New stamps featuring maps of early Singapore to be released

New stamps featuring maps of early Singapore to be released

Stamps featuring maps of early Singapore Nov 30, 2020
Four new stamps depicting maps of early Singapore will be released on Dec 1, 2020. (Photo: National Library Board)

SINGAPORE: A new stamp collection featuring maps of early Singapore will be released on Tuesday (Dec 1), the National Library Board (NLB) said on Monday.

The maps, obtained from the National Library’s rare materials collection, will be featured on four stamps.

They will each come in four denominations: 1st Local, S$0.70, S$0.90 and S$1.40, NLB said, adding that they can be purchased at any post office, philatelic stores or online at

A First Day Cover and a presentation pack will also available at S$4.80 and S$5.85 respectively.

Among the maps is one drawn in 1604 capturing one of the earliest close-up views of Singapore as an island. It depicts a “Xabandaria”, or harbour master’s compound, on the settlement, as well as the Old Strait and New Strait, which connected the East-West trade routes.

A chart dated 1755 by French hydrographer Jacques-Nicolas Bellin showing the navigational route along the Melaka and Singapore Straits is also featured. The map indicates the main sea channels of Singapore – the OId Strait, the New Strait and the Governor's Strait – that provided passage to ships travelling between the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean.

“Early maps offer a fascinating window into Singapore’s history,” NLB said in a press release.  “Some of these provide material evidence of Singapore’s existence as an important navigational landmark and the place of trade in the maritime crossroads of East and West, long before the arrival of the British in 1819.”

The maps also preserve on record the various indigenous names of ancient Singapore, such as Temasek (“sea town”) and Pulau Panjang (“long island”), as “part of our heritage that live on today”, the board added.

“These maps document Singapore’s early maritime roots, which in turn provide an anchor for our understanding of the development of modern Singapore as a global trading and shipping hub," said NLB.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect corrections from the National Library Board on the prices for the First Day Cover and presentation pack.

Source: CNA/ga