Postage stamps and postal history of Ascension Island

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The first Ascension stamps were overprinted stamps of Saint Helena.

Ascension Island is an island in the South Atlantic Ocean, a dependency of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena. Like other British territories, it issues its own postage stamps, which provide a source of income for the island from sales to overseas collectors, as well as being used for domestic postage.

Early days[edit]

Originally mail was carried on an irregular basis as ships called. A datestamp was in use from February 1858, and in 1863 the Union Steamship Co. began regular carriage of mail, continuing until 1977. On 3 March, 1867 British postage stamps became valid for Ascension mail, and continued in use until 1922, when Ascension became a dependency of Saint Helena.

A 1938 stamp showing a view of "The Pier".

First stamps[edit]

On 2 November 1922, nine stamps of St. Helena overprinted "ASCENSION" replaced British stamps. These were followed up in 1924 by a series of 12 using the St. Helena design, but inscribed for Ascension. In 1934 a pictorial series of ten engraved stamps depicted various views of the island.

George VI[edit]

In 1938 the pictorials were re-issued with a portrait of George VI replacing his father's image. Various colour, perforation, and watermark changes ensued, with the last being issued in February 1953.

Queen Elizabeth[edit]

A new definitive series of 13 in 1956 resembled the previous stamps, but was a little taller, and used maps and pictures of native animals in addition to local scenes. No further stamps were issued until 1963, when there was a series of 14 featuring birds.

From 1963 on, commemorative and special issues started to appear more frequently. In the 1990s the typical policy was to issue 5-6 sets per year, each consisting of 4–5 designs.

A cover mailed during the visit by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1957.

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Attwood, J.H. Ascension: The Stamps and Postal History. London: Christie's-Robson Lowe, 1981. ISBN 0-85397-197-8
  • Proud, E. The Postal History of Ascension, St Helena and Tristan Da Cunha. Proud-Bailey Co. Ltd., 2005. ISBN 1-872465-33-1

External links[edit]