Staffa’s first ever stamp issue from 1969, on a “special souvenir cover” cancelled with a “Posted in Fingal’s Cave 18 Jul. 69” first day of issue handstamp.
The set of four comprises 1d, 5d, 1s6d and 1s9d values, and variously depicts Queen Victoria and the composer Mendelssohn – who composed the concert overture The Hebrides after visiting Staffa in 1829 – alongside local scenes and the island’s coat of arms.
Staffa is a real island in the Inner Hebrides - owned since 1986 by The National Trust for Scotland - but the stamps that bear its name have a somewhat colourful history.
Staffa's first issue, in 1969, was both rather attractive and had a local flavour - featuring local scenes and the island's coat of arms - but subsequent issues, released until 1986, soon got a little out of hand in terms of their relentless volume, dubious design quality, and questionable local relevance.
Just like the stamp issues in the 1970s and 1980s that purported to come from Eynhallow, Nagaland or Dhufar, Staffa's stamps were produced by the controversial English stamp dealer Clive Feigenbaum. They were issued with the permission of the island's owner at the time, but, unlike local carriage labels from other islands such as Herm or Lundy, were produced primarily for collectors, and are not thought to have ever performed any postal function.
Still, while not 'proper' postage stamps - and therefore falling into the category of Cinderellas - Staffa issues are still collected as a philatelic curiosity in their own right.