Morocco Agencies (British currency)
Shortly after the introduction in Morocco of British stamps overprinted with Spanish currency, a parallel set with just the words "Morocco Agencies" and no currency change was introduced for transactions in which the postal staff applied the stamps direct to the items (typically parcels and airmail) without passing them to the customer; there was therefore no need to indicate the local currency. These stamps were in use for these purposes in the British post offices throughout Morocco. In fact between 1937 and 1949 ordinary unoverprinted British stamps were used in this way. From 1949 "Morocco Agencies" sterling stamps were reintroduced for use in Tetuan only.
From 23 August 1950 the GPO permitted the use in the UK of any overprinted stamps (of any vintage) which did not alter the face value. Morocco Agencies and Tangier stamps can easily be found with UK postmarks, and are fully legitimate items, but sell for much less than those with postmarks from the relevant area.
A more detailed historical note is on the "Spanish currency" listing.
All stamps overprinted "MOROCCO AGENCIES"
Note: this numbering system was drawn up by the Society for the website, and may not be used without permission.
King Edward VII
De La Rue printings, ordinary paper (½d, 1d), others chalky paper
1 ½d green (1 June 1907)
2 1d red (5 May 1907)
3 2d green & red (30 April 1907)
4 4d green & brown (19 October 1907)
5 6d purple (5 May 1907)
6 1/- green & red (5 May 1907)
7 2/6d purple (5 May 1907)
8 4d orange (ordinary paper) (perf 14: see No. 9)
Harrison printings, perf 15*14
9 4d orange (ordinary paper) (& see No. 8)
Somerset House printings
10 2/6d purple (ordinary paper)
King George V
Mackennal Head and Waterlow Seahorses (see illustrations below)
Script cypher watermark
11 ½d green (1914)
12 1d red (1914)
13 1½d brown (1921)
14 2d orange die I (1914)
15 3d violet (1921)
16 4d grey (1921)
17 6d purple chalky paper (1921)
18 1/- brown (1917)
19 2/6d brown (1914)
- 22mm wide, normal top tooth; cf No. 20 below
14 v1 2d overprint double, one albino
14 v2 2d overprint misplaced
18 v1 1s overprint treble, two albino
19 sv1 2/6d, re-entries
De La Rue seahorses
20 2/6d brown
- 22mm wide, wide top tooth, smaller perf holes; cf No. 19 above and see illustrations belows
Watermark block cypher,
14 mm overprint
21 ½d green (1925)
22 1½d brown (1931)
23 2d orange (1925)
24 2½d blue (1925)
25 6d purple, chalky paper (1931)
26 1/- brown (1925)
21 wi ½d watermark inverted
24 v1 2½d overprint double, one albino
25 v1 6d overprint double, one albino
Revised 15½mm overprint
Note: it has been suggested that the overprint used on these was the one prepared for use on the photogravure stamps, though the datings do not appear to corroborate this. Many of the issue dates are not recorded.
Not only is the 2nd type longer, the "S" is a very different shape; other letters differ too but not so conspicuously.
27 ½d green (1934?)
28 2½d blue (1932?)
29 4d grey (January 1936)
30 6d purple, chalky paper (1933?)
31 1/- brown (1934?)
Seahorses changed to Bradbury Wilkinson printings
22¾-23 mm wide, normal top tooth (see illustrations below)
32 2/6d brown (Bradbury Wilkinson, 1935)
33 5/- red (Bradbury Wilkinson, 1935)
5s (top) Waterlow, 2/6d (middle) De La Rue wide tooth, 2/6d (bottom) Bradbury Wilkinson (wider design)
32 v1 2/6d overprint double/treble, one/two albino
Note: as the third overprint is reportedly quite faint, it is possible that the "double - one albino" and the "treble - two albino" are in fact the same item.
33 v1 5s overprint treble, two albino
8 May 1935
34 ½d green (blue overprint)
35 1d red (blue overprint)
36 1½d brown (blue overprint)
37 2½d blue (red overprint)
Re-engraved Seahorses (Waterlow)
Large format and small format; as well as the difference in size the general appearance of the small format is sharper.
38 1d red, large format (April 1935)
39 1d small format
40 1½d brown, small format (28 April 1936)
Note: "Specimen" overprints used by the printers for internal purposes can also be found on the large format 1½d stamp, though the UPU specimens are on the usual small format.
41 2d orange, small format (1 May 1936)
42 2½d blue (11 February 1936)
43 3d violet (2 March 1936)
44 4d grey (14 May 1936)
45 1/- brown (31 August 1936)
46 2/6d brown (1935)
47 5/- red (2 March 1937)
Note: the ½d, 1½d and 2d unoverprinted stamps have several sizes, but only the ½d has more than one such format when overprinted with "Morocco Agencies".
Original and re-engraved versions of Seahorses (there are other less conspicuous differences).
King Edward VIII
14¼ mm overprint
The overprint is placed rather displeasingly low, compared to the overprints in French and Spanish currency, so as not to cover up the face value.
29 October 1936
Vertical pairs of 14¼ mm opt (top) and 15¼ mm (bottom); the spacing of "MOROCCO" is most obvious, but "AGENCIES" is also slightly larger.
48 1d red
49 2½d blue
15¼ mm overprint
5 January 1937
The longer overprints come from part of the sheets on later printings, largely prepared to meet philatelic demand in London; these printings comprised a mixture of both sizes. Rather remarkably the position of the large overprints varies through the successive printings over a fairly short period of time, allegedly as the overprint in various parts of the sheet wore out and was inadvertently replaced by the larger format.
See illustration above
50 1d red
51 2½d blue
King George VI
Between 1937 and 1949 ordinary unoverprinted British stamps were used. From 1949 "Morocco Agencies" sterling stamps were reintroduced for use in Tetuan only (and also, possibly, to increase philatelic revenue).
16 August 1949
52 ½d pale green
53 1d pale red
54 1½d pale brown
55 2d pale orange
56 2½d pale blue
57 3d pale violet
58 4d green
59 5d brown
60 6d purple
61 7d green
62 8d red
63 9d green
64 10d blue
65 11d purple
66 1/- brown
67 2/6d green, Arms
68 5/- red, Arms
Changed colour low values and new high value designs
3 May 1951
The colours of the low values were changed to conform with UPU requirements for standard rates of postage. The new design high values were released to coincide with the Festival of Britain.
69 ½d orange
70 1d blue
71 1½d green
72 2d brown
73 2½d red
74 2/6d green
75 5/- red
Watermark Tudor Crown E2R
76 ½d orange (31 August 1953)
77 1d blue (31 August 1953)
78 1½d green (5 December 1952)
79 2d brown (31 August 1953)
80 2½d red (5 December 1952)
81 4d blue (1 March 1955)
82 5d brown (6 July 1953)
83 6d purple (1 March 1955)
84 8d purple (6 July 1953)
85 1/- brown (6 July 1953)
Watermark St Edward's Crown E2R
10 September 1956
86 2½d red type I
All the sterling-currency issues were finally withdrawn on 31 December 1956, with the closure of the last office.
page last updated on: 28 August 2006, 21 August 2017
gbos: GB Overprints Society