The History of Aden Stamps

18/02/2018     Aden

FIRST STAMPS India from 1854
CURRENCY 1937, 16 annas = 1 rupee; 1951, 100 cents = 1 shilling.

Breakdown of an attempt to lease Aden from the Sultan of Lahej as a coaling station for the steamship route from Suez to India led to its capture on 19 January 1839 by a combined British and East India Company force. The Kuria Muria Islands, presented to Britain by the Sultan of Muscat in 1854, were placed under Aden in 1868, and various protective treaties were made with local rulers south of the 'Empty Quarter' of Arabia. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 and the arrival of the telegraph (1870) increased Aden's importance and it became the port of exchange for East Africa (1872). 

Aden itself, administered for nearly a century by the Bombay Presidency, was made a Crown Colony on 1 April 1937. 

Postal History
A residency PO was opened under Indian administration in 1839 and mail is known from 15 June 1839. Handstamps came into use very quickly, though a postmaster was not appointed until 1857. The original PO at Crater was called Aden Cantonment or Aden Camp after the main office moved c. 1858 to Steamer Point. Aden became the exchange port for mail between the packets of four or more nations operating through the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean and Far East. Sub-POs were opened at Sheikh 0th-man (1891); Khormaksar (1892); Dthali (1903-7); and Maalla (1924). 

Aden controlled POs at Berbera and Zaila 1887-1902 (see British Somali -land). 

Perim island

Though never a separate postal entity, Perim has for collectors the interest of any island. Its mail was transported by camel dak and small boat. Postcards are known from Perim in the 19th century; its PO was open 1915-36. 

Used stamps of India 1 October 1854 - 31 March 1937 (Early oblit. 124 in diamond of bars). All Aden stamps withdrawn 31 March 1965. 

Qu'aiti State in Hadhramaut

FIRST STAMPS Aden 1937-42.
CURRENCY 1937, 16 annas = 1 rupee; 1951, 100 cents = 1 shilling; 1966, 1000 fils = 1 dinar.

An Arab sultanate bordering on the Gulf of Aden under British protection from 1886. 

Mails were passed through forwarding agents in Aden from 1891. On 22 April 1937 at the request of the sultan a P0 dependent on Aden was opened at Mukalla. Separate stamps became desirable after King George VI's head was added to the stamps of Aden, but were delayed by World War II. A postal union between Aden and the protected states was signed in 1939 by which any stamps were inter-valid. 


Mahra Sultanate of Qishu and Socotra 

Qu'aiti State in Hadhramaut

CURRENCY 1937, 16 annas = 1 rupee; 1951, 100 cents = 1 shilling; 1966, 1000 fils = 1 dinar
FIRST STAMPS 12 March 1967 

Before independence from Britain could be granted to this and the two preceding Eastern Aden Protectorate sultanates on 30 November 1967, they had already fallen to Communist insurgents and were quickly swallowed up by the People's Republic of Southern Yemen. 

Federation of South Arabia

FIRST STAMPS 25 November 1963 (withdrawn 1967)
CURRENCY 1963, 100 cents = 1 shilling; 1965, 1000 fils = 1 dinar

Six sheikhdoms of the Aden Western Protectorate were federated on 11 February 1959; four more joined in 1960. The Federation of South Arabia was planned as a free entity within the British Commonwealth sufficiently strong to stand against subversion and against Yemeni attacks fostered by Egypt. Aden Colony was forced into it against local wishes on 18 January 1963. 

The postal history is an extension of that of Aden. 

Kamaran Island

Had a Turkish P0 until its capture by British forces in 1915. It had a sub-PO of Aden from 1924. The island became part of Southern Yemen in 1967 but was occupied by Yemen Arab Republic in 1972. 

Kathiri State of Seiyun

FIRST STAMPS Aden 1937-42
CURRENCY 1937, 16 annas = 1 rupee; 1951, 100 cents = 1 shilling; 1966, 1000 fils = 1 dinar.

Another Arab sultanate with a similar history. On 25 May 1937 a P0 was opened at Seiyun, and several PAs followed.

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