World Stamps

Collectors of French Polynesia covet this historic set

Apr 11, 2018, 4 AM
The 1958 French Polynesia Island Scenes set of nine (Scott 182-190) is in demand and is a good buy in the $18-to-$25 price range.

Tip of the Week — By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

By the near unanimous accounts of all who have been there, French Polynesia is one of the loveliest spots on earth. This sprawling overseas collectivity of France in the South Pacific Ocean comprises 118 islands and atolls, 67 of which are inhabited. About 70 percent of the population lives on Tahiti, the largest island.

French Polynesia issued its first stamps in 1892, and it remains an active issuer of stamps today.

In 1958, French Polynesia issued a set of nine Island Scenes stamps denominated from 10 centimes to 20 francs (Scott 182-190). The designs depict a Polynesian girl playing guitar, a Polynesian man in headdress, and a Polynesian girl collecting shells on the beach.

The low-face value stamps were standards in stamp and approval packets of the day and found their way into many childhood collections.

Today, the set is popular with collectors of France and Colonies and Polynesian topical collectors, as well as with those with a nostalgic bent who remember them from their youthful collections.

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The 2018 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values the set at $27.55 in mint never-hinged condition. Although in demand, this is not a difficult set to find, and it is a good buy in the $18-to-$25 price range.