1893 Military Franchise Essays of the New Hebrides

1893 French Military Franchise Essays of the New Hebrides

by Sheryll Ruecker  

in collaboration with other New Hebrides collectors

Released:  17 October, 2017 (PDT)        Last updated:  19 November, 2017 (PST)


Background history

Definitions and terms

Essays by printing group

Essays by position

Essays by stone

How many are there?

Where are they now?




The history

The controversial 1893 French Military Franchise essays of the New Hebrides were a ploy by the French to have military force sanctioned to protect their settlers. These essays were rejected by the British, who did not condone military force under the Joint Naval Convention which was active at the time.

The essays

An unknown but small quantity of these essays have survived. The order of the printings has been one of the conundrums facing those collectors attracted to the exotic nature of the essays.


These essays may once have been regarded as of little importance in the grand scheme of New Hebrides philately. However, they play their part in the political shenanigans that went on between the British and the French before the Condominium came into being in 1906. As such, any showing of traditional New Hebrides should incorporate these essays where possible.

This website

This website was created as a communal research site for collectors to learn more about these essays. It aims to put on line scans of all essays encountered since 1998 when collectors first began online collaboration on the stamps and postal history of the New Hebrides.

The contributors

Scans of essays provided are from the Aore, Blinco, DEG, (Fletcher), (Goron), (Jersey), Klinger, Mele, (Merot), Millet, (RMD), Ruecker, Petit, (Santo), SeSi and Treadwell collections. Also featured are essay scans from auction houses, dealers' stocks and eBay.

How to use this website

  • Read the background history of the essays,
  • Familiarize yourself with the naming conventions used on this website,
  • Examine scans of essay singles and sheets,
  • Compare hi-res scans of essays of the various printings or positions,
  • Compare hi-res scans of plate features of the various printings or positions,
  • Check on known quantities of the essays and their provenance,
  • Take a look at facts known, assumptions made, and theories deduced and presented for discussion so far,
  • Contribute essay scans and comments to the website via sheryll at sheryll dot net.

Latest Updates

November 17-18 2017

Essay area now includes new section for analyzing the essays by stone. Only the overview page is made so far.

Some naming inconsistencies addressed.

November 14-15 2017

Essay area now includes new section for analyzing the essays by position. Only the overview page is made so far.

November 12-13 2017

Improved comparisonpage functions written by Roger V. Thankyou !!!

Pages "tightened up" so that there are less duplicate words or sentences in the introductory section.

Extra formatting function added to help make the text more easily readable on a wide monitor screen.

All pages made for A.1 Ocher Disk printing subgroup.

November 10-11 2017

Overview pages made for printing subgroups A.2, A.4 and A.5.

November 8-9 2017

"Sheet remade" page added for both ocher disk and red disk subgroups.
Main heading links on left relating to printing groups or positions are in other colors (gray and orange) so that viewers can find their way to the "meat".
Note that the link relating to positions is a dead link at present. Other dead links may be present.

November 5, 2017

Dead links are either noted on the pages they appear on or commented out.

Essay pages have been reorganized to be in printing group order.
Down the track essays sorted by position number will be available in the Essays section.
Various pages have been made of the Ocher disk printing subgroup to connect the essays with the Home page.
These allow the visitor to look at a large scan of a particular essay, and compare any two essay singles.

November 1, 2017

Essay page lists planned pages for interacting with the essays.

October 26, 2017

How many are there? page, made much more web-friendly by providing a clickable tree for the printing groups and subgroups.

October 25, 2017

Where are they now? page group scans added.

October 24, 2017

How many are there? page, 133 items = 44 sheets, 88 singles, 1 pair

October 23, 2017

How many are there? page, need to count them all.

Where are they now? page done.

October 22, 2017

How many are there? page, two-thirds done.

Where are they now? page three-quarters done.

October 20, 2017

Essays page started, naming conventions of scans explained.

How many are there? page added, needs some more work.

Where are they now? page added, but needs lots of work.

October 18, 2017

Exhibit page added.

October 17, 2017

Background history added, Definitions added but needs adding to.

October 16, 2017

Articles page added, Home page completed.

October 15, 2017

The 1893mf website goes black - total revamp with black background, Links page added

October 12, 2017

The 1893mf website prototype is made - at least the left side links.

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