Stamp detective: 1930 Mozambique


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Our stamp detective shines the spotlight on a 1930 Mozambique stamp set that looks set to increase in value.

After a long war of liberation, Mozambique finally achieved independence from Portugal in 1975.

Sadly the modern stamp issues of this African nation don’t have a strong following which is partly due to an excessive philatelic programme. However, interest is still strong in the colonial issues of Mozambique.

One of the more elusive sets (SG 321-7) was issued in 1930. The seven stamps were obligatory on mail for certain periods of time in addition to regular postage stamps. The stamps feature a portrait of Joaquim Augusto Mousinho de Albuquerque (1855-1902). He was a cavalry officer and a very competent administrator. After serving in Portuguese India in the 1880s, he was sent to Mozambique where held the position as governor of Gaza Province until 1898.

Sent into exile

Gaza was also a native kingdom ruled by Ngungunyane (ca 1850-1906). He became king in 1884. In the 1890s he rebelled against the Portuguese but it was in this connection that Mousinho de Albuquerque turned out to be a most efficient military commander. The King of Gaza was taken prisoner at Chaimite on 28 December 1895 without firing a shot and sent into exile in Portugal.


The seven stamps show the names of places where battles and skirmishes took place during the rebellion. Albuquerque became one of Portugal’s most famous heroes.

How to get the stamps

Finding this set in mint condition can be quite tricky. Expect to pay some £30 to £50 for a nice mounted mint set. Be sure the check that it is not toned or foxed. Unmounted mint sets are worth substantially more.

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