Rare Stamps From Saudi Arabia
As one of the richest and most influential countries in the world, Saudi Arabia is no stranger to international headlines. Reflecting a growing interest in stamps from the Middle East, recent years have seen rare Saudi Arabian stamps fetch record values.
Turkish Occupation of Saudi Arabia
In the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire — which was then in control of a large portion of what is now Saudi Arabia — began a course of modernization which included the development of rail infrastructure in the region. This led to a formalization of post services and the printing of rail and revenue stamps. Stamps from this period were the same used throughout Ottoman territories. With a wide range of overprints and cancellations, these stamps constitute a separate area of study in their own right.
The Stamps of the Hejaz and Najd
Following a British-supported coup overthrowing Ottoman rule, the kingdoms of Hejaz and Najd were established. Both of these regions printed their own stamps, which have proven to be a rich treasure trove for collectors. Stamps from Hejaz were issued between 1916 and 1925, and they feature multiple overlays, inversions and other unique features.
In nearby Najd, stamps bore the inscription “Post of the Sultanate of Najd.” In 1926, Najd took over control of Hejaz and began issuing stamps for the complete territory. This arrangement continued until the country was formally unified as what we know now as Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia Collectors Stamps Today
The unified Kingdom of Saudi Arabia issued its first stamps on January 1, 1934. Until the 50s, the tughra — an ornate calligraphic design symbolizing a king or sultan, used throughout the Arabic world — was the principle design element for most stamps. In the latter half of the century, however, more diversity was introduced. Many designs commemorated important events in the country’s history.
Apfelbaum, Inc. regularly holds auctions featuring Saudi Arabian stamp collections from all periods of the country’s history. We also regularly have available rare stamps from the Hejaz and Najd. Contact our office for more information, or browse our website to visit our online store and buy-it-now sales.