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The Isle of Canna’s only local stamp issue, produced in 1958 and depicting two of the island’s most distinctive features – Compass Hill, and a pair of the Manx shearwaters that breed there.
The stamp is denominated as “two shearwaters” – in the style of Lundy with its puffins – and was sold for 1d. As illustrated in this tweet, the perforation of this issue was quite rudimentary, so the stamps do vary slightly in their size and cropping.
U/M / Unmounted Mint / MNH / Mint Never Hinged.
Canna is the westernmost island of the Small Isles archipelago, in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland to the south of Skye. The island is 4.3 miles (6.9 km) in length, and one mile (1.6 km) wide.
While under the ownership of laird John Lorne Campbell, the island produced a single stamp, in 1958, depicting Compass Hill and a pair of the Manx shearwater birds for which Canna is well known. The stamp served no postal function, but was sold for 1d to raise funds for the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society, though its use on mail to "authenticate the origin of our letters and parcels" was encouraged by Campbell.
50,400 stamps were printed in sheets of 60 by George Waterston & Sons Ltd in Edinburgh, with the original invoice retained in the archives of Canna House, Campbell's former home.
John Lorne Campbell gifted the island to the National Trust for Scotland in 1981, and continued to live there until his death in 1996; his widow, Margaret Fay Shaw, remained at Canna House until her own death, aged 101, in 2004.
The island, which retains a small permanent population, can be visited; it is served by a Calmac ferry from Mallaig on the mainland several times a week.