— New stock added —
1970 Summer Isles set, featuring decimal conversion overprints on the previously produced definitives showing different fish alongside a map of the islands.
The earlier 1d, 2d, 4d, 6d, 1s and 2s6d denominations are cancelled out with a thick black line (6 x 3mm), and replaced by ½p, 1p, 2p, 2½p, 5p and 7½p values respectively.
Note that the official Summer Isles stamp catalogue that we have (2013) only lists one version of this issue – the one illustrated here with 6 x 3mm bars. In reality, however, variants do exist with thinner bars (approximately 4 x 1.5mm) and in some cases values in a completely different typeface. As far as we can tell, these are genuine variants rather than any kind of forgery, as we have seen postally used examples. We intend to list the variations separately in the future.
A similar overprinted issue to this one also exists from 1977, but it features the old values cancelled out using black circles instead of bars, and different denominations.
Unmounted Mint / MNH / Mint Never Hinged.
About the Summer Isles
Unlike a lot of the labels that purport to come from islands off the coast of Britain, Summer Isles stamps have always performed a genuine local postal function.
On 1 September 1970, due to the lack of an official postal service to and from the largest and only inhabited island, Tanera Mòr, the Summer Isles Estate was permitted to launch a private, year-round mail service to and from the mainland at Achiltibuie.
Attractive stamps were issued until 1986, before the service fell dormant until its relaunch under new ownership in 1996. The first new issue in three years - and seemingly the most recent issue to date - was produced in 2016, celebrating "Island Music". Mail posted on the island has always had to bear both a Summer Isles stamp (for transportation to the mainland) and a Royal Mail stamp (for its onward journey).
After several years on the market, the island of Tanera Mòr was purchased by businessman Ian Wace in 2017, and is (as of 2023) still undergoing a programme of restoration that will see it "become an idyllic retreat capable of hosting up to 60 paying guests". We understand that a new post office has been built, but will not be operational again until the seven-year renovation of the island is complete.