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Persia (Iran Lion Stamps) Pages


1878-79, The last Lion stamps


Four Kran blue
In early 1878 (February), due t the depletion of the yellow colour ink, the new four Kran stamps were printed in blue colour shades. Since the type B cliché was damaged through extensive use of these clichés this stamp was printed in horizontal sheets of three. Only one setting of ACD is known. These stamps were printed very poorly and unevenly with varieties showing fingerprints impressions on them. The copies with clear impressions are rare. The paper of the four Kran stamps is white stout with the thickness between 0,07 mm and 0,08 mm.

The characteristics of the new four Kran clichés are as follows:

  • Type A: The figure “4” is narrow and there are 62 pearls in the pearl circle.
  • Type C: The figure “4” is very thick and there are 57 pearls in the pearl circle.
  • Type D: The figure “4” is narrow but with a very large head and there are 75 pearls in the pearl circle.
Type A Type C Type D


Pair of type A and C, multiples from this issue are very rare.

Five Kran stamps
The eight Shahis clichés were altered to print the five Krans stamps. The alternations including Farsi figures ٨ to be recut into ٥ and the numeral 8 underneath the Lions stomach were attempted to be erased which was not quite successful. Additionally the upper right corner of type A cliché was crudely repaired as well as the upper left corner of the type B cliché. These stamps were printed on white wove paper with a thickness between 0,07 mm and 0,08 mm. Only one setting AD/CB is known.

The characteristics of the new five Kran clichés is very much similar to the 8 Shahis clichés, however they are as follows:

  • Type A: The upper right corner is crudely repaired.
  • Type B: The upper left corner of the frame lines seems to be cut
  • Type C: The figure “8” is not quite blocked out and sits well above the base line.
  • Type D: The figure “8” resembles two white circles touching, and bottom part of “8” cuts the platform line beneath it.

In late 1878 (about November), a quantity of about 3000 to 4000 of the five Krans stamps were printed in violet colour in several shades as shown below

Type A Type B Type C Type D

In early 1879 (January), when the postal authorities realised that the printer has exceeded the authorised quantity for his personal gain, they replaced the violet ink with golden ink. It is said that about 2000 copies of the 5 Krans in gold were printed.

Type A Type B Type C Type D

Colour shades of the 5 kr Stamp

gray   golden-red

After they run out of the gold colour ink, the bronze red ink of the 1 Toman stamps was used for printing a new batch of the five Krans stamps. However, the bronze red ink was not sufficient enough and therefore by mixing the reminders of the available inks the new stamps were printed in various shades and colours.

Reconstructed sheet of 4 used stamps in red-bronze colour, showing the clichés in arrangement A-D / C-B

The mint or unused copies of all these various colours including the gold and bronze red are extremely rare or do virtually not exist. Only a handful (probably 6) used blocks of five Kran Gold (3 blocks postmarked ZENDJAN 22/5, one of each postmarked HAMADAN 27/6, YZED 28/6 and TABRIZ 29/6) and a used pair in bronze red is believed to exist. No other multiples of later varieties are known. It is said that the total numbers of colour varieties printed are between 2000 and 2500 copies.