Butterflies set from ‘Republik Maluku Selatan’ (Republic of the South Moluccas), issued in the 1950s and featuring six “surface mail” stamps (2, 3, 5, 7½, 10 and 12½h values, as pictured).
Be aware that similar-looking versions of the 5, 7½, 10 and 12½h values – not included here – also exist with different coloured backgrounds, and the inscription “Pos Udara” (airmail) instead of “Pos Postage”.
U/M / Unmounted Mint / MNH / Mint Never Hinged.
About Republik Maluku Selatan
Labels inscribed ‘Republik Maluku Selatan’ are among the most well-known – and some would say infamous – of all Cinderella stamps.
Part of modern-day Indonesia, the ‘Republic of the South Moluccas’ was a self-proclaimed (and unrecognised) independent nation, established on 25 April 1950 from part of what had been the Dutch East Indies.
Some sources suggest that the exiled ‘government’ for the South Moluccas, established in the Netherlands, did produce some of its own stamp issues inscribed with the ‘Republik Maluku Selatan’ name. However, most South Moluccas stamps – including the various familiar thematic issues featuring plants and animals – are known to be the work of New York stamp dealer Henry Stolow, and aimed squarely at collectors. Certainly, Maluku Selatan issues are thought never to have served any postal function at all.
In essence, Maluku Selatan stamps are therefore considered to be bogus or fantasy issues – though it doesn’t stop there being a market for them among Cinderella collectors, who enjoy their colourful designs and equally colourful backstory.