Benin is a modern country in Western Africa that issues its own postage stamps. There have been two different eras of Benin stamp issuance (excluding the years from 1895 to 1975 when Benin was called Dahomey and issued stamps inscribed with that name):
Benin was a part of the vast French West Africa colony from about 1899 until 1960, when it gained full independence from France. During this entire time, the modern-Beninese area went by the name of Dahomey; this was changed in 1975 to the less politically-volatile Benin.
Beninese stamps offer a great insight into the history of a very large chunk of Africa’s history; as one of eight modern countries that had been absorbed and then released from French West Africa, the history of Benin stamps tells a story of colonialization and independence, as well as the internal strife that has long been such an unfortunate and integral part of so many African states.
French colonial Benin stamps
From 1892 to 1894, France used the stamps it printed for general use in its various colonies, with overprints for Benin. These stamps are inscribed REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE COLONIES POSTES, and the overprints read simply ‘BÉNIN’ or, alternatively, ‘GOLFE DE BENIN’.
People’s Republic of Benin
These are the stamps of the modern country, which was declared independent in 1975. Benin uses the full French name on its stamps — République du Bénin.
Benin has issued some special-use stamps since 1975, including airmail postage and postage due stamps. Check these subcategories, as well as others for specialty Benin philatelic collectibles, including cinderellas, full sheets and souvenir sheets, maximum cards, complete sets, and others. The selection changes daily.
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