World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Postage stamps and postal history of Eritrea


Postage stamps and postal history of Eritrea

Italian stamps overprinted for Eritrea, 1893.
A British stamp overprinted for use in Eritrea.

This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Eritrea.

Eritrea is a country in the North East of Africa. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The east and northeast of the country have an extensive coastline on the Red Sea, directly across from Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands are part of Eritrea. Its size is just under 118,000 km2 (45,560 sq mi) with an estimated population of 5 million.

First stamps

The first stamps of Eritrea were overprinted stamps of Italy issued on 1 January 1893.[1] Before that, Egyptian stamps were used at Massawa between 1869 and 1885 and Italian post offices were established.[2]

Colonia Eritrea

The first stamps specifically for Eritrea were stamps inscribed COLONIA ERITREA issued in 1910.[1]

Italian East Africa

Eritrea, Ethiopia and Italian Somaliland formed Italian East Africa on 1 June 1936.[1] Stamps were issued on 7 February 1938 and until 1941.

British occupation

After British forces occupied Eritrea and the other Italian colonies during World War II, British postage stamps overprinted M.E.F. (Middle East Forces) were used. These were replaced by issues overprinted B.M.A. ERITREA or later B.A. ERITREA to reflect the change from British military to British civil administration. Stamps overprinted in this way were in use from 1942 to 1952.


Between 1952 and 1991, Eritrea was federated with Ethiopia.


The first stamps of independent Eritrea were those issued to mark the independence referendum in 1993.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue: North East Africa. London: Stanley Gibbons, 2013, pp. 181-192. ISBN 9780852598764
  2. ^ Rossiter, Stuart & John Flower. The Stamp Atlas. London: Macdonald, 1986, p.278. ISBN 0-356-10862-7

Further reading

  • Bianchi, Paolo. Colonia Eritrea: storia postale (1885-1903). Lugano: Edizioni arte e moneta, 1989 210p.
  • Cadioli, Beniamino. Poste e Comunicazioni della Colonia Eritrea: dall'insediamento in Assab all'occupazione di Massaua (1879-1885). Prato: Istituto di studi storici postali, 1995 ISBN 88-85658-12-1 136p.
  • Carobene, Benito and Cesco Giannetto. Eritrea: interi postali annullamenti e loro valutazione. Milan: Centro Filatelico Internazionale, 1969 79p.
  • Saraceni, Gioacchino. Storia e filatelia dei possedimenti italiani del Mar Rosso e della Colonia Eritrea. Genoa: La Revista Filatelica d'Italia, 1928 24p.
  • Sirotti, Luigi and Nuccio Taroni. Le Occupazioni Britanniche Delle Colonie Italiane 1941-1950: storia postale = Postal History of the British Occupation of Italian Colonies 1941-1950. Rome: Sassone S.R.L., 2006 363p.

External links

  • Postage Stamps of Italian Colonies by Tony Clayton
  • Eritrea: British Occupation (1943-1952) by Revenue Reverend
  • Eritrea: Ethiopian (1952-1991) and Independent (1991-present) by Revenue Reverend

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.