The Principality, with a mail service made by the French Administration and a specific Monegasque philately, appears as an exception for this dissociation that is unique, because elsewhere philately usually is a branch of the national Post Office.
Within the framework of the Stamp Issuing Office, created on November 6, 1937, MM. Henry GAMERDINGER and Hyacinth CHIAVASSA, the first two Directors, marked the beginning of the Monegasque philately; they were as well Keepers of the Postal Museum. They insisted on the quality of the issues (techniques), the importance of innovations (sizes) and on a necessary specificity (subjects, patrimonial culture).
The first issues gave rise to impressive queues. Monaco philately is noticeable by specific subjects (series of the Princes, the sculptor Bosio, the 1956 marriage), innovative presentations (issues of triangular timbres on 1946, rhombuses and double triangles on 1953, trapezes or small figurines like the 1955 seal) or an evolution of techniques (typography until 1922 and the appearance of the copperplate engraving, heliogravure from 1970 and the use of mixed techniques ingraving/offset from 1992)…
By 1985, about 35.000 collectors were subscribers. Monaco is among the first countries to issue big stamps of art, which are appreciated and constitute an interesting Monegasque and world picture gallery of the patrimony. Numerous international Prizes have been awarded to the Principality for its stamps, due to renowned artists such as SLANIA or ALBUISSON.
Striking events give the opportunity to issue important commemorative stamps: 1997 and the 700 years of the Grimaldi Dynasty in Monaco, the 50 years of the Monegasque Red Cross (1998), the Jubilee of H.S.H. The Prince Rainier III ( 1999 ), Third Millennium and institution of the Euro (1999/2002), the accession to the Throne of H.S.H. Prince Albert II (2005), the wedding of H.S.H. Prince Albert II with Charlene Wittstock (2011), the birth of the Princely children, the 10th anniversary of H.S.H. Prince Albert II's Reign (2015).
While maintaining the usual artists, new draftsmen are used to renew certain subjects and treatments; the copperplate engraving (carving on steel) remains the privileged technique for the stamps of Monaco, beside heliogravure which enables brilliant colors or offset which can be exceptionally decorated with embossing, thermogravure or hot colors. The issue of a self-adhesive booklet with the Grimaldi blazon corresponds to a necessary evolution, but the Office refuses - in spite of a growing competition - to issue fashionable timbres (Lady Di, dinosaurs) or gadgets (quirky sizes, custom stamps…).
The presentation of stamps in small sheets - generalized from 1997 - takes into account the dimension of the collecting albums and favors illuminated edges of sheet which clarify the remembrance and loosen the person with a strong visual sense of stamps; the year appears as well on the high corners of the sheets as in the lower border of every stamp to facilitate the classification; "First day Covers" are illustrated in a different way every year to offer a more exclusive character than in the past. Finally, philatelic folders also position stamps as an appreciated gift.
Monegasque philately maintains an essential tradition, and the big quality of the stamps of Monaco is recognized as for the used techniques, the subjects and the very “reasonable” quantity of stamps printed (from 50 to 200.000 commemorative copies on average); hobby of the Kings and King of Hobbies, this is particularly true since the O.E.T.P. issues are slightly more than 50 a year for a cost lower than 60 Euro.
The Office pursues an accurate policy of service to its customers and subscribers; these last ones are privileged because they are assured to receive each and every stamp or philatelic product issued by Monaco, even though they are in limited edition or quickly sold out.
The Office looking for favor the use of stamps on the outgoing mails of Monaco and to value the collection of the mail figurines of Monaco.
The Stamp Issuing Office set up, from 1997, a service of delivery within 24 hours and free of charge, for the Administration and the companies of the Principality, to favor the use of stamps on the outgoing mails of Monaco and to value the collection of the mail figurines of Monaco.
Symbol of sovereign power, vector of communication, the stamp is above all a passion which is shared around the globe and a qualitative visibility of the Principality which exceeds the dimension of the territory and vehicles positively Monegasque history, tradition and realities.
Office des Émissions de Timbres-Poste © 2019