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Obock (French Somaliland) counterstamps on Maria Theresia Talers


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Obock (also Obok or Ubuk) is a small port city in Djibouti. In colonial times, it used to be part of French Somaliland.

The main French presence in the city of Obock was from 1862 to 1891. In 1891, the French colonial administration moved to Djibouti. A later source of French influence in Obock was the settlement of Henry de Monfreid (1879-1974) from 1920 into the 1960s.

The Maria Theresa Taler was legal tender (currency) in Djibouti from November 21, 1885, to January 26, 1943.

The Obock counterstamp is a square with Arabic writing. It is listed in the Hafner catalog as Hafner 113.

Literature references

Literature references regarding the Obock counterstamps are scarce. The only reference I have been able to find is in Bruce, Unusual World Coins, Djibouti, X#13. No information about the counterstamp's history is provided.

Besides being struck on Maria Theresa Talers, the Obock counterstamp is also seen on India Rupees.


The Obock counterstamp is very rare. It is not offered for sale in the 1968-1972 Kreisberg and Schulman catalogs offering Browder type counterstamps.

Auction Comments
H.D. Rauch, Auction 32, January 1984, lot #3014. Description: Rial ca. 1962 (sic!) (Taler 1780 SF) / Mi. 148b. Specimen displayed in Hafner catalog. Host coin struck after 1945.
Paul J. Bosco, Auction 18, The Hall Walls Collection of World Trade Coins, August 4, 1997, lot #450. Description: The inscription begins "In the Name of God", recites some praises, and ends "Struck in Obock: 9.2.6".

Other Specimen


It is very unlikely that genuine specimen of Maria Theresa Talers with Obock counterstamp exist.

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