Smaller Default Larger

Visiting Blue Penny museum of Mauritius"A Highly Coveted Land", the Museum's second room, exhibits a wealth of original engravings, charts and artefacts highlighting the main stages of the island's three successive periods of occupation, from the arrival of the Dutch in 1598 to the conquest of the Isle de France by the British in 1810. After this turbulent period, we move to nineteenth century Port Louis. Lithographs, prints and watercolours depict the bustling port, pleasant walks in the outlying areas of the capital and roads swarming with tradesmen and passers-by, amazing aspects of an expanding city, full of shops and attractive buildings. All views are accompanied by comparative present-day photographs which allow the visitor to locate the place within the town. The contrast is striking and brings about a mixture of nostalgia for and attraction of a long bygone age.

The visit continues in a room which will delight enthusiasts of philately and postal history. After a concise and captivating account of the history of the Mauritian postal services, a narrow corridor leads to two of the most famous postage stamps in the world, the one penny orange red. and the two pence indigo blue "Post Office", issued in Port Louis in 1847. The pride of the Blue Penny Museum's collection, these stamps are among the only six unused copies known the world over 2 one penny orange red and 4 two pence indigo blue. A consortium of sixteen Mauritian companies purchased them in 1993 at an exceptional price of US$ 2.2M! Alongside these philatelic gems are exhibited the island's very first stamp issues known as the Mauritius primitives.