rates in France and Colonies 1920-1945



Censorship of Civilian Mail in Madagascar during World War Two Handstamps and Labels


If you wish to obtain any of these titles or back numbers of the Society Journal please write to or email the Society publications stockist
(details at top of page).

An invoice including postage at cost will be sent with any purchases. Payment is possible via PayPal to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,
for which 4% needs to be added to the total price to cover charges: please ask for further details.


Fakes & Forgeries of 20th Century French Postage StampsFakes and Forgeries of 20th Century French Postage Stamps by Dr. R G Gethin

There are 152 pages with full colour illustrations, many of them 400% enlargements of the stamps.
For a preview of a few sample pages in PDF format click on Forgeries Book.

Published 2006.  A few copies still available at £25 + p&p

Contact our stockist John Parmenter, details of whom are at the top of the page.






Subject Index 1946-2000

Subject Index to Four French Philatelic Magazines 1946-2000 compiled by Derek J Richardson 

Listed above as Brochure No. 8, this booklet of 52 pages comprises extensive listings of articles
- indexed by subject matter - from "L'Echo de la Timbrologie" Nos. 1106-1736,
"Le Monde des Philatélistes" Nos. 1-549, "La Philatélie Française" Nos. 1-553
and "Timbroscopie" Nos. 1-177.

At £5.00 it is available by contacting the Society publications stockist John Parmenter,
details of whom are at the top of the page






The Sower, a Common Little French Stamp

The Sower, a Common Little French Stamp by Ashley Lawrence FRPSL

Designed by Louis-Oscar Roty (1846-1911), the Sower is unique in philately.
Since her first appearance on silver coins in 1897, she has graced the coins
and postage stamps as the symbol of France for more than a hundred years. 
In its 256 pages, my book, published by the Society, describe her origins and her
extraordinary postal history.  The variations in the design of the lined and cameo Sowers;
her appearance in booklets, coils, postal stationery, money-stamps and other formats;
the printing processes, overprints, varieties, are explained in detail, with profuse illustrations in full colour.

“The Sower, a Common Little French Stamp” retails at £25.00, plus postage & packing. 
Paypal or 
UK cheque accepted.
For further enquiries, please contact Ashley either by 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone him on (01202) 766877.




Dakar to Tombouctou"Dakar to Tombouctou Communications and
Postal History in French Soudan
by P.R.A. Kelly FRPSL
Review: Michael Round – April 2019

This important new book was briefly noticed in the last F&CPS Journal (ref. 1); fellow member Peter’s own full-page flyer alongside (ref. 2) added further information. To recap, briefly: the text, in six monographs, tells the story of communications in French Sudan (gateway to the Sahara, as it were), mostly during the pre-airmail period (1900-40) when the pioneering element was strong, the actual process difficult and the sheer mileage daunting. The total picture is an eye-opening reminder of the routine courage, stamina and ingenuity shown by a handful of men in a vast area mastering unfamiliar conditions, restrictions and climate.

Mail was transported by a mixture of boats and trains, the boat part crucially dependent on seasonal fluctuations on the Niger River, which have Monograph 1 to themselves. Monograph 2 explains that postal services effectively arose, so to speak, on the back of the telegraph service (c. 1880); Monograph 3 describes the TPO (convoyeur) service between Kayès and Koulikoro. Monograph 4 stresses the role of the Niger River itself in the process – which, when it ran smoothly, connected outgoing mail with the fortnightly mailboat from Dakar. Just one hiccup anywhere along the route would effectively delay mail by a further fortnight if not more. Monograph 5 describes to-and-fro services in 1906, while Monograph 6 covers the introduction of airmail and subsequent related activities up to 1940.

The illustrations are luxurious. I counted 11 maps and over 60 different postcards. They remind us how grateful we are (are should be) for the official custom of repeating a postmark alongside the stamps, rather than just cancelling them. Many of those illustrated here are joyously legible, and even those that aren’t at least give us two goes at deciphering Stage 1 of any journey. Contemporary postal regulations have been clearly scanned practically in toto: those whose originals were unscannable have been carefully copied into the text. The complex political changes of the period – all that bewildering Haut-Sénégal-et-Niger and Sénégambie-et-Niger business – are diagrammatically presented for maximum clarity. Like Gabon-Congo elsewhere on the continent and (more pertinently) the later République Soudanaise, the political period Haut Sénégal et Moyen Niger (1899-1902) produced no stamps so inscribed (though three postmarks), and the earliest items of mail used Sénégal stamps. A helpful Appendix spells all this out for the easily confused among us, and may inspire straight stamp collectors to re-examine their postmarks.

A flint-eyed professional copy-editor might have revised some punctuation, excised a few repetitions, and split many very long sentences. Readers in no need of such spoon-feeding, however, will find this a scrupulously researched archive, destined to become the go-to reference for years to come, its illustrations an irresistible magnet to would-be postcard collectors and the whole publication an inspiration to other serious collectors to record their findings for the benefit of all.

1. Journal of the France & Colonies Philatelic Society, Vol 68 No 3, December 2018, p. 139.
2. ibid, p. 138.

96pp, card cover, A4 format, fully illustrated in colour; published by the author with the support of the Stuart Rossiter Trust; available from the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.:  Price: £14.00 or 16€ plus postage and packing (UK £4.00; Europe 8.50€, USA $8.50); payment by sterling cheque, euro cheque or via PayPal.          


Postal and Airmail Rates in France and Colonies 1920-1945,
Robert Picirilli pub 2011,
FCPS available in PDF format (77MB in several small files) cost £20.
A very fine work based mainly on primary sources that are effectively only available in the Library of Congress and the Centre des Archives d'Outre-Mer in Aix-en-Provence (CAOM)







Censorship of Civilian Mail in Madagascar during World War Two Handstamps and Labels   
by John Parmenter with Alain Hurpet, Colin Spong, Joh Groenewald and Etienne Coré 

La censure du courrier civil à Madagascar pendant  la seconde guerre mondiale Répertoire des cachets et des étiquettes  by John Parmenter with Alain Hurpet, Colin Spong, Joh Groenewald and Etienne Coré

A bilingual publication FCPS jointly with Col.fra, is now available, price - postage and packing included £17:50.