Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sea Creatures on Stamps

Singapore has a number of stamp issues with sea creatures on stamps, perhaps due to the nature of Singapore being an island state.

Ever since the early days of 1962 (pre-independence), Singapore already had the definitive series featuring sea horse, hariequin fish and other creatures. One of the stamps in this series, the 4 cents 'six banded bard fish' was later 'overprinted' in 1981 to become a 10cents stamp. Both stamps are shown below, and can you spot the overprint?

In 1977, there was another definitive series on marine life, but there wasn't any fishes and the series was about shell creatures instead. There was the 1 cent Lyrate cockle, 15 cents scorpion conch, the 75 cents Troschel Murex (pic below), and others.

In 1989 Singapore was back to featuring fishes, but with a limited set of 4 fishes of 15 cents Clown Triggerfish, 30 cents Majestic Angelfish, 75 cents Emperor Angelfish, and Royal Empress Angelfish. I know not all the fishes belong to the saltwater family but well, at least there is the clown triggerfish! After that the crabs clawed into the pictures in 1992 with 4 crabs; 20 cents Mosaic, 50 cents Johnson's freshwater, 75 cents Singapore freshwater, and $1 Swamp Forest crab. These series are all non-definitive.

The next definitive series with marine creatures was in 1994, featuring corals and reef life. There was 12 stamps in the series from 5 cents cowrie (pic below) to the $10 Octopus coral.

There was fishes again, and this time round the fishes were all marine fish. The series is the 1995 Marine Fish series of 4 stamps, bearing the Local Post Yellow-faced Angelfish (the designers like Angelfishes for some reason), 60 cents Harlequin Sweetlips, 70 cents Lionfish, and $1 Longfin Bannerfish. After the fishes Singapore was back to shell life in 1997. I think they alternate between fishes and non-fishes when featuring the water creatures. The 1997 series had 4 stamps on the different shells; Local 22 cents Drupa morum Roding, 35 cents Nerita chamaeleon, 50 cents Littoraria melanostoma, and $1 Cryptospira elegans.

1 fish (local postage Archer Fish) and 1 crab ($1 orange fiddler) were featured in the 2000 wetland wildlife series but the other 2 creatures were a bird and an otter.

Then we are back to definitive series in 2001 with a number of different marine fishes, including 5 cents moorish idol, 30 cents perlscale, and 80 cents palette tang fish. This set is a bit peculiar because the entire set was not released at a single date. Parhaps it was because of changing postage rates that caused the peculiarities. For example, this 31 cents butterfly fish was released only in 2004, for the second tier of local postage.

Then after the fishes and shell life, Singapore has a set of stamps on 4 dolphins in March 2006, followed by the Shores and reef series of 4 stamps in 2007. Once I have more pictures of these stamps, I will add them.

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