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Get in Shape!


As a young boy collecting stamps I was often more attracted to those with colour and shape rather than rarity. Diamond-shaped stamps from Hungary, Monaco and the Burundi particularly caught my eye.

The stamp on the left is from Hungary 1953, overprinted to celebrate a famous 6 goals to 3 victory by the national team over England at Wembley Stadium.

1962, Hungary, motorised sport set.
Burundi, 1966.

The first diamond-shape stamp was issued by Nova Scotia in 1851.

Tuva, officially now called the Tyva Republic, is a southern Siberian state and now part of the Russian Federation. In the 1930s Tuva issued several diamond- and triangular-shaped stamps. Those shown below are air mail definitives from 1934.

Malta produced the first irregular polygon stamps for Christmas in 1968.

In 1967, to celebrate 100 years of postage stamps in the region, Malaysia issued the stamps below. The ‘stamp-on-stamp’ set features the first Straits Settlements stamp and also displays three attractive native birds – the Burong Siul (crested partridge), a Murai Gajah (Asian fairy bluebird) and a Burong Kunyit Besar (black-naped oriole)

Malaysia likes the trapezoid as a shape for stamps.

This set from 1970 features the Kuantan Satellite Earth Station.

The first polygonal stamps were embossed one shilling examples from Great Britain (1847). They had an upright octagonal shape, subsequently used for the ten pence stamp of 1848-54.

These stamps were usually cut square but many early collectors trimmed them to shape to fit the printed octagons in their stamp albums.

This example of a circular perforated stamp is from Singapore (1980), the set below commemorates the ASEAN submarine cable network linking Indonesia to Singapore.

The shape of the famous Rock of Gibraltar was captured in perforated form on this stamp set from 1969.

And the first ‘free form’ self-adhesive postage stamp definitives were issued for the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

To celebrate the Centenary of the Universal postal Union, Norfolk Island issued this set with island-shaped stamps incorporated into a map of the island.


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