Mauritius stamps

P=have O=don’t have it

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.


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.

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.

See also - Classic Stamps of Mauritius:



Scott: #233O (CD 309)

Issued: 10.10.1949

UPU Issue

Inside #233: Stamps on Envelopes

Scott: #376P

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 #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.


Scott: #456P, #460O

Issued: 12.3.1978


#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.

Lou wrote: Mauritius #456 was reissued in 1983 and 1985 with the addition of the year imprint below the design:

mauritius 456  dated 1983mauritius 456  dated 1985

Mauritius #456 dated 1983 and 1985

The depiction of the Lady Gomm ball invitation cover is an artist representation of the actual cover owned by Queen Elizabeth II, and since the postmark was not legible, he enhanced all the printing in black; however, he failed to notice that the "2" in the date was reversed, so he made it a normal "2" in error.  On my collection page I pointed this out and added a 1976 Nicaragua #1040 which reproduces a photo of the actual Mauritius #1 cropped from the cover. A close examination under a magnifier shows the reversed "2" (See scan). I wrote this up in a SOS Signal not too long after the stamp was issued, but I doubt if anyone knows about this today, so maybe you will want to add this note to your site.

nicaragua 1040  1976

Nicaragua #1040

nicaragua 1040 mauritius postmark detail

Nicaragua #1040 Mauritius postmark detail

Mauritius Lady Gomm ball invitation cover

Mauritius Lady Gomm ball invitation cover

Article-- P 1

Article-- P 2



Issued: 19.1.1989

Mauritius #460 reissue


Scott: #484-6P

Issued: 20.7.1979

Death Centenary of Sir Rowland Hill

#22 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.

#1 Inside #486: Mauritius #1O


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

[Queen Victoria - Inscription: "POST PAID" - Early Impressions: Full Backgorund, Vertical Lines Domination, type B6] 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: #846-9P

(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


Scott: #877O

Issued: 11.2.1999

300th Birth Anniversary, Mahe De La Bourdonnais

 Inside #877: Mauritius #115O


Scott: #943O

Issued: 2.10.2001

Centenary, Visit of M. Gandhi

MUS M353 Inside #943: Mauritius #361O

(thanks to Komlóssy Zoltán for the scan)


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

mauritius      10.8 22 

Scott: #????P

Issued: 08.10.2022

175th Anniversary of the "Post Office" stamps

#1 Inside #????: Mauritius #1O

#2 Inside #????: Mauritius #2O

mautitius        ss 10.8.22

Scott: #????P

Lou wrote: Mauritius, on October 8, 2022 issued a stamp and s/s to note the 175th Anniversary of the "Post Office" stamps of 1847. 

The stamp is quite handsome; in addition to Mauritius # 1-2, there is an 1847 date stamp, but sadly, it is not the September 21 first day cancel. In  the background of the sheet is an enhanced photo of the copper plate with the engravings used to print the stamps (one at a time), and a portrait of Joseph Barnard, the engraver, at an age close to when he did his work, and certainly not the old, half-blind man of stamp legend. 

Thanks to Lou Guadagno and Martin Hirschbühl

Best website related:

Stamps of Mauritius


Wish LIst


Mauritius #1 + for Aden, ST. VINCENT, Lesotho, Nicaragua, Paraguay,

 Sharjah, Umm Al Qiwain and many others but I need just 1 :)


Mauritius #2 + for Germany, Aden, St. Helena, Isle of Man, Antigua, Chad, Czech Rep., Nicaragua, Ajman, Paraguay and many others :)

Comoro Islands_image105

Mauritius #3 for Comoro Islands


Mauritius #3 for Italy


Mauritius #18 for Seychelles 


Mauritius #94

Mauritius #115


Mauritius #261

MUS M353

Mauritius #361

mauritius 380amauritius 380a  ss perf variety

Mauritius #380a


Mauritius #456


Mauritius #460

Mauritius #460a (1989)


Mauritius #487

[The 21st Anniversary of the Birth of Princess Diana, type NB]

Mauritius #549 for Hungary (not postal stamp)

Mauritius #710 for Guinea

Mixed issue 4v

Mauritius #737

sos mauritius 767 1993

Mauritius #767 for Hong Kong

sos mauritius 769 1993

Mauritius #769 for Hong Kong

Mauritius #833-6


Mauritius #877


Scott: #943O


Scott: #1080O