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”)



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    

Gb Poster Stamps - Exhibitions & Events - 26 Different 1901 / 1912Lot Of Christmas Seals From 1913 (red Cross) 20 Panes Total!1941 Hungary Philatelic Expo Poster Stamps Francotyp Triangular TriangleChristmas Seals Block Of 4 Topic: American Red Cross 1915 Dog Pink Poodle Farm Half Day Il Chicken Steak&fish Dinners Poster Stamp Mass Lot 250+ Netherlands, Holland, Dutch Cinderella Stamps, ReklamemarkenCinderella/poster Stamp 19.4Cinderella/poster Stamp 17.4Cinderella/poster Stamp 17.4Royal Palace Wonderland Cover - Frog Footman - Lewis Carroll Cinderella G. King.Cinderella/poster Stamp 17.4Cinderella/poster Stamp 19.4Cinderella/poster Stamp 17.4Australia 1937 Airmail Exhibition Greenish Blue Souvenir Cover - CinderellaUs Stamp Club Seals "centenary Of 1st Postage Stamps" 1940, Medford , OregonEkko Am Radio Reception Stamp Ckcd Vancouver British Columbia Canada AbncEkko Am Radio Reception Stamp Wrbt Wilmington North Carolina Nc.. AbncEkko Am Radio Reception Stamp Wsjs Winston-salem North Carolina Nc.. AbncAmerica First Patriotic Poster Stamp 1939 Artillery In The Us Pre-wwii Anti-warAmerica First Patriotic Poster Stamp 1939 Demand No Convoys No War Pre-wwiiTrading/savings Stamps, 42 Diff Of From Ams (p2-50) Collection Of Over 1600 DiffD27,denmark,very Small Revenues,coupons And Other Old Items Lot,2 ScansComplete Lutheran Christmas Seal Booklet 1951 San Antonio Tx1945-1972 American Legion Us Veteran Charity Poster Stamps Soldier FlagAdvertising Poster Stamps Licht Kraft Electricity Germany Munich Japan Fiscal Revenue Stamp Cinderella 417- Show PieceGb Poster Stamps - Exhibitions & Events - 17 Different 1912 / 19242 French Poster Stamps 1935, Paquebot Le Havre-new York, Tete-beche/e8829Ekko Am Radio Reception Stamp Xfb Shortwave Mexico City Mexico. AbncEkko Am Radio Reception Stamp Wnrc Greensboro North Carolina Nc.. AbncEkko Am Radio Reception Stamp Wbbw Norfolk Virginia Va.. AbncPoster Stamp Collection Us States Expositions~shows~ads 1930's/40's CinderellaEkko Am Radio Reception Stamp Xeb Shortwave Mexico City Mexico. AbncEkko Am Radio Reception Stamp Wdbj Roanoke Virginia Va.. AbncEkko Am Radio Reception Stamp Xen Shortwave Mexico City Mexico. AbncEkko Am Radio Reception Stamp Wptf Raleigh North Carolina Nc.. AbncEkko Am Radio Reception Stamp Cnra Moncton New Brunswick Nb Canada AbncEkko Am Radio Reception Stamp Xeh Shortwave Nuevo Leon Monterrey Mexico. AbncEkko Am Radio Reception Stamp Wlac Raleigh North Carolina Nc.. AbncEkko Am Radio Reception Stamp Wwnc Asheville North Carolina Nc.. AbncEkko Am Radio Reception Stamp Czf Shortwave Chihuahua Mexico. AbncAdvertising Poster Stamps Hungary Philatelic ExpoNew Zealand 1964 Road Safety Fdc With Cinderella Three Wonderland Stamps - Upu War Tax Overprints - Gerald King Cinderellas. Australia Military 1916 Cover And Letter Written Gb Ymca Cinderella ReverseGermany Lot Of 44 Poster Stamps Cinderellas With Topographical InterestGermany Lot Of 41 Advertising Stamps Cinderellas1960 Olympics Cinderella StampsBelgium 1897 Brussels Exposition Lot Of 28 Poster StampsUsa 1949 Home For Armenian Aged Poeple Emerson Charity Stamp Mint Block Of 9Canada Quebec St Jean-baptiste Soc. Lot Of Of 62 Mint Stamps Single & Block Of4France Lot Of 25 Fair & Expo Poster StampsNetherlands Lot Of 36 Advertising Stamps CinderellasOrig 1915 Kaffee Hag Prussian Arms Set Stamps Complete In Album, ReklamemarkenCinderella/poster Stamp 17.4Australia -dutch East Indies 1930s Flight Cover Unused - Cinderella AffixedRussia 1910 Cinderella Stamp Issued For Odessa Exhibition, #1, MhRussia 1910 Cinderella Stamp Issued For Odessa Exhibition, #4, Mh, NgRussia 1910 Cinderella Stamp Issued For Odessa Exhibition, #2, Mh, NgRussia 1910 Cinderella Stamp Issued For Odessa Exhibition, #5, Mh, Ng