Collecting Easter Island Stamps & Postal History

Collecting Easter Island - Stamps and Postal History

By Steve Pendleton and David Maddock (2014)

Easter Island exerts a fascination well beyond the interests of philatelists, and although this joint publication by David Maddock, based on an original document produced by Steve Pendleton, refers in its title to the collection of the stamps and postal history of this unique island, the manner in which the authors have taken great pains to include a wealth of background information in conjunction with each topic makes it far more than just a philatelic reference work. This publication undoubtedly achieves its objective of providing a complete reference work on the philately of Easter Island.

The introductory chapter “Background” is in effect a potted history of the island, its location, geography and early history, accompanied by maps illustrating its isolation in the Pacific and the layout of the island. It covers the discovery of the island by Roggeveen in 1722, visits by Captain Cook and the French explorer La Perouse, the cession to Chile in 1888, subsequent visits by Thor Heyerdahl and the changes made following the opening of the airport on the island.

The following chapters focus on the Postal History of Easter Island, sub-divided into manageable sections, firstly the period prior to the opening of the first post office on the island in 1953, secondly a detailed chapter on the early survey flights, and associated airmails, from 1951 through to the establishment of regular services between Santiago and Papeete via Easter Island in 1968, and finally postal history for the post 1953 period through to the present day. The chapter on the early survey flights of Roberto Parrague and P.G.Taylor in 1951 provides a wealth of detail for aero-philatelists with extensive background, and unique photographs featuring both protagonists. Many of the earlier items, for which original contents still exist are printed in full, providing first hand details of aspects of life on the island at that time. Every significant item recorded by the authors, including several from the collections of others interested in this area are illustrated in full colour, including a wide range of items from early expeditions, supported by illustrations of the vessels involved.

Further chapters cover other postal history topics, the “secret U.S monitoring station” on Easter Island; Visits by other ships not previous included in the earlier chapter such as the U.S.S Triton, the French “Jeanne D’Arc”; and later cruise liners; and finally a chapter on the series of Air France “Concorde” flights between 1987 and 1999. Again each chapter fully illustrated.

An extensive chapter on “Stamp Issues featuring Easter Island” is sub-divided into two sections, firstly stamps issued by Chile and secondly stamps issued by other countries including the United Nations. Details of each issue are meticulously recorded, each value being shown in full colour.

The publication concludes with smaller chapters dealing with a) Postal Markings – Official handstamps; civilian date stamps; registration markings; Official and other pictorial cachets and Instructional Markings, b) Details of Illustrated covers featuring island views etc – all fully illustrated and very colourful, c)Aerogrammes and Parcel Labels, d) Postcards of Easter Island, including a number of modern, currently available, types, e) QSL cards, f) Other miscellaneous Philatelically related items.

A series of Appendices is included to provide a home for several ancillary topics of interest, the “El Dorado” shipwreck and survival at sea of its crew; Letter from a 1958 visitor detailing life on Easter Island; additional original photographs and covers from the P.G.Taylor 1951 survey flight, and in conclusion details of the “companion” island “Ilsa Salas Y Gomez”.

The Chapters comprise: (1) Background, History and Geography; (2) Early Postal History (to 1953); (3) Aviation; (4) Postal History (from 1953); (5) Americans and APO 09877; (6) Visiting Ships; (7) Concorde; (8) Stamps Issues (A. Chile, B. Other Countries); (9) Postal Markings; (10) Illustrated Covers; (11) Postal Stationery (Aerogrammes, Parcel Labels etc.); (12) Postcards; (13) QSL Cards; (14) Miscellaneous & AppendicesBook Review – Collecting Easter Island Stamps & Postal History.

Review by Bryan Jones. Pacifica 2014 52(208):46.

"I must congratulate the writers on the way it has been produced and laid out. The information is complete and will add more to my more modest collection. I will be looking for other Easter Island items thanks to this book. The printing production is superb and is an easy on the eye read."
ISBN: 978-1-899833-22-1
Size: A4, perfect bound and profusely illustrated throughout in colour
Pages: 216
Price: If you logged in as a PISC Member, you can download via the link below.