20 December 2013

Cambodian Stamp Dealer - Hollósi Attila the Cheater



I would like to draw your attention to a notorious Hungarian seller named  Hollósi Attila (Hollósi is the family name),  his address Király utca 21, 2.emelet. 33, 1074 Budapest, Hungary.  One of his identiy at eBay is "nnn776" and one of the identities he uses at Delcampe is "Puskasarmy1909" which now deactivated.

Hollósi Attila's way of cheating is nothing new.  First he put up some 1982 Cambodia "60th Anniversary of USSR" first day folders on sale at Delcampe.  After buyers made their payment through Paypal, Hollósi Attila pretended that he did not receive.  When buyers showed the Paypal transaction numbers, he asked buyers to withdraw the money and send to another non Delcampe linked Paypal account.

Once payment fixed, Hollósi Attila claimed that on a certain date he would send the merchandise by registered airmail which he has charged, but in fact he never sent, he would not provide buyers the mail registration number, and he would not reply any of the emails since then.

What actually happened after that certain date which he claimed he would send the merchandise is that, Hollósi Attila relisted that item at eBay.  In another case, a buyer sent him cash and he simply vanished from sight.

Sometimes he put the items at eBay, but never send them to buyers.  Buyers have to get their refund under the buyer protection scheme of Paypal, then Attila claims the buyers "withdraw" payment, so he does not send out the items.   Putting the cart before the horse is such an old trick.

Although he goes online frequently, he only replies buyers' email every two or three weeks, in such a way the communication time is prolonged for the sake of dragging buyers out of the Paypal buyers protection period.

This is one of items he so called sells:



Hollósi Attila is now trading under the eBay identity "nnn776".  His feedback rate is merely 91.4% which is very low by eBay standard, and all his negative feedbacks are about selling items, complaints are all about taking money but not sending the merchandise, and he ignored all emails from buyers after taking the money.

In the last 12 months, Hollósi Attila had 6 transactions at eBay as a seller, according to record, he only completed the first 3 transactions, for the latter 3, he cheated money.  His negative feedback received at Delcampe is the same, money cheater.  So, you make your decision if you would waste your time messing with him.






23 November 2013

Collectors Revel in a History ‘Written’ on Postage Stamps

An old interview.
---




Collectors revel in a history ‘written’ on postage stamps
Phnom Penh Post, Monday, 28 September 2009 15:00 
by Johan Smits


Tales of tragedy and joy, iconic images of Cambodia’s historic leaders and the record of a nation struggling to establish itself are reflected in the Kingdom’s many postage stamps.

And you thought that philately, or stamp collecting, was all about geeks staring through magnifying glasses at monarchs in profile, while excitedly discussing rarity and value?

Not so in the Kingdom. Cambodia’s rich variety of stamps tell tales of war and peace, anticolonial struggle, international theft and forgery, safe sex, mammals-turned-fish and a good dose of cultural heritage.

Although Cambodia wasn’t formally independent at the time, February 1952 saw the print run of a special edition booklet to mark the first issue of national postage stamps.

Before that, postage stamps in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam were all marked “Indochina” under French colonial rule.

Since that 1952 edition, however, Cambodian stamps have been issued under various names, reflecting the turbulent history of regime changes and struggles towards nationhood.

From King Norodom Sihanouk’s “Royaume du Cambodge” via Lon Nol’s “Republique Khmere” to Pol Pot’s very elusive, possibly nonexistent “Kampuchea” stamps.

Under the Khmer Rouge regime, the legendary stamps would have served a purpose of propaganda rather than communication.

Indeed, Phnom Penh-based Graham Shaw calls the latter the holy grail for Cambodia stamp collectors.

Cambodiastamps.com, Shaw’s Web site, refers to an entry in a German catalogue that states the possibility the Khmer Rouge had some Kampuchea-inscribed stamps issued in April 1978.

