Postage stamps and postal history of Palau

The flag of the Republic of Palau.
Original stamp cancellation marks for the bicentenary se-tenant stamp set.

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

The Republic of Palau is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, 500 miles east of the Philippines and 2,000 miles south of Tokyo.


The islands first used stamps of Germany for the Caroline Islands and then stamps of Japan from 1914 to 1944. The islands then became part of the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific and used American stamps until 1983.


1983 20 cent denomination of the stamps for inauguration of the independent postal service

In 1944, Pelew (Palau) became a trusteeship territory under the United Nations, administered by the USA. The first of the Palauan’s own adhesive stamps were issued in 1983 after they gained sovereignty from the United States.

The inspiration for these unusual bicentenary stamps came from George Keate’s 18th-century book, Account of the Pelew Islands. Polly Cianciolo’s research led to George Keate’s rare book which pictured many Palau scenes dating back to the time when the islands were discovered. The stamp concept tells the story of the August 9, 1783 accidental discovery of the Islands when the English Captain Wilson shipwrecked the East India Company’s packet, Antelope.

The Antelope wreck off the coast of Palau, led to the first recorded encounter, both extended and harmonious, between Palauans and Europeans. This discovery is the theme of Palau’s first postage stamp set.

TOP set of 4 stamps Left: “Captain Henry Wilson”, Middle top: “Approaching Pelew”, Middle bottom: “Englishman’s Camp on Ulong”, Right: “Prince Lee Boo” BOTTOM set of 4 stamps Left: “King Abba Thulle”, Middle top: “Mooring in Koror”, Middle bottom: “Village Scene of Pelew Islands”, Right: “Ludee”

This se-tenant set of two blocks of four stamps, issued in 1983 were designed by New York City designer, Rosemary De Figlio and printed by House of Questa, a security printer in Great Britain. She used a selection of engravings from Keate’s 18th-century book, Account of the Pelew Islands. De Figlio also illustrated the cameo of the Antelope that appears on every one of the 8 unique stamps. The Palau discovery story is detailed in a December 15, 1983, article found in Great Britain’s Weekly Stamp Paper, “STAMP COLLECTING”, titled, “Captain Wilson’s Voyage”, by Barbara Last. That same publication’s front cover featured an image of some of the stamps in color. The se-tenant stamp set received positive reviews from around the world.

In addition there are two original cancellation marks shown here - KOROR 12 June 1984 and Republic of Palau 19 June 1984 with a drawing of the Antelope. Both cancellation marks were designed and illustrated by Rosemary De Figlio.[1]

See also


  1. Palau Islands. Sandafayre Stamp Atlas. Retrieved 7 September 2011.

External links

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