Monday, June 16, 2008

Stamp Issuer - Anjouan

Anjouan, 1892 (Scott #1)
Digitally Enhanced

Anjouan is the French name for the island known as Ndzuwani. The small island is located in the Indian Ocean and has been associated with the Union of Comoros islands, although it has experienced several changes of government and juntas recently. This is of little impact to the philatelist, as stamps were only issued for Anjouan for a short period of time, and it is now considered a "dead country".

In the 1500s, the Sultanate of Ndzuwani was established on the island. French help was requested in the 1800s to help protect the sultanate from rivalries, and this ultimately led to French protection in 1886. In 1912 the Anjouan and the other Comoros Islands were annexed by France and administered by the French colonial governor of Madagascar. After World War II, Anjouan and the Comoros Islands became French overseas territories. Finally, in 1975, Anjouan sought its independence from France and joined the Union of the Comoros (islands).

In the last 10 years or so, Anjouan has seceded from Comoros control, experienced government overthrow, and have recently rejoined the Comoros Islands under threat of military action. All in all, the last decade has been tumultuous for the island and its people.

From a philatelic standpoint, we are only concerned with early years of Anjouan's status as a French colony.

The first stamps with the name of the island were the very common French Navigation and Commerce stamps which were issued for use in French colonies. The name of the stamp colony was printed in the blank tablet as "Sultanat d'Anjouan". These stamps were issued between 1892 and 1907.

In 1912, surcharged variations of some of these stamps were issued. The surcharges are for either 5 or 10 centimes, and are boldly overprinted on the stamp.

In 1914, stamps of Madagascar began being used for Anjouan, so no more stamps were issued for the country.

A total of 30 stamps were issued for the country, all of them being the Navigation and Commerce series.

The stamps of this country are attainable by most. The complete issue in mint, never hinged condition, catalogs for $465 (US). The same stamps in used condition catalogs for $392.

Good luck on collecting these 30 stamps!

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