Cinderella stamps include all manner of adhesive printings—from fiscals and forgeries to railway stamps, advertising labels, phantom issues, and charity seals—designed to resemble official postage but invalid for actual use. The term Cinderella Stamp was chosen by the first Cinderella Stamp Club in 1959 as a reference to the mistreated and underappreciated fairy tale character. Cinderellas which have accidentally passed as true postage and appear cancelled on covers are particularly prized among collectors. While some philatelists shun these stamps because they are inauthentic, a fair number of Cinderellas are created specifically for the stamp-collecting community.

Local stamps are a special type of Cinderella that can be used as valid postage within a small, specified region, but not beyond. Historically, local stamps often preceded national stamps before unified postal services were developed, but locals were also used for small-scale courier services, like the system serving the Oxford University community in the late 1800s.

Christmas or charity seals are special stickers used to raise funds for an organization, like the adhesive stickers created for the American Red Cross during the early 20th century. Fiscal, tax, or revenue stamps are receipts of duties paid, and are generally unrelated to philately unless they authorize a specific postal sale. This subcategory is known as postal-fiscals. Railway stamps, however, did serve as actual postage for mail traveling with various railroad companies in Britain during the late 19th century.

Other Cinderella stamps have been created to mark special events, advertise products, or show support for a general cause. A particularly interesting set of patriotic Cinderellas dates from 1861, designed by the Union government to show support for the American Civil War. Two of the most sought after commemorative Cinderellas were printed by a Viennese stamp dealer to celebrate an exploratory voyage to the North Pole from 1872 to 1874. These triangle-shaped designs featured an image of a glacial landscape surrounded by a specific island name (either Cap Pest or Cap Wien), and the date.

The 1920s and '30s saw a great proliferation in Cinderella-stamps, most carrying advertising imagery or exhibition seals. The 1933 Chicago World’s Fair inspired many Art Deco style stamps, featuring images of exposition buildings or the fair's spinning Saturn logo, though none were valid as postage. The American Poster Stamp Association (APSA) even issued its own decorative Cinderellas during the 1950s.

A small but fascinating niche within Cinderellas is the protest-stamp category. These stamps are produced to offer a dissenting view of an issue or event on authentic postage. For example, in 1995, the alteration of an original stamp design featuring the atomic bomb in a set commemorating World War II was protested by individuals who created their own anti-war Cinderellas.

Finally, some Cinderellas are simply fraudulent versions of genuine stamps. These forgeries are created to fool the postal service or philatelists.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Alphabetilately

Alphabetilately

First shown in 2008 to celebrate the Smithsonian National Postal Museum's 15th anniversary, Alphabetilately is esse… [read review or visit site]



Most watched eBay auctions    

Nice Group Of Christmas Seals Mnh Stamps 1907~2008 In 3 White Ace Albums G468China Red Cross China Society Cinderella Stamp MintLd947 France Paris Cinderella Cover To Mulhouse 1929Rr Railroad Mnh Parcel Stamp Canada Union Baggage Transfer Saskatchewan PosterCinderella Poster Stamp Us Automotive Goodyear Tire Rubber Battery Set 6 MnhAloha From Hawaii - Full Sheet - CinderellaCinderella Poster Stamp France French Colonies Madagascar Progressiv Color ProofPoster Cinderella Stamps Aviation Biplane Triplane Autogiro Helicopter Mnh SheetCinderella/poster Stamp 1.2Germany Local Post Issue Ed A Hofer Express Stamp Charity Revenue No Gum Imperf Cinderella/poster Stamp 2.2Cinderella/poster Stamp 1.2Australia Cinderella Stamps - Anzac Club New York Block Of 4 Mnh Original GumPoster Stamp ––– Cinderella Label Advertising Reklamemarke ––– Delandre MnhCinderella/poster Stamp 2.2Austria - 6 Old Poster Stamps - MhAustralia Cinderella Stamps - Anzac Club New York Block Of 6Puerto Rico Covers: Missent To Santo Domingo, Tied C. American Games CinderellaGermany - 40 Old Document Seals / Poster Stamps - Used No Gum --- 5Germany - 40 Old Document Seals / Poster Stamps - Used No Gum --- 2Canadian Express Co Black On Orange Railway Stamp In Bond Prescott Horse & RiderCinderella/poster Stamp 2.2Great Britain World War 1 Sinking Of The Lusitania Propaganda Anti German LabelItalian Cinderella, "philatelic Fair" In Viareggio In 19312518) Lj-old Poster Stamp- Train- Ship- Gem.grondbedrijf Maassluis HollandWorldwide Cinderella In Stockbook, 99p Start, All PicturedPoster Stamp ––– Cinderella Label Advertising Reklamemarke ––– Delandre MnhCinderella/poster Stamp 1.2Cinderella/poster Stamp 1.2Us Chinaresistance Patriotic Cinderella Poster Stamp Souvenir Sheet Ww2 1942Gerald King Alternative Lundy 1853 Qv Dickens/ocean Penny Post Cinderella CoverLuxembourg Cinderellas, "international Philatelic Exhibition" In 1939Germany - 40 Old Document Seals / Poster Stamps - Used No Gum --- 7Graphics Auto Car - Opel By Arist Erdt - Poster Stamp Germany - 45 Old Document Seals / Poster Stamps - Used No Gum --- 1Lundy Small Map Sheetlet Of 4 Imperf Stamps BlkGreat Britain Railway Parcel Stamp Wholesale Lot 100+ Used/mnh Local Post PosterChristmas Seals British Colonies Zimbabwe Rhodesia 20 ?year Sets 300-400 StampsChina Boy Scout Label/cinderella Early 1937? Mint NhGermany - 40 Old Document Seals / Poster Stamps - Used No Gum --- 9Germany - 40 Old Document Seals / Poster Stamps - Used No Gum --- 4Rare Hand Drawn Early Bank Notes Fantasy Color Pen & Ink Stamps #10-17, 36,71-72Liechtenstein Cinderellas, "international Stamp Bourse" Invaduz In Early 1900s.Poster Cinderella Stamp Aviation Collection Brazil Varig Airmail Blocks MnhGermany France - Elsass Alsace - 6 Poster Stamps - Used No GumItalian Cinderella, Philatelic Event In Bordighera In 1941Monaco Cinderella, Proof(??), Red On Violet For "reinatex" In 1952Monaco Cinderella, Miscellaneous Seals From "reinatex" In Monte Carlo In 1952Cinderella/poster Stamps Sheet Of 32 Chicago Il Chrysler Motors Exhibition 1933Canadian Express Co Black On Orange Railway Carrier Stamp Napanee Horse & RiderCinderella/poster Stamp 1.2Cinderella/poster Stamp 5.2 PostcardPoster Cinderella Stamp Aviation Collection Us Poster Stamp ––– Cinderella Label Advertising Reklamemarke ––– Delandre MnhPoster Stamp ––– Cinderella Label Advertising Reklamemarke ––– Delandre MnhPersia - Telegraph Stamp - Revenue - CinderellaJw-old Poster Stamp-promotion-reading-book UmbrellaMonaco Cinderella, Souvenir Card For "reinatex" In 1952Canada Pane Of Cinderella Poster Stamps Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery ShipGerald King 'snark Island' Qv 1896 Landfall Anniversary Signed Cinderella Cover