Mauritius stamps

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Flag of Mauritius

Mauritius is a small island in the Indian Ocean encompassing about 720 square miles. It is more than 500 miles east of a much larger island, Madagascar, which is located off the southeast coast of the African continent.

The first two Mauritius stamps were also the first stamps authorized by any British colonial government.


#225-228

Scott: #225-8P

Issued: 22.3.1948

Centenary of Mauritius Stamps

#1 Inside #225-6: Mauritius #1O

#2 Inside #227-8: Mauritius #2O

 

Post Office Mauritius

Mauritius issued its first postage stamps on 22 September 1847, under Governor William Gomm. The system completely overhauled the course of postal invoicing, since before the introduction of postage stamps, it was the addressee who had to pay the cost of carrying the letter and not the sender as is the case now. Only four countries had issued postage stamps before Mauritius: England in 1840, Brazil and Switzerland in 1843 and the U.S.A in 1847. Mauritius thus became the fifth country in the world to have issued its own postage stamps.

Joseph Osmond Barnard was selected to engrave this first edition. The Colonial Director of Posts, J. Stuart Brownrigg, gave him instructions to produce 500 stamps of an indigo-blue color of a value of 2 pence, and another bright red stamp worth 1 penny. Barnard printed 500 copies of each.

The two stamps had to carry the left profile of Queen Victoria, like the first British stamps, which came out in 1840. Together with its value, "Mauritius" was printed on the stamp to indicate its country of origin, "Postage" to signify that the postage had already been paid for, as well as the words "Post Office" which was the legal term for the Post in those days.

And the famous "Post Office" was thus launched. According to the legend, Barnard had engraved "Post Office" instead of "Post Paid" by mistake. The latter appellation was to be seen on all Mauritian stamps during almost twenty years. Much later it was proved that "Post Office" was really the legal term used for the Post in those days.

post2 (25K)Through this assumed error, the "Mauritius Post Office" stamps have become rare gems of world philately. They are in fact the first Mauritian stamps, among the very first in the world. They are also among the rarest because only 500 of these stamps were printed for the Mauritian Post.

Being among the first in the world and being a rare species, coupled with "an error of fabrication", the "Post Office" instigated stamp-collectors to look for these stamps in all the countries of the world where Mauritians could have sent letters.

Today, these stamps are viewed as the most precious in the world. In 1993 a group of 16 Mauritian business enterprises, led by the Mauritius Commercial Bank, bought for the fabulous sum of U.S $ 2.2 million, two new copies of these "Post Office" stamps. These two stamps are now on exclusive exhibition at the Blue Penny Museum, at the Caudan Waterfront.

http://www.mauritius-yellowpages.com/tourist/psm.html

While the Penny Black is a costly stamp, it pales in comparison to the values for the first two issues of Mauritius. A 1993 auction by David Feldman of the Hiroyuki Kanai collection of Mauritius resulted in numerous record-setting prices, including the sale of one unused example of each of the first two Mauritius issues. The 1d orange stamp sold for $1,072,260, and the 2d blue sold for $1,148,850. Both amounts include the 15 percent buyer's premium. Only one example of the 1d stamp is known in unused condition, while three unused 2d stamps are known.

http://www.linns.com/howto/refresher/legends_20000904/refreshercourse.asp?uID=

See also - Classic Stamps of Mauritius: http://www.stampsmauritius.com/Stamps.htm

 


#233a

Scott: #233O (CD 309)

Issued: 10.10.1949

UPU Issue

Inside #233: Stamps on Envelopes


#376-80

Scott: #376P (Pic of #376-80)

Issued: 15.10.1970

Centenary of General Post Office

#2 Inside #376: Mauritius #2O

mauritius 380amauritius 380a  ss perf variety

Scott: #380aO

Lou wrote: Two different perforation settings were produced of the Mauritius  Sc #380a s/s: one with perforations thru the top and bottom margins, and the other with no perforations thru the bottom margin.  According to dealers on Mauritius, no first day covers were produced for the sheets, but both can be found with first day cancels, and mint  sheets of both are offered with no price differential by many internet sources.


#456#460

Scott: #456O, #460O

Issued: 12.3.1978

Definitives

#1 Inside #456: Mauritius #1O

#94 Inside #460: Mauritius #94O

 

Martin Hirschbühl wrote: There are 2 varieties of these 2 SOS: the 1.25 exists without year below AND with printed "1983"

similar to the 5 Rupees, but that one also shows "1985" on bottom.

the reproduced card does not bear an affixed #94 but a printed indicium.


#484-6

Scott: #484-6P

Issued: 20.7.1979

Death Centenary of Sir Rowland Hill

Inside #484: G.B.#22O

#261 Inside #485: Mauritius #261O

The dodo (Raphus cucullatus) was a flightless bird native only to the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. The dodo was a flightless member of the pigeon family. Fully-grown dodos weighted about 23 kg (50 pounds). Around 1505 the Portuguese became the first Europeans to discover the dodo. By 1681 it had been driven to extinction by humans and the feral dogs, pigs, rats, and monkeys introduced by Europeans to Mauritius. The dodo was not the only Mauritian bird driven to extinction in recent centuries. Of the 45 bird species originally found, only 21 still survive. Two bird species closely related to the dodo also became extinct: the Reunion solitaire by 1746, and the Rodrigues solitaire by 1790. http://www.pibburns.com/cryptost/dodo.htm

#1 Inside #486: Mauritius #1O

#487

Scott: #487O

#2 Inside #487: Mauritius #2O


Mixed issue 4v

Scott: #737O

(Thanks to Jan Van Lin for the scan)

Issued: 18.8.1991

175th Birth Anniversary of Joseph Barnard

Scan not available Inside #737: Mauritius Type A2O


Scott: #833-6O

Issued: 2.12.1996

150th Anniversary, Post Office Ordinance

Inside #833: Stamp on Envelope

Thanks to Lloyd Gilbert for the scans


Scott: #846-9O

(Thanks to Jan Van Lin and Lloyd Gilbert for the scans)

Issued: 22.9.1997

150th Anniversary, First Mauritius Stamps

#1 Inside #846, #846a, #848, #848a, #849, #849a: Mauritius #1O

#2 Inside #847, #847a, #848, #848a, #849, #849a: Mauritius #2O

Scott: #850O

Thanks to Lloyd Gilbert for the scan


#877

Scott: #877O

Issued: 11.2.1999

300th Birth Anniversary, Mahe De La Bourdonnais

 Inside #877: Mauritius #115O


#943

Scott: #943O

Issued: 2.10.2001

Centenary, Visit of M. Gandhi

MUS M353 Inside #943: Mauritius #361O

(thanks to Komlóssy Zoltán for the scan)


2010

Scott: #1080O

Issued: 20.08.2010

Shanghai Expo 2010

#2 Inside #1080: Mauritius #2O

Thanks to Lou Guadagno


Scott: #1123P

Issued: 12.11.2012

240 Years of Postal Service in Mauritius

#1 Inside #1123: Mauritius #1O (in changed color)

#2 Inside #1123: Mauritius #2O

Both in reverse from Joseph Barnard's original die

Thanks to Lou Guadagno


Best website related:

http://www.mauritiuspost.mu/common/images/top_logo.gif

http://www.mauritiuspost.mu/

Stamps of Mauritius

http://www.stampsofmauritius.com/

http://www.stamp2.com/gallery/mauritius/default.htm

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