1967 Europa set of five carriage labels, depicting various aeroplanes, produced by the Commodore Shipping Company for use on its Guernsey-Sark route.
U/M / Unmounted Mint / MNH / Mint Never Hinged.
About Sark and Commodore Shipping
Part of the Channel Islands, Sark is located seven miles east of Guernsey.
The Commodore Shipping Company, which held the contract to carry GPO mail on the Guernsey-Sark route between 1950 and 1969, issued its own carriage labels over that period, with over 80 different stamps produced. Early labels from 1950 were simple and typeset, and are rarely seen; later pictorial issues between 1961 and 1968, inscribed "Guernsey-Sark", featured subjects including local views, ships and aeroplanes, with some issues later overprinted to commemorate Churchill or Kennedy.
Like the issues of Herm, Lihou and other smaller Channel Islands, these issues ceased when Guernsey achieved its postal independence in 1969. However, they are not the last stamps to bear the name of Sark.
In 1980, the Isle of Sark Shipping Company - which had taken over the contract for passenger and cargo services between Guernsey and Sark - produced a set of five attractive stamps. These are available together in miniature sheet format, or printed separately in sheets of 25 each, and examples also exist overprinted for the 1981 Royal Wedding.
We haven't yet been able to establish whether these 1980s stamps were, as one source suggests, "used to pay freight charges on parcels and small items of freight carried by the company between Guernsey and Sark and vice versa", or whether they were issued purely as a souvenir with no postal function.
Until recently, there was a useful online catalogue of Sark stamps by Anders Backman of SilverDalen Stamps (http://silverdalenstamps.se/sark/sark_cat.htm), though sadly this is no longer accessible. Unfortunately, we are not aware of any other printed or online listing of Sark stamps, though Commodore issues can be found listed in archive catalogues that are sometimes available via eBay or secondhand bookshops, such as Gerald Rosen's "British Local Stamps".