Postage stamps and postal history of the Azores

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

Nearly all of the stamps issued for the Azores were stamps of Portugal, overprinted "AÇORES", of which the first appeared in 1868, continuing through 1930; after 1930, Portuguese stamps were used unmodified. The exceptions were the Vasco da Gama issue of 1898, the King Carlos issue of 1906, and the King Manuel issue and Manual revolutionary overprints of 1910.

Between 1892 and 1906, the three administrative districts of the Azores had stamps issued inscribed with their names: "Angra", "Horta", and "Ponta Delgada". The designs were identical to those of the regular Portuguese stamps, which were inscribed "CONTINENTE" to distinguish them, and the colors generally the same, with some lighter or darker.

On 2 January 1980, the use of separate stamps for the Azores (and Madeira) was revived. The modern stamps are inscribed both "PORTUGAL" and "AÇORES". The stamps have no special purpose beyond the expression of local pride; all are sold and valid in Portugal. About 5-10 are issued each year, generally with themes relating to the Azores.

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"


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