Recently the press has been reporting on the €1,300,000 sale of the Mauritius 1847 1d & 2d “Post Office” printing plate, in the same auction a cover bearing two of the 1d stamps sold for €2,500,000!
So how about buying something equally rare from Mauritius but for a tiny fraction of these stratospheric prices?
Mauritius has been one of the most deeply researched and collected small British colonies for well over a century. The postal history and cancellations of this exotic isle have been sought out by generations of talented collectors and the sum of much of their hard work and dedication was best pulled together and enhanced by that talented philatelic author Edward B. Proud in his 2001 work “The Postal History of Mauritius” (ISBN 1 872465 323).
This 448pp work attempts to cover the postal history of the British administrative period from 1810 onwards and shows of the 5 different pre- stamp postal handstamps of Port Louis none were in use concurrently with Mr Proud showing his type PS5 with a latest known date of 15/8/1834, and his PS6 first known applied on 1/1/1838. A respected collector states that he's seen two PS5 later than Mr Prouds records but sadly the exact dates were not recorded and nor were copies made.
A new postmark has now comes to light, a large circular handstamp applied to an entire letter written on the 3rd June, the postmark reading 10th June 1835 ("JUIN" unusually being in French) sent from Port Louis to Bordeaux. After all these years a newly discovered pre-stamp postmark! As so much collecting and research has already occurred it is hard to imagine another exists, after all this time the existence of this date stamp has remained undetected by every collector and museum.
It may be that the French date caused the datestamp to be extremely short-lived. We are hoping that further research may one day reveal the truth.
If you are tempted to own this Mauritius rarity then we suggest you get in touch with us! Once sold it may disappear from the market for another generation, or even another 180+ years!