Republic of Cyprus
Cyprus Post

History of the Cyprus Stamps

Cyprus boasts that it has besides a rich history starting from the 9th millennium BC, a very interesting postal history starting from the 15th century when the Venetian organized and held regular postal communications to and from Cyprus. Letters sent from merchants, knights of the Order of the Templars and embassies of Cyprus since 1847 and onwards are preserved until today.

After 1845 the Austrian post office used two postmarks in Larnaca for sealing letters sent from Cyprus without stamps. Lloyd’s used another stamp for postal purposes as well.

It seems that during the Turkish occupation of the island a Turkish office opened in 1871 until 1878, when Cyprus fell into the hands of the British who were the first to officially organize the postal service on the island.

The British opened post offices in the six cities of Cyprus and supplied them with postal seals. The seals were circular, they were dated, whereas the stamps on the letters were canceled with another oval stamp that bore a distinctive number for each city.

The first exclusively Cypriot stamps, overprinted with the word "CYPRUS", were released on 1st April 1880. The series consisted of 6 English and stamps depicting Queen Victoria of England.
On 1st July 1881, the first purely Cypriot stamps were in circulation, with the same display, however with the word “Cyprus” printed.

In 1928, a formal series of 10 stamps circulated on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the British government of Cyprus. The then Governor of Cyprus Lord Winster commented that they were the best stamps that were ever issued from a colony.

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