Falkland Islands

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The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean.

Early mail service depended on ships connecting to the Brazil packet via Montevideo,the earliest recorded letter dates from 28 January 1827. From 1852 to 1880 a schooner called about every two months.

In October 1877, the Secretary of State of the Colonial Office, the Earl of Carnarvon began the application for the Falkland Islands to join the General Postal Union (renamed Universal Postal Union in 1879).

Before 17 July 1861 letters had to be paid for upon delivery to the ship, and from 1868 prepaid franks are known, issued by local officials acting as postmaster. The first stamps, 1d, 6d, and 1 shilling values featuring the usual profile of Queen Victoria, were issued 19 June 1878. Unusually for a British colony, the first stamps were not on watermarked paper, but this was rectified in 1883. Additional values of this design appeared from time to time until 1896.

The first post office opened in Stanley in 1887.

On 1 January 1891 a need for 1/2d stamps resulted in the authorization of bisection and surcharge of existing 1d stamps. 1/2d stamps arrived in September, but the bisects were allowed until 11 January 1892, in order to use up existing stocks.

In 1929 a first pictorial design appeared, featuring small images of a whale and penguins beneath the profile of George V. This was followed up by the much-admired centennial issue of 1933, a series of 12 stamps featuring local scenes and wildlife evocatively rendered, a full set is today priced at about £3250