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TAAF Stamps

Author: Emil Drkusic
Date: 17/05/2023

TAAF (Terres australes et antarctiques françaises) are known in English as The French Southern and Antarctic Territories. They have an interesting postal history, and today we’ll take a look at some of the first TAAF stamps issued.

Who Claims Antarctica? And TAAF

Seven countries made territorial claims in Antarctica. They are: Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom. Feel free to check more details about these claims in this video:

Among these seven countries we’ve mentioned France. Their territories are the part of TAAF - Terres australes et antarctiques françaises. TAAF includes: Adélie Land, Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Islands, Saint Paul and Amsterdam Islands, Scattered Islands (Glorioso Islands, Tromelin Island, Juan de Nova Island, Bassas da India, Europa Island). Feel free to check more in this video:

TAAF and philately

TAAF territory doesn’t have permanent population and the number of inhabitants ranges from 150 to over 300 in the summer. And, as you could expect, this is "a rotating population of scientists, military personnel and research assistants". - www.euronews.com

TAAF stamps - Longtailed Ground Roller overprint

Longtailed Ground Roller – 1955/10/17

TAAF (Madagascar overprint)

Denomination: 15 ₣ - French franc

TAAF got a territorial status in 1955, and starting with that year we got first TAAF stamps. At the start, France stamps were used. From 1948 to 1955, TAAF used Madagascar stamps. After 1955 and Madagascar independence, TAAF started issuing own stamps. Until 2004, TAAF was administered from France, and now is administrated from the island of Réunion.

“TAAF issued her first stamp in late October 1955, a red overprint on the 15 Francs Madagascar Long Tailed Ground Roller ‘Uratelormis’ bird stamp.” - www.sandafayre.com

As you could expect, most of the motifs are closely related to Antarctica, so you’ll see a lot of penguins, and seals, not only on older issues, but also on newer issues.

TAAF stamps - Penguins, Seals - series

Penguins, Seals - series – 1956/04/18

TAAF – first stamps

Rockhopper Penguin (0.50 ₣), Rockhopper Penguin (1 ₣), St. Paul, New Amsterdam (5 ₣), St. Paul, New Amsterdam (8 ₣),

Southern Elephant Seal (10 ₣), Southern Elephant Seal (15 ₣)

“In April 1956 TAFF began to issue its own designs. The first were a set of six with values from 15 Centimes to 15 Francs. They showed images of the dramatic indigenous scenery and examples of wild life that live within the territory that includes partially extinct volcanic islands.” - www.sandafayre.com

TAAF stamps - Penguins, Seals - series

Penguins, Seals - series – 1956/04/18

TAAF – first stamps

Emperor Penguin (50 ₣),

Emperor Penguin (100 ₣)

“Two air mail stamps were also issued with values of 50 and 100 Francs that depict Emperor Penguins.” - www.sandafayre.com

TAAF stamps - International Geophysical Year

International Geophysical Year - series – 1957/10/11


Polar Station, Instruments and Meteorologist (5 ₣, 10 ₣, ₣, 15 ₣)

In 1957, 3 more stamps were added celebrating the International Geophysical Year. These classic stamps had these same motifs (polar station, instruments and meteorologist) and had 3 different color schemas and face values.

Rare TAAF Concorde (1968) Stamp

TAAF stamps - Rare Polar Stamps - Unissued Concorde Stamp

Rare Polar Stamps

(Unissued) Concorde Stamp

TAAF – 1968

87 ₣

Concorde made its first test flight from Toulouse on March 2,1969. Still, the flight had been originally planned for 1968, so TAAF prepared Concorde-related stamps with year 1968 and value 87 ₣. Since that hasn’t happened, stamps were unissued. Still, somehow some found their way to the market, and are pretty rare, and therefore nice add-on to any collection.

When Concorde made first flight in 1969, stamps to commemorate that flight were issued by TAAF, and we have 1969 stamps with the same design (year 1968 had been obviously replaced with 1969), but different face value - 87 ₣.


Today we took a quick look at some rare and older TAAF stamps. While you wait for the new article, feel free to check rare stamps:

UK - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable UK Stamps

France - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable French Stamps

Germany - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable German Stamps

Ireland - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Irish Stamps

Belgium - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Belgium Stamps

The Netherlands - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Dutch Stamps

Australia - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Australian Stamps

Canada - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Canadian Stamps

Spain - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Spanish Stamps

Portugal - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Portuguese Stamps

Israel - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Stamps of Israel

Vatican - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Vatican Stamps

Italy - Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Italian Stamps

Switzerland: Rarest Stamps: Most Valuable Swiss Stamps

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