General Post Office, MacaoBud's Big Blue
I’m attracted to colonial post office architecture. Macao has preserved a gem! Many of BB’s Macao’s stamps passed through this grand old GPO. Built in 1929, it still functions as the city’s main post office.
Neighboring Hong Kong knocked down their GPO in 1976, replacing Edwardian gingerbread with modernist brutalism. Now the replacement faces demolition too, its harborfront real estate being too valuable for mere postal transactions (I suppose).
Issued in 2019 for the 135th anniversary Macao’s postal service.
Harbors, channels, and rivers played important roles in Macao’s postal history; much of the international mail was transported by steamer (paquebot) to Hong Kong or up the river to Canton. As a consequence, Macao cancels often appear on Hong Kong stamps. The reverse is true, too, although less frequently. Sometimes a Chinese (Canton) cancel can be found on a Macao stamp.
Macao (Macau) cancel on Hong Kong, Paquebot cancel,
Canton cancel on Macao
I found BB’s Macao spaces difficult and often expensive to fill, likely because the Macanese, and the Chinese in general, have become avid stamp collectors. For 1884-5 issues, mint stamps are more readily available than are interesting used examples. The number of world-wide stamp collectors in the 1880s exceeded the stamp-using population of Macao.
Bisects, as is common in Portuguese colony collections, are plentiful. But the supplement pages (below) show only one such.
Census: 148 in BB spaces, 1 tip-in, 71 on supplement pages
Macao (Macau) , a small 6 square mile Portuguese Overseas Territory during the classical period, is located at the mouth of the Canton River off the coast of China, and close to Hong Kong. Today, along with Hong Kong, it is a special administrative district of the People's Republic of China.
(Note: Macao is the spelling used in the Scott catalogue, but Macau seems more prevalent.)
Macao today is known for tourism, and especially gambling casinos. Both Cantonese and Portuguese are official languages.
But back to history. The Portuguese had a permanent settlement by 1557. Portuguese trade and commerce was then restricted to the port of Macau in 1631 by the Chinese. In 1887, an agreement was reached with China that allowed a permanent occupation and government by Portugal in Macau.
During WW II, Macau was not formally occupied by the Japanese, but was required to have Japanese "advisors", none the less.
Portugal finally relinquished all sovereignty in 1999 to China.
Macao Blog Post & BB Checklist