Competing with Spain, Portugal, the Dutch United Provinces and later England, France began to establish colonies in North America, the Caribbean and India. After suffering a great loss of all the previous conquests, France rebuilt a new Empire in the mid-1800s concentrating chiefly in Africa as well as Indochina and the South Pacific.
Just like Britain and other imperialist nations, France also established a uniform Postal System in the colonies with a uniform Postage stamp or use in the parts of the French colonial empire. Known as Navigation and Commerce Stamps, they were key type stamps issued for the colonial territories of France.
First released in 1892, these stamps were designed by Louis-Eugène Mouchon. The issue uses a standard design featuring allegorical representations of navigation and commerce. The territory name is imprinted in a rectangular box centred at the bottom of the stamp.
In French colonies, it is the first series of territory-specific postal releases. Adding the territory name helped reduce revenue loss incurred when stamps were purchased in colonies with low-value currencies.
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