They were reputedly printed in Japan and came in 5, 10, 20, 50 and 90 denominations, without the catalogue stating the currency.

But with the discontinuance of post and telegraphic services, as well as the abolition of money under the Khmer Rouge regime, the legendary stamps would have served a purpose of propaganda rather than communication.

“To find a set used by the regime of Democratic Kampuchea would make it extremely rare and very valuable to international collectors, especially if you had a First Day Cover [the stamp equivalent of a first edition] signed by Brother Number 1,” says Shaw.

It was only in April 1980 that new postage stamps of the postwar regime became available for public use.

Before that, and in order to save time and resources after the fall of Pol Pot, the new regime used stamps from prior to the Khmer Rouge and overprinted them manually with RPK or “Republique Populaire Kampuchea”.

Shaw shows examples on his website and calls them “of interest and relatively rare”.

The high market value of Cambodian stamps was illustrated by the sale on eBay of a special set celebrating Cambodia’s independence from France and signed by King Norodom Sihanouk.

According to Shaw, who would rather the item be kept in a Cambodian museum; it was sold for “several thousand dollars”.

A quick Internet search reveals there are still high-value items out there.

On the American collectors site Herrickstamp.com, a set of five space travel-themed stamps issued in 1990 fetches US$1,100 and is listed as “the scarcest postage stamps of Cambodia”.

But what is it that turns a set of dry stamps into a collector’s wet dream?

Best buys

According to Hong Kong-based stamp enthusiast and blogger, Patrick Fung, the most exciting unlisted stamps of Cambodia are the so-called “surcharges”.

When inflation ran faster than the stamp-printing machines, the postal authority started to add a surcharge to the existing stock of stamps.

Since they were stamped locally by hand for postal use only, overseas collectors have a hard time identifying and getting hold of them.

But amateur collectors beware: According to Fung, almost all 1990s surcharges have forgeries.

Shaw, on the other hand, admires “proof”stamps which show the various stages of development of a specific stamp, from its early design to the final version that is then mass printed for use by the public.

“A hand-sketched initial design of a Cambodian stamp from the 1950s or 1960s and signed by the artist can fetch a lot of money,” he says.

When Cambodia started issuing stamps again after the Khmer Rouge, most of them were designed, printed and marketed by a Cuban company called COPREFIL.

Fung mentions how, in 1993, a special set was printed in Havana to mark the 40th anniversary of national independence.

As Cuba shipped part of the stock to Cambodia, it was reported stolen during transit, which forced Cambodia to declare the set illegal and prompted Russia to quickly produce a new one to present to Cambodia as a gift.

This latter set was only available in Cambodia, whereas the stolen one was only available outside the country. Fung says that it also marked the first time that English was used on stamps instead of French.

Pieces of history

According to Eth So, deputy director at the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, since 2002 Cambodia’s stamps have been printed in Vietnam.

He says that about four to five sets, with a total of 20 to 25 stamps, are being issued per year.

Cambodian stamps are often used to carry particular messages, which may be political.

On his site, Shaw provides a good example via a comprehensive history of the role of King Norodom Sihanouk, as seen through Cambodian stamps.

More recently, in July this year, Cambodia issued a set of five stamps to commemorate the first anniversary of Preah Vihear’s listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

But it’s not all political. December 2006 saw the launch of a series of HIV/AIDS-awareness stamps, prominently featuring PSI’s Number One condom, and the same year also saw a set of five different dolphins to promote ecotourism.

They don’t always get it right, though, as Fung notes about the dolphin set, “the cachet says ‘fish’ and adverts at post offices say ‘fish’ too. “Dolphins are not fish, they are mammals.”


(article also reposted at CAAI News Media)



19 November 2013

55 Years of Cambodia-China Diplomatic Ties Follow Up



On 2 August 2013 I reported that China issued a commemorative cover to mark the 55th anniversary of Cambodia-China diplomatic ties (click here for a link to the blog entry).  This is a follow up on the news,

After the cover from the China National Philatelic Corporation is made available to the general public, it is found that the commemorative postmark is different from what publicized before: a lotus flower and leaf design is used instead of the national flags of Cambodia and China.



