Postage stamps and postal history of Cyprus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
A British Penny Red overprinted for use in Cyprus from 1880. (Plate 181)
An 1881 half piastre stamp of Cyprus from the first series designed solely for the island
An unused newspaper wrapper for use in Cyprus
1955 stamps of Cyprus overprinted Cyprus Republic in 1960.

This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Cyprus. The country's postal history is intricately linked to the island's political past.

Ottoman and Austrian postal services[edit]

Postal services existed during the Venetian and Ottoman periods of occupation. Turkish stamps were used on mail from Nicosia from 1871 and stamps of the Austrian post offices in the Turkish empire were used at Larnaca from 1864.[1]

The British administration[edit]

The British administration of Cyprus began on 11 July 1878 and initially British stamps were used which may be identified by the numbered cancels used.[1]

The first postage stamps marked Cyprus were British stamps overprinted CYPRUS from 1880.[1]

The first postage stamps produced specifically for use in Cyprus, rather than being overprinted British stamps, were issued on 1 July 1881.[1]

Postal stationery[edit]

British postcards were first used in Cyprus from 1878, examples of such postcards used in Cyprus are very rare. In April 1880 Great Britain postcards overprinted CYPRUS were issued. Postcards with the name Cyprus in the design were first issued in July 1881. With changes in postage rates and the design different postcards continued to be made available to date.[2]

As with postcards British registration envelopes were made available from July 1878, these were followed by Great Britain overprinted registration envelopes in April 1880 and in 1881 registration envelopes with the name Cyprus in the design were issued. In total over 150 different registration envelopes have been issued to date.[2]

The first newspaper wrappers were Great Britain wrapper overprinted CYPRUS and issued in 1880. This wrapper is commonly found mint; only one complete used copy is known.[3] In 1881 the island was supplied with newspaper wrappers with the word Cyprus in the design. Different designs continued to be produced until 1976, after which they were discontinued.[2]

Pre-printed aerogrammes forms (or air letter as they were inscribed), with a 4½ piastre stamp affixed, were first made available in 1944. Aerogrammes with an imprinted stamp were first made available in 1946 and various designs have been produced since that date.[2]

Modern stamps[edit]

Since 1960, the Cyprus Postal Services have issued stamps in several series per year.

Modern stamps of Cyprus are issued by the Cyprus Postal Services.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue: Cyprus, Gibraltar & Malta. 1st edition. London: Stanley Gibbons, 2004, p. 1. ISBN 0852595840
  2. ^ a b c d Ioannides, Alexander C; Christopher J Podger (1993). Cyprus postal stationery, 1880-1992. Littleton. ISBN 978-0-9638547-0-4. 
  3. ^ Cyprus Circular Post, Vol 15, No 5, May 2005, Cyprus Study Circle

Further reading[edit]

  • Castle, Wilfrid T F, Cyprus, 1353-1986: History, Postal History & Postage Stamps, 1987, 546pp, ISBN 0-85397-418-7
  • Frangoudis, Stephan H, Cyprus Postal Stationery, 1984, 83pp

External links[edit]