Monday, February 24, 2014

Singapore Philatelic Museum, aka Stamp Central

Three depictions of Kunqu Opera (China)
My weekend roaming took me to a rather curious gallery - the Singapore Philatelic Museum, otherwise known as the Stamp Museum. Here, postage reigns supreme, as the history of the stamp and its cultural significance is documented in great detail. 

The sleepy museum houses exhibits on its two floors, with the special collections found on the second level. The "Room of Rarities" had many rare and historically significant stamps. I especially loved learning about stamps during World War II. Though the post was continued in Singapore after the Japanese occupation in 1942, the invaders overprinted the stamps by hand-writing Japanese text across the portrain of King George VI. New Japanese stamps with Kanji characters in 1943 were the first time Singapore issued pictorial stamps.


Though it is located in the "Museum District" around City Hall, the museum isn't a traditional tourist spot. The lack of crowds allowed me to peruse the stamps at ease, and one could go through the collections in an hour. The gift shop also had plenty of goodies for the postage enthusiast.

What are your favorites?


The Philatelic Museum, tucked away on Coleman St.


Celebrating holidays from each of the four major religions (Singapore)

Commemorative Gandhi stamp made with khadi cloth, which is handspun and handwoven (India)
Stamps featuring Braille (Portugal)


I think "International Polar Year" is just an excuse to put charming animals on stamps (Japan)
Glo-in-the-dark, really-really-adorable Night Safari stamps (Singapore)

Valentine's Day special issue stamps (with real diamonds), celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Royal Couple (Thailand)

Greetings, with Chinese Zodiac characters (Japan)

This 1973 stamp doubles as a phonograph record that contains native folk songs (Bhutan)

For whatever reason, Bhutan boasts a lot of impressive stamps (Bhutan)

Illustrations from students depicting Islamic behaviours and values (United Arab Emirates)

Coffee-scented stamps? Sign me up (Netherlands)
Tea-scented stamps that smelled delightful (Hong Kong)

Some locally significant architecture (Singapore)

The Penny Black, the first-ever issued stamp on May 1, 1840 (UK)

I have plenty more pictures, so just let me know if you'd like me to post the rest. They are all quite wonderful, and give you a little glimpse into the cultures of countries during various time periods.

1 comment:

  1. What a neat museum to find! The coffee- and tea-scented stamps would probably be my favorite.

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