Mauritius Postage Stamps and Mauritius Postal History
Originally settled by the Dutch in 1638 who had named it Mauritius after Prince Maurice van Nassau of the Dutch Republic. The Dutch abandoned the island in 1710.
The French took control of the island in 1715 and renamed it to Isle de France.
Mauritius’ first post office was opened on December 21, 1772 when the island was under French rule. Mail was delivered internally and by ship to and from France and India.
The British captured the island from France in 1810 and its name was reverted to Mauritius.
It was British Crown Colony until 12 March 1968; remaining within the Commonwealth (as a republic since 12 March 1992).
Mauritius was in 1847 the first British colony and the fifth country in the world to issue postage stamps; on 21 September 1847 two stamps were issued, the 1d orange-red and 2d deep blue, called the "Post Office" stamps.
These two stamps are amongst the rarest stamps in the world.
Mauritius was the first colony to order postage stamps via the Crown Agents in 1848.
The world's first postage stamp surcharges were prepared by Mauritius in 1854, though not issued until 1858.
The definitive issues from 1860 onwards, notably the Queen's head and Arms types, are full of interest for the philatelist and postal historian alike.
Also of great interest is the pre-adhesive postal history, of both French (before 1810) and British (after 1810) periods.
Philatelic Societies for collectors Mauritius Stamps and Postal History
Indian Ocean Study Circle (UK) The Study Circle was founded in 1970 to promote and encourage the study of all aspects of the stamps and postal history of the islands of the western Indian Ocean.
If you collect the stamps or postal history, including postcards from any of these islands, and you are not a member of IOSC, you may be missing out on much
that can help to make your hobby still more interesting.
Countries covered by the IOSC...Mauritius, Seychelles/BIOT, Réunion, Comores and Madagascar
Mauritius Philatelic Society (Mauritius) The Society was formed in 1989 and after more than twenty five years of existence it now has 53 local members and 20 overseas members
New Issues of Mauritius
for latest postage stamp issues from Mauritius contact -
The Mauritius "Post Office" of 1847 When a young French boy went through correspondence files in 1902, he could not realize that he was going to happen upon one of philately’s greatest rarities.
He was searching through a batch of dusty letters when he saw a cover franked with 1 penny and 2 pence stamps from the volcanic island of Mauritius.
As he examined the cover, he recalled reading about the unusual stamps in a magazine.
Post Office Mauritius - 1847 The Tale of Two Stamps
by Michael Harrison, Stamp Collecting, 1947, 52 pages This little publication which was printed on the occasion of the 100th birthday of the famous "Blue and Red MAURITIUS" and tells the story of the
few surviving stamps of this issue known. It contains a little sheet with two reprints of the famous stamps.
Meter Marks of Mauritius
by Patrick Kwan Cheung, self published 2014, 76pp, over 250 illustrations
(available from the author, email firstname.lastname@example.org) Detailed listing with colour illustrations.
Articles in Journals and Magazines on Mauritius Stamps and Mauritius Postal History
June 1994 issue of Gibbons Stamp Monthly, pp 29 - 31
ARISING FROM THOSE BORDEAUX LETTERS by Peter Ibbotson New research by the author provides additional information on the unique Mauritius cover to Bordeaux with the 1d and 2d 'Post Office' stamps.
The cover was sold at an auction in Zurich on 3 November 1993 when it realised 5.75 million Swiss francs or about £2.59 million
(including the 15% buyer’s premium).
January 1995 issue of Gibbons Stamp Monthly, pp 54 - 55
MAURITIUS - THE 1925 LOCAL SURCHARGES by Peter Ibbotson There was a reduction in postal rates on 1 October 1925 on Mauritius. As a result stamps and postal stationery were overprinted
pending the arrival of new printings. The author examines in detail the items which were overprinted.
April 1996 issue of Gibbons Stamp Monthly, pp32 - 33
NEW LIGHT ON SOME MAURITIUS POSTAL MARKINGS by Peter Ibbotson The author gives details of the post offices opened in 1847 and the handstamps issued for postal marking which were in use during the period 1847
to about 1864. The three postmarks discussed are (i) the 'Penny Post', (ii) the framed two line handstamp with bevelled corners - name of office in italic -
date in roman, and (iii) the numeral in two concentric circles. The first post offices opened in 1847 were Mahebourg, Flacq, Pamplemousses, Souillac, Plain Wilhems,
Curepipe, Ville Bague, Poudre d'or, Grand Bay, Black River and Moka. Additional offices were opened during 1848-51 in Riviere du Rempart, Grand River, Petite Riviere
and Eastern Suburb (Port Loius).