Imperforate sheetlet (5s) from Pabay, issued in 1969 and depicting Abyssinian cats.
Cancelled-to-order (CTO) condition (see our glossary page for an explanation of what CTO means).
Poorly served by the GPO at the time, Pabay – an island off the coast of Skye – issued its first local carriage label in 1962, to cover the cost of transporting the inhabitants’ mail to the mainland.
By the late 1960s, however, many thematic Pabay issues were being produced, with more of an eye on collectors than the island’s postal needs. Refreshingly, Pabay’s own website admits that many of these issues featured “totally inappropriate subjects”.
When Pabay was acquired by new owners in 1971, the island’s stamp issuing programme reverted to more sensible volumes and themes, though since 1999 the number of new Pabay issues has again increased – albeit with attractive designs, and topics more relevant to the island’s heritage and wildlife. As of 2016, Pabay continues to release new issues.