The mystery peacock – slightly less mysterious

A couple of years ago, I made a post (go here) on the mysterious little “frontal” peacock overprint that turns up unused on the 1 anna stationery envelope, presumably done in 1942. I asked if anyone anywhere knew anything more about it, but there has been no response. My anxiety was that it is listed in Higgins & Gage, but not in the immediate post war works on the Occupation of Burma (Roberts & Smythies or Dalal). Which might make it an item manufactured at a later date.

However, here’s some reassurance – a used copy. Used not during the Japanese Occupation, but as a post war remainder, sent at letter rate from Bogale to Rangoon on 29 May 1946 under the new Civil Administration. This is privately used, not a leftover sent by the post office “on postal service”, and it shows no sign of being philatelic. There are small indications of wear and tear having been present before the flap was sealed, so it was certainly not fresh off the press in 1946.

This is all good. It strongly suggests that the overprint was made at some point well before 1946, that the overprinted envelopes had been in circulation at post offices, that some were still in private hands and available to use without philatelic contrivance.

All of which makes this more likely to be a genuine Burma Independence Army overprint and not some retrospective piece of fakery. To clinch it, all we need now is a copy genuinely used during the Occupation – something of a challenge, and not something I anticipate finding! If you have one, let me know!

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