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Tonga

Friday, January 1, 1886

- Independence - Niuafo'ou

British Colony 43
Oceania 5, 5a

Tong1
Tong2
Tong3a
  Tonga #1 #2 #3 xxx

Perforated 12½ (line) or 12 x 11½ (comb), watermark 62 (NZ and small star), typographed.

Description Perforation   Scott S.G. Mi Y&T
January 1, 1886
1 penny carmine rose
12½ x 10
  1b 1a    
2 pence bright violet
12½ x 10
  ? 2a    
1 shilling blue green
12½
  5a 4a    
August 27, 1886
1 penny carmine rose
12½
  1a 1    
2 pence violet
12½
  2a 2    
October 9, 1886
6 pence ultramarine
12½
  3a 3    
1 shilling pale green
12½
  ? 4    
July 15, 1887
1 penny carmine rose
12 x 11½
  1 1b    
2 pence violet
12 x 11½
  2 2b    
October 15, 1888
6 pence ultramarine
12 x 11½
  3 3a    
1 shilling blue green
12 x 11½
  5 4b    

Scott #4, 6 pence orange yellow, was not issued until August 15, 1892.

Tonga 1970
Niuafo'ou 1983
Independence
Niuafo'ou
1970 Sc243 SG315 1983 Sc1 SG1

Tonga, a group of islands in the South Pacific, was a British Protectorate from 1900 until it became independent in June 1970.

Niuafo'ou is a small (6 square mile) volcanic island better known as "Tin Can Island" in memory of its primitive postal history,

"since the island has neither a natural harbor nor a wharf, mail was delivered and picked up by strong swimmers who would retrieve packages, "sealed up in a biscuit tin" and thrown overboard from passing ships. Established in the nineteenth century, Tin Can Mail was developed by a trader named Charles Ramsey and later commercialised by a competitor, Walter George Quensell, who festooned the mail with many colourful cachets that have become a collectors' item. The Tongan government took over this tradition with special Niuafo╩╗ou stamps since 1983". Wikipedia

Sources: ScS, SGS, Wikipedia.

Images from David Olson, mountainstamp.com.

FI ref: 240, 731 Page credit: JA/NB

Page created 19 Feb 2014 Page updated 19-Aug-2017