150th Anniversary of First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore

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Singapore assumed the seat of government of the Straits Settlements on 1 September 1867. It was also in charge of postal affairs. The first set of postage stamps was issued to commemorate the occasion. These historic stamps are displayed on rotation over the next four months at the Singapore Philatelic Museum. There are also valuable and rare philatelic items of the Straits Settlements.

The exhibits displayed are from SPM’s collection as well as that of private collectors from Singapore and Thailand. Some exhibits are Grand Prix or Gold Medal winning collections at World Stamp Exhibitions.

Visitors to the exhibition can gain useful insights into how the postal system supported the growth and development of our economic and social life in the 19th century.

Postage Stamps : Exhibition at Singapore Philatelic Museum  


Cover with 1854 Indian stamps

Exhibit: Straits Settlement cover with the first issue of 1854 Indian stamps.

This is the only known cover bearing all four values of the 1854 Indian stamps. It was sent from Singapore to Ireland in 1855.

Singapore played a vital role as a postal and communications hub for Southeast Asia, and the rest of the world. My late grandparents and in-laws who were new migrants to Singapore were able to stay in touch with the families in China through letters. That was the only channel of communication then.

SPM postage stamps

Initially, their letters were sent through clans or a medical hall. The letters were collected and passed to anyone who was returning to the village. It could take weeks to receive a letter from home. For a faster delivery. they switched to affixing postage stamp on their mail.

My late father-in-law kept all his correspondence arranged neatly in a box. Most of the letters have turned brown due to the humidity of our weather. The old postage stamps look fine though.

1 Sept 1867 postage stamp
I was fascinated with this exhibit as there are only three blocks of these stamps available in the world. It could worth the value of a condominium in Singapore.

Postage Stamps : Keepsakes

SingPost launches a new commemorative stamp issue of the same theme – “150th Anniversary of First Postage Stamp Issued in Singapore” on 1 September 2017.

SingPost postage stamps

Visitors can buy the following keepsakes during the exhibition period.

  •  A limited edition catalog. Price S$50
  • A series of postcards. Price: S$10 for a strip of four.
  • Special Exhibition Souvenir Covers.  Price: S$3

The exhibition “150th Anniversary of First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore”, is jointly organized by the Association of Singapore Philatelists.

150th Anniversary of First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore
1 September 2017 to 1 January 2018
Singapore Philatelic Museum
23-B Coleman Street, Singapore 179807

Monday – Sunday
10 am to 7 pm

Free admission for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents

Admission charges for foreigners:

Adults:                        S$8
Child (3 -12 years)    S$6

Tel: 6337 3888

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