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Asia

'The mysterious East' has been a magnet to explorers, traders and tourists over the centuries. It stretches from the Middle East, the seat of modern civilization, to the Far East which was hardly explored by Westerners until the 18th and 19th centuries.


Encompassing a wide range of cultures, from the Sumerian civilization, and its clay tablets on which messages were written, to the early Chinese dynasties and the Mongol armies which marched through Russia into eastern Europe, it is probably one of the more difficult continents in which to provide a balanced account of the various territories. The waxing and waning of power over the centuries and the generally loose control which the centralized governments were able to exert meant that teams of messengers had to be employed at a very early stage. Coupled with this, the European demand for products such as silk and spices led to the establishment of overland merchant links even before the Portuguese gained the route to the East by sea in the 15th and 16th centuries.


Because of the Levant's involvement in trade from earliest times and Turkish strength in Europe in the Middle Ages, and up to the end of the Balkan Wars, the continent of Asia has been dealt with by means of a general south-easterly sweep from Turkey, through the Middle East to India and south-east Asia. From modern Indonesia, the progress turns north and finally covers China and Japan.


Russia in Asia, one of the greatest land areas in the world, has followed the postal development of that nation as a whole and is dealt with under Russia in Europe. The special stamps issued in eastern Russia during the Revolution have also been treated under Europe where all the issues of that period are dealt with in one section.


To the south of the continent spreads the expanse of the Indian Ocean, one of the earliest trading routes after the Mediterranean. This section is dealt with after Africa, but in many ways the history of the development of these routes is a subject in itself. Europeans needed to develop under their own control a sea route to the trading centres of south and south-east Asia and this led to the colonial development of southern Africa and the Indian coast.


This, in turn, led to the postal development of the region and philatelic issues which are depicted and explained.



Asia from 1945
Click map for larger view

Select a country:

Aden
Afghanistan
Bangladesh
Bhutan
Brunei
Burma
Ceylon
China
Christmas Island
Cocos Islands
Hong Kong
India
Indonesia
Iran (Persia)
Iraq
Israel
Japan
Jordan
Kampuchea
Korea
Labuan
Laos
Lebanon
Macao
Malaysia
Maldive Islands
Mongolia
Nepal
North Borneo
Pakistan
Palestine
Philippines
Sarawak
Saudi Arabia
Syria
Taiwan
Thailand (Siam)
The Persian (Arabian) Gulf
Turkey
Vietnam
Yemen


Current Stamp Auctions

Highlights


    We offer thousands of items for sale, here are just a few of our favourites...

  • GREAT BRITAIN (QUEEN VICTORIA) - 1867-83 £5 orange on white paper, SG 137, used, skillful repair & perforation faults at lower right edge. Cat £4750

    GREAT BRITAIN (QUEEN VICTORIA) - 1867-83 £5 orange on white paper, SG 137, used, skillful repair & perforation faults at lower right edge. Cat £4750

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  • ITALIAN STATES - PARMA 1859 10c brown, Provisional Govt, Sassone 14 (SG 29, £1400), very fine mint large part OG with 4 margins & very fresh. Signed Schlesinger, cat €2000.

    ITALIAN STATES - PARMA 1859 10c brown, Provisional Govt, Sassone 14 (SG 29, £1400), very fine mint large part OG with 4 margins & very fresh. Signed Schlesinger, cat €2000.

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