Manama (dependency of Ajman)

Prehistoric animals on stamps of Manama

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Manama is a township in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), one of two exclaves of the emirate of Ajman (the other is Masfout).

Note: don't mistake it with Manama city - the capital of Bahrain.

Ajman was as part of the Trucial States, also known as the Trucial Coast, and Trucial Sheikhdoms, was the name the British government gave to a group of tribal confederations in southeastern Arabia whose leaders had signed protective treaties, or truces, with the United Kingdom between 1820 and 1892.
The Trucial States remained an informal British protectorate until the treaties were revoked on 1 December 1971.
The following day, six of the sheikhdoms—Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah—formed the United Arab Emirates; the seventh, Ras Al Khaimah, joined 10 February 1972.

The land area of Manama is mainly given over to agricultural usage, it was a village of seven or eight houses of the Sharqiyin tribe at the beginning of XX century. Its current population is about 6000. [R1]

In 1963, Britain ceded responsibility for the Trucial States' postal systems. An American philatelic entrepreneur, Finbar Kenny, saw the opportunity to create a number of editions of stamps aimed at the lucrative collector's market and in 1964 concluded a deal with cash-strapped Ajman to receive the franchise for the production of stamps for the government.
In 1966 a post office opened in Manama and the first stamp of "Manama dependency of Ajman" was issued in July of the same year.
That year only 6 stamps were issued. 25 stamps were issued in 1967. Over 100 stamps a year were issued between 1968 and 1970. Over 450 stamps were issued in 1971 and over 700 in 1972.
In 1972, Ajman and its dependencies joined the United Arab Emirates, however, Manama, as well as Ajman itself and few other emirates that formed the United Arab Emirates, continued to issue a number of editions of stamps intended for the collector's market.
The last stamp of "Manama dependency of Ajman" was issued in 1973.
These colorful stamps cover a variety of themes – most of which are not actually related to the emirate of Ajman or the exclave of Manama, but instead were designed for sale to international collectors. These stamps along with the stamps produced by other Trucial stamps at the time were called the “Dunes”. [R2]
Their proliferation eventually devalued them, some stamps catalogues, Scott for example, do not even list them.
Due to this reason all stamps below are marked as Undesired issues, not recommended for serious collectors.

Official stamps of Manama related to Paleontology: dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals

24.08.1971 "Prehistoric Animals"
Prehistoric animals on stamp of Manama 1971

[1] The Block of the set is the first Souvenir/Miniature sheet with stamps of prehistoric animals.
There are some color "proofs" and imperforate variations of these stamps and the Souvenir Sheet, designed by the philatelic agency for collectors.
Covers with postally-used examples of these stamps are exceedingly rare. All such letters known to me are covers cancelled on the day of issue, which were sent to Stampex company, probably with the purpose to legitimize them.
Here are some examples of such letters:

Prehistoric animals on stamp of Manama 1971


  • Many thanks to fellow collector Dr. Jon Noad from Canada who kindly shared scans of some postally used cover with prehistoric animal stamps of Manama, from his own collection.
  • Many thanks to Dr. Peter Voice from Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Western Michigan University, for the draft page review and his valuable comments.

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