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The Stamps and Postal History of Mauritius

Mauritius’s first stamps were issued on 21 September 1847 and are the most famous in philatelic history. The 1d orange-red & 2d deep blue imperforate stamps inscribed “POST OFFICE” were printed on the island by a character called Joseph Barnard who produced a small printing plate with just one impression each of the 1d & 2d. The inscription was probably not a mistake as it simply followed the wording on the current postmark but it was changed the next year to “Post Paid” when a new plate of 12 impressions of each value was made, again by Mr Barnard.


There were 500 of each stamp available, issued in time to send out invitations to a ball at the Government House the following day. Of these 1000 stamps only 27 are known to have survived. The finest unused 2d is in the Royal Collection, purchased by the Prince of Wales (later King George 5th) and is the source of the famous anecdote “I know how interested Your Royal Highness is in stamps. Did you happen to see in the newspapers that some damned fool had given as much as £1400 for one stamp?” to which the somewhat tight reply came forth “I was that damned fool.”


Mauritius can offer so much to the stamp collector and postal historian from its evocative classics to the elegant stamps printed by De La Rue throughout much of the Victorian era which included a number of surcharges and many watermark errors amongst much else, the 20th Century with its own versions of the colonial key plates supplemented by unique designs, and from the 1950s the flourishing pictorials which amply illustrate this magical island. The postal markings have been well documented and are of great interest to collectors, for those we would recommend “The Postal History of Mauritius” by Edward B. Proud.

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  • Lot 459 (Public Auction #8334)

    Saturday 11th June 2022, 07:00

    Est. £120 - £150

    Buyer's Premium Applies

    MAURITIUS - 1858-1900 COLLECTION incl. 1858-62 (6d) vermilion plus both unissued values mint; 1859-61 6d blue and 1s vermilion imperfs used; 1860-63 set to 9d used; 1863-72 range to 1s (2 different...
  • Lot 460 (Public Auction #8334)

    Saturday 11th June 2022, 07:00

    Est. £65 - £80

    Buyer's Premium Applies

    MAURITIUS - 1859-1883 USED COLLECTION WITH POSTMARK INTEREST stamps selected for nice strikes of 'B53' cancel, plus some 'B32', 'B41', 'B45', 'B48' & 'B49' cancels also seen. Includes 1859-61 6d bl...
  • Lot 461 (Public Auction #8334)

    Saturday 11th June 2022, 07:00

    Est. £65 - £80

    Buyer's Premium Applies

    MAURITIUS - 1902-82 COLLECTION of mint and used, incl. 1902 12c on 18c used, 1902 overprinted set to 50c, 1904-07 set to 50c, 1901 set to 1R, 1913-22 to 1R, 1921-26 Arms set to both 20c, 1921-34 KG...
  • Lot 462 (Public Auction #8334)

    Saturday 11th June 2022, 07:00

    Est. £45 - £55

    Buyer's Premium Applies

    MAURITIUS - 1937-1953 USED COLLECTION incl. 1938-49 set with shades, perf & paper types incl. 2.50r (x3) & 5r (x2), 1950 set, 1953-58 set etc. S.T.C. £340. (69 stamps)
  • Lot 463 (Public Auction #8334)

    Saturday 11th June 2022, 07:00

    Est. £40 - £50

    Buyer's Premium Applies

    MAURITIUS - 1953-71 USED COLLECTION incl. 1953-58 definitive set (plus 1963-65 watermark changes), 1965 Birds definitive set, 1967 Self-Government set, 1969 definitive (less 2R50 but plus a few gla...
  • Lot 783 (Kwik-Bid #4334)

    Monday 30th May 2022, 16:30

    Est. £40 - £50

    Buyer's Premium Applies

    MAURITIUS - 1859 2d blue 'Lapirot' used, faults, but a reasonable spacefiller
  • Lot 784 (Kwik-Bid #4334)

    Monday 30th May 2022, 16:30

    Est. £30 - £35

    Buyer's Premium Applies

    MAURITIUS - 1900-05 1R grey-black and carmine, SG 153, fine cds used.
  • Lot 785 (Kwik-Bid #4334)

    Monday 30th May 2022, 16:30

    Est. £24 - £26

    Buyer's Premium Applies

    MAURITIUS - 1900-05 6c purple & carmine on red WMK INVERTED,SG 146w,fine mint
  • Lot 786 (Kwik-Bid #4334)

    Monday 30th May 2022, 16:30

    Est. £40 - £44

    Buyer's Premium Applies

    MAURITIUS - 1903 Express Delivery 15c on 15c, SG E2, fine mint.
  • Lot 787 (Kwik-Bid #4334)

    Monday 30th May 2022, 16:30

    Est. £25 - £30

    Buyer's Premium Applies

    MAURITIUS - STAMPS PICTURED on philatelic postcard (Zieher, c.1905), unused.

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