Quick reference

General issues: French colony 1892-1907, French overseas territory 1997-2003, French overseas collectivity 2003-20111

Country name on general issues: Mayotte

Currency: 1 Franc = 100 Centimes 1892-1907 and 1997-2001, 1 Euro = 100 Cent 2002-2011

Population: 10 000 in 1909, 212 000 in 2012

Note: In this profile for several locations the names given by the French have been used since these would be the names collectors are most familiar with. For current names please refer to the map.

Political history Mayotte

Postal history Mayotte

Please click on the image to enlarge

Mayotte is one of the Comoro Islands located in the Mozambique Channel off the east African coast. In the 19th century, Mayotte is at times part of Madagascar, ruled by the sultanates on the neighboring islands of Anjouan and Mohéli, and, for a time, an independent sultanate. Mayotte is annexed by the French in 1841 to become a French colony. As such, it serves as the center for the administration of several other French possessions in the area. Thus, from 1843 to 1885, the French possessions off the coast of Madagascar – Nossi-Bé and Sainte Marie de Madagascar – are administered from Mayotte, from 1886 until 1908, the French protectorates of Anjouan, Grande Comore and Mohéli[1]The current Ndzuwani, N’Gazija and Mwali. and, finally, from 1897 to 1908 the Glorioso Islands. From 1908, Mayotte and the French possessions administered from Mayotte, will  be administered from Madagascar to which they will be attached in 1912.

Mayotte will be part of Madagascar until 1946 when the French empire is reorganized. Madagascar becomes a French overseas territory and the Comoro Islands are detached from Madagascar as the separate French overseas territory of the Comoros. When the Comoros are about to gain independence in 1975, it is decided, through a referendum, that Mayotte will remain French as a French overseas territory, from 2003 a French overseas collectivity. In 2011 – again through a referendum – it is decided that Mayotte is to become a French department.

Mayotte, being detached from the Comoros in the 1970’s, met with opposition from the Comoros. A United Nations resolution to join Mayotte with the Comoros was vetoed by France. The Comoros claim Mayotte until today.

Postal history Mayotte

Postal history Mayotte

1892 – Standard Navigation & Commerce design

The first stamps used on Mayotte are the general issues for the French colonies from the mid 19th century. Stamps are issued for Mayotte from 1892 until 1907 – these are all of the common design for the French colonies. These stamps will be used until 1911 when they are superseded by the stamps of Madagascar. The remaining stock of Mayotte stamps has been reissued with an overprint – a new face value – in 1912 by Madagascar for use in all of Madagascar. On Mayotte, the stamps of Madagascar are superseded by the issues of the Comoros from 1946. Once Mayotte has become a separate French overseas territory in 1976, it will use the stamps of France until 1997. In 1997, Mayotte gains the right to issue stamps of its own and thus, stamps will be issued until 2011, when Mayotte becomes a French department and will once again use the stamps  of France.


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