Thursday, November 26, 2015

Island Mail and Postage

 

Until 1992, New Islanders were obliged to use Russian postage stamps. However, in 1985, Gordon Slant etched the Roger Putney 10 pence (top) on a copper plate, and printed hundreds of these in his shed near Wigsthorp. New Islanders were already talking about gaining independence from Russia, so these "spirit of Roger" stamps were only used on hand-delivered mail. Only about fifteen are known to exist today.

Gordon Slant also designed the New Island Railways $1 stamp in 1992 but it was never issued. The "dollar" monetary unit was being considered at the time, but was soon changed to the "roger".

Soon after Independence, the Bellingshausen 25-pence was issued by the Ministry of Trade. Ironically, this first stamp honored the man who had claimed the island for Russia, and it is still used today.

Our favorite stamp issue is this set of triangles honoring four of New Island's indigenous creatures...