History of Iranian Stamps


Iran was one of the first countries in the world to issue postage stamps 150 years ago at the beginning of the Ghajar dynasty.


Thanks to their colourful and intricate designs, often adorned with beautiful calligraphy, Iranian postage stamps have long been popular with collectors including famous names such as Count Ferrari and Keay Tapling.


Up until 1979, during the reigns of the Shahs, stamp sets were issued commemorating the different kings as well as celebrating the country’s rich cultural and artistic heritage. Wildlife, carpets, women’s costumes and local celebrities were all featured.


After the fall of the Shah, the post-revolutionary Islamic Republic Government made particular use of the country’s stamps to deliver its political, religious and social message – both nationally and internationally. As a result, Islamic Republic stamps released since 1979 reflect the changing political, cultural and religious attitudinal shifts of the past three decades.


The origin of Iranian stamps In 1865, King Nasser ed din shah returned home to Iran after a stay in Europe and sent a delegation to France to meet with famous designers to discuss producing some stamps for his country.


Original samples provided by Rister were rejected as they were deemed too clichéd. However, later samples from Albert Barre were accepted and published in four colours: Violet, Green, Blue and Red. They featured the national Iranian government symbol – a lion, sword and sun, surrounded by a circle. They were first printed and officially used in the Iranian Postal Service in 1868.


These were the first King’s stamp sets and stamp publishing continued in that dynasty with commemorative sets celebrating the lives of Nasser ed din Shah’s successors Mozaffar ed din Shah, Mohammed Ali Shah and Ahmad Shah.


There are over a dozen Iranian stamp eras, but they tend to be classified into four main ones:

1st era: from 1868 – Ghajar dynasty

2nd era: from 1925 – Pahlavi the first dynasty (King Reza Shah)

3rd era: from 1941 – the second Pahlavi (King Mohammed Reza Shah)

4th era: from 1979 – the Islamic Republic of Iran Stamps from the first and second eras are particularly rare and valuable.





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