Postage stamps and postal history of Iraq

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

The earliest postal service known in the area of present-day Iraq was operated by Assyria; archeologists have found a large number of commercial letters written in cuneiform on clay tablets, and enclosed in addressed clay envelopes.

The Ottoman Empire had post offices at Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, and Kirkuk around 1863. India operated post offices in Baghdad and Basra from 1868 to 1914. During World War I, British and Indian troops fought their way from Basra to Mosul; they used stamps of India overprinted "I.E.F." on their military mail.

The British overprinted a variety of Turkish stamps during the occupation, a grouping now conventionally called the issues of "Mesopotamia"; for details, see postage stamps and postal history of Mesopotamia.

The postal service of Iraq proper began with the British mandate granted by the League of Nations in 1920.

The first stamps of Iraq were a definitive series that appeared in 1923; the set of 12 included eight different designs depicting scenes and images from ancient history and the present day. They were denominated in annas and rupees, inscribed with "IRAQ" and "POSTAGE & REVENUE". The first stamp depicting Faisal I of Iraq was a 1-rupee value in 1927, followed in 1931 by a series of 13 values.

Independence in 1932 brought a new currency (fils and dinar), and the existing Faisal stamps were surcharged accordingly, and issued on 1 April 1932. These were followed soon after (9 May) by stamps of the previous design denominated in the new currency. The accession of King Ghazi necessitated new stamps, which appeared in 1934; they were of the same design as the Faisal stamps, but with a profile of Ghazi in the vignette.

Due to Ghazi's unexpected death and the infancy of his son, in 1941 a new series was issued featuring local scenery. Along with additional values and color changes issued the next year, the series totals 23 stamps. 1942 also saw the first stamps depicting Faisal II, who was still a young boy. He appears as a teenager in the next series, which was issued in 1948.

Iraq's first commemorative stamps came out in 1949 to mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Postal Union. Faisal's 1953 coronation was also marked by a set of three, along with a souvenir sheet. The last of the Faisal definitives had only partly appeared before the revolution of 1958, and both issued and unissued types were overprinted.

General Qassim's period was noted by the usual round of commemoratives, many featuring him as benevolent leader. Later presidents also appeared, though less frequently. Saddam Hussein, as vice-president, makes a first appearance in a souvenir sheet of 1976, and by the mid-1980s appeared on a great many Iraqi stamps.

The Iraq invasion of 2003 brought the stamp program to a sudden halt, the last Saddam-era issue being a Saddam University stamp on 5 February 2003. Two additional issues were planned, themed "Old Methods of Transportation" and "Popular Industries", and proofs had been made. The printing works were destroyed in the looting, but not the Post Office building, and the proofs survived. The Coalition Provisional Authority subsequently approved the printing of the Transportation stamps, and they were issued 29 January 2004. In the meantime, overprints appeared on various stamps, but none were officially authorized.

ee also

*List of people on stamps of Iraq

References

* Patrick Pearson and E. B. Proud, "The Postal History of Iraq" (Proud-Bailey, 1996) ISBN 1-872465-19-6. Focuses on occupation and mandate periods.

External links

* [http://www.iraq-stamps.com/stamps_gallery/ All Iraqi Stamps organised in albums, full colour images]
* [http://www.maganstamps.co.uk/Niraq.htm Dealer in modern Iraq issues, including much background info]

Sources

* Stanley Gibbons Ltd: various catalogues
* [http://www.jl.sl.btinternet.co.uk/stampsite/home.html Encyclopaedia of Postal History]
* Stuart Rossiter & John Flower: "The Stamp Atlas"


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Postage stamps and postal history of Turkey — Turkey became a republic in 1923, and in the following years, its postal service became more modernized and efficient and its postage stamps expertly designed and manufactured.The Ottoman Empire s early or classic stamp issues between 1863 and… …   Wikipedia

  • Postage stamps and postal history of China — The history of the postage stamps and postal history of China is complicated by the gradual decay of Imperial China and the years of civil war and Japanese occupation in the 1930s and 1940s. Contents 1 Imperial China 2 Revolution and republic 2.1 …   Wikipedia

  • Postage stamps and postal history of Great Britain — This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Great Britain. The postal history of Great Britain is notable in at least two respects; first, for the introduction of postage stamps in 1840, and secondly for the establishment of an… …   Wikipedia

  • Postage stamps and postal history of Nepal — A corner block of eight Nepali stamps from 1881. This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Nepal …   Wikipedia

  • Postage stamps and postal history of Malaysia — A 1905 stamp of Malaya. This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Malaysia. Contents 1 History …   Wikipedia

  • Postage stamps and postal history of Kuwait — The postal history of Kuwait begins around 1775, when the East India Company began an overland desert camel service from the head of the Persian Gulf to Aleppo and Constantinople, as an alternative to slower sea travel around the Arabian… …   Wikipedia

  • Postal history of Palestine — The postal history of Palestine emerges out of its geographic location as a crossroads amidst the empires of the ancient Near East, the Levant and the Middle East. Postal services in the region were first established in the Bronze Age, during the …   Wikipedia

  • Postal history — is the study of postal systems and how they operate and, or, the collecting of covers and associated material illustrating historical episodes of postal systems. The term is attributed to Robson Lowe, a professional philatelist, stamp dealer and… …   Wikipedia

  • List of entities that have issued postage stamps (F - L) — ;See also : List of entities that have issued postage stamps (A E): List of entities that have issued postage stamps (M Z)IntroductionThis is a list of entities that have issued postage stamps at some point since stamps were introduced in 1840.… …   Wikipedia

  • Timeline of postal history — NOTOC This is a timeline of significant events in postal history, including dates relating to postage stamps. Sixteenth Century* 1516 – Henry VIII established a Master of the Posts Seventeenth Century * 1635 July 31 – Charles I made the Royal… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.