World Stamps

Mauritius 1847 'Post Office' printing plate rediscovered

March 10, 2015 12:02 PM

  • The original copper plate used to print the famous "Post Office" stamps of Mauritius was recently rediscovered and will go on display May 13-16 at the London 2015 Europhilex show.

The copper printing plate for the famous 1847 "POST OFFICE" 1-penny and 2d stamps of Mauritius has been found after 80 years and will be displayed at London 2015 Europhilex, which will be held at the Business Design Center, London, May 13-16 2015.

The Mauritius "POST OFFICE" stamps were the first colonial issues of the British Empire and rank among the world’s greatest and most sought-after rarities.

A total of 1,000 stamps were printed (500 of each denomination) but only 27 examples are known to have survived.

The printing plate disappeared from view for many years and was rediscovered in 1912 when it was described by Alexander J. Sefi in 1912 as "the Greatest Philatelic Treasure existing."

It was acquired by Maurice Burrus around 1930 and was last displayed at the 1935 Silver Jubilee exhibition of the Royal Philatelic Society London.

It then disappeared from view, and for many years it was feared that it had been lost.

However, following the death of Odile Burrus, the niece of Maurice, the plate was rediscovered by the Burrus family and has been entrusted to the care of David Feldman S.A., of Geneva, so that it may again be displayed in public.

David Feldman stated that "handling the sale of the great Mauritius collection in 1993 belonging to Hiroyuki Kanai was no doubt the summit of my philatelic career, but there was always one missing item from this collection: the famous Post Office printing plate.

"What had become of the item and its location was a mystery since Maurice Burrus acquired it privately in 1930. It is at last a great honor and privilege to be able to handle this most elusive item!"

David Feldman S.A. and the organizers of London 2015 are delighted to announce that the plate will be presented at London 2015 along with other related artifacts.

For further details about London 2015 Europhilex, go to