The total print run of the cover is 50,000, each of them has its own print run serial at the bottom right corner on the back:



One thing is consistent with the publicity: no Cambodian stamp and postmark is featured, this may due to the a lack of time for arrangement.

Just as the other diplomatic anniversary commemorative covers issued by China, there is a presentation ceremony held with diplomats of the two countries attended.  A special 'VIP" version of the cover is given as complimentary souvenir to the ceremony attendees.  Only a handful of these "VIP" covers make their way to the philatelic market and so they are quite rare and scarce.

I manage to find a sample of this "VIP" cover, it has a Cambodian stamp from the 2008 "50th Years of Cambodia-China Diplmatic Ties" 2v set, tied by a black ink cachet.



The Chinese prepared Cambodian cachet features the national flags of the two nations as well as the title of the issue in Khmer.  The placement of the two flags is China on the left, Cambodia on the right and this arrangement fails to follow international flag protocol.  It is a Cambodian cachet, not a Chinese cachet, so the flag of honour is the Cambodian which should appear on the left, not on the right.  The Chinese authority does make a careless diplomatic mistake this time.





5 November 2013

1984 & 1986 Airmail Stamps of Cambodia (P.R. Kampuchea)




In 1984, five years after postal service was re-established in 1979, Cambodia had her airmail stamps again.

Officially issued on 2nd Jan, the new airmail set has four values which share an identical design depicting an Ilyushin Il-62 over the Khmer national pride, Angkor Wat.  This scene was merely a fascinative illusion as in reality Kampuchean Civil Aviation Company only provided commercial air service between Phnom Penh and Hanoi in 1984, there could have no Il-62 over Angkor.

1984 airmail set of 4v (Sc #C55-C58, Mi #546-549).


Denominations of the four airmail stamps are 5r, 10r, 15r and 25r respectively, they make a total of 55r which was around 7.85USD with reference to the exchange rate 7r to 1USD in January 1984.

The lowest value of the set is 5r, however at the time of issue most standard letters did not have postage more than 4r, this resulted in a very limited use of these airmail stamps in 1984 and 1985.  The set was primarily used for special delivery services which cost premiums, and on mail with considerable weight.  Here is a sample of 10r and 15r from the 1984 airmail stamps franked on an early 1986 registered mail:


Postmarked 6th February 1986, this cover was to Darwin of Australia.  The stamps show 29.9r postage including registered fee.   It is extremely difficult to study 1980s and 1990s Cambodian postal rates because stamp franking did not necessarily reflect the actual postage paid.  The chaos was the direct result of odd face value stamp supply, bribery and unprofessional postage bookkeeping.  To make things more complicated, during the high inflation period, postage in riel was hooked to the fluctuating daily exchange rate of riel to dollar.


According to the stamp printer, 855,500 airmail sets were printed.  This amount is surprisingly large as in 1980s the majority of Cambodian stamps were produced below 300,000 full sets per issue.  When the print run was high and the use was limited, there should have had a large stock remained in the coming years to fulfill postal needs but surprisingly another airmail set with exactly the same denominations was introduced just two years later.

On 4th March 1986 the Cambodian postal authority issued 606,650 new airmail sets.  This second airmail set has the same "II-62 over Angkor" design but with background colours, inscriptions and placement of them changed (see scan).


1986 airmail set of 4v (Sc #C59-C62, Mi #737-740).


Inflation climbed considerably after the stamps were issued.  It started at a sudden official fall, 30r to 1USD sometime before May, then in September the next year the rate was down to 100r to 1USD.

Devaluation of riel made high face value stamps like these airmail stamps just right for extensive use.  However the puzzling thing is, instead of using the 1984 airmail stamp stock to catch up with the postage increase, the post offices largely used the 1986 set.  The reason for this is unknown.

The following are examples of 1986 airmail stamps on covers:


1986 cover from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City franked with two 5r airmail stamps.
Total postage: 10.2r.  The postal clerk used two 5r stamps instead of one 10r
probably because 5r was handy.  In Cambodia, there is no practice of using
the least amount of stamps to make up postage.


Back of a 1989 cover from Siem Reap to Houston franked with four 5r airmail stamps.
Two 1988 Vietnamese printed "Apsaras" 35r and a 2r from the 1986 "Butterflies"
are on the front.  Total postage: 92r.


1991 domestic cover from Pursat to Phnom Penh with a
1986 15r airmail stamp, single franking.



The 1986 airmail stamps remained commonly used until early 1990s when further inflation rendered them obsolete.  Collectors should note that dealers love to claim that 1986 airmail stamps on mail is rare and scarce, it is absolutely not true.

The 2014 Scott retail price of the 1984 airmail set is mint 45USD, postal used 7.5USD, the 1986 set mint 37USD, postal used 7.5USD.  Market price for a mint set is under 10USD.  None of the major catalogues reflect real market price or scarcity.





8 October 2013

Argentina'85 Cambodian Postmark All in French



In 1985 Cambodia issued a set of 7 stamps to celebrate the international philatelic exposition of Argentina'85 held in Bueno Aires.  It is a thematic set on threatened species of birds found in Argentina.

For most collectors this may just be another pictorial issue, but for specialists of Cambodian philately there is a little more.

Throughout the 1980s, Cambodia was represented by COPREFIL to participate in a number of international philatelic exhibitions for promoting philatelic sales.  This Argentina'85 FDC set consists of 3 covers, below I illustrate one of them:



In the spotlight is the first day commemorative postmark, this is probably the only one in Cambodian philatelic history with absolutely no Khmer words.  It is totally in French: "Exposition Philatelique Argentina'85, Kampuchea Premier Jour 5-7-85".



Cambodian first day commemorative postmarks are either in Khmer or a mix of Khmer and French or English, this one is the odd.

During the 10 day exhibition, a commemorative cachet was available at the exhibition venue for application on covers at a small fee.  This cachet is bilingual, in Khmer and French.  The Khmer reads: "Philatelic Exposition Argentina'85".  In French it repeats the same meaning plus the dates of exhibition, 5-14 Juil /85 and the country name "Kampuchea".








9 September 2013

Preah Kossamak Hospital





This letter was sent from Preah Kossamak Hospital, Phnom Penh to Belgium by Dr Cheam Saem in 1993.
Director of the Provincial Health Department, Kratie Province. - See more at: http://www.oxfamblogs.org/asia/cambodia-changing-climate-leads-to-increase-in-malaria-and-other-diseases/#sthash.ACYy8pdK.dpuf
Director of the Provincial Health Department, Kratie Province. - See more at: http://www.oxfamblogs.org/asia/cambodia-changing-climate-leads-to-increase-in-malaria-and-other-diseases/#sthash.ACYy8pdK.dpuf
Director of the Provincial Health Department, Kratie Province. - See more at: http://www.oxfamblogs.org/asia/cambodia-changing-climate-leads-to-increase-in-malaria-and-other-diseases/#sthash.ACYy8pdK.dpuf
Director of the Provincial Health Department, Kratie Province. - See more at: http://www.oxfamblogs.org/asia/cambodia-changing-climate-leads-to-increase-in-malaria-and-other-diseases/#sthash.ACYy8pdK.dpuf
Director of the Provincial Health Department, Kratie Province. - See more at: http://www.oxfamblogs.org/asia/cambodia-changing-climate-leads-to-increase-in-malaria-and-other-diseases/#sthash.ACYy8pdK.dp

Preah Kossamak Hospital (l'hôpital Preah Kossamak) is a public hospital located at Street #271 of Toul Kork District, close to the Royal University of Phnom Penh campus.

Although it is said that the hospital was established by HM Queen Kossamak Neatirath, there is no solid evidence of it.

Built by the Societé d'Assistance Médicale aux Religieux Bouddhique in 1956 at the cost of 12 million riels, the hospital was initially the Cambodia Hospital for Monks, a separated hospital for Buddhist monks, according to the journal Kambuja Suriya.

In 1950s, Cambodia was keen to demonstrate social modernization and rapid national development after independence from France.  The brand new hospital was used as a new era visual sign that the Buddhist teaching of "dharma" was filled in the generous heart of Cambodia under the leadership of then HRH Prince Sihanouk.  

In addition it was felt that under the monastic behavioral rules called "pratimoksa", monks receiving medical care in hospitals for general public was inappropriate.  If monks had their own hospital, they could maintain religious routine and discipline during hospitalization.   The hospital had a special chapel (preah vihear) for monks so they could simply stay in the hospital as if they were in a temple (wat).

During the Pol Pot years, the hospital was closed, monks were killed.  After order was restored in Phnom Penh in 1979, the hospital became one of the few which first resumed services, and it is never again a monk hospital.

Currently Preah Kossamak Hospital is one of the major hospitals in Phnom Penh with around 400 staffs working in 4 buildings which offer a total of 250 beds.  More than 50,000 patients are serviced every year.

Preah Kossamak Hospital
(courtesy: photo by General Electric Company)





19 August 2013

Denomination Mistakes on Cambodian Stamps



In modern days for the smoothness of communication and the ease of postage calculation, all postage stamps are denominated in Arabic numerals, then often accompanied with respective native numerals (if exist) of the country so to hold up national identity.  For Cambodia, since 1980 almost all postage stamps are denominated in both Khmer and Arabic numerals.

Although it is understood that Arabic and Khmer numerals are to show identical value, stamp design mistakes can cause face value confusion.  Careless mistake in denomination notation has happened on both stamps and souvenir sheets of Cambodia.

In 1985 the Cambodian authority issued a 7v stamp set devoted to flowers.  An epic design mistake comes up on the stamp which features fairy primrose (Primula malacoides): the Khmer and Arabic numerals do not show the same monetary value.



The Arabic numerals indicate a face value of 1.5r, in Khmer a different value is shown,1.2r.

Below is a quick tutorial on Khmer number scripts if you do not speak the language:

Here is the question: should the face value be 1.2r or 1.5r ?

From 1983 to 1991, the majority of Cambodian pictorials are issued in the form of 7v per set with denomination patterns observed.  Starting from 1983, the most common denomination pattern has been 0.2r, 0.5r, 0.8r, 1r, 1.5r, 2r, 3r while there is a less used pattern of 0.1r, 0.4r, 0.8r, 1r, 1.2r, 2r, 2.5r.  Almost all 7v sets follow these two patterns until 1989 when new denominations were introduced because of inflation.


With the other six values taken into consideration, this 1985 flower set fits in the most common face value pattern of 0.2r, 0.5r, 0.8r, 1r, 1.5r, 2r, 3r.  It can be quite certain that there should be a 1.5r stamp, the Khmer numeral for "5" on the 1.5r stamp is just incorrectly illustrated with "2".


A stamp set of 6v and a S/S was issued in 2000 on the occasion of Bangkok 2000 - the World Youth Stamp Exhibition and the 13th Asian International Stamp Exhibition.  This time it is the S/S which catches the mistake, Khmer numerals state a face value of 5400r, oddly the Arabic  say 4500r.



Again, general denomination trend may provide a clue to the puzzle.  Cambodian S/S issued from March 1997 to the end of 1999 were face valued 5400r each, however in year 2000 there saw a lower value at 4500r, then the next year it was reversed back to 5400r.

The Bangkok 2000 S/S was officially issued on 27th February 2000, according to the denomination trend, it is likely that the correct value is 4500r, if such the Khmer numeral indication is wrong.

These denomination mistakes happen only on Khmer numerals, it may due to the fact that stamp designers at COPREFIL are Cuban, cursive Khmer numerals are too foreign and difficult for them to recognize.




2 August 2013

55 Years of Cambodia-China Diplomatic Ties



This year marks the 55th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Cambodia and PR China, both governments celebrate 2013 as the "Cambodia and China Friendship Year".  It is hailed by the Chinese with a commemorative cover issued in the "WJ" diplomatic commemorative cover series which kicked off in 1999.

The Chinese issued a similar cover back in 2003 (for a report on this, please click here), with both Chinese and Cambodian stamps franked and canceled.  This time it is reported that no stamps are issued for the celebration, and because of insufficient time for preparation, only a Chinese stamp is franked (from the 2013 "Gilded Buddha Statues" set), no Cambodian stamp is used.

Although the cover has postmark dated 19th July 2013, it was presented to H.E. Mr Khek Lerang, the Cambodian ambassador to China at the Cambodian embassy in Beijing on 2nd July.  The presentation ceremony was attended by about 200 officials and guests. 



Since last time the national flags were used, this time it is the coat of arms which occupy the bottom left corner of the cover as cachet.  The Chinese and Khmer inscription reads "55th Anniversary of Diplomatic Ties between the People's Republic of China and Kingdom of Cambodia".

Here is a large scan of the commemorative postmark, national flags of both countries make up the design:

The Chinese inscription is the same as that on the cover.

Unlikely the 2003 issue, none of these covers are sent to Cambodia for sale, after all the cover does not carry Cambodian stamp and postmark.



For my entry on the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Cambodia and China, please click here.


(Information source: Philatelic Association of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC)




9 July 2013

1988 Apsara 35r on 1992 Mail to VOA ?



Here is a cover sold by an American seller just yesterday:


The item is described as "Airmail Cover from Phnom Phen to USA 1992".

In my previous blog entries, I have repeatedly emphasized that in most cases dealers and sometimes catalogue editors do not know Cambodian philately more than you do, they often give inaccurate information and price evaluation.  Here is another solid example of inaccurate information, the high sold price is a joke too, but it is not the focus of this blog entry.

The back of the cover is blank, only two Phnom Penh postmarks tied the four stamps franked on the front.  The postmark date is nearly unreadable.  Probably it is the writing in red ink "For 50th VOA Anniversary" and the supplementary VOA Washington DC office PO Box number in blue ink which makes the seller conclude it is a 1992 cover.

VOA is the Voice of America, an international public broadcaster of the United States.  VOA was founded in 1942, so its 50th anniversary fell in 1992.  Logic enough.

For serious collectors, it is important to be careful and observing.   Other than the VOA information, the postage can give clues.

Cambodia experienced rapid inflation from 1986 to 1994.  In early 1992, a 10g standard letter from Phnom Penh to the US cost at least 200r.  Since the cover has only 43.3r postage, It is certain that 1992 cannot be the year of delivery.

According to my observation, the time which yielded mail of around 40r postage (to the US) was from the very end of 1987 to mid 1990.  The 35r blue Apsara stamp was put into circulation in mid 1988, so very likely this mail would be from mid 1988 to mid 1990.

As a matter of fact, the 35r blue Apsara was mostly used on mail in late 1980s, in 1990 it gave way to the 50r purple Apsara.

It is unclear why the mail was later inscribed "For 50th VOA Anniversary", only the content of it can reveal the mystery.




12 April 2013

2012 Cambodia Post Revenue Rose By 8.1%




Cambodia Post announced that there was a 8.1% revenue increase year-on-year in 2012.

Ork Bora, Director-General of Cambodia Post, confirmed in the annual general meeting held on the day before (10th April) that the now semi-autonomous company enjoyed more than 4.05 million USD revenues last year, compared with 3.75 million in 2011. 

Bora reviewed that Phnom Penh has generated 2.93 million USD while the 23 provinces added 1.12 million USD.  Total expenditure of the year was 3.85 million USD.

“We received good business performances in the two years since our transformation be­­cause we upgraded and bettered our services and coverage in order to compete with some 20 other private companies .... we also increased the number of deliveries locally and abroad.” Bora said in another occasion.

Cambodia Post was a state owned national postal company until January 2011 when it was privatized.  After privatization Cambodia Post recorded a 60% jump of revenue in 2011.


(info sources: Phnom Penh Post, Cambodia Daily, Cambodia Sinchew Daily, Jianhua Daily)



16 February 2013

1990 Mongkol Borei Cover to Phnom Penh





Here is a 1990 Cambodian domestic letter sent from Mongkol Borei (spelt "Mongkol Borey" on postmark) of Banteay Meanchey Province to the national capital, Phnom Penh.

Mongkol Borei is the southernmost and most densely populated district of Banteay Meanchey.  The district is named after a river of the same name which runs from Prachinburi of Thailand to Tonlé Sap (Great Lake) of Cambodia.

Mongkol Borei used to be in the historic province of Battambang.  In  the18th century Siam annexed northwest Cambodia, since then the area was under Bangkok's rule until 1907 when Siam was obligated to cede the conquered Cambodian territory to France under the Franco-Siamese Treaty.

In 1988 Battambang Province was split.  Five northern districts including Mongkol Borei were separated to form the new Banteay Meanchey Province.  Banteay Meanchey means the fort of victory, and Mongkol Borei means the blessed town.   This land of victory and blessing is predominantly rural, important economic activities include farming and fishing.

Map showing Mongkol Borei with Banteay Meanchey Province in red.




10 February 2013

The Great Crown of Victory on Cambodian Stamps



During the 1st February parade of HM King Father Norodom Sihanouk's funeral, three of the many royal regalia items were included in the procession as a visual representation of King Father's sovereign status - the Great Crown of Victory (Preah Moha Mokot Reach), the Scared Sword (Preah Khan Reach) and the Royal Gold Shoes (Preah Soporbatuka).


The Great Crown of Victory (Preah Moha Mokot Reach) is the royal crown worn by Cambodian sovereigns during the coronation ceremony.  Made of solid gold weighing 10kg and precious stones, the crown is in the form of cone in several stages finishing in a tapering spire, symbol of the mythic sacred mountain "Phnom Preah Somerureach" (Preah Meru - the Central Mountain) where divinities live.  During the coronation ceremony, the head of royal Brahman priests, on behalf of the royal government and Cambodian people, respectfully offers land, water, forest and mountains throughout the kingdom to the new king for his rule.


This postcard features three king's crowns, 
the leftmost elaborately decorated mokot is the Great Crown of Victory.


 This is one of the oldest surviving photographs depicting
the Great Crown of Victory, HM King Norodom I in royal regalia taken in 1860s.


The Great Crown of Victory is the only regale which has appeared on Cambodian stamps since 1980.

600r and 800r stamps from the 2001 set "80th Birthday of HM Norodom Sihanouk, King of Cambodia"  
show the King Father with the Great Crown of Victory.



Royal regalia is not only an essential part of the Cambodian monarchy, it is the symbol of nation.  During Lon Nol's coup d'état in 1970, the crown and some other regalia disappeared from the Royal Palace and  they are never found.

HM King Norodom Suramarit wearing the Great Crown of Victory
on this 1959 maxicard.


In 1993 when the Cambodian monarchy was restored, the King Father instructed that no new regalia be made for his coronation with at view to economy.  Gilded remakes were used for HM King Sihamoni's enthronement in 2004.

A remake of the Great Crown of Victory was used in HM King Norodom Sihamoni's coronation.