Ongoing exhibition features first postage stamps issued by Singapore Post Office

An ongoing exhibition exploring early Singapore postal history—dating back to 1867, when Singapore became a Crown colony—is on display until the new year.

The four-part exhibition is being organized by the Singapore Philatelic Museum and Association of Singapore Philatelists in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the first postage stamps issued by the Singapore Post Office (known as Singapore Post since 1992). Among the highlights of the first portion of the exhibition, which was held Sept. 1-Oct. 1, was a cover with postal usages of Singapore’s first provisional stamps on their first day of release, Sept 1, 1867.

“This exhibition offers an important insight into Singapore’s postal history,” said Tresnawati Prihadi, general manager of the museum. “We hope that visitors will gain useful insights into how the postal system supported the growth and development of Singapore’s economic and social life in the 19th century.”

UNDER BRITISH INDIAN RULE

Before 1867, when Singapore became a Crown colony (known as a British Overseas Territory since 2002) and assumed control of its postal services, it used stamps issued by India as it was under the administration of the British East India Company since the early 19th century. Because of its history with British India, the Singapore Post Office issued stamps with values used on the currency of the Straits Settlements, which was also under the administration of the British East India Company.

SINGAPORE POSTAL HISTORY

During the 19th century, Singapore played an integral role as a postal and communications hub for states and countries across Southeast Asia. All incoming and outgoing written correspondences between the region and the rest of the world were sent through Singapore, according to exhibition organizers. The exhibition’s items were sourced from private collectors as well as the Singapore Philatelic Museum Collection.

Admission to the exhibition is free for Singaporeans and permanent residents but S$8 for all other adults and S$6 for children. The Singapore dollar is nearly at par with the Canadian dollar.

A five-stamp set was issued by Singapore Post to mark 150 years of Singapore administering its own postal service.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

The exhibition, which includes more than 2,000 artifacts altogether, also features postal stationery, revenue stamps and postcards (for the deltiologists among us).

The second portion of the exhibition, held Oct. 1-29, was entitled “Straits Settlements Stamp Issue, 1867-1899,” and the current portion—entitled “Queen Victoria Postal Stationery”—is running until Dec. 3. The final portion of the exhibition, “Straits Settlements from Pre-stamp to 1900,” will be held Dec. 1-Jan. 1.

In celebration of the exhibition, Singapore Post issued a set of five commemorative stamps marking the 150th anniversary of Singapore’s postal history. A stamp collection is also available. For more information, visit shop.singpost.com.

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