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Ethiopia Stamps and Ethiopia Postal History


Ethiopia, also known in the past by the name Abyssinia, has always been an independent nation, apart from a brief period from 1936 to 1942. The first known kingdom in Ethiopia is known to to have been established sometime about 800 BC and there have been a sucession of kingdoms since then. In the 19th century scramble for Africa it was the only African country to resist a European colonial power and retain its sovereignty.

As part of an invasion the British established a field post office at Massawa (then a port of Ethiopia) in November 1867, using stamps of British India. The territory of Harar was taken by Egypt in 1875, and in the following year a post office was established; letters from there used Egyptian stamps canceled with a maltese cross.

Ethiopia first issued postage stamps on 24 November 1894. These stamps were valid only for local mail and mail to Djibouti. Prior to the admission of Ethiopia to the UPU in 1908, international mail from Ethiopia had to be additionally franked with stamps of UPU members. The mail was generally sent via Djibouti in French Somaliland.

Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1895, the Italians were defeated and over 1,900 Italian troops were taken prisoner of war. They were held in captivity until a peace treaty was signed in Ocober 1896.

Postal Stationery postcards were first issued in September 1896. This printing lasted till 1906 including overprinting in 1901, 1903 and 1905.

French Post Offices operated in Ethiopia, in Addis Ababa, Harar and Dire Dawas, from 1906 and these were closed when Ethiopia joined the UPU on 1 November 1908.

Ethiopia was annexed by Italy on 9 May 1936. In May 1936, Italy issued seven colonial stamps inscribed "ETIOPIA" and depicting Victor Emmanuel. Ethiopia was then incorporated in Italian East Africa with Eritrea and Italian Somaliland until the territory was liberated in 1941. The Emperor was restored in January 1942.

In 1952 Eritrea was federated with Ethiopia.

A coup d'etat on 12 September 1974 deposed Emperor Haile Selassie; the military took over the country and proclaimed a republic.

Ethiopia 1952 Federation with Eritrea

Philatelic Societies for collectors of Ethiopia Stamps and Ethiopia Postal History

Ethiopian Philatelic Society
The Ethiopian Philatelic Society (EPS) is a non-profit club with its membership open to anyone interested in collecting postage stamps, covers, and related material of Ethiopia. The major service to members is their medal-winning, 30-page or more quarterly bulletin titled Menelik's Journal.

New Issues of Ethiopia stamps

Direct contact for new issues of Ethiopia

Ethiopian Postal Service

Selected pages on Ethiopia Stamps and Ethiopia Postal History

Ethiopia 1919 Empress Zauditu Postage stamps and postal history of Ethiopia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ethiopia – Its Postage Stamps, Post Office, Postal Service and Postal Museum
By Peter Jennings FRPSL, FRGS
The vibrant Ethiopia of today is completely unlike the dramatic images of the country depicted by Bob Geldof and Live Aid in 1985, as GSM correspondent Peter Jennings FRPSL, FRGS, found when he visited the capital Addis Ababa and the headquarters of the Ethiopia Postal Service during January 2012

Doig's Ethiopian Stamp Catalogue
Comprehensive details about the stamps, postal stationery, postmarks, revenue stamps and officials of Ethopia.

Ulf Lindahl's early Ethiopia Gold Medal Exhibit
Link to the Synopsis only. To see the rest of the exhibit go to the Ethiopian Philatelic Society website where you find 6 other links, one for each frame.

Ethiopian Stamps & Postal History
by Daryl Reiber Postage stamps, Air Mail, Cinderella, Express Mail and Metered Mail are covered on this website.

The Antonius Ra Collection Presents: Ethiopia

International Postage Meter Stamp Catalog/Ethiopia
The first meter was installed in 1933. All stamps are inscribed “ETHIOPIA” or “ETHIOPIE”.

Arthur Maury
Arthur Maury was a Paris stamp dealer who helped produce the Ethiopian 1895 issue and the 1896 postage dues then sold the remainders at a discount in 1900.

Books on Ethiopia Stamps and Ethiopia Postal History

Ethiopia 1867-1936 - History, stamps and postal history
by Roberto Sciaky, published 1999 by Vaccari, 224 pages, 3 maps, 16 colour plates, over 200 black and white illustrations.
a Book Review by Giorgio Migliavacca

by Frederick John Melville, published by C Baldwin, c 1908

An introduction to the stamps of Ethiopia, from the Queen of Sheba, to Ras Tafari, to the Third Millenium
by Giorgio Migliavacca, self published, 2011

Handbook of the Postage Stamps of the Empire of Ethiopia and Her Postal System
by Ivan Ader, published by David Broberg, 1961.

Ethiopia - Tewodros to Menelik - Postal history from the Napier expedition to the independent Imperial Post 1867-1908
by Roberto Sciaky, published by Vaccari, 2002

About Abyssinian stamps
by Douglas B Armstrong

The Stamps of ETHIOPIA, Handbook Part 2
by Adler, 1968

Ethiopia Postmarks & Cancellations to 1936
by Payne & Cockrill, 1981