Philately

My main field of philatelic specialty is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The following are some scans from my collection with historical and political explanations:

1925
(C) Michael Sharnoff

In 1925 Transjordan (Jordan) issued a postage stamp which says “Government of the Arab East, 1343.”

1929 Abdullah
(C) Michael Sharnoff

This stamp of Emir Abdullah is from 1927. Abdullah was the son of Sharif Hussein bin Ali, a Hashemite leader who ruled Mecca and Medina on behalf of the Ottoman Turks. Abdullah fought alongside Lawrence of Arabia against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. In 1921 Abdullah and his Hashemite family helped found the Emirate of Transjordan, which would later become Jordan.

Transjordan
(C) Michael Sharnoff

In 1946 Abdullah gained independence from Britain and renamed the country the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan.

1947
(C) Michael Sharnoff

Jordan created a constitution in 1947 and established a hereditary monarchy with a parliamentary government.

Jordan Occ Pal
(C) Michael Sharnoff

Jordan, along with Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, invaded Israel on May 15, 1948, one day after it declared independence from Britain. Jordan occupied land west of the Jordan River, known since biblical times as Judea and Samaria. It also occupied the eastern part of Jerusalem which includes the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, and al Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Sunni Islam. The UN Partition Plan in 1947 had designated Jerusalem as an international regime under UN administration. Judea and Samaria would comprise part of an independent Arab state.

After Jordan conquered these territories, it used stamps to aid the subjects of this region and raise funds for the government. Jordan converted its current stamps by having them overprinted with the word “PALESTINE” in Arabic and English.

1949
(C) Michael Sharnoff

This series issued in August 1949 is another example of overprints with the word “PALESTINE.” The series celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Postal Union and features a globe, an airplane, a ship, a train and King Abdullah. The UPU series introduced Jordan’s new name as “The Hashemite Kingdom of the Jordan,” which was later simplified as “The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.”

1952 unification
(C) Michael Sharnoff

In 1950 Jordan annexed the West Bank and East Jerusalem. A resolution known as “the decision of the unity of the two banks” proclaimed unity between the West and East Bank of the Jordan River into one state, Jordan, under the leadership of King Abdullah. To commemorate the unification of Jordan and the West Bank, the kingdom issued a series of stamps in 1952 which included the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and al-Khazneh, a spectacular temple in Petra built by the Nabateans in the 3rd century. The intention was to portray the unity of the two banks by highlighting famous sites from both banks of the Jordan River.

1964
(C) Michael Sharnoff

In 1964, Jordan issued a stamp commemorating the first formal Arab League summit held in Cairo. The summit introduced the concept of a Palestinian National Council and later created the PLO. This particular stamp has drawn mixed interpretations. Some claim that the stamp depicts a maximalist or “Greater Jordan” position in which there is no Israel or Palestine on the map.

The official description of the stamp is titled, “King Hussein and map of Palestine in 1920,” which suggests that the stamp is a celebration of the original Palestine Mandate and seeks to portray the unity between Jordan and Palestine.

1975 airport
(C) Michael Sharnoff

In 1975 Jordan issued a series of stamps commemorating the 10th anniversary of Royal Jordanian Airlines. The map includes the West Bank as part of Jordan despite having lost the territory eight years prior to Israel during the 1967 war.

1985 wb
(C) Michael Sharnoff

The last time a Jordanian stamp included the West Bank as part of the Hashemite Kingdom was in July 1985. A series titled, “The First Conference for Jordanians Abroad,” features a conference emblem, globe, hand over a torch, and a map of Jordan. The West Bank is illustrated as part of Jordan and Jerusalem is mentioned by its Arabic name.

1985 without w bank
(C) Michael Sharnoff

Just one month later in August 1985, however, Jordan issued a series titled “International Youth Year” which features an Arab couple with a picture of King Hussein on a map of Jordan. The West Bank is conspicuously absent, yet King Hussein did not formally renounce claims to the territory until 1988.

For more, please enjoy my stamp collection of Jordan: