Saar 1920 - 1959
Saar is a "country" (perhaps "entity" would be more appropriate) I had not heard of before taking up stamp collecting. Judging from the brief histories given at the beginnings of the Scott and Stanley Gibbons listings, it is an archetype of small European states in the inter-war period.
A German territory South-east of Luxembourg. Occupied by France under League of Nations control from 1920 to 1935. Following a plebiscite, Saar returned to Germany in 1935 from when German stamps were issued until the French occupation in 1945. The territory was autonomous under French protection until it again returned to Germany at the end of 1956, following a national referendum. Issues from 1957 were authorised by the German Federal Republic, pending the adoption of German currency on 6th July 1959, after which West German stamps were used.
Adapted from Scott Standard Postage Album Catalogue, vol 3, 1976 and Stanley Gibbons Stamps of the World, vol 3, 2001
Note: While the normal stamps are a delight, Saar produced an astonishing number of unimpressive semi-postal issues. I am ignoring these for no better reason than hardly any turned up in the dozen inexpensive accumulations from eBay I started this section of the collection with.
from April 2003 -