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Visiting Blue Penny museum of Mauritius

The second room of the museum is named "A Highly Coveted Land", and 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.

The collection then moves on to 19th century Port Louis, with lithographs, prints and watercolours depicting the bustling port, pleasant walks in the outlying areas of the capital and roads swarming with tradesmen and passers-by, and all the amazing aspects of an expanding city, full of shops and attractive buildings. All of these images are accompanied by comparative present-day photographs and the contrast is striking and can elicit a mixture of nostalgia and yearning for a bygone age.

The tour continues in a room that will delight enthusiasts of philately and postal history. Following a concise and captivating account of the history of the Mauritian Postal Service, the visitor is led to two of the most famous postage stamps in the world: the one penny orange red, and the two pence indigo blue, the so-called "Post Office" stamps, issued in Port Louis in 1847. These stamps are the pride of the Blue Penny Museum's collection, and are the only unused copies known to exist in the world. A consortium of sixteen Mauritian companies purchased the 2 one penny orange red’s and the 4 two pence indigo blue’s in 1993 at an extraordinary price of USD 2.2 million! Alongside these philatelic gems, the exhibition includes the island’s very first stamp issues known as the Mauritius primitives.