An Independent principality on the south coast of France. Variously annexed or placed under the projection of different countries it became completely independent on 2 February 1861. When France gained Savoy and the Alpes Maritimes in 1858, Monaco became an enclave in French territory. The first stamps to be used in Monaco were Sardinian issues of 1851-60 and the France issues of 1860-85.
A Sardinian-style circular date postmark was allocated to Monaco and was used on French stamps when they were first introduced. French postmarks including numeral “4222” in a lozenge of dots were introduced in September 1860. Monaco’s first unique stamp designs were issued on 1 July 1885 and it has continued to issue its own stamps since. We recommend the stamp listings in the Yvert & Tellier catalogue, also the excellent Stanley Gibbons catalogue.