Summer Isles 1998 Hills of Assynt-Coigach (4v, 20sg to 1PS, U/M)

£9.00

1998 “Hills of Assynt-Coigach” Summer Isles issue, featuring original paintings of hills of the North-West Highlands visible from Tanera Mòr.

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Description

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1998 “Hills of Assynt-Coigach” Summer Isles issue, featuring original landscape paintings by John Coleman of hills of the North-West Highlands visible from Tanera Mòr.

The issue comprises four individual stamps (20sg, 25sg, 50sg, 1PS).

U/M / 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. 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).

Seventeen attractive stamp issues were produced between 1970 and 1986, before the service fell dormant until its relaunch under new ownership in 1996, marked by the appearance of a third definitive issue featuring a map of the islands. Further well-designed issues appeared on a near-annual basis until 2013.

The first new issue in three years - and the most recent to date - was produced in 2016, celebrating "Island Music".

After several years on the market, the island of Tanera Mòr was purchased by businessman Ian Wace in 2017, and is (as of 2024) 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.